We Awaken in Christ’s Body, by Symeon

We awaken in Christ’s body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.

by Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022), Byzantine Christian monk and poet
English version by Stephen Mitchell

We awaken in Christ’s body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
whole, seamless in His Godhood).

I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? — Then
open your heart to Him

and let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
we wake up inside Christ’s body

where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real,

and everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed

and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light
he awakens as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.

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4 thoughts on “We Awaken in Christ’s Body, by Symeon

  1. Oh my! Thank you. Such gratitude fills my heart. Father Richard Rohr mentioned this poem of Symeon in a You Tube presentation that I listened to this morning. So I googled it and find the poem
    and your website. One gift from Father Richard begets this poem on your website, yet another gift, sure to bring forth further presents. Such beauty in word, picture, and spirit greet me weaving ancient times with present moment. Thank you, Bryce, for saying ‘yes’ to this calling and the hours you spend bringing wonder and Spirit to us. Such a feast.

    Deborah L Adams
    Stanwood, WA

    The presence of the tall cedars, eagle flying, Tulalip Nation, and the Pacific Northwest
    bless and greet you and yours.

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