Untainted Glory

Patriarch of Constantinople

Of the great city, that center of spheres
You were born and raised its eminent son.
Noted as judge of men in high repute
Then given to advise the empire’s head.
Led first astray embracing heresy
Then recanting took the heavy schema.
From the lowly repentance monastic
You were recalled to sit upon the throne.

They thought you a servant of thrones of men
But your heart had long belonged to your God.
Holy Tarasius restored union
And the icons of Constantinople.
Hailed high from Rome to Alexandria
Your zeal sealed the end of iconoclasm.
Held the council against the threatening mob
Yet gracefully reproved your enemies.

You endured these controversies and lies
Judgments too wise for the narrow to see.
Scandalizing pious busybodies
Though you offered them their pound of your flesh.
Loyal you did receive disloyalty
Friendly you received only animus.
In thoughtful wisdom you tempted the fools
And in forgiving brought judgment on your self.

What a struggle for peace and unity,
What a strong heart for your brother fellows,
What a hope of that sainthood foretasted,
May our mistakes be as blessed as yours!

And may we know that untainted glory.

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5 thoughts on “Untainted Glory

  1. I added an icon, it seemed fitting to do so. When I read about the life of St Tarasius at the beginning of Lent, I knew I needed to write something for him. I’ve been mulling over it for some time. It isn’t my best work, but I’m glad I did it none-the-less. He’s a complicated figure in Church history (not the only one to be sure), and his life still holds a sermon or two for us today.

    O Holy Tarasius, pray to our Lord that He might mend our present divisions and confusions!

  2. A quick question, David! Are you aware that the theme you drew out of St. Tarasius’ life and death fit well to what St. Teresa of Avila wrote of in “The Interior Castle”?

  3. This poem is written and reads like the kondakia we sing in church services.
    Kondakia are like cries of truth that slip out of us when we’re not looking.
    Uniting praise of God with celebration of Him walking among men,
    we think we write about the saints and ask their prayers
    when actually, as always, we’re rushing lovingly,
    hearts in hand, offering those we praise
    and ourselves unto the Lord.
    Unto You, O Lord,
    glory to You.

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