Academic journal article Chicago Review

From AN ICON OF THE MOUTH

Academic journal article Chicago Review

From AN ICON OF THE MOUTH

Article excerpt

THEOTOKOS HODIGITRIA

St Symeon of Heliopolis wrote:

Iris and digitaria soothe a dire age; balm of eucalyptus wrapped in cotton cloth and worn around my neck as a votive make fragrant reminder of my weakness.

THE TRANSFIGURATION

It is related among Coptic Hermits:

Three monks appeared at the cell of a desert Priest: one monk held a gilded insignia representing the Blessings of darkness; another held in his hand his tongue festered with maggots; and the last bore a question. He asked: What do I do now that I have reached you, having prayed the entire way here? The Priest made ten candles of his fingers and incandescence of his breath, saying: Why not turn then to fire?

THE ANNUNCIATION

Fmncesca of the Mountains wrote:

When I prayed with my heart, everything around me seemed delightful and marvelous.

When I prayed with my mouth, tiers of demons in a rising dome of firmament, their folded wings seraphic, hunched in the posture of animals, shitting.

THE LAST JUDGMENT

Clarissa ofMariazell wrote:

When I pray, I feel someone sitting on my chest. When I labor, a homuncular animal named Eternity presses out, splitting my ribs but keeping the tissue of my skin together.

THE APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL

A monk wrote:

Apostasy and apophasis: my master is gone in the night. …

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