AND I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
FOR if we are aspiring to the company of the angels in heaven, we ought always
……. so far as harmful bodies hinder not,
nor earthly limbs weaken, nor mortal members,*
to imitate their life on earth.
But are you by chance asking, in what way (this tabernacle being heavenly) you, an earthborn man, being carnal, are able to imitate spiritual beings?
They love God and neighbour: imitate this.
They relieve the wretched – if not angels, who are all blessed, then certainly men: imitate this.
They are humble, they are mild to one another, they are at peace with one another, they are obedient to the divine command: so far as you can, imitate this.
They neither speak, nor do, nor think anything evil, anything idle, anything unjust.
Unwearied in divine praises, they attend with word and understanding.
As much as you can, imitate this: and you have built a sanctuary exactly after the example which was shown to Moses upon the Mount, and our Lord and Saviour will come and make his dwelling with you.
Still more, even after this life, he will bring you for evermore into that blessed tabernacle which you were imitating.
St Bede, monk of Jarrow, who reposed on 26th May 735. “Commentary on the Temple, its Vessels and Priestly Vestments” Book I.3. This is my inexpert translation.
*St Bede quotes here some lines from Virgil, which come to him through St Augustine of Hippo.
O CHRIST the Word, hymned by celestial choirs, make the gatherings of the faithful also devoutly imitate their ranks; for none is holy but you, O Lover of mankind.
With intensity of fervent love closely linked to the first source of all that is desired, you stand as ministers praising in never-silent hymns the one Essence without beginning of the Godhead, godly Archangels.
BY bearing in your womb Christ, who crowns all with blessings, pure Mother, you clearly abolished the ancient curse of Eve; for none is help but you, Immaculate.
Monday Matins, Tone 4. Translation from Anastasis.
Nektaria Karantzi singing Psalm 33:1-5, 8, with terirem (a non-word of sheer ecstasy).
8. TASTE and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man who hopes in him.
12. What man is there that desires life, loving to see good days?
13. Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14. Turn away from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.