When the tyrant’s order prevailed,

the furnace was fired sevenfold.

In it, the youth were not burned. Great Holy Week Ode


Boiling oil, a furnace singeing life …

a cauldron, an inferno  of death

where three youths were plunged

at the order of  Nebuchadnezzar,

demanding allegiance to a golden idol,

supposed power of a mighty king.


“Throw in those three foolish youngsters,

call them children, boil them in oil,

eliminate stupid faith in my fiery domain;

then see them writhe, and hear them 

scream my name of fame before all!”

Strangely seen there in that furnace of oil,

a fourth figure flickered in the flames.

“How bizarre,” thought the king

puzzled, afraid, startled and asking:

“Didn’t we put three men there to boil?” Daniel 3:91

A mystical man walked about, spinning

moisture in a bubbling pool of death:

a dew laden breeze permeated through.

But flames never caused them pain

nor any harm as they sang: Blessed

are you, Yahweh, and glory is your name. Daniel 3:50-51


This Life-giver flows as the culture of life …

“mercy” as eleison built from eleos

meaning … oil! Oil of light, oil for food,

olive wood shelter, oiled for health,

oil to anoint, olive fruit from generation to

generation – Like olive plants

are your children around the table! Psalm 128:3

Job reflected his days of health

remembering God’s abundant gifts:

When the Almighty was yet with me,

when my footsteps were bathed in milk …

 the rock flowed with streams of oil. Job 29:5-6


As the Bridegroom comes, His oil spills

upon our head, touches our heart, anoints

our hands, and life bursts anew.

He, a divine river of mercy, a fathomless

gulf of great loving-kindness,

a merciful One, lets  streams of Mercy

tumble on us, and  comes healing all!

On us hurting and ailing people,

God gives compassion and mercy!

O Savior, incorruptible Chrism,

You empty yourself of gifts purifying

the world, show mercy on our wounds! 4th Kathismata and Ode


As the oil flows down our hearts, who is

the mother of it all?  Whose faith captured this?

In your Divine Birth-giving, O Mother,

bearing the Creator, manifest yourself

as the fruitful olive tree, whom the world

finds, seeing you who filled  with  mercy. 6th Ode

Embrace us who suffer … and intercede,
Olive Tree, who bears our every need.


Return to Lenten Poetic Meditations


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