Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Abyss na farraige (The Abyss of the sea)

It would be difficult to restrain myself from not being humbled at the very idea that I would selfishly prevent the words of my petty pen to flow onto pages, those words which mean to recollect nautical and theological tales of the works of the Lord on these waves of trials. Ah, my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ! I pray that the individual members of my audience would find the necessary mercy to pardon the great transgression which I have foolishly committed. I more than vividly recall making a similar plea in the past, requesting the forgiveness of my audience those many weeks ago. May my audience collectively turn to the love of our Lord to forget my iniquitous action. As the threatening waves of trials of this vast, but beautiful, sea perpetually attempt to take our meager boat asunder, Bréanninn, the brothers, and I continue to stand fast by the Lord Christ Jesus, He Whom we clap our hands for (cf. Psalms 47.1), Whom we undeservingly consult as our unfailing and mighty stronghold (cf. Psalms 18.2), and Who unceasingly blesses us to establish our spiritual vitality (cf. II Corinthians 9.8). When the waves seem overwhelming, we worship Him (cf. Psalms 23.4). During the days when the waves are tamer, we “praise Him in His mighty firmament” (Psalms 150.1b). Indeed, we still recall why we are together on this anointed nautical voyage, that is to “praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!” (Psalms 150.2). We suffer the waves of trials that we may be found even remotely worthy in the awesome Presence of God (cf. Isaiah 6; Ezekiel 1), for “the Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalms 34.18).


In my last dated entry, I noted that Bréanninn strongly “...believes it to be best that we finally leave this isle within the next few days.” Well, not before receiving the assurance and the blessing of the Lord, the brothers and I left that comforting “iota of an isle” at last. Yet, that was many weeks ago. Now, that duration of time is merely a distant memory in the back of my mind. Other than a stop at a different isle to celebrate the birth of the Word Incarnate on Christmas together, we have been warring with the waves of trials on this wide-spanning sea. One day, the waves may quietly slosh by the edges of our humble little vessel. The next day, the waves may violently react to quite the tempest, noisily and ruthlessly beating against the sides of our boat, which leaves the brothers and me no choice but to “sing to the Lord” (Psalms 98.1), that He might awaken “ from sleep” (Psalms 78.65) and have mercy on our lives. Thus far, He has been compassionate to us by saving us from potential death in this life, which would mean nothing better than rejoicing and “being exceedingly glad,” for He has said that “...great is your reward in heaven...” (Matthew 5.12), which includes that “crown of life” given to those who are “faithful until death” (Revelation 2.10). During the time I produced not a single word onto this space of parchment, we have been tested by the waves, tried by the uncertainty of the features of the horizon, and tempted to complain over the lack of corporeal sustenance. Yet, we have remained faithful to our beloved Lord Christ Jesus, in whom we trust and love, for He is the “way, the truth, and the life” (John 14.6). By His revelatory knowledge and His saving graces, we know true life and true love. This opportunity to contemplate our Lord God is a beautiful one, and everyone on this tiny vessel is quite thankful to be a participant in this anointed voyage.


Remembering why we band of Christian brothers set sail from our beloved County Galway, and having compiled the experiences with the Lord which we have had, I would not hesitate to remark that this divinely anointed odyssey is not for vain. Rather, we have grown closer as a small contingent of spiritual siblings who would love nothing better than to see “...that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2.11), to whose unfathomable and unattainable perfection we strive to achieve (cf. Matthew 5.48) out of love for He who is the very embodiment of Love itself (cf. I John 4.8).


It is out of sheer honesty, compassion, and love that I write of the abundance of thanksgiving which simmers well within my soul due to the care the readers of this entry have exercised whilst pondering its words, which merely seek to sing the praise of our Lord Father, whose glory radiates from Heaven (cf. Psalms 19.1). It matters not how many pairs of eyes may glance over the marks of my pen; rather, the edification of those readers toward satisfaction in He who is “the resurrection and the life,” through belief in Whom, “though he may die, he shall live” (John 11.25). As the brothers and I continue to sail on these waves of trials, with a myriad of days having passed since the last landfall, our supply of water has shrunk to its last drops. But through my faith in He who is the embodiment of Wisdom (cf. Proverbs 8.22-30; James 3.17), who is “the bread of life” and the reason why I “...shall never hunger...shall never thirst” (John 6.35), I have the wonderful and awesome response to my song, that is the song of the psalmist, to our Lord:

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.

So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You” (Psalms 63.1-3).

Out of love for our King of kings, we “...will bless [Him] while [we] live” (Psalms 63.4). It was our beloved Lord of lords that quite recently revealed our next destination to Bréanninn. It is at that next island that we intend to celebrate the Holy Week of Easter, with its sacred days of Maundy Thursday, the Good Friday, and the day of the resurrection of our Lord Christ Jesus itself, that is Easter Sunday. Bréanninn has remained tight-lipped about this enigmatic isle, merely saying, “As our Lord lives, we shall arrive at that place in due course.” I suppose that my brother is right, for so long as we remained focused on our beautiful Lord, nothing else truly matters. Not even our upcoming source of solace and corporeal nourishment can hold a light against He who is light (cf. I John 1.5), Whose “word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Psalms 119.105). May our Lord preserve our unworthy lives as we slowly approach this mysterious, but apparently soothing isle.

[Source: Darcy Ireland.]

‘But, O man’, saith the sage, ‘if thou deem it difficult to believe in this miracle of the Resurrection, consider the other works of the Lord; and though these are more numerous, not the less are they miracles. Behold the breadth of the sky and its amplitude, the size of the earth, the abyss of the sea which surrounds that earth on every quarter, and all the creatures that are therein. Behold, again, the angels of heaven, yea, behold those creatures and the other creatures that have been made of nothing through the strength and might of the Lord. For it is much less of a miracle to make of matter at present any structure through the Word of God than to make there at the beginning all creatures of nothing through that Word. For the Voice of God which is now declared here (as being that) whereby the Resurrection will be for all the dead is the same as the Word whereby He made at first all creatures out of nothing.’

- (Author Unknown), The Tidings of the Resurrection, 36. (Trans. 1903).*



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