A Prayer for Finals Week

Prayer V in St. Nikolai Velimirovitch’s “Prayers By the Lake”.

Just a little longer and my journey will end. Keep me on the steep path to You just a little longer, O Conqueror of death; because the higher I climb towards You, the more people try to drag me down—into their abyss. The fuller their abyss becomes, the greater their hope is of defeating You. In truth, the fuller the abyss becomes, the further away from the abyss You are.

 

How stupid the servants of the tree of knowledge are! They do not measure their strength in You, but in their num­bers. They do not adopt a law of justice in Your name, but by their numbers. Whichever way the majority of them choose is the way of truth and justice. The tree of knowledge has become the tree of crime, stupidity, and icy darkness.

 

Truly, the knowledgeable men of this world know every­thing except that they are servants of Satan. When the last day dawns, Satan will rejoice in the number of people in his harvest. All the meager ears of grain! But in his stupidity, even Satan counts on quantity rather than quality. One of Your ears of grain will be worth more than the entire harvest of Satan. For You, O Conqueror of death, rely on the fullness of the bread of life, and not on numbers.

 

In vain I tell the godless: “Head for the Tree of Life and you will know more than you could possibly wish to know. From the tree of knowledge Satan fashions a ladder for you to descend into the nether world.”

 

The godless ridicule me and say: “Through the Tree of Life you want to convert us to your God, whom we do not see.”

 

In truth, you will never see Him. The Light that even blinds the eyes of the seraphim will bum your pupils forever.

 

Of all that thrives in the putrescence of the earth, those who believe in God are the rarest. O lake and mountain, help me to be glad that I, too, am journeying with these most rare, most unlearned, and most despised believers.

 

Just a little longer, brethren, and our journey will end.

 

Sustain us just a little longer, O Conqueror of death.

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