Join us for a morning of Scripture Study with Scott Hahn! Saturday 22 April 2023, from 9:00 AM – 12:45 PM. You can register here.
This is our launch event for our 150th Anniversary celebration!
DEO OPTIMO MAXIMO ET CHRISTO LIBERATORI
Join us for a morning of Scripture Study with Scott Hahn! Saturday 22 April 2023, from 9:00 AM – 12:45 PM. You can register here.
This is our launch event for our 150th Anniversary celebration!
THE BOOK OF Ecclesiastes, named Kohelet or Qohelet in the Hebrew text (קֹהֶלֶת), is one of the Wisdom Books in the Hebrew Scriptures which can be read as meditation texts rather than literal “rules”. In fact, if you read the Wisdom Books without context, there are some serious contradictions between Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes in a literal sense. Proverbs seems to say, “If you are godly and wise, everything will go well for you.” Job would indicate that’s not always the case at all. The speaker in Ecclesiastes chimes in with an admission that he doesn’t know at all: sometimes the righteous prosper and sometimes not. Sometimes the impious prosper, sometimes not. He can’t make heads or tails of the whole thing. His only draw, from 1:2 to 12:8 is that “all is vanity”. How does your text translate that word? The differences go from futility to meaningless to even “all is pointless.”
But the word might imply that in more recent English, yet I don’t think that’s the intent in the Hebrew text. I’ve been chewing on this since the word was pointed out on the Bible Project podcast last week. They mentioned this, also, in their origional overview video on this book. Neither made this connection though…
The word rendered as vanity or futility is hevel הָ֫בֶל which means “mist” or “vapor”. This is also the name of Eve’s second son, usually translated as Abel in Genesis 4:2. But it’s the same word.
The question I’m chewing on is, Why did the Babylonian compositors of the Tanakh as we know it today leave us this word in this way? They are rounding out the Torah with the names of Eve’s Children at the same time as they are dropping Koheleth into the text. What were they thinking or expecting us to see? (I also wonder, btw, Why these same compositors put the Tetragrammaton in the mouth of Eve, long before the name was revealed to Moses. It’s there in the preceding verse, Genesis 4:1.)
I remembered this post from 2017. I was commenting on 1 John 2:17, “And the world is passing away, along with its desires. But whoever does God’s will remains forever.” We think of “passing away”. like “yes, the world will end”… The Greek word used for “passing” παράγω parago, is the same word used to describe Jesus passing by the tax collector’s station or the crowd blowing past blind Bartimaeus. This is the word that Paul would have used to describe a car passing him on the freeway into Thessaloniki.
The world, in other words, is Hevel. Everything on which we hang our hopes outside of God, is Hevel. This is why “hevel” or “mist” gets used to describe idols throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, using the plural form “the hevelim of the goyim” the passing winds of the gentiles. The vanity of wealth, the mere breath of a passing shadow that is man, every man is Abel, every man is killed by the spear over doing what is right anyway… and his family mourns him. But must move on.
Abel, forgotten. But not really. For he came up again this morning in the Liturgy of the Hours, the Office of Readings for the Solemnity of St Joseph. Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he, being dead, yet speaketh.” So, there is a way in which the righteous misty – being attested by God – is NOT just mist after all.
There is something to that at the end of Kohelet, right after he says that everything is nothing but a mist of mists.
hevel hahevelim… ha’col hevel הֲבֵ֧ל הֲבָלִ֛ים… הַכֹּ֥ל הָֽבֶל
Everything is mist except what points to God. For 12:13-14 wraps it up thus:
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.
As I noted in the post from 2017, the world is just whizzing by, is it not? Perhaps more now than ever before. And Christ on the Cross is the only still point in all of eternity.
All the things that we want today, that we didn’t even know existed yesterday, that we will have forgotten tomorrow like toys on Christmas that are forgotten by the new year, this world passes by. I’ve enjoyed, over the last three decades, watching fashion pass from the gay world into the straight world, be that shoe styles, popped collars, goatees, whatever. If it’s too gay this year, it will be all Joe the Plumber next year. But the gays will have moved on to a new thing. Tech is this way as well. What we didn’t even imagine as possible last month is all the rage now. And then tomorrow something new will come along.
The world just passes by. It is mist. It blows away when the winds change – but there is nothing but mists in that direction anyway as well.
And the cross is the center of stillness. The only solid thing in all of history is the incarnation of God. What God has done is always eternal and from conception on, History now has a solid core. There is something that makes the mist worthwhile, eternal.
We might render the verse from St John as saying, “And the world is hevel, along with all its hevelim. But whoever does God’s will remains forever.”
At funerals, the Byzantines do not sing, “rest in peace” but rather, “memory eternal.” We can be eternal too if we will cling to the only eternal real thing in all of eternity.
The Assignment: In less than six hundred words, what is important about using the correct terminology in referring to the ways the lay faithful collaborate with the ordained ministry?
FOR THIS QUESTION, it seemed useful to draw on liturgical theology. In the work of the late Fr Alexander Schmemann, especially his Eucharist, he discusses how the Divine Liturgy is an icon of the Church and kingdom. Although the east hasn’t a “theology of the laity” this pairs well with what the Catechism teaches about the Mass as we participate in the Son’s worship of the Father.
Words actually have meanings. Terminology helps us communicate the nature of things according to the teachings of the Church. This concept can actually be a challenge at times. In our Catholic religion, believing that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) words and their meanings are important. In a society where meaning tends to be imagined as a self-generated product, Catholics need to be counter-cultural.
Aumann draws out a definition of the Lay Faithful by distinguishing their role in the Church and the world. “The particular mission of the laity in the church – to sanctify the temporal order – is the specific difference that distinguishes the laity from the clergy and persons in the consecrated life.” (On the Front Lines p. 65) When we distinguish, we do not divide or break off, however.
Following Aumann, who quotes extensively from our readings in Lumen Gentium and Christifideles Laici, when we distinguish our particular roles in the Church it makes more evident our function in the world. Aumann goes on to say, “However, one must be careful not to place in opposition the secular character of the laity and their active participation in the church.” (ibid.) Clergy and the Lay Faithful have differing but cooperative relationships with the world and each other. If the whole of Church is intended to be merely a liturgical play that we put on on Sundays (or even daily) then it can make sense to “fight” for the “best roles” in that play. However, the Mass is our ongoing participation in the self-offering of the Son to the Father (CCC ¶1367 ff), and thus is the continual sanctification of the Faithful for the purpose of sanctifying (and evangelizing) the Temporal order.
By way of example, communion at Mass should be distributed by the Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. These are bishops, priests, and deacons, (CIC 910 ¶1). Canon Law also allows for installed Acolytes and other members of the lay faithful (CIC 910 ¶2) to assist as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. In this text, the terms “Ordinary” and “Extraordinary” help us to distinguish between these roles. The lay faithful cooperate with clergy in various actions by way of “filling in gaps” when shortages in the ordinary ministers require this supply (CL 23, also cited in Aumann on p.96) but this does not change the function of the laity in the world or in the Church.
John Paul counsels us to ensure that the Lay Faithful act in these liturgical duties in a way conforming “to their specific lay vocation”, avoiding “clericalization” (ibid). Be aware we’re filling in.
The purpose of this distinction between ordinary and extraordinary is not to keep lay people “in their place” in terms of the “best roles” in a Liturgical Play, but rather to ensure that the liturgical action of the Church shows exactly what God is doing in the Mass: re-presenting the self-offering of Son to the Father for the sanctification of the world. When an Extraordinary Minister does the work, the work gets done, but the liturgical icon of the action of Christ in the world (through his body the Church) is not presented fully.
I’m not a huge fan of Americans telling other countries how to run their politics. (We tend to call that cultural colonialism if we don’t agree with the interference, liberation if we do agree.) Understanding those other places is a different thing from trying to fix them.
I’ve been trying to understand what’s going on with the protests around judicial reform in Israel without knowing enough history. This episode of this podcast seems to me a good intro if that sort of thing interests you: The Conflict that Contains all Conflicts
The Assignment: In less than six hundred words, what is the secular character of the lay faithful and how is it related to the universal call to Christian holiness?
The most direct answer, in need of unpacking, is found in Lumen Gentium 31, cited in both CL (repeatedly) and in Aumann’s On the Front Lines (for ex, p. 65).
These faithful are by baptism made one body with Christ and are constituted among the People of God; they are in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world.
What specifically characterizes the laity is their secular nature… by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven.Lumen Gentium ¶31
The Church has, herself, an “authentic secular dimension” (Pope St Paul VI, cited in CL ¶15) because the whole Church is “in the world but not of it” (John 15:19, John 17:14-16 cited in CL). The lay faithful manifest this dimension in a particular way since they must live and move in the world in their daily lives. This is their “secular character” mentioned in Lumen Gentium.
The Lay Faithful may make Christ known to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity. Therefore, since they are tightly bound up in all types of temporal affairs it is their special task to order and to throw light upon these affairs in such a way that they may come into being and then continually increase according to Christ to the praise of the Creator and the Redeemer. (LG 31)
There is, within the Church, a particular way in which we are called to holiness, rooted in our baptism, this call is universal – directed to all people who are called to this communion in Christ. It is an act of evangelism to call those outside the Church to holiness. Pope St John Paul spends much of CL expanding on the idea of making the world reflect the kingdom of God in our homes, in the works of mercy, and in our professions.
St Paul urges us, “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men…you are serving the Lord Christ.” (Col 3:23-24 RSVCE) The mystic, Gabriel Bossis, says to Our Lord “I’m weeding so that you may come and walk on the terrace.” (He and I, p 131)
In the Byzantine Liturgy, the Deacon moves back and forth from the altar, behind the icon screen, to the nave of the church, in front of the screen. From there he directs and gives voice to the prayers of the people, drawing their attention towards the Holy Place where God is sacramentally enthroned. The Lay Faithful are called to perform the same function in a larger liturgy, moving between the Church and the World, stitching them together, calling the world’s attention to the Gospel. The lay faithful are invited to make all situations within society direct towards this call to holiness. This illumination and ordering of all things and growing “according to Christ” is the universal call to holiness in action: it does not stop at the “edge” of the Church for this call is truly universal, both inside and outside of the Church.
You are like a child holding me by the hand
Daddy Look! Daddy Look! Daddy Look!
As if you’re as amazed as I
or tiny purple flowers on rosemary
Of the swirls of oil
Opalescent on puddles in sunlight
You’re like a docent
Showing me from one spectacle
to the next
and sharing all that is happening
Watch how this clock turns
or hear the sound of this bell
You’re an artist
Humbliy waiting for me
In your studio
As I turn and see things
Watching to see if I
Will notice the art
That you’ve done
Just for this visit
Just for this visitor
And you know
Child, Docent, or Artist
The only response I have
Is thank you
Lately it feels like you’re
And older friend
Showing me all you have for me
All that you have discovered
All that you have learned
And when you’ve lifted me
So far up in steps
The rough places are not as rough
I need to say goodbye
In love or fear
You are still there
Showing me the beauty
Showing me the sunrise and sunset
And the healing
Is just as sweet
With thank you
But up in steps
Each time it is harder
To let go
Is in you
And nothing here
Until it is yours
And up in steps
You make that known
Until we can fall
AS THE Observance of the Great Fast evolved in the Eastern Church, each Sunday was assigned a special devotion: the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the Sundays of St Gregory, of St John, of St Mary, and the Sunday of the Holy Cross. Of all of them, it’s this Sunday of St Gregory Palamas that can seem the most out of place. Or, at least it seems to me. As the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese puts it, “The feast day of Saint Gregory Palamas is November 14, however, he is commemorated on this Sunday as the condemnation of his enemies and the vindication of his teachings by the Church in the 14th century was acclaimed as a second triumph of Orthodoxy.” So, here we are as Byzantine Catholics celebrating the “second triumph of Orthodoxy”. In what way?
Although Gregory’s opponents are usually seen as “Scholastics” on a western model – and that is spun to be an anti-Catholic feast – the history is a bit more clear. Gregory taught “that ascesis and prayer are the outcome of the whole mystery of Redemption, and are the way for each person to make the grace given at Baptism blossom within himself.” That “God is love and full person”, that God allows us to participate as beings in His Being without admitting a break or division in “the unity of the divine Nature.” The fire of God is the fire of love which ignites the Christian soul and draws us all towards God.
Here, on the Second Sunday of Lent, we celebrate not a theological innovator but someone whose brilliant mind compiled the teachings of the Fathers of the preceding 14 centuries and summed it all up. St Gregory is often depicted by partisans as someone who stands against “Scholasticism” but he is as great a compiler as St Thomas Aquinas. His teaching is just a distillation of all that had gone before in the Eastern Church.
The light of Christ’s Transfiguration on Tabor shines in the soul of the Baptised and, through participation in the Holy Faith, that same light can shine out of our sous into the world around us. Deification. Theosis. This is what salvation means. This is the Glory of God, St Irenaeus teaches, “a living man” (and as was echoed in the Talmud – “The adornment [or glory] of God is man” – Derekh Eretz Zuta 10.7.) As we live in the world today, we are called to see the unity of our soul in Christ not so that each of us can – as individuals – be got into heaven, but rather so that we as the Body of Christ can bring healing to the world around us. Paul asks, “how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Heb 2:3)
AS POSTED OVER ON My Hebrew language blog, I’ve been wondering about these two songs. My limited skill in that language did not prevent me from hearing the same words rolled around in two very different songs. Give a listen. Turning on the captions for the first one to see an English translation. I’m sorry there’s no subtitles available for the second, so you’ll need to take my word. The main thing is the first song is secular, the second not at all.
שהחסר תמיד היה, ותמיד ישאר חסרAmir Ve Ben
What is always missing will always be missing
אתה לא תמצא את מה שאין
You will not find what is not there
והלב הזה שלך
And your heart
הוא אף פעם לא יהיה שלם
Will never be complete
אז תאהב את הבת שלי וסתום
So love my daughter and shut up
עדיף כבר להפסיד הכל כדי לזכות בךShilo Ben Hod
It’s better to lose everyhing to win you
ולשלם את המחיר הכל בסוף שלך
And to pay every price in the end for you
ללכת עד הסוף כי רק בסוף אפגוש בך
To go to the end because only in the end will I meet you
ואז כל מה שחסר יושלם בך
And everything that is missing will be completed in you.
Both songs use the same words in several places to discuss things that are missing. But the first says they will never be complete, these things will always be missing. The second song says that the singer will give up not only what is missing – but everything else as well – because “you” (that is, Jesus) is worth any cost. In the end, everything that is important will be found in Jesus. The singer, Shilo Ben Hod, continues this theme in many of his songs.
This morning these meditations took an interesting turn as my Hebrew tutor, Gil, asked my opinion: What is the difference between the secular life and the religious life? I can’t handle small talk at all – I don’t do it very well in English and, since it is the common parlance of language classes, I can stumble there as well. But ask me something like what’s the difference between these two lives… and I have opinions, goodness. Do I have opinions!
When I learned that the word “secular” in Hebrew comes from the word for “sand” I learned the real meaning of the Biblical Image of a house built on sand. I even used it in a sentence assigned for homework. Suddenly I was making puns in Hebrew. So.
I was encouraged by the fact that the teacher was ranting right along with me! We both agreed that having a place “where the buck stops” (I don’t know how to use that idiom in Hebrew) is precisely the difference. Why do you do that? Why do you do that? I ranted. “Because of Harry Potter! Because of this new song!” Gil ranted back. Having something to point at and say “That. That is my final answer.” That’s the point, the whole point. The difference.
This theme runs through the Bible from the very beginning: our First Parents taking the fruit was a desire to have “what I want when I want it, and as I want it” rather than waiting for God to give it. This is a common theme in many worship songs: the poverty of the individual and the full reliance on God in Christ. I think of My Tribute and Which Way the Wind Blows, but it is also a common theme in the writings of the saints as well. I’m reminded of a prayer by St Thomas Aquinas:
Although I am nothing of myselfAquinas at Prayer, Paul Murray, OP (Author’s translation)
Nevertheless all that I hope to be
And all that I am
Is in you
While Gil and I are exploring what it means to answer that in two different religious contexts, we are certainly on common ground. I do not presume to have many resources for religious Jewish thought on this topic – even though we’re often going over the same material. (Today I learned what the Fast before Purim was about… and it’s not anything any Christian would imagine, at least directly.)
But there, that’s the difference. These songs are exactly about the difference. What’s missing is not always missing.
Unless you want it to be.
HEARING OF A BYZANTINE CATHOLIC podcast called What God is Not, I decided to give a listen to a ByzCath Nun, Mother Natalia, and Fr Michael O’Loughlin, a priest of the Eparchy of Phoenix. I was instantly drawn in, not only because of the excellent material and conversation, but also because Mother Natalia sounds exactly like someone I know – and in fact looks like her! I had to use my Google-Fu to make sure I wasn’t hearing a St D parishioner. Someplace in the first episode to which I listened, and sadly I do not remember which one it was, Mother made a comment to the effect that the East had to deal most with heresies around iconoclasm while the West had to deal with denial of the Eucharist. This, she suggested, was why Eucharistic Adoration is a thing in the West, but not in the East; and why icons, and venerating them, take such a huge role in the East. Marian apparitions are a thing in the West, but “revelations of Marion icons” are a thing in the East.
The listener’s mind was sufficiently blown. This is, certainly, an historic reality, but it’s a huge theological statement as well. Imagine the idea that God can work, locally, delivering what might be needed there.
I started teaching a class called ByzCath 101 at Our Lady of Fatima. It seemed like a good way to put my experience in the Orthodox Church to use or, rather, to bring that with me into the Catholic Church. Yet I’ve had to rethink a lot of things around how we parse out (T)radition vrs (t)radition. Big-T Tradition and Little-T Tradition are a huge argument on the Orthodox Internets. One can easily get burned for anything from letting women read prayers before Liturgy to using “you” for God. Did your pastor leave the Holy Doors open at Liturgy? You’re in danger of Modernist Ecumenism. Did your Bishop’s spiritual father commune with the Catholics or Communists in Soviet Russia? You’re outside of the Church now. It’s a mess! After 20 years or so, what seemed to me to be (T)radition was really just (t)radition all along. What was hyper important in this place wasn’t so important in that place. Yet, everyone seemed to be struggling towards God. So (T) must stand for things that are dealing with our salvation. (t) must be everything else. There’s a lot of (t) masquerading as (T) though.
Then, becoming Catholic and reading the Catechism, one begins to see that even the things that seemed very important at the end of my Orthodox Journey are only (t) as well. In fact, how to say mass or the Liturgy, how to pray, how to do anything, what confession means, how the sacraments work… even the Filioque. It’s all (t)radition. Yes, it’s hella important in your local Church, but in the end only what pertains to your salvation is (T). Everything else is (t). You must believe certain things, yeas – but those are the T. We cannot even legitimately say that certain things are required in a sacramental marriage or a sacramental confession unless we qualify them by saying “required in this particular church” with the subtext always being “but not in that one…”
Let me tell you how liberating it is to be a member of the Catholic Church!
SOLOMON WRITES FOR the Bride these words, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.” Certainly, that is the desire of our hearts, that the Lord should kiss us so. Yet, as in a dream where everything is one’s own mind speaking, so in scripture, everything is God’s own word. And how our Lord cries out in love, “Let him, (that is, you, Son of Adam) let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” Do not be scandalized: we speak of Christ thirsting for us, and of how we can pain his heart. God speaks of being spurned by his beloved. Although he has no need in his perfection for any of this, he desires deeply the union for which he made us in his love. While any such action is possible only by grace, how do we kiss our heavenly beloved? Indeed we do it in prayer, but how deeply, how fervently?
In Star Trek: the Next Generation, Season 4, Episode 25, “In Theory”, (Original Airdate: 3 June 1991), a woman named Jenna, recently jilted, falls into a rebound relationship with an android. To be fair to the robot, whose name is Data, he really wants to be human – like Pinocchio. His programming shows that “falling in love” is something humans do, so he writes a subroutine in his programming to give this a try. Data asks all the men on the ship for input, developing his subroutine code. There are a number of humorous failures before, eventually, the young woman realizes she’s rebounding and moves on. But as they are having that last conversation she asks for a kiss, which he gives her. This conversation ensues:
DATA: With regard to romantic relationships, there is no real me. I am drawing upon various cultural and literary sources to help define my role.Retrieved on 28 Feb 2023
JENNA: Kiss me.
JENNA: What were you just thinking?
DATA: In that particular moment, I was reconfiguring the warp field parameters, analysing the collected works of Charles Dickens, calculating the maximum pressure I could safely apply to your lips, considering a new food supplement for Spot.
JENNA: I’m glad I was in there somewhere.
As one easily distracted in prayer, I most often kiss God like this. But it’s not just God. Any human conversation for me feels like this. I find myself wondering about the internet, or about social media. I find myself wishing this would stop. I go meta and accuse myself in my brain of doing stuff in my brain instead of listening. My late friend, Linda, called me out on this once. She could tell as I sat there that I was doing something else in my brain. Linda could tell I was hearing what was said, but I was not actually listening. I could respond, mostly because I had picked something and plotted my reply. Then my brain calmly waited until it was my turn to speak. To be honest, I assumed everyone did that since I had been doing it since childhood: seems to be the way my brain works. However, I do see it’s not optimal – a conversation is not like a chess game where one can plan miles and miles ahead. (I’ve learned this more in trying to acquire a second language. You spend forever doing translation in your head, plotting out words. But there are moments of actual conversation that go from rare, to a bit better.) Neither is prayer supposed to be this way, which is more than just a conversation, but rather a relationship.
Here’s another way to kiss. This comes from Robert A. Heinlein’s brilliant 1961 masterwork, Stranger in a Strange Land. In this story, a man who has been raised on Mars – his name is Michael Valentine – has just learned how to kiss and earthling women are amazed. Here Anne tells her friend, Jubal, what it’s like to be kissed by Michael. Jubal asks:
“In a moment. Anne, tell me something. What’s so special about the way that lad kisses?”
Anne looked dreamy and then dimpled. “You should have tried it when he invited you to.”
“I’m too old to change my ways. But I’m interested in everything about the boy. Is this actually something different, too?”
Anne pondered it. “Yes.”
“Mike gives a kiss his whole attention.”
“Oh, rats! I do myself. Or did.”Retrieved on 28 Feb 2023
Anne shook her head. “No. Some men try to. I’ve been kissed by men who did a very good job of it indeed. But they don’t really give kissing a woman their whole attention. They can’t No matter how hard they try, some parts of their minds are on something else. Missing the last bus, maybe-Or how their chances are for making the gal-Or their own techniques in kissing-Or maybe worry about their jobs, or money, or will husband or papa or the neighbors catch on. Or something. Now Mike doesn’t have any technique . . . but when Mike kisses you he isn’t doing anything else. Not anything. You’re his whole universe for that moment and the moment is eternal because he doesn’t have any plans and he isn’t going anywhere. Just kissing you.”
She shivered. “A woman notices. It’s overwhelming.”
Imagine praying like that! Not “doing anything else. Not anything. You’re his whole universe for that moment and the moment is eternal because he doesn’t have any plans and he isn’t going anywhere.” Distracted in prayer or God is your “whole universe for that moment”. Which sounds better?
A practice that has helped to refocus these images is using things like the Jesus Psalter and the Jesus Prayer. How do you say the same thing over and over and not mean it as a mantra? It can be easy because Jesus is, literally, right there with you. Or perhaps in a Holy Hour, too. You can find yourself actually talking to him, for a moment. And listening. God can give us the grace to desire him like this. We need only assent to it, to open our hearts like saints before us, to open our lives to him.
Ask him to give you prayer.
Here’s a song that describes the desire to pray like this. Turn on the CC function to see the translation. Give me prayer.
So give me one good prayer
that will open for me all the gates of heaven
give me one sincere word
that will leave me breathless
i want to hang by a thread of hair in the middle of the sea
shouting will all my strength
give me one good prayer
that will open for me all the gates of heaven
give me one sincere word
that will leave me breathless
i want to be as an animal that roars in the forest all night long
master of the Universe
why have you fallen asleep
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