Eastern OrthodoxPoetry


Fasting is easier as a virtue of omission than commission

It’s easier to give up meat than to take the meat of the Word

It’s easier to lament our sins than to confess them

It’s easier to quit wine and whining than to be a blessing


We can save a lot by fasting, including our own souls

But it’s much harder to spend ourselves for others

I don’t mean alms – giving alms is an omission of guilt –

I mean committing ourselves to an Institution.


We’re told we need to give up taking, and take up giving

But the only thing we need we can only receive

And the only thing we can do to get it is be there

And be taken up as offerer, offered and offering


We abstain from fleshy things to become one flesh

And from violent drink to be poured out on the cross

Let us also abstain from words to be the Gospel

And from being individuals to be Christ’s one body

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

A Northerner by upbringing, Kenneth has lived in the South since his (first) college days. After returning to college, he began to do more than just dabble with writing, and has self-published a children's picture book, a middle-reader's book, and several collections of poetry. Baptized in the Roman Catholic church, raised in the fundamentalist Baptist church, and having spent time in the Reformed Baptist church, Kenneth settled down in the Eastern Orthodox church in 2006.

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