17 April 2009

God Is Here. God Is Everywhere.

Abba Doulas, the  disciple  of Abba  Bessarion said, 'One   day when  we  were walking beside the sea I was thirsty and I said to Abba Bessarion, "Father, I am very  thirsty." He said a prayer  and said to  me,  "Drink some of  the sea water." The water proved sweet when I drank  some.  I even  poured some into a leather bottle for  fear of being thirsty later  on. Seeing this, the old  man asked me why I was taking some. I said to him, "Forgive  me, it is for fear of being  thirsty   later on."  Then  the old  man  said,  "God is here.   God is  everywhere." '

There are times--not many of them, because of my sinfulness, but they do occasionally occur--when I am struck by my own lack of faith.  Like Abba Bessarion's disciple, I am very thirsty...but, despising the words of the Lord which tell me, "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day" (Matt. XI:34), I go about my business, busying myself like a bee, collecting that which I can.  I make plans.  I attempt to forsee and plan for the future.

I do not trust God.

And, what is worse, when my own plans fall apart, for whatever the cause, I cannot just accept it and move on.  I react.  I get angry, I get impatient, and I become hurtful to others (especially those that love me).  I fall into despair and become despondent.  I resent.  I resent the fact that the universe will not bend to my will, I resent that I have to start all over with my plans and schemes and plots for the future.  I have no inner stillness, whatsoever.

And this is what it boils down to: I do not trust God.  I want to.  I love (or, at least I want to think I do) the Lord.  Unfortunately, it is all too obvious that I love myself and my precious plans much more.  Would that I could see, more often, how true it is that "God is here.  God is everywhere."  Perhaps, becuase this is Holy Friday, I feel the poignantcy of this.  God is here.  God is with us, He that is before the ages.  And today, He is crucified that I might be free from the curse of death.  Today, there is enough trouble and woe--because I crucified Christ.  By refusing to trust Him, by trying to act as if He were not the King before the ages, I cry out with the Jews: Crucify Him, Crucify Him! in my heart.

Lord, have mercy upon Thy wretched and unworthy servant.

10 April 2009

What Began in the Garden Ends in an Egyptian Coffin

Genesis 49:33-50:26:
And Jacob ceased giving charges to his sons; and having lifted up his feet on the bed, he died, and was gathered to his people. And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept on him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the embalmers to embalm his father; and the embalmers embalmed Israel. And they fulfilled forty days for him, for so are the days of embalming numbered; and Egypt mourned for him seventy days. And when the days of mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the princes of Pharao, saying, If I have found favour in your sight, speak concerning me in the ears of Pharao, saying, My father adjured me, saying, In the sepulchre which I dug for myself in the land of Chanaan, there thou shalt bury me; now then I will go up and bury my father, and return again. And Pharao said to Joseph, Go up, bury thy father, as he constrained thee to swear. So Joseph went up to bury his father; and all the servants of Pharao went up with him, and the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt. And all the household of Joseph, and his brethren, and all the house of his father, and his kindred; and they left behind the sheep and the oxen in the land of Gesem. And there went up with him also chariots and horsemen; and there was a very great company. And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan; and they bewailed him with a great and very sore lamentation; and he made a mourning for his father seven days. And the inhabitants of the land of Chanaan saw the mourning at the floor of Atad, and said, This is a great mourning to the Egyptians; therefore he called its name, The mourning of Egypt, which is beyond Jordan. And thus his sons did to him. So his sons carried him up into the land of Chanaan, and buried him in the double cave, which cave Abraam bought for possession of a burying place, of Ephrom the Chettite, before Mambre. And Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brethren, and those that had gone up with him to bury his father. And when the brethren of Joseph saw that their father was dead, they said, [Let us take heed], lest at any time Joseph remember evil against us, and recompense to us all the evils which we have done against him. And they came to Joseph, and said, Thy father adjured [us] before his death, saying, Thus say ye to Joseph, Forgive them their injustice and their sin, forasmuch as they have done thee evil; and now pardon the injustice of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept while they spoke to him. And they came to him and said, We, these [persons], are thy servants. And Joseph said to them, Fear not, for I am God's. Ye took counsel against me for evil, but God took counsel for me for good, that [the matter] might be as [it is] to-day, and much people might be fed. And he said to them, Fear not, I will maintain you, and your families: and he comforted them, and spoke kindly to them. And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his brethren, and all the family of his father; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw the children of Ephraim to the third generation; and the sons of Machir the son of Manasse were borne on the sides of Joseph. And Joseph spoke to his brethren, saying, I die, and God will surely visit you, and will bring you out of this land to the land concerning which God sware to our fathers, Abraam, Isaac, and Jacob. And Joseph adjured the sons of Israel, saying, At the visitation with which God shall visit you, then ye shall carry up my bones hence with you. And Joseph died, aged an hundred and ten years; and they prepared his corpse, and put him in a coffin in Egypt.

This is the last Old Testament reading for Pre-Sanctified Liturgies. The ones for the three days next week all come from the New Testament, and all deal with the Parousia. So, we must ask ourselves, what is the significance of this reading on the night before Lazarus Saturday?

I think the answer is probably obvious. Our exile from the Lord, because of our sin, ends with the working out of the curse of death upon man. Is it coincidental that the Egyptians spent so much of their religious thought thinking about death? Is it coincidental that the Israelites spend centuries in slavery and bondage to the Egyptians? No, I think in a larger framework, we are seeing biblical typology at its finest here.

Please understand--I am not saying the events here in Genesis did not literally happen; God forbid! What I am saying is, in addition to the historical record, Genesis offers us something more than merely history. The sin of man in the Garden, and the result of sin, which is death, and its marring of the world, is the lens through which this text (and the structure of the lectionary) beg us to read not just Genesis, but what is about to happen as we progress through Holy Week.

Sin and death mar the relationship of God to man, then of man to woman, then of man to the earth, and finally, man to man. Think about how often, in addition to the big, epic displays of man's failures (the iniquity of man leading up to the Flood, the incident at Babel, the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah) we see depictions of man's very personal evil toward one another--even inside the family, which we tend to think of as the "strongest natural bond." I confess, I have been more aware of news stories this Lent which detail the shocking and grizzly murders of children by parents, parents by children, sisters by brothers, and so on. However, in reflecting on the lectionary readings for the Pre-Sanctified services, it's all there in Genesis. These terrible, horrible things are just a single example of the horror which comes with the life lived away from God.

And then, we have Joseph. The Holy Fathers teach us that the patriarch Joseph is a "type" of Christ in the Old Testament. He certainly is one of the few exemplars of holiness to be found in Genesis, and we see that he lives a life that finds favor with God. And yet, Genesis ends with his death, in a land not his own, entombed among another people...but with the promise that the Lord will visit his people, and redeem them out of the land of their exile.

And so, with that, we begin the end of Great Lent, and embark upon the week which commemorates the wonder of God's salvation of his people: Holy Week.

07 April 2009

The Big Goodbye

I think the human reaction to change is fascinating. On some level, I think most people have an instinctual drive which causes them to force changes in their lives, once they reach a certain level of awareness of their “stagnant” condition. We seek change. We desire change. We always want to be someone else—someone who is more confident, better looking, who has more money, is more spiritually oriented, and on and on and on goes the list. There is a whole self-improvement industry which thrives precisely on this internal lack of satisfaction with who we are and where we are.

Not that changes don’t sometimes need to be made—but very often, the things we want changed about ourselves are immaterial to what is really important. Sometimes, we need to be shaken up out of our complacency to grow. Sometimes, if we refuse to get up and do this, God makes this decision for us. He pushes us out of the careful insularities we build up around ourselves. He leads us through pits and valleys, through desert wastelands that force us to dry up some of our water-fat luxury and become reduced in order to grow. It’s like pruning a plum tree (which I had some experience with last weekend); you have to cut off the bad growth in order to get better fruit in the coming year.

Of course, we often react violently to this; we want change, but we want it to be easy. It would be so nice if a magic wand could be waved over us, or we could rub a lamp and have some genie pop out and make it so without any of the work. We want the benefits of having suffered without having to suffer. We want to learn the lessons without having attended class. How absurd we all are! To think that Truth is ever purchased without sorrows and pains, without misfortunes and hard times! It’s madness. Hard times and periods of uncertainty force us to rely on God; they help us develop the character traits that make us human beings, not just animals in a cage reacting to stimuli. We need these periods. That’s one of the reasons for Lent, and the other periods of fasting the Church sets for us; and there are so many of them throughout the year, because we learn lessons like this very, very slowly.

So, even though it hurts us, in the long run, it is better to embrace the opportunities when they present themselves. Say the big goodbye to things as they were; you can’t get the next dish passed to you at dinner, until you let go of the one you’re currently holding. In the end, no one is prepared to just let go…but we make the dive, we take the plunge, and do it anyway. Even if we don’t really want to. Even if we’re scared of failing. Even if we don’t totally understand why. We do what we know is right—we trust God and His Church, and we rely on that to sustain us even through these periods of reduction, reformation, and change. In a very real sense, that’s what metanoia means.

Psalm 48
For the End: A Psalm for the Sons of Kore.

Hear this, all ye nations; give ear, all ye that inhabit the world, Both ye that are born of earth, and ye sons of men, rich and poor men together. My mouth shall speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear unto a parable, I will unfold my problem on the psaltery. Wherefore should I fear in an evil day? The iniquity at my heel shall compass me about. There be some that trust in their strength, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches. A brother cannot redeem; shall a man redeem? He shall not give to God a ransom for himself, nor the price of the redemption of his own soul, though he hath laboured for ever, and shall live to the end. For he shall not see corruption, when he shall see wise men dying. The mindless man and the witless shall perish together, and they shall leave their riches to others. And their graves shall be their houses unto eternity, their dwelling places unto generation and generation, though they have called their lands after their own names. And man, being in honour, did not understand; he is compared to the mindless cattle, and is become like unto them. This way of theirs is a stumbling-block for them, yet afterwards they will please with their mouth. Like sheep they are laid in hades, death shall be their shepherd. And the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning, and their help shall wax old in hades; they have been cast out from their glory. Yet God shall redeem my soul out of the hand of hades, when he receiveth me. Be not afraid when a man becometh rich, nor when the glory of his house is increased. For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away, nor shall his glory descend after him. For his soul shall be blessed in his lifetime; he will acknowledge Thee while Thou doest good unto him. He shall enter into the generation of his fathers; he shall not see light unto eternity. And man, being in honour, did not understand; he is compared to the mindless cattle, and is become like unto them.

The Life of St. Brynach

from the Vita Sancti Bernachius:

The Lord chose for himself from the sons of Israel a man according to his heart, Brynach by name, adorned with pleasing manners, and excelling in tokens and signs of virtues, seeing that he vowed a vow to the God of Jacob, which he observed unblamably even to the last. From his mother's breasts, therefore, embracing the name of his God, and not neglecting his commandments, he chose rather to be of no account in his house than to dwell more luxuriously in the palaces of princes. Tracing his descent from an illustrious stock of progenitors, and obtaining no little merit of laudable fame, much enriched too with wealth, with which the minds of worldlings are wont to be allured, also endowed with broad patrimonies, he would not be captivated by the solace of ancestry or the extension of fame or the delights of riches or be restrained by the rights of hereditary estates. What therefore? Deeming not the land of his birth as his own, taking himself outside his country, he would acquire a country by pilgrimage, he would return to that country. According to the word of Christ, by following the footsteps of Christ, by relinquishing all things, he greatly desired that all things should be given him. He went forth, he proceeded on his journey, he came to the sea. He went on board ship, he sailed over, God disposing, with tranquil course. By crossing stretches of lands, by sowing the seeds of Christ's words, he entered Rome. There eagerly receiving from certain people cups of the doctrine of God in a thirsty heart, he more eagerly, if he could, administered the whole of the like to very many from the affluence of the heart.

At that time a certain pestiferous beast was raging in the parts of Romania, which either lacerated with bloody jaws, whatever persons it saw, or infected them unto death with its poisonous breath alone. Also numberless bodies of animals it tore in order to satisfy its rage, but its innate fury could not be appeased in any way. So much fear did it strike into the inhabitants, that in every respect did he esteem himself happy, who by leaving his dwelling and the adjoining neighbourhood could escape a dire pest of this kind. But the holy man, desiring to relieve the miseries of men, which the multitude of people could not do, on the bare urgency of prayers threw the deadly beast to the earth and killed him off; for which and also for other notable deeds all magnified the saint and extolled him continuously with loud praises. The man of ' God, seeing that as long as he had lived in Rome, where too he had prepared for himself as it were a fixed dwelling, he was more known than usual, and preferring to please God alone in secret to whom the hidden things of the heart are open, than to dwell more famously in the mouth of the people, who are wont to consider outward things alone, privately left.

Then undertaking a long journey, and, wherever he came, giving an example of goodness to be imitated of all, by travelling towards the western parts of the world, he entered Lesser Britain. There having remained for many years, he performed greater services and mighty miracles. Sick people flocked to him to recover the health of their bodies. Healthy people flowed to him, that they might, learn salutary instructions of heavenly doctrine for the cure of their souls. Britannia, Britanny, rejoiced for the presence of so great a man, by means of which health was for this reason diffused freely. The saint rejoiced, because by the grace of God he was able to profit the poor. Nevertheless he was sad, and bore it ill, because flying fame ceased not to make him known to all. Wherefore, avoiding that as an implacable monster, secretly and alone he approached the sea. And as he did not find a ship, he aptly placed a certain rock on the surface of the water, faithfully considering that he who from the rock produced water in the desert was able even to make a rock to swim on the water. The saint of God, full of faith, committing himself wholly to God, whose way is in the sea and his paths are in many waters, mounted the rock, because he was founded on a firm rock, that is, Christ. He, who governs all things, the most high God, who holds the earth in the palm [of his hand], weighs the mountains, who makes firm the sea by his power, the surface of the ocean being smoothed, bore his saint over the length of the British Sea. And he landed in the harbour of Milford in the country of Dyfed on the bank of the river Cleddyf.

When he was sojourning some time in the same place serving his God, the old adversary of human kind, ever forming new plans for his wickedness, always ready to attack more boldly the purity of chastity, sharply urged the daughter of a nobleman, who ruled that land, into love of the saint. She, in fact, as almost every woman is for the devil old armour, a vessel full of malignity, and prepared invincibly for every crime, tries in every way to bind the servant of God alluringly with the snares of her charm, and attempts to divert him from the consummation of a better design. To serve her wantonness she mixes wolf's-bane, and being gaily clothed in alluring attire she ceases not to give him to drink what she improperly mixed. The holy servant of God thirsted not for a cup of this kind, but refused it, and, as the apostle advises, he flies from the assaults of fornication. For in this conflict he fights better, who retires, than he who resists; he conquers more bravely, who more bravely flies. The girl, in fact, rejecting girlish modesty, who could not bend his firm mind to impious love, turning her love into hatred of the holy man, would separate his holy body from his soul. A woman, rejected in love, excogitates every evil, and whom a little before she had loved to the dividing of body and soul, she now, inflamed into hatred of , tries to lead to every kind of death. For, as that distinguished instructor of morals, Seneca, says, 'A woman either hates or loves; there is no medium.' Therefore she sent certain cruel men to persecute the saint, fiercely bidding them that, if they could not bring him back alive, they were not to suffer him to go away alive. ' The wicked men hasten, and rush blindly to their evil deed. Whom they follow, they find, and first with soft words entice to return, but, because he refuses to go back with them, one of them pierced the meek man with a dreadful wound from a spear. The others, too, rush in desiring to slay him, but by the will of God certain present assist, who hasten to snatch the holy man from the hands of the scoundrels. But he who inflicted the wound, being immediately struck by the vengeance of God, beset on his whole body by winged lice, after he had been long afflicted by weakness and poverty at length finished his wretched life with a miserable death. The holy servant of God went to a well, which was near, and going into the water, washed away the blood. Wherefore unto this day that well is called Fons Rubeus, red well, where also in honour of the saint the merciful God bestows many benefits of health on the infirm, the healing of wounds through the mediation of the Lord being received without delay.

Saint Brynach, proceeding farther, came to a place by the river Gwaun, which now is called Pons Lapideus, Pontfaen, where, fixing his residence, he freed that place from unclean spirits. They, roving about it every night with dreadful outcries, and filling it with horrid howlings, rendered it uninhabitable till that day.

But because Divine providence had not designed that this place should be inhabited by him any longer, he began to go farther, and came to a certain place on the river Neuer, Nevern, which is called Saltus Ueteris Ecclesie, the grove of the old church, llwyn hen flan. And as that place seemed fit for men living in religion, he and his companions girded themselves, and, taking axes and other tools, for three whole days cut down [trees], and the timber being cut and partly hewn they carried to the place, where they wished the buildings to be put. Rising to their tasks on the fourth day, they saw nothing whatever of the things they had prepared the three days before, and on seeking, they find not even a vestige, as if all things had been absorbed by the earth. To whom, completely astounded on account of this sight, Saint Brynach said, 'There is no need to wonder at the marvellous works of God, notwithstanding they seem wondrous, since he performs them who is declared Almighty. Let us, therefore, humble ourselves under the powerful hand of God, let us fast, let us watch, and let us pray that that illustrator of all things might will to show us what this may portend.' Which, too, was done.

Therefore, on the following night, whilst Saint Brynach was procumbent in prayer, an angel of the Lord appeared, saying, `This place is not the place of thy dwelling, but go along the bank of the river as far as the second rill, which falls into the river, and ` watch the bank of that rill until thou seest a wild white sow with white piglings, and there place for thyself a fixed station.' Therefore the saint proceeding, gladdened by the angelic address, found the promised sow with her piglings in the place, where in his name a church, having been built, is now served on the bank of the Caman, which, formerly a deep torrent, was so called, not on account of its depth, but on account of the hollowness of its valleys. Wherefore he rendered devout thanks to God, because by his angel he distinctly deemed the place worthy, wherein without change he wished perpetual service to be rendered by him. A fire was kindled, and he and his companions passed almost the whole of that night, attending to prayers, without sleep.

There was at that time a certain lord of that territory, Clechre by name, a man just and fearing God, who was advanced in days, wherefore he was also named Senex, Old. This man, rising in the morning and seeing the smoke from the fire, which the man of God had lit in the deep valley, rising to be spread abroad, and to cover the adjoining parts of the earth, being urged by the Spirit of God, calls together the twenty sons, whom he had, and said to them, `My sons, give ear, because that man is arrived, whom we have long known to have been promised to us, the report of whose goodness will be spread abroad on the face of the earth and will be celebrated in the highest, and as ye see his diffused smoke to be spread out, so will be the power of his preferment, and much more widely. Let us, therefore, go, and fall down before his face, and let us submit ourselves to him, because we ought by no means to contradict the divine will, or to resist it.' Going, therefore, unanimously, they came to the man of God, and falling down at his knees they prayed that he would have mercy on them. Saint Brynach, as he was also of pleasant speech, blessed them, and with modest voice asked them what they would. The old man answered and said, 'Sir, for a long time have I been lord of this territory, but because I know that by the providence of God this place is meant for thee, I yield to the will of God, and I yield to thee. But these my sons I commend to thee, that under the protection of thy paternity they may be able to adhere to our God.' He received them with joy, and he had them as faithful partners of his labour, instructed in monastic training. The old father bidding farewell, and all being kissed, withdrew into the parts of Cornubia, Cornwall; serving God in that same place, he gave back his blessed soul to the Lord.

Saint Brynach, being a devoted performer of divine service, strove so much to restrain the superfluities of bodily affection, as he aimed to live pleasing to the divine will. He wasted his body with continual fastings, and reduced it with frequent vigils. He checked the insolence of the flesh with the ` roughness of his garments, and in the chilliness of cold water which he entered daily. What he withdrew from his mouth, what from his hand, what from his whole body, he converted to the use of the poor. If he could acquire any thing, he reserved it to relieve their need. He was incessantly engaged in prayers, save when he was refreshing his body with food or sleep. He led a life so pleasing to God, that he attained to enjoy frequently the sight of angels and also their discourse. Wherefore, too, that mountain, whereon they met, to wit, at the foot of which a church has been built, is called Mons Angelorum, Carningli.

The Lord so magnified his saint in the sight of the people, that he made wild beasts tame at his bidding, their savage way of life being laid aside. Therefore, if ever he wished to go from abode to abode, he called up from a herd the two stags which he desired to draw the car, wherein the furniture to be carried away was placed. When loosed from the yoke, they returned to their wonted pastures. Also, a Cow, which he had segregated from the others, as if unique and singular for his need, both on account of the size of her body, because she was larger than the rest, and also on account of the abundance of her milk, he deputed to the custody of a Wolf, which in the manner of a well-trained herdsman drove the Cow in the morning to the pastures, and in the evening brought her home in safety.

It happened at that time that the King of Cambria, Maelgwn, was making a journey not far from the cell of the saint, and sent to him, ordering that he should prepare for him a supper. The saint, wishing that he and his and also his loca, monasteries, should be free from every suit, asserted that he owed no supper to the king, nor was he willing in any way to obey his unjust command. Those who had been sent returned to their lord, saying that the man to whom he had sent, would prepare him no supper. The king, as he was easily moved from tranquillity of mind, and was known to be more prone to hurting than prompt to succour, conceding nothing to piety, nothing to sanctity, nothing to modesty, sent his satellites, who should fetch up the saint's Cow, and there from prepare victuals for him. Without doubt he would not have spared the others either, but they were kept in distant pastures. And he was fiercely adding threats to threats, that on the morrow he would banish the saint from his kingdom, and utterly raze his loca to the ground.

The servants of iniquity run, and quickly bring up the Cow. They make themselves ready for the plunder, and for future meals they tear away the hide from the ribs and make bare the entrails. A part they cut in pieces, and place on the fire in the cauldron. They apply wood to the fire, and on every side with inflated cheeks hasten to blow it. The keeper of the Cow, the Wolf, in the meantime runs to its master, and sad and sighing lies prostrate on the ground, as if about to ask pardon. One was present who should say that the Cow had been taken away by the servants of the king, and cut in pieces was placed for cooking. The saint, laying complaint before his God, committed the whole case to the Divine will to be ventilated.

The king and his household are tortured by hunger, but not yet is there given any hope of a meal. For indeed the water, wherein the flesh lay to be cooked, remained as. cold as when it was put in. Nor was it more moved to boiling, when incomparable fire was placed beneath, than if no small lump of ice were substituted for it, the fire being taken away. The king perceived, his men perceived the power of God, that the saint, whom they had heard previously was dear to him, was acting, and they were struck with vehement fear. Being immediately humbled, his regal pride being laid aside, and all his men being equally contrite of heart, going forward on bare feet, they came to the saint, and all having fallen at his feet on the earth, the king at the advice of his men being advocate, having confessed that he and his men had sinned against him, promising that he would not do such things again, besought with humble prayer and sincere devotion that having pity on him he should pray the Almighty on behalf of himself and his associates. Saint Brynach, being void of all bitterness, prayed his Lord, and taking his right hand raised the king, and indulged him with confident hope in the compassion of the Most High. In the sight of all he restored the Cow to her former state, and committed her again to the Wolf to be kept.

After these things, to make the king easier in his mind about obtaining pardon, he asked him to spend the night with '- him, and what shortly before he had refused with stubborn front, this he now offered gratis with overflowing charity and generous mind. The king gave thanks, and remained. What is he to do, ,, who has nothing or little in store, that he might place before them who recline at table, except to hope in God that he might do it, who sent food in abundance to the children of Israel in their hunger, and rained manna upon them for to eat? He went up, therefore, to an oak, which stood near, and plucked off wheaten loaves, which were hanging instead of leaves, as many as he deems necessary. Wherefore also that oak will be called Bread Oak, as long as it shall stand. He went up to the torrent, Caman, which flowed near. For water he drew wine in abundance. For stones he drew forth fish from the same torrent to repletion. He came to the king and to his men, and made them recline, and placed before them food in abundance. They did eat, and were filled sufficiently, nor were they defrauded of their desire. After supper, when the hour called, they lay down. They all went to sleep, and slept sweetly till the morning.

The king, rising in the morning, waked up his men, and in accordance with the law of hospitality giving thanks he said to Saint Brynach, 'Because I have received thy free beneficence, I do not refuse to bestow on thee freely my munificence. In the name of God and our Lord Jesus Christ I exempt for ever from all royal exaction thee and thy locus, monastery, and all the territory pertaining to thy locus and also all dwelling therein. Moreover I assign the land of the monk Thelych free to thy power. Who, therefore, shall have presumed in the future to contravene this my donation, may he quickly incur the malediction of God and of all the faithful of Christ and mine.' The saint of God gratefully accepting the king's gift, gave thanks, and blessed him and his followers with a devout mind. Then cheering each other, they parted the one from the other.

With how many and how great miracles this saint shone, while he sojourned in the body, with difficulty could any one tell. At last it pleased the Most High to snatch his saint from this preparatory and unstable habitation, and to place him happily in celestial glory among his holy and elect ones. He passed from this world on the seventh day of April, and his body lies buried below the eastern wall of his church. Brynach, saint of God, rejoices in heaven, and great wonders are frequently done on earth, our Lord Jesus Christ performing them.

Troparion (Tone 2)

O holy Brynach, thou didst leave thy native Ireland
to seek God in Pembroke's solitude.
As thou dost now stand before Christ our God,
intercede with Him, we pray, that He may have mercy on us