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HYMN 4

 

Open to us, Lord
the door of your treasure-house.
This is a treasure that longs for
plunderers.
May the stock of the notions of those
who preach your word
grow like a capital
accumulating interest.
For yours is a money that bestows
interest on the borrower; the generous
acquire what they give; it is
a collateral that stands for the whole
quality of our experience. It goes
out in the world, seeking
profit, and it finds it,
ten-fold, twenty-fold, a hundredfold.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

Like a merchant's capital, O Lord, is the
treasury of Your teaching, and all
wisdom hangs from it as
there is a wealth of symbols
hanging from the olive tree.
Let my tongue deal in it; let my words
hold it secure; let me be wrapped
about the symbols that lie in the deep
as in an ocean; let them be food
for those who long for secrets.
For there is enough, lying in your nets,
to feed abundantly every one
of all who long for reconciliation.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

I looked and I was amazed
when I had but a glimpse
of the beauty of the treasury
of the symbols of an olive tree.
For the oil gave me light, and the fruit
types of the Lord. O, who is able
to pluck the fruit, whether hidden
or revealed, of this
glorious tree that bears
before our eyes fruits and leaves, but secretly
symbols and types; it feeds
the body with its fruit and the mind
with hidden truth.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

For oil flows like the sea
and, as by the sea, help comes
to limbs, as ships
come, bringing
all manner of merchandise
into the port. The Apostles,
dealers in medicine, when they went
to heal the sick, then their words too
flowed like the sea, bearing
ships, bringing
relief to the senses, to the
towns along the coast.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

Oil offers itself to those
who are sick that through it
they might gain all sorts
of help, as Christ gave
Himself to us, that we might gain
all sorts of glory. Christ,
the Anointed-with-Oil, is One
and Only-begotten, but
has many titles and
with them He combines
all sorts of help, as oil,
though it too is one, has many
names, when it is compounded
with different medicinal
plants for the healing of all.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

For oil has many ways of working and
adapts to each and every
one of us, so that,
when it is combined
with powerful remedies, it becomes
strong, although it is mild, and it can be cooled,
although it is warm,
and so it is like the One,
the Anointed-with-Oil, the Christ,
for He too knows how to adapt
to each and every one of us and can seem
harsh with doubters, though He is mild,
and with those who love Him
He is sweet and so conforms
His shape to each and every
one of us, though He alone
and unlike any of us, bears
the Image of the Father.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

The very name, then
is a symbol and reveals
Christ's Name, so
the chrism is honoured; it was made
the shadow of the Name of Christ,
and, when the disciples went
out into the world and healed
and anointed the possessed,
then, like a shadow,
the Anointed One was present,
though He remained concealed
to win the war by subterfuge,
as when, at the mere
touch of his coat, a haemorrhage
of blood that had flowed
for twelve whole years, congealed.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

So, the name of oil is indeed
His symbol and the shadow
of His Name, and when this
shadow falls on the sick
they are cured, as when,
by the Gate of Solomon,
Peter's shadow
fell on the beds
brought by the multitude.
Peter's shadow
was the reflection
of Christ's promise
to all the Saints, giving them
the power of healing.
Elisha had to
stretch out his whole
body over the boy to bring him
back to life,
but it was enough
that Peter
merely bestow
his shadow.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

It is by an anointing that the gentiles
whom Christ has accompanied acquire
the lineage of Israel.
All the way along the road,
their weariness is comforted,
and when hard blows have rained
upon them, then their wounds
are bandaged, for the Lord
refreshes all who travel by His side.
Oil removes the weariness
of those who sleep; and an anointing
takes away our guiltiness
when we are baptised.
So oil is a thief. It steals
sins when we are alive
and the consequences of sin
when we are dead.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

Oil is a staff
for the old and a shield
for the young; a support
for the sick, and a fortress
for the strong. It is one,
but it has many applications ­
a chrism for the altar that bears
the Body of the Lord,
and, like the Lord, oil confers
on the evil and the good
alike, great light,
and rain, too,
on the fallen and
on those who are still upright.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

Like the Lord, oil
opens up its treasure-house
to everyone, and sinners trade
freely its abundance
against that
other abundance of
the Lord's forgiveness.
So, anointing Him,
the sinful woman won
His mercy; Mary, too
poured out a jar
of precious oil.
Its fragrance spread
throughout the room.
It became a fire,
testing all
those who were gathered there.
It light revealed
theft masquerading
as care for the poor.
But it threw down a passageway,
and Mary passed over
to glory upon glory
that will be remembered
always.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

Joy is hidden within it, for our faces
shine with it, and it shares
with everyone all labour,
whether sorrowfully or in
joyfulness; it is the servant
of rejoicing, and master of grief,
for faces that are full of life
are made by it resplendent,
but it is also always present,
comforting the dead, preparing them
for rising again, as Christ did too
when He mourned for Lazarus.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

Oil, forcefully, like Christ,
enters into and caresses
that stiffness in the limbs
that numbs the mind, coming
on top of maddening
pain like a second
demon; but strong
is the power of oil, calming
the joints, like the Lord
Who calmed the madman
in the desert, punished
the Legion of the Damned,
whipped the ferocious
demons who had rendered
ferocious the man
who was comforted by Grace.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

In a symbol, the river of Eden
is divided, and it runs
in four directions.
Oil, too, is divided
symbolically, and it flows
among the churches, so,
the river waters the garden,
the oil gives light to the Church,
the water gives joy to the trees,
the oil to the eyes of men.
The River has four names,
and oil receives three,
when, at our Chrismation,
it, too, is disposed
in four directions.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

My weak speaking has
gone beyond itself and
dirtied the bright gold
of Majesty. I have nothing to give,
but there are those in the world
who receive, merely by being
worthy to receive. It is not
the spring that gives the water that we crave.
The spring is like a steward and distributes
streams of living water to all who thirst.
If the flow of my speech is sweet,
then its sweetness comes from the Truth.
But if it is insipid, feeble, and weak,
that is a consequence of the dust
and rubble over which
the stream has passed.

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.

 

My tongue, then,
has become a merchant
and has put down
silver on Your table to gain
all the symbols of an olive tree
and all the types of oil.
Who has ever seen
the branches of an olive
tree giving symbols
rather than fruit, and germinating
types rather than leaves?
And again,
who has ever seen
oil that becomes the sea
and its symbols that become
fish, and a singing tongue
that multiplies the fish
for hungry listeners?

Glory to the Anointed One,
Who, when He died and rose again,
tore aside the curtain
where all the mysteries lay hidden.