Lenten Journey with Mary

Unction of life.
by Virginia M. Kimball, S.T.D. | Source:

Unction of Life

[based on the ancient Liturgy of Unction, Holy Wednesday]

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 andOde

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.


Check out the all the
Lenten Journey with Mary meditations.



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