Monday, January 24, 2005

The Deer's Cry

So NPR this morning has just reported that "the [military] reserves are shot," and that our nation's ability to fight in Iraq will be seriously impaired, if not impossible, within a year's time. All this due to the Pollyanna-ish visions of the so-called "neo-cons."

And my disgust is not with that alone, or with the broken state of the military, a state now so obvious NPR can announce it in a headline (i.e., almost without further explication being required); not with the fact that Bush has indeed broken everything he touches, or that Rumsfeld is so grossly incompetent he should be impeached, and Gonzalez and Rice shouldn't even get a hearing, much less ever be confirmed. No, my disgust is over the number of lives this has cost, and will cost: American lives, Iraqi lives, what does the political designation matter? "America" is just a political idea, "Iraq" another one. We are talking about the deaths of human beings, not of different creatures from different planets or even different levels and values of existence. I do not value life as the Hindu religion teaches, but does that mean I must devalue it to the point that only legal distinctions determine whose deaths I mourn?

What else, then, is there to do, but pray? Not for them, yet; for me. For me, that I might be able to pray for them.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us. Amen.

I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith, Christ's incarnation; His baptism in the Jordan River; His death on the cross for my salvation; His bursting from the spiced tomb; His riding up the heavenly way; His coming on the day of doom; I bind unto
myself today.

I bind unto myself the power of the great love of Cherubim; the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour; the service of the Seraphim, Confessors' faith, Apostles' word, the Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls; all good deeds done unto the Lord, and purity of simple souls.

I bind unto myself today the virtues of the starlit heaven, the glorious sun's life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even, the flashing of the lightning free, the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks, the stable earth, the deep salt sea, around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, his eye to watch, his might to stay, his ear to hearken to my need. The wisdom of my God to teach, his hand to guide, his shield to ward; the Word of God to give me speech, his heavenly host to be my guard. Against the demon snares of sin, the vice that gives temptation force, the natural lusts that war within, the hostile ones that mar my course; or few or many, far or nigh, in every place, and in all hours, against their fierce hostility, I bind to me these holy powers. Against all Satan's spells and wiles, against false words of heresy, against the knowledge that defiles, against the heart's idolatry, against the wizard's evil craft, against the death wound and the burning, the choking wave and poisoned shaft, protect me Christ, till your returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity; by invocation of the same: The Three in One, and One in Three, of whom all nature has creation: Eternal Father, Spirit, Word, praise to the Lord of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord.


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