“Almighty and eternal Lord God, the great creator of heaven & earth, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down from heaven, in pity and compassion upon me thy servant, who humbly prostrate myself before thee, sensible of thy mercy and my own misery; there is an infinite distance between thy glorious majesty and me, thy poor creature, the work of thy hand, between thy infinite power, and my weakness, thy wisdom, and my folly, thy eternal Being, and my mortal frame, but, O Lord, I have set myself at a greater distance from thee by my sin and wickedness, and humbly acknowledge the corruption of my nature and the many rebellions of my life. I have sinned against heaven and before thee, in thought, word & deed; I have contemned thy majesty and holy laws. I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done, and committing what I ought not. I have rebelled against light, despised thy mercies and judgments, and broken my vows and promises; I have neglected the means of Grace, and opportunities of becoming better; my iniquities are multiplied, and my sins are very great. I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing, and desire to be vile in my own eyes, as I have rendered myself vile in thine. I humbly beseech thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins, for the sake of thy dear Son, my only saviour, J. C., who came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance; be pleased to renew my nature and write thy laws upon my heart, and help me to live, righteously, soberly and godly in this evil world; make me humble, meek, patient and contented, and work in me the grace of thy holy spirit, prepare me for death and judgment, and let the thoughts thereof awaken me to a greater care and study to approve myself unto thee in well doing, bless our rulers in church & state. Help all in affliction or adversity—give them patience and a sanctified use of their affliction, and in thy good time deliverance from them; forgive my enemies, take me unto thy protection this day, keep me in perfect peace, which I ask in the name & for the sake of Jesus. Amen.”
George Washington, Wednesday Morning Prayer recorded in the Prayer Journal, dated April 21-23, 1752; “George Washington, The Christian,” William J. Johnson, editor pp. 31-32
يكروز در دهكده اى دور و خارج از راه دو جوان در كنار چشمه آن ده وارد گفتگو ميشوند. نخست يكى از آن جوانان كه مسافر مرموزى بود ميگويد: پدر من طويله بسيار بزرگى دارد كه تمامى حيوانات عالم در آن جا ميگيرند و درون آن ميتوانند با چريدن و يا ديگر فعاليتهااى كه مناسب حيوانات است خود را سرگرم نگه دارند٠
آن ديگر جوان كه چوپانى بى شیله پیله بود ميگويد: گرچه دنيا ديده نسيتم ولى اين سخن من را به حيرت نمى اندازد. اتفاقأ پدر خود من چوب بزرگى دارد كه با آن ميتوان در طى طول شب ستاره گان را با ان چوب تكان داد٠
جوان مسافر با كنجكاوى ميپرسد: اگر حقيقت را ميگويى بگو تا ببينم پدر تو اين چوب بزرگ را در طى روز كجا نگه ميدارد؟
!جوان چوپان پاسخ ميدهد: در طويله پدر تو
در قرون وسطا کشیشان بهشت را به مردم میفروختند و مردم نادان هم با پرداخت هر مقدار پولی قسمتی از بهشت را از آن خود میکردند. فرد دانایی که از این نادانی مردم رنج میبرد دست به هر عملی زد نتوانست مردم را از انجام این کار احمقانه باز دارد، تا اینکه فکری به سر به کلیسا رفت و به کشیش مسئول فروش بهشت گفت: قیمت جهنم چقدر است؟
کشیش تعجب کرد و گفت: جهنم؟
مرد دانا گفت: بله جهنم
کشیش بدون هیچ فکری گفت: ۳ سکه
مرد سراسیمه مبلغ را پرداخت کرد و گفت: لطفا سند جهنم را هم بدهید
کشیش روی کاغذ پارهای نوشت: سند جهنم
مرد با خوشحالی آن را گرفت و از کلیسا خارج شد. سپس به میدان اصلی شهر رفت و فریاد زد: مردم ! من تمام جهنم را خریدم و این هم سند آن است. دیگر لازم نیست در بهشت ملك بخريد زيرا قصد دارم به هيچكس اجازه ورود به جهنم را ندهم
آهنگری با وجود رنجهای متعدد و بیماری اش عمیقا به خدا عشق می ورزید. روزی یکی از دوستانش که اعتقادی به خدا نداشت، از او پرسید: تو چگونه می توانی خدایی را که رنج و بیماری نصیبت می کند،رادوست داشته باشی؟ آهنگر سر به زیر اورد و گفت: وقتی که میخواهم وسیله آهنی بسازم یک تکه آهن را در کوره قرار می دهم. سپس آنرا روی سندان می گذارم و می کوبم تا به شکل دلخواه درآید. اگر به صورت دلخواهم درآمد،می دانم که وسیله مفیدی خواهد بود و اگر نه آنرا کنار میگذارم. همین موضوع باعث شده است که همیشه به درگاه خدا دعا کنم که خدایا مرا در کوره های رنج قرار ده اما کنار نگذار.
رنج يا موهبت
My golden locks Time hath to silver turnd.
O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!
My youth ‘gainst time and age hath ever spurnd,
But spurnd in vain. Youth waneith by increasing.
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen,
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.
My Helmet now shall make a hive for bees
And lovers’ sonnets turne to holy Psalms.
A man at Armes must now serve on his knees,
And feed on pray’rs, that are Age his alms.
But though from Court to Cottage I depart,
My Saint is sure of mine unspotted heart.
And when I saddest sits in homely cell,
I’ll teach my Swaines this Carrol for a song.
Blest be the hearts that wish my Sovereigne well,
Curs’d be the souls that thinke her any wrong.
Goddess, vouchsafe this aged man his right
To be your Beadsman now that was your knight.
Last poem of Polhymnia, 17 November 1590.
Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal
the way you dream, the things you feel.
Deep in your spirit let them rise
akin to stars in crystal skies
that set before the night is blurred:
delight in them and speak no word.
How can a heart expression find?
How should another know your mind?
Will he discern what quickens you?
A thought once uttered is untrue.
Dimmed is the fountainhead when stirred:
drink at the source and speak no word.
Live in your inner self alone
within your soul a world has grown,
the magic of veiled thoughts that might
be blinded by the outer light,
drowned in the noise of day, unheard…
take in their song and speak no word.
by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev
Nasadiya Sukta (Hymn of non-Eternity, origin of universe):
There was neither non-existence nor existence then;
Neither the realm of space, nor the sky which is beyond;
What stirred? Where? In whose protection?
There was neither death nor immortality then;
No distinguishing sign of night nor of day;
That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse;
Other than that there was nothing beyond.
Darkness there was at first, by darkness hidden;
Without distinctive marks, this all was water;
That which, becoming, by the void was covered;
That One by force of heat came into being;
Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
Gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whether God’s will created it, or whether He was mute;
Perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not;
Only He who is its overseer in highest heaven knows,
Only He knows, or perhaps He does not know.
Ten starving brothers left their home to stand
In Joseph’s presence, in a foreign land,
And begged for some benevolent relief
To ease the torments of their wretched grief.
Now Joseph’s face was veiled; he took a bowl
And struck it hard — a sound as if a soul
Cried out in misery was heard. He said:
“Do you know what this means?” Each shook his head.
“Lord, no one in the world, search far and wide,
Could give this noise a meaning,” they replied.
Then Joseph said: “It speaks to you; it says
You had a brother once, in former days,
More precious than this bowl — he bore the name
Of Joseph; and it says that, to your shame,
His goodness overshadowed all of you.”
Once more he struck the bowl. “It says you threw
This Joseph in a well, then stained his cloak
With wolf’s blood; and it says the smeared rags broke
Poor Jacob’s heart.” He touched the bowl again:
“It says you brought your father needless pain
And sold the lovely Joseph. Is this true?
May God bestow remorse to chasten you !”
These brothers who have come to beg for bread
Stood speechless, faint with apprehensive dread:
When they gave Joseph for the merchant’s gold,
It was themselves, and all the world, they sold —
And when they threw their brother in that well,
They threw themselves in the abyss of hell.
Whoever hears these words and cannot find
How they applied to him is truly blind.
There is no need to scrutinize my tale,
It is your own, when thoughtlessly you fail
To render loyalty its proper due,
How can the light of friendship shine for you?
But, till you’re woken, sleep — too soon you’ll see
Your shameful crimes, your infidelity,
And when you stand a prisoner in that place
They’ll count them one by one before your face;
There, when the bowll is struck, you too will find
That fear dissolves your reason and your mind.
You’re like a lame ant struggling for its soul,
Aimlessly sliding, caught inside this bowl —
Blood fills it, but a voice beyond its rim
Still calls to you — rise now, and fly to Him.’
Farid Ud-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds