Archive for May 8th, 2007

A Song, A Saint, A Good Listen

May 8, 2007

xenia.jpg

I’m 53 years old – so I don’t hear a lot of contemporary music. One may not be connected with the other but it feels that way. Nonetheless I recently stumbled across the music of a contemporary band called, “Joyful Sorrow.” They’re easy to listen to, and the songs seem largely focused on the lives of the saints. I was particularly struck by one on St. Xenia of Petersburg. The lyrics are these:

Joy and Delusional 

Hey you
Stupid and clumsy
Why don’t you say a word?
You’re so out of touch.

You’ve been gone for so long
And now you’re wearing your dead husband’s clothes
You’re such a disgrace.

Realizing all the empty joys
In this life
You took leave
Searching for freedom
What is freedom?
Freedom — Freedom

To have everything in nothing
To seek joy in all things
To offer yourself for others
To die to this life so
As not to die in the next

Hey you
Stupid and clumsy
Why don’t you say a word?
You’re so out of touch.

You’ve been gone for so long
and now you’re wearing your dead husband’s clothes
You’re such a disgrace.

You can listen here. joydelusional.mp3

You can read about the life of St. Xenia here

The group has a lot of wonderful stuff. Why not visit them a buy something. This is not a paid advertisement.

A Poem in the Light

May 8, 2007

About the Samaritan Woman 

and her meeting with Jesus at the well, where she was drawing water.
There is a moment I would like to hold up,
A point of light that has pierced the eye of my heart.
I know that I will have to be satisfied with walking around it,
as it is not the kind of thing that can be pinned down.
Here it is:
That Jesus saw her,
and when that dawned on her,
she was never the same.
In the light of His countenance she was undone,
unwound from her syndrome, wounded with eternity.
In a moment her desire was turned inside out, transfigured.
What possessed her now could no longer be her fragmented,
meandering and wandering ways,
but His seeing of her, and beyond all that she had been,
His showing her and freely offering her
what He knew she had always desired,
beyond her own knowing.
He was not looking at her askance to cast her down.
He was not rebuking her or taunting her,
not dwelling on her miserable failures.
In His knowing, He was turning a light on in her,
springing her out of prison.
The miracle is that she saw HIM,
and so, extricated from her shame,
shot full of wonder and expectation,
she bounded with joy into the town to share this news,
that she had found a man–the seventh one–
that knew her as she had never been known.

Christ God, my Lord and Savior,
I see that you come to me as to that woman,
that you can open my eyes and my heart as you did hers.
You offer me yourself even today
in the cup of Your Life.
As I approach and partake, may the light of Your Presence
pour into the dark well of my confused passions,
a provision of the Living Water
now and unto the ages of ages. Amen

The poem is by an Orthodox woman, Jane McElroy, a member of our congregation. I have enjoyed her poetry for several years now. She is posting on her blog from time to time. I have added it to the blogroll, or it may be found here.