"blessed are those who mourn..."

only now i see,

the Lord in speaking to my pain

was speaking truthfully.

the packaging is ugly,

its contents hard to face,

but should you have the courage,

you'll find blessing in their place.

we are promised resurrection,

but first we have to die,

bear the cross of malediction

and suffering not deny.

rejoice in the Lord always!

again, i say, rejoice!

we cannot choose our burdens

but their glory is our choice!







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Starward's picture

This poem has posted so

This poem has posted so timely, because it dovetails into some information I just found (random browsing) on the Russian New Martyr, Elizabeth Romanov, the Czar's sister-in-law, who was a nun in the Orthodox Church, and was murdered the day after the Czar's family were executed.  Thirteen years before her death, her husband, who was also the Czar's uncle, was assassinated by a bomb that had been tossed into his carriage.  Although in deep mourning, Elizabeth visited the man who had slain her husband, assured him (the murderer) of her forgiveness, and offered to intercede with the Czar to commute the death sentence to imprisonment.  The murderer declined to accept her offer and was duly executed in the prison's small yard by a firing squad.  (I have to wonder if he avoided the customary penalty of being "strung up" without a drop, and received the quicker dispatch from several closely aimed rifles, at her behest, in order to lessen his suffering.)  She then had a steel Orthodox Crucifix erected and consecrated on the very spot where her husband had died, and on it were the words of Christ from Luke 23:34 about forgiving them who know not what they do.  After the Bolsheviks attained power, this monument so aggravated "Comrade" Lenin that he ordered a local crowd of his comrades to pull it down manually, and even came out of the Kremlin, himself, to pull on one of the ropes.  There is some evidence that Lenin feared Elizabeth Romanov even more than he had detested the Czar:  about her, Lenin said (I paraphrase) that virtue wedded to royalty was the most dangerous threat to the Revolution.  The day after the Czar's family died. Elizabeth, and another nun, and a couple of other Orthodox laity were taken to an emptied mining pit, and pushed over the side to a twenty foot fall.  Then live grenades were dropped into the pit.  When the Czarist forces came through that region attempting to rescue any surviving Romanovs (but the Bolsheviks had already butchered them), Elizabeth's body was found, examined (it was not badly decomposed), and they discovered that she did not die from the fall, or from the grenades, but from slow starvation.  According to the reports of the executioners, she had been severely beaten up by them before they tossed her to the pit.  She was canonized to Sainthood, as is only fitting, by the Orthodox Church in Russia.  

   Like your poem points out, so beautifully, Elizabeth found blessing in the place of mourning and pain---first, by becoming a Nun (and the Abbess of a Convent in Moscow), then by keeping her Faith firm during the execution process.  The executioners had also noted that, before the grenades were thrown in, the several people in the pit began singing Orthodox hymns, which enraged their executioners.  Elizabeth bore her cross willingly, gladly, even eagerly, because it was a source of blessing to her.  I can almost imagine her in Heaven, giving your poem a validating smile and nod.  (She and Tsarevich Alexei, who died at the age of thirteen the day before Elizabeth was dropped into the pit, are my favorite Saints among the New Martyrs, and among my most favorite Saints among all who are designated as Saints.  Reading about her yesterday, and some of her remarks, answered some difficulties I have had as a convert to Orthodoxy in a family that is coldly hostile to it.  I went to sleep in greater peace than I have had for a long time, and no longer feel the false difficulties with which the Evil One tormented me.  Now, I have read through your excellent poem, and it speaks to the same Faith and the same Blessings.

     Please . . . always keep this poem posted at PostPoems.  I believe it will help readers just as much as the Evan series.  Your poem has ministered to me today, and I am very grateful to you for it.  Someday, perhaps sooner than I think, I will meet Elizabeth and Alexei in Heaven; and I will be sure to discuss your poem with them.

     I believe I have edited all the typos out, and I apologize in advance if any remain.  At my age, I am a very poor keyboardist.

Enjoy effulgent days, and exquisite nights,

unto the exultations of Heaven.


crypticbard's picture

There is quite a revelation

There is quite a revelation in godly sorrow which is a mourning that is characterised by humility and a turning back, an inward spiritual u-turn, so to speak. There is such a beautiful and functional truth about our choice for that glory that has been designed and purposed for us in the Saviour.

here is poetry that doesn't always conform