Prayers by the Lake
St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Bishop of Ochrid
Poem X (10)
Speak by the quiet of the heart
To a silent tongue and a contemplative mind You draw near, O All-Holy Spirit, bridegroom of my soul. You avoid a talkative tongue as a swan avoids a stormy lake. Like a swan you swim across the quiet of my heart and make it fruitful.
Desist from your wordly wisdom, my neighbors. Wisdom is begotten, not made. As Wisdom is begotten in God, so is it begotten on earth. Begotten wisdom creates, but is not created.
So, you braggarts brag about your intellect! What is your intellect except remembering many facts? And if you remember so much, how could you have forgotten the moments of the wondrous begetting of wisdom within you? Sometimes I hear you talking about great thoughts that were born to you unexpectedly without any effort. Who bore these thoughts to you, intellectuals? How were they begotten without a father, if you admit that you did not father them?
Truly I say to you: the father of these thoughts is the All-Holy Spirit, and their mother survives as the virgin corner of your soul, where the All-Holy Spirit still dares to enter.
Thus every wisdom in heaven and on earth is begotten of the Virgin and the All-Holy Spirit. The All-Holy Spirit hovered over the chastity of the first hypostasis, and the Ultimate Man, the Wisdom of God, was begotten.
What the chastity of the Father is in heaven, the virginity of the Mother is on earth. What the action of the Holy Spirit is in heaven, His action is on earth. What the begetting of wisdom is in heaven, the begetting of wisdom is on earth.
O my soul, my eternal surprise! What happened once in heaven and once on earth must happen to you. You must become a virgin, so that you can conceive the Wisdom of God. You must be a virgin, so that the Spirit of God may fall in love with you. All the miracles in heaven and on earth originate from the Virgin and the Spirit.
A virgin gives birth to creative wisdom. A wanton woman creates barren knowledge. Only a virgin can see truth, while a wanton woman can only recognize things.
O triune Lord, cleanse the vision of my soul, and bow down Your face over her, so that my soul may glisten with the glory of her Lord, so that the wondrous history of heaven and earth may be unsealed in her, so that she may be filled with glittering like my lake, when the sun hovers above it at noon.
St Nikolai of Ochrid, “Prayers By The Lake” No. X.
Written at Lake Ohrid 1921-1922.
.. Like the Old Testament Psalmist, our holy Vladika poured out his soul in his works and in prayer. This is especially evident in his “Prayers by the Lake,” “The Spiritual Lyre,” and “Prayerful Songs.” From his poetic inspiration and fervor arose prayers on the level of the Psalms, like the most beautiful flowers of paradise. Vladika Nikolai’s spirit of prayer was so powerful that it often threw him to his knees. He was often seen weeping. He was inflamed by divine eros.* His thirst for God was unquenchable; it could be satisfied only with complete union with God.
A view of Lake Ochrid (Ohrid), where St. Nikolai composed these prayers.
The 13th century monastery is dedicated to St. John the Theologian at Kaneo, Ohrid
Paradise is within us. We were created for eternity! Saint Innocent Enlightener of Alaska, Metropolitan of Moscow
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Good One.
Joyous light of the holy glory of the immortal, heavenly, holy blessed Father, O Jesus Christ: We that come to the setting of the sun, when we behold the evening light, praise Father, son and Holy Spirit, God. Meet it is for Thee at all times to be praised with gladsome voices, O Son of God, giver of life.
My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit: O Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.
All my hope I place in thee, O Mother of God: keep me under thy protection.