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HYMN 7

 

Repentance and diligence, both
are needed for both worlds;
for the work of the earth, the diligent;
for the work of the spirit, the penitent.
Though the diligent may not be rich,
yet he is self sufficient;
and the penitent may fail in everything,
and yet he is triumphant.
Evil rests entire upon
the shoulders of the indifferent.
Blame is given to the wicked.
Shame is given to the indolent.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

October revives those who are tired
from the dirt and the dust of the Summer.
They are washed by its rain, anointed
by its dews, and even the trees
yield fruit. April gives relief
to those who have been fasting; it plunges
them into the water and cleanses us, scouring
the sin from our soul and anointing us.
In October, we trample out the oil.
In April, mercy is spread out for us.
In October, we gather fruit.
In April, our sins are forgiven.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

Since Jezebel refused the truth, her harvests
were refused by the earth. The farmers gave
their seed, but the womb
would not receive it. Those who dwelt in her had robbed
truth of its offspring, and so
the seed accumulated, but
she who should by nature have given
increase was barren, while the cold
pitcher and oil jar, going against their nature,
multiplied. The voice that had
sterilised the earth spoke
and the pottery vessels gave forth fruit.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

But hunger still
spread about everywhere.
All the reserves of food fell short.
The cellars too were bare.
Then Elijah wedded together
oil and flour.
He who was to be
taken up into the sky,
thus defeating death,
defeated hunger by
joining two symbols;
and at the end of his fasting,
rain came down.
The Lord of the floods bestowed
abundance on him as a crown.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

With visible colours is made
manifest on the wall
the image of the king, and oil
that is visible, too, reveals
the invisible image of
our hidden King.
From the original image
of man, that had been
defaced, baptism draws
a new image, evolved
within her womb and brought
to visibility in three
triumphant shouts, that are the three
glorious names of the Trinity.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

So, oil is the Spirit's friend and minister
and disciple, going with Him everywhere.
He seals the ordination of the priest
and the chrismation of the baptised;
for the Spirit, through the Christ, uses
oil to brand His sheep;
as a symbol of our union with Him
is the signet that is pressed
into hot sealing wax, so oil
imprints in our warm flesh
the symbol of the Spirit.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

And so, the dirty and stained
bodies of the Old Man are given
a last unction, before
they are washed white
and clean, after
being beaten against a Stone.
Like a bundle of rags, they went down
And now they rise
like new-born babes, from baptism,
out of a womb that makes young again,
as the river made
Na'man young again. Oh this womb
that every day gives
birth without pain
to the sons of a King.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

The priest is a midwife to
this birth-giving
womb, and the Holy Spirit
comes, hastening towards her,
rushing over the water, and she
is honoured with the glory
of the Levites. The High Priest Himself
is there in the form of a Servant,
and the angels rejoice
in the sheep that was lost.
Oh to this womb that gives birth, and then
goes direct to the altar, teaching
and giving her gifts; and oh
to the babes who, the moment they are born,
eat perfect Bread.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

Our body, source of every woe
is joined by Christ, the Source
of all relief; for the oil
mops up all that we owe
as the Flood passed
like a sponge over
everything unclean.
For the Flood, like Christ, annihilates
all evil; those who poured
over the world their lust
floated in the water, dead.
But all the sins we accumulate,
the oil, as Christ, wipes out.
Since sin has been drowned
in water, do not
let it be aroused
again by fire.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

Oil, full of love, joined
the diver, plunging
down to bury himself in the water because
he hates his very life. Oil that does not sink
joins with the body as it goes
under and dives down to bring
up from the depths a treasure; so
the Anointed, Who
does not die, puts on a body that dies
and plunges down
to bring up from the water all
the living treasure
of the house of Adam.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

Oil, at Elisha's command,
poured itself out, to be sold
in place of the two
orphan boys; for them,
oil was like a bodyguard, bending the
force that had entered to tear
them away from the trunk
of freedom to graft them
into slavery. So oil
silenced the promissory
note that had spoken
against debtors. It cut
the bonds of the law that would cut
the bonds that tie
a mother to her sons.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

In a symbol of Christ, oil, full of love, paid
debts it had not contracted, when
the debtors found in an earthen vessel free
treasure, as the Earth's Treasury was found
in a body of clay. Oil was a slave to free
the sons of the free, and Christ
was a slave to free
those who were slaves to sin.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

The olive is all Your image
in all of it. Oil,
branches, leaves; with the branches,
children praised Him; with its oil, Mary
of Bethany anointed Him; and the leaf,
too, in the mouth of the dove, became
His symbol. The branches portray
victory; the oil is an unction for
His death; and the leaf is the image
of the resurrection ­ it appeared
out of the Flood, as the Lord
showed the way
out of the House of the Dead.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

The one who looks into
a vessel of oil sees
his own image; and he who looks,
spiritually, discerns,
in all its symbols, all
the many beauties of the Lord.
The olive tree is rich
in symbols, as the Face
of the Lord is seen
in many different ways.
So, whichever way we look
at oil, we meet within
the loving and severe
gaze of the Lord.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.

 

Who has buried me, a weakling, beneath the stormy waves,
as if the waves had swept over me, losing me
in contemplation of the Christ. From thence again,
they swept me away to deliver me up
to the symbols of oil; wave follows wave,
but I am in the midst of them, like Peter.
O Lord, I am afraid; the waves are flowing over me
and I am without strength. Have mercy on me, O
Lord, as you had mercy on Peter, and
deliver me, sinking beneath the waves.

No matter how much we marvel, Your
glory surpasses our praise.