Damascus Road Prayers: Advent 4

…without the First-born no-one is able to approach Being, for he alone is capable of it. (Saint Ephraim the Syrian, Hymns of the Nativity) Do we forget who we are? Clamouring for prizes, for profit, for land, The spaces we contest constrain us. Who was Herod when he feared a baby? Who was the babyContinue reading “Damascus Road Prayers: Advent 4”

Damascus Road Prayers: Saphro (Morning Prayer)

When you are able, bend your knees, when you cannot, make intercession in your mind, ‘at evening and at morning and at midday’. (St Ephraim the Syrian) From the rising of the sun – whatever morning reveals – to the setting of the same – You remain. What ruins lie at our feet – whateverContinue reading “Damascus Road Prayers: Saphro (Morning Prayer)”

Damascus Road Prayers: Lilyo (Midnight Prayer)

Behold all that are asleep, awake and rise to sing praise… (From Psalm 148, Midnight Prayer liturgy, Syriac Orthodox Church) Could we have seen it coming? Was our slumber too deep? Midnight’s for sleeping, yet You do not sleep, nor did You sleep as boundaries changed and names were rearranged. You did not sleep asContinue reading “Damascus Road Prayers: Lilyo (Midnight Prayer)”

Damascus Road Prayers: Sootoro (Prayer before retiring to bed)

While my body silent lies,  May Thy power keep vigil;  Let my sleep in Thy presence Be like the rising incense. (St Ephraim the Syrian). What can we offer? The day is proud in its confidence; night is helpless. If they come, our shelters are weak, our bags packed, our feet ready – yet theContinue reading “Damascus Road Prayers: Sootoro (Prayer before retiring to bed)”

Damascus Road: No location

No flights to Damascus and if there were Safety would fly in the face of Intention. Where knowledge is danger, is ignorance bliss? I cannot walk Straight Street and know the vision that blinded Saul, or see the home where scales fell from well-meaning eyes. That much is past; no flights can take me whereContinue reading “Damascus Road: No location”

Damascus Road Prayers: Prologue

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one true God. Glory be to Him; and may His grace and mercy be upon us for ever. Amen. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, by whose glory, the heaven and the earth are filled; Hosanna in the highest.  BlessedContinue reading “Damascus Road Prayers: Prologue”

Nazarene (II)

  Did you meet in Damascus? Did you greet at the stalls and meet in your homes, all safe in their walls? Was there never a time when your people weren’t here? Did you meet in Damascus and sing? Did you meet in Homs where your buildings were tall, where the foundations laid were the surestContinue reading “Nazarene (II)”