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Kyrie eleison

Source: Mark 8:34


Epiclesis: Oh, my love, the one whom I worship, the one I adore: to me you are breath and food. Three times comforter, I hold you in awe; I hold you in prayer. Flickering flame, blazing inferno. Heavy, easy yoke.
Be with me as I fall. Eleison.

The bedrock you built on splits open beneath your feet.
You fall.
Hijacked by ignorance, the sky above has vanished. Steep walls of dark rock flash past.
You keep falling.
You fall faster and faster. The air is bitter, biting; the shadows grim, glacial.
Suddenly, somehow, you realize that what you sense in the air is not rushing.
There, there with you, the Spirit is breathing. As you recognize the Spirit, you know recognizing means loving, and the breathing becomes warmer and tender; even as you fall, you become as if suspended in infinity. Before you is the rock face; within it glows something like a heartbeat. Kyrie eleison.

The beauty brings tears to your eyes. As if in a garden, shades of green, light and dark, greet each other, dance, leap high, while a shy, sweet light pervades and shines out from all things.
You know your body cannot pass through the rock. To enter the garden, you need to leave your body behind: inside the rock, you need to live and move and have your being in the spirit. You touch the rock; for an instant you look back on your body, suspended unknowing in the emptiness. Then you step into the rock, as if of one being with it. You enter the garden. The Spirit is with you; you can feel its gentle breath in your hair. You can sense its considerate attentiveness, its incredible power touching down on the fragile surface of your being, as if all of infinity had just settled on a speck of dust.
Now part of the bedrock, you can feel the pulse of its life more strongly; every particle here, as if alive, seems to breathe in and out in that rhythm. Away at the far end of the garden, you can make out that a cross has been put up. It appears to be rocking gently back and forth; on it, there seems to be a Christ figure. Long attuned to clean crucifix lines transcending suffering in beauty, you choose to come closer. Christe eleison.

The shock to your soul is brutal, fundamental: up close, what you see on the cross is not a sculpture but a man, alive, and in pain. The iniquity of his fate is unbearable; outrage swells up in you like a tidal wave. And yet, just as the rage is about to sweep you away, you feel the soothing Spirit take your arm, reach up to touch your head. You remember the garden. In tears, you look into the face of Christ. You are cut to the heart by his suffering; you see round about him a sovereign grace, a supernal beauty. Eleison.

The cross keeps moving slightly back and forth; invisibly, the Spirit curls around you, contains you. In suffering, the crucified man closes his eyes; you realize he is praying, and as he shuts his eyes the cross shudders to a standstill in the earth, making him gasp in pain. His gasping breath becomes one with the breath that contains you; for a moment his pain becomes your pain. That is why your hands, your feet, your forehead, your side are bleeding. That is why your soul is in shreds.
Your pain was no more than a breath on your forehead; you know that his pain will last for eternity, in the Eternal One. For him, suffering once is suffering always; dying once is dying always. He is, because he has always been. Eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

You feel drops of blood fall from your face. You see blood flowing from your hand; instead of flowing downward to your fingers it flows upward along your arm. The same way it flows on the arms of Christ crucified.
On his forehead too, a drop forms, slides down his face, and falls to the earth; the garden drinks it in. From your own eyes fall cold tears; the garden drinks them too. That is why Mount Horeb quaked under wind and fire. That is why, now, no more than a breath will wipe every tear from your eyes, and mourning and crying and pain will be no more.
From the first earth a new earth is born: the deeps tremble, and the heavens rejoice greatly. Eleison.
Christe eleison.

Already comes the song's last word, its last note. The choir stalls will fill with silence; as much as your prayer seemed to live a moment ago, it will seem to die. There will be a time, and half a time, when you will witness the wave creating Presence on the soul's surface. Eleison.

Then your soul will become smooth again; again you will discover otherness.
Selah.