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John the Baptist -
On Prayer

Pray to the Lord God with all your soul,
and sacrifice all goods unto him
There is no raiment, no food, no other person to be compared
With the love you give to Christ our Lord

May the life of mankind become a desolate wilderness,
its true nature
With its side of honey, the sweetness of the human senses and love
And Locusts, the part of man which devours the earth
Around him are the skins of dead animals
The skins of dead bodies which surround the soul
The skins of the mind, and the soul, and the animal desires

Cast them off and pray naked before the Lord
Cast down, in the silence and loneliness of the wasteland
Cover your face with dirt, and your body with ashes
For to ashes and dust they must return
When the spirit is united in love with the living God

Strip off, I say, all customs and manners
What need has God of politeness?
Scream in the agony of the chains of time
Writhe and try to escape from beneath the mountain of sin
Struggle against evil with all your heart,
that it may not overcome

Sanctify the place of the Lord within, purify his house
With the chanting of the sacred words, and the purity of love
Rip out the weeds of sin from his garden
That only roses and lilies may grow in his divine presence
Wash the floor clean with your tears,
that it may be worthy of his feet
Dust its tables with never-ending vigil,
that they may shine without the dullness of the senses
Worship with reverence the altar in its center
Above which hangs the holy miracle
The true and secret sign of God on earth
The cross of blazing light, within whose center
Flies the dove, through the shining skies of God
Christ our Lord free of earthly bonds.

Cast off all sin and attachment in prayer
Dance your love before the Lord,
as a beacon in the desert
The fire who conquers the wasteland's chill
Do not be afraid to sing before him
His are not the weak prayers of the respectable,
nor the feeble mumblings of the timid
Pour out your heart! Rend your clothing!
Cast forth all temporal love in his name
And be filled with the love of the Eternal

Strip off all habit, run through the city streets
Screaming the name of God,
that the voice of the Lord
May be heard above the rooftops
Do not fear man, but God only
For the dead skins, which surround you, will be shed
But the light of God will shine forever

In dust and ashes shall you pray, humble among the humble
No more than a pebble are you, a clod of dirt, a lump of clay
Pray that the lord may tread upon you,
that you may be sanctified
That you may be nothing, an empty shack
Which the lord may enter
And cause to blaze in glory

Pray always, while you eat and sleep
Pray in your dreams, that the prophets may appear
And give you true vision
Pray that your road in life
Will follow the footsteps of the Lord
That you may not mistake death for life,
nor sorrow for joy
That your soul, now a half-dead sparrow with broken wing
Shall be fed, and cured, until at the peak of health
He begins his journey, the flight towards the sun.

May his name be blessed unto eternity

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