Doug Tanoury (4)

Soliloquy of Saint Simeon Stylites the Younger

(Or St. Simeon of the Admirable Mountain)

My hermitage is a tall pillar
Standing upon a high mountain,
Elevated in living benediction, alone
And solitary, among the highest places.

Escaping worldly temptation in my solitude,
Floating somewhere between earth and sky,
Tree and cloud, mountain and plain,
I stand as a witness for my God.

When the sun blinds my eyes
And burns my flesh, when the wind
Whips and the rain lashes I am most
Close to the pure happiness of heaven,

And I pray: take me, let lightning strike me
In a storm and throw me down
In flames to death and raise me up
To New Life and The Communion of Saints.

Looking down, the world is so beautiful
At a distance and the silence sings to my soul;
In the evening when the warm breeze blows
From the East, it is the whispering of God.

When the Evil one turns stones to loaves,
Serpents to fish and scorpions to eggs, I close my
Eyes and turn my head away, and Angels
With blue faces minister to me.

And when He tempts me with a human touch,
The sound of a woman’s laughter, the warmth
Of breasts and the softness of her belly,
I shout my prayer of mortification of flesh.

The Prophets come to comfort me and
Converse with me as a gentle rain
Washes me clean and the wind dries me,
As the top of my column becomes a tabernacle.

I have Holy Visions of the Lord
Who teaches and instructs me and
Gives me Holy Messages for the people
Who come to this place to pray with me.

He says that everyone who is isolated
From their neighbor sits on a high pillar,
And all who are angry with their brother
Stand solitary and alone on a high column.

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