Friday, March 11, 2011

Songs for Lent

"Fasting is bright and beautiful," said St Ephrem- long, long ago. So are we fasting in a bright and beautiful way? Or have we been complaining of the sacrifice we have made? or perhaps we have already given up the commitments we have made? As Anne Shirley said- tomorrow is a day with no mistakes in it- so let's dust off our attitudes and do better tomorrow. 

One bit of obvious, unsolicited advice for coffee lovers who are trying to abstain from their favorite beverage--- do you have a headache? Are you being grouchy- not bright and beautiful? Take some Tylenol for the next few days and don't forget to drink your water- you are most likely dehydrated because your default liquid is coffee. Also- the tea "Roastaroma" is a yummy substitute (in my opinion)

Hymns from St Ephrem
Christ, Adam and the Fast
The is the fast of the First Born, the first of his victories.
Let us rejoice in his coming; for in fasting he has overcome.
Though he could have overcome by any means,
He revealed for us the strength hidden in fasting, Overcomer of All.
For by means of it a man can overcome that one who with fruit overcame Adam;
He became greedy and gobbled it. Blessed is the First-Born who encompassed
Our weakness with the wall of his great fasting.

Blessed is the King who adorned the Holy Church with Fasting, Prayer and Vigil.

The Fast Purifies the Eye of the Soul to See God
This is the fast which exalts; which appeared from the First Born
So as to extol the younger ones. There is occasion for delight for the discerning ones in fasting;
When one sees how much he has grown. Fasting secretly purifies the soul
So it can gaze on God and grow by the vision of Him.
For the weight that is from the earth, bends it back to the earth.
Blessed is he who gave us fasts,
The sheer wings by which we fly to him.

Fasting is bright and beautiful for any who bright enough
To gaze on God. The Turbid One, stirred up by anything
Cannot fix the eye on that Clear One. He who possesses a clear eye
He can gaze upon him; as much as it is given to him to gaze.
Instead of the clarifying wine, let us clarify our thought
So that we will be able to see the Clear One
Who overcame the evil one by means of fasting, that disturber of all.

more hymns at 'Your Word to the Wise"


  1. "Fasting secretly purifies the soul so it can gaze on God.."
    How very beautiful!
    Surely one who is truly willing to fast, truly wants to see God.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful hymn.

  2. Wow, this music is way better than the horrid "We rise again from ashes" song my parish plays every. single. day.

  3. I like that Anne Shirley quote! I am going to look for that roastaroma next time I'm at the store, too. Thanks!


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