Table of Contents
Contemplations on the Friday Theotokia Lobsh.
What do I call you,
O pure Virgin,
Who gave birth to the Incomprehensible,
And Infinite One?
Many are your praises,
O who is adorned with honor,
For you became a dwelling,
For the Wisdom of God.
In the same way that I am wordless to describe your honor, O Virgin Mary, how wordless am I to describe the honor of the person who remains pure in his life, pure in his prayer, pure in heart. For the pure in heart and thoughts becomes united to true Wisdom, who is Jesus Christ our Lord. In the pure heart Christ dwells, the Incomprehensible and Infinite expresses Himself as Light in the pure man’s heart, a Light that enlightens his path.
Teach us, O Virgin, pure bride, to imitate your purity and simplicity, so that we may become a dwelling for the Wisdom of God.
“I directed my soul to Wisdom, and in purity I found Her. With Her I gained understanding from the first; therefore I will never be forsaken” (Sir. 51:20).
You are the rational net,
That catches Christians,
And teaches them to worship,
The Life-giving Trinity.
When the fish of the sea see the bait in the net, they are attracted to it and are caught by the net. In the same way, we see you, O Virgin Mary, and are attracted towards you, and are caught by you.
When we behold your face, we see that the Life-giving Trinity fills it with Life; for the Father chose you, the Holy Spirit sanctified you, and the Son was Incarnate and was born of you.
When we behold your face, we see the true Light, which is the Holy Trinity; for Christ is the Son of God, true Light of true Light, who chose to dwell in your womb. This makes you the Mother of Light, O Virgin Mary.
When we behold your face, O our beloved and compassionate Mother, we learn to worship the all-holy Trinity; for through your acceptance Christ was born and was raised to give us life through His death. Through you we see how the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit, does everything.
O holy Theotokos, pray for us.
You are the one who carried,
The Pillar that Moses saw,
Who is the Son of God,
Who came and dwelt in your womb.
The Pillar that Moses and all the Children of Israel saw appeared in two ways: as a pillar of cloud in the morning, and a pillar of fire at night. In both ways, the Pillar guided the Israelites through the wilderness. All that the Israelites needed to do was trust in this Pillar, which guided them; for it was the true Way to the land that is filled with milk and honey, and the true life with God in His promised Kingdom, Jerusalem.
This Pillar is a typos of Christ: the Son of God appeared as a Pillar that guided the Israelites, and He is the same today as He was yesterday – He is the Truth, the Way, the Life, who continues to guide us and intercedes for us before His Father as an acceptable sacrifice, through which we receive the forgiveness of our sins. As a result, we are able to live with God, and are in communion with the Father, though the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. We live in the Kingdom of God, and are guided to the true Jerusalem: the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, help us to follow you and continue to stay in Your Way, and guide us throughout the Way into Your Kingdom. It is written that “neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people” (Ex. 13:22); likewise, O Emmanuel, You are always with us – may we always be in Your presence, Emmanuel our God, the Pillar of Moses.
O Virgin, the Mother of Emmanuel, intercede for us before your beloved son, that He may forgive us our sins.
You became the Ark,
For Him who created heaven and earth,
You carried Him in your womb,
For nine full months.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, the Ark of the Covenant that carried the divine manna, which is the Bread of Life, our Lord Jesus Christ.
God the Logos spoke through the Ark – the transcendent God, who created the heavens and the earth, communed with the Israelites and spoke with them. In the same way, O Virgin, you were blessed by carrying the Logos Himself for nine full months in your womb – from the Annunciation and Incarnation on the 29th of Paremhotep, to the birth of our Lord on the 29th of Kiahk. The transcendent God spoke to us and communed with us through you, the spiritual Ark.
Just as the Israelites were blessed by the presence of the Logos through the Ark, we too are blessed by the presence of the Logos in our humble dwellings through you, O Virgin and Theotokos. Intercede for us before your beloved son, that He may forgive us our sins.
You were also entrusted with,
The fullness of heaven and earth,
And you became our reason,
To progress to heaven.
Every single part of heaven and earth bears You, O God, the Creator of heaven and earth. You are present in everything, yet You are out of everything as the transcendent God. However, since everything You created bears You fully, heaven and earth are full of Your holy glory, as the Seraphim with the six wings claim through their chanting in unison and without ceasing. Since You are Love, O our Lord, every part of the world, from the greatest mountains to the most insignificant parts of the world, is filled with Your Love. It is this Love we see in Your creation that marks our way to heaven, and directs our thoughts to You, so that we may glorify Your holy Name.
After the Fall, we forgot You, Lord – but the Lord never forgets His children. You, who is the fullness of heaven and earth, dwelt in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
Blessed are you, O Virgin, for you have accepted to carry the Lord, Your Creator, in your womb! Because of you, our mother, Christ blessed our nature and blessed our world, and we were able to see God once again in His creation, and glorify Him with the heavenly saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your holy glory.”
You are brighter than the sun,
You are in the East,
Toward which the righteous look,
With happiness and joy.
When You, O Lord, rose from the dead on the third day, You rose and went towards the East. When You ascended, You ascended towards the East. When You took the body of Your mother, the Virgin Mary, after her death, so that her holy body may not see corruption, You took her towards the East. When You will come again in judgment, and take the righteous to the Eternal Kingdom of peace and joy, You will come from the East.
O Virgin – do you see now why we praise you and call you the sun? For the Lord of glory, the true Sun, was born from you, so He took your body up to heaven to be preserved from corruption, for your womb is blessed. You, O Virgin, became in the likeness of Christ – how much do we pray and hope that we may attain the glory that was given to you! Intercede for us, O Theotokos, so that we, too, may receive the likeness and glory of Christ, and that we too may shine brighter than the sun when we rise from the dead; so that we may be taken towards the East, towards the Kingdom of heaven, which we wait for in happiness and joy.
Eve was sentenced,
To give birth with deep pain,
While to you it was said,
“Hail to you O full of grace.”
You gave birth to the King for us,
The Lord of creation,
He came and redeemed us from our sins,
As a Good One and Lover of mankind.
As a daughter of Eve, you too, O Virgin, gave birth with pain. You knew that it would be painful to bear a child, and perhaps you were not ready at your young age to bring up and nurture a child. Despite all the troubles, you accepted the responsibility. You were thus filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, because of your willingness to endure the pain and hardships of childbearing and nurturing.
How blessed are you, O full of grace! For the child you bore was the Son of God Himself! The child whom you have brought into the world by accepting the message of the Angel Gabriel came to redeem you and all of us. The poor baby born in the manger was our King, the helpless child you nurtured and saved when he fell was the Lord who ordered creation and saved the whole of humanity.
Wherefore we sing,
With Elizabeth your cousin,
Saying, “Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
We hail you,
With Gabriel the Angel saying,
“Hail to you O full of grace,
The Lord is with you.”
We ask you to remember us,
O trusted advocate,
Before our Lord Jesus Christ,
That He may forgive us our sins.
Great is your blessedness, O Virgin Mary, who was filled with grace, and carried the Divine Logos in your womb. O you who loved and cared for your son, intercede for us before Him, and remember us, that our many sins may be forgiven by Him who saved our souls. Amen.