Smiting, Yearning, and Leaping
By jsolof on Feb 06, 2005
I've been Orthodox (Christian) for going on 24 years now, and if you figure I've said the Prayers Before Holy Communion at least 50 times a year, that nets out to well over a thousand times. And yet this morning, one of the prayers that I've been staring at for all these years veritably leapt off the page at me:
Thou hast smitten me with yearning, O Christ, and by Thy divine love hast Thou changed me. But with Thine immaterial fire, consume my sins and count me worthy to be filled with delight in Thee, that leaping for joy, O Good One, I may magnify Thy two comings.
Who ever said religion was boring, or prayers were dull? We have big action verbs going on here! Smiting, yearning, leaping -- and immaterial fire!\*
I am smitten with yearning for more.
This prayer is from the lovely Prayerbook for Orthodox Christians from Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline, Massachusetts.
\*Note that this immaterial fire is not the fire of purgatory, the Roman Catholic doctrine of which the Orthodox do not hold. I rather suspect the reference is to the Holy Spirit, Who descends upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) in the form of tongues of fire, resulting in delight, joy, and magnification (praise) of Christ in His first and (anticipated) second comings.