Before you light the candles, say the blessing.
One needs a giver for the gift of light:
Not to answer prayer or make things right;
Not to reward the good or punish sinning;
Instead, to make heart-sense of mystery,
Enduring icon of infinity.
Good God! A portrait of infinity?
An icon we're interminably blessing?
But our being is a mystery.
Reason has no origin for light.
If the love of God can lessen sinning,
Eradicating wrong, increasing right,
Let God be the champion of right,
Knowing we can't know infinity,
Engaged in our own struggle against sinning,
Needing someone to receive our blessing,
Noumenon derived from mystery,
A causeless cause of Being, love, and light.
Sing of an imagined source of light,
Embodiment of all that's good and right,
The portrait hung upon the mystery,
Here to humanize infinity.
As you recite the time-perfected blessing,
Now sing of love, that moves the heart from sinning.
Do we need God to keep ourselves from sinning,
Endowed as we are with reason's natural light?
Let yourself be tempted by the blessing,
Instinctive impetus for doing right.
Zeal's too ravenous for finity,
As reason's boundary line is mystery.
Break like a wave across that mystery!
Each soul must break, must break upon its sinning,
Then draw back into infinity,
Heart ravaged by a loving source of light.
Everything that helps one do what's right,
Like faith, like wisdom, ritual prayer and blessing,
Lights one's inner darkness. Sing the blessing,
Ever sinning, ever doing right,
Never far from infinite mystery.
Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.