Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Surgery: Needed but not possible (and other things)

They sent my mom home from the hospital. All of her doctors agree that surgery is needed but none is willing to go forward. An operation and she would not get up off the table. Surgery to fix her shoulder would put too much stress on her heart. Not fixing her heart puts stress on her kidneys. Solution? Drugs to help the heart and kidneys. (they won't cure but might keep problems from getting worse.) Drugs for pain in shoulder. She is also going to be living with severe limits on her physical activity. I don't know if she can tollerate that. But I thank God, and all of the holy unmercenary healers who prayed for her that her kidney function has been normalized.

In other news, Athanasia (Cyndi wants to be known by her baptism name from now on) lost a cashier's check for a tenants deposit yesterday. We prayed to St. Amborse, St. Athanasia, St. Jude, St. Herman, St. Patrick, St. Nicholas, and St. Matthew. God heard the prayers of his servants. The money was found this morning.

I just registered for the winter quarter at school. I wasn't able to make the chemistry class I need to take fit into my schedule. I'm a little bummed by that. It really sets me back. But I am going to be able to take enough units to keep getting financial aid. So, you want to know, what is the schedule?

Trigonometry Mon & Wed 6-8:10 p.m.
Statistics and Probability Mon & Wed 8:20-10:30 p.m.
Hematology Tuesday 2:30-8:10 p.m.


Reaching out

People who have forgotten what church is about are doing "outreach".

Update

My mom is still in the hospital. Kidney function is returning. She is still in much pain. Morphine is not working very well. Many tests. Still no diagnosis. They can not give her diuretics to get rid of water because of her kidneys not being able to function properly. That means they have to limit her water intake to about 20 oz. per day. That includes the water she gets in food. Her mouth is so dry. She is so miserable.

I went to math class tonight and was surprised to be taking an exam! YIKES! These last few days have got me totally off-schedule. I didn't do very well. I forgot the formula for discovering the value of "K". And that really sucked because I needed to know the value of "K" for about 20% of the problems.

Much work here at the apartments. Doing a major remodel of one of the units. Dealing with many contractors. Big hassles. Still can't get one landscaper to give me a bid for what I want done. They always include a bunch of stuff I don't want. All I want are australian tree ferns and a few sword ferns. But i keep getting bids for ferns and irisis, ferns and ivy, ferns and lantana, ferns and jasmine.... I think I'm just going to wait until this school quarter is over, and then I'll have the time to plant the ferns myself.

The little boy reached the light switch today for the first time. It was shocking. I can not believe how fast he is growing. I asked him today if he is going to be a giant. He said that he is.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

My mom

My mom has several new health problems now that are responsible for her current hospitalization:
Cardiamegally - cause unknown.
A sticky heart valve.
Kidneys that are only doing 30% of their job - This is caused by about 25 years of diabetes.
Scar tissue in her lungs that impares her vascular function - Caused by the flu she had two weeks ago.

In addition to these new problems are dibilitating artharitis in her spine, diabetes (which is causing her to slowly go blind.), high blood pressure, anemia, clogged arteries, bi-pedal neuropathy, and a few other things. She has born all of these diseases without complaint and good cheer.

It doesn't look good. Her doctors (5 of them) are in disgreement about how to treat her. Every option pts her at great risk.

Good news: I got to go to confession tonight.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving

3:30 pm My brother-in-law read the Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1789
3:33 pm I read the 13th ode of the Akathist to the Lord Jesus "Glory to God for All Things" (If I remember the name correcttly.) followed by the Our Father.
3:36 pm We began eating.
3:39 pm My mother said she couldn't pass the gravy.
3:43 pm My mother said she couldn't bend to the table (I noticed that her face looked swollen.) so we moved the table closer to her.
3:45 pm She got up from the table to sit in a rocking chair. She looked worse.
3:50 My Dad and I took my mother to the hospital.
10:30 I came home from the hospital. My mother is still there. The physicians do not know what is wrong with her. They think she might have had a heart attack. They know her kidneys are not working. Her lungs are full of fluid. She is in horrible pain. She has received all the morphine she can have that is consistant with human life but she is still in terrible pain.

Where is death's sting? Its right here in my heart. For several years I have been watching my mother die. It is horrible.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Give Me Oil For My Lamp

Some of my Roman Catholic friends have discovered Huw's blog via Mama Fred's film review at NRO. They write to me, "Matt, do you read this guy?" I say "Read him, Heck! He's my son's Godfather."

This just in from the childhood memories department.... When I was a little boy, 2nd-5th grades, I went to Vally Christian School. Every Wednesday we had a chapel service. During that chapel service we sang...

Give me oil for my lamp keep me burning for the Lord
Give me oil for my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil for my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning.
Keep me burning 'till the break of day.

Of course, being little kids we also asked for "wax for my board" (for surfing till the break of day), gas for my Ford (for truckin'), and a bunch of other suff.

Today, I ran out of oil. Really. Now that I am Orthodox I keep a lampada lit all the time. It is infront of the Icon of Christ Pantocrator in my kitchen, right next to the shelf of cook books. I usually have to tend the wick and replenish the oil 2 or 3 times a day. But this is Advent so I haven't bought any oil in while. Today I ran out. It reminded me of the song, above.

Back then, I thought all I had to do was ask for oil and I would keep burning till the break of day. (e.g. the Lord's glorious and terrible second comming.) Little did I know that keeping a lamp burning would require such constant attention and planning.

When my friend Chris was Baptised on Sunday, the priest told him that he has now entered into war against Satan; he will experience little else but hard work from now till the judgement. While I was listening to those words I thought of the Church in the catacombs, hiding and surviving in the Roman Empire, under the heel of the Muslim, during the bloody days of the Communists. And I remembered that Yes, God is our Savior, but he saved us not to relax on the beach, but to storm the beach. To move from the beach to the bluffs. To move inland into enemy controlled teritory, to assail the gates of hell; to lay the axe to the root of the sin in my life. God isn't on vacation. Neither am I to be on vacation. I'm a co-laborer with God. He doesn't do it all for me so I can kick back with a Pina Colada with my toes in the water. He doesn't tend my lamp for me. He expects me to tend my lamp and be ready when he comes. I'll have to go buy more oil.

But I also have a house to clean in anticipation of having people over for thanksgiving. And a bucnch of homework to do. (Papers for Chemistry and Clinical Procedures.) I'm glad the quarter is almost over.


Saturday, November 20, 2004

Wine, divorce, cinnamon

The day started out nice. Slept in till 7. Cyndi left to go get some papers signed. While she was gone I cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen. Then, I made gluvein (but just one big mugfull. It morning after all.) for me and mulled apple cider for the little boy. It was cold so we both needed something hot inside us. We sat on the porch and drank it. Breakfast for me was tuna sandwiches with dijon mustard and olive oil. The little boy had cinnamon toast. We were out of gound cinnamon (the little boy poured it down the sink last week) so I had to grate some cinnamon sticks. The little boy helped me and we had a good time doing it.

I wrapped the books I bought for my older boys (the one's who don't talk to me) and readied them to mail with their Thanksgiving greeting cards. The little boy asked who they were for.
"Your brothers."
"Billy and Devon?"
"Yep."
"Where are my brothers?"
"Far away."
"What are they doing?"
"I don't know"
"My brothers coming here?"
"I don't know."

(Editorial: Divorce is evil. I am very happy with my life now, but a decade of misery and estrangement from my two oldest sons was a heavy price to pay for marrying against all advice received. So, let me repeat this: Divorce is evil. Avoid it by preventing it. Marry right and be humble. )

I bought them W.E.B. Griffin books. For my oldest son, 16, I bought this book. For my middle son, 15, I bought this book. Each is the first book in a series. I read both series when I was between 17 and 19. I think they'll enjoy them. I hope they do.

Well, gotta sign off now. Festal Vigil for the Entrance of the Theotokos is tonight.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Christmas Music

I was in Barnes And Noble today. They had a display of about 50 different Chrstmas CD's. I almost bought The Brady Bunch Christmas album but I was able to resist temptation. While looking through the CDs, I noticed that it is the same songs on every CD:

Jingle Bells
I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas
Silver Bells
Silent Night
O Little Town of Bethlehem
The Christmas Song
Winter Wonderland
O Come All Ye Faithful
The Little Drummer Boy
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Joy to the World

Less popular but appearing on several of the CDs
Rockin' around the Christmas Tree
Santa Baby
Rudolf the Red-nosed Rein Deer
An instrumental medly of three songs to which no one knows the words: I Saw Three Ships , the Holly and the Ivy, Good King Wenceslas (Regardless of what the site I linked to says, St. Wenceslas is Orthodox.)
Mary, Did you Know?
Feliz Navidad!
O Holy Night
Frosty the Snow Man
Baby, It's Cold Outside

Now I am not kidding, there were CDs from at least 50 different artists (if you count Alvin and the Chipmunks as 4) but every CD shared six or more songs with every other CD on the display shelf. It was amazingly sad. Is any other evidence required to prove that Western Culture is in deep decline, yea, nigh upon its nadir; the most amazing thing in the history of the world, that God became a man, can not inspire new music from artists, can not cause the audience to crave better music.

But having read those lists of songs, how much happier I am going to be when on December 25 I get sing these words:

"How is He contained in a womb, whom nothing can contain? And how can He who is in the bosom of the Father be held in the arms of His Mother? This is according to His good pleasure, as He knows and wishes. For being without flesh, of His own will has He been made flesh; and He Who Is, for our sakes has become that which He was not. Without departing from His own nature He has shared in our substance. Desiring to fill the world on high with citizens, Christ has undergone a twofold birth."

But before that day I have several other days. I realized today that so far, I have given more thought to Thanksgiving than to the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Advent

I am so digging Advent, or Nativity Fast if you prefer to call it that. So much of it is about food. I sometimes think it is weird that ever since I became Orthodox I give so much attention to what I eat. But this morning while praying I noticed that we ask God for food even before we ask Him to forgive our sins. My personal favorite Advent meal, aside from crab, (And isn't it wonderful how crab season in San Francisco begins during Advent? More proof that God loves the people of San Francisco, even if many hate Him.) is the lunch I am eating right now: Bubbies kosher pickles, Acme sour bagguette, Haig's hummus, black coffee, and carolina cole slaw. (the slaw contains veggie oil, so ask your priest if it is okay for you.

If you are looking for recipes for this season you might want to look at this website.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Feast of St. Matthew (aka my name day)

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew

One of the Twelve, St. Matthew became a martyr in A.D. 60 while preaching in Ethiopia. He wrote the Gospel which bears his name. He is a great intercessor.

Troparion in tone 3
With zeal, you followed Christ the Master,who in His goodness, appeared on earth to mankind. Summoning you from the custom house, He revealed you as a chosen apostle:the proclaimer of the the Gospel to the whole world! Therefore, divinely eloquent Matthew, we honor your precious memory! Entreat merciful God that He may grant our souls remission of transgressions.

Kontakion in tone 4
Casting aside the bonds of the custom house for the yoke of justice, you were revealed as an excellent merchant, rich in wisdom from on high. You proclaimed the word of truthand roused the souls of the slothfulby writing of the hour of Judgment.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Abortion

They said it would only kill little blobs of cells (aka babies) but RU486 kills women, too.

Advent Reading

I just ordrered "The Winter Pascha" by Fr. Tom Hopko. I have a conflicted opinion of him. On one hand it was a video of a lecture he gave at St. Vlad's that did more than anything to show me that the Theotokos is not an exception to humanity, but is the goal of humanity. On the other hand, it was a talk by him at Holy Trinity Cathedral about the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple that made me wonder why he was allowed to be a priest. If I understood him correctly, he said something that disagreed with the literalism of St. John of San Francisco, which, to me, is the only view that makes sense. But, maybe, I misunderstood what Father Tom was saying. I often misunderstand what people say.

I also ordered "Of Water and the Spirit" by the venerable Alexander Schmemann. I read this book when I was a catachumen. I think it is time for a re-read.

So, that is my scheduled Advent reading. What are you reading during Advent?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Weekend Update

We got a new table and four chairs yesterday. Two things happened that caused us to make this purchase: Cyndi had to set up an office in our house and we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Our old table, an aluminum topped plywood table from Ikea is now covered with office stff. Our new table, heavy oak, sturdy construction looks very nice in our kitchen. We found it on Craigs List. So we drove to Saratoga and took a look at the table.

The seller wanted $250 for it. I was shocked. I had looked at new tables and anything comparable, with six well made chairs would have been $800 - $1,000. But Cyndi thought the $250 was too much and insisted that we pay less. The seller and I settled on $225. I love the free market system.

Well, once the deal was struck we went to U-Haul to rent a truck. The price was $19.95 plus milage. I talked them down to $9.95 plus milage. (Ha! I love this country!) Then we drove to the sellers house got the table and brought it home. Getting that table up the stairs was not easy. It did not help any that the little boy jumped in between Cyndi and I just as we were beginning the ascent. As we reached the top of the stairs, Cydi began to lose her grip, or suffered a loss of confidence or something, and I wound up bent over with a very heavy table balanced on my upper back and shoulders. The little boy was frightened. There was much yelling. "Is he okay? Grab the table! Don't let it fall on you! Hold it! Hold it!" But everthing was oaky. When it fell it was caught by the railing and did not hurt the little boy.

By the time all was done we didn't have time to go to San Francisco for Vigil. So I went to St. Stephen's in Campbell for Great Vespers. There was a priest available to hear my confession. It was good.

The little boy has a cough. Ever since he had the flu a few weeks agoo he has been going back and forth between good healthy days and days with coughing and runny nose. I guess he got weaked by the flu and now every little bug takes advantage of him. Anyway, his cough was too bad to take him to church this morning. Cyndi stayed home with him and I went alone.

I don't know why, but I was very sleepy. I nodded off during the Gospel reading. Almost fell over. I didn't really wake up until the Creed. There is a new family at church. The husband and the son were baptised a couple of months ago. The wife is slowly being assimilated (resistence is futle.) ; she lit a candle in front of an Icon today but I don't think she is ready to be baptised. Anyway, the father had not ben there in a couple of weeks and I noticed that he and his sone were not going to Communion. I figured that he hadn't prepared and offered to take his baby up to the chalice. Wow! I had never seen two people so moved by the smallest thing. Both of the parents were so thankful that I was a little bit embarrassed. Just goes to show you that our actions often mean much more to others than they mean to us.

When I got up to the chalice with the baby the priest and the subdeacons seemed a little bit confused. I was up there with someone elses baby. The look on their faces was funny.

We have a new altar boy. He looks to be about 7. He's really cute. The stricherion is so long on him that he has to hold it up with one hand as he walks. After communion he was standing in front of the ambo while Father was reading some announcements. He sneezed on to his gold broccade sleeve. And them looked at the sleeve with a look of horror on his face. It was very funny.

Nativity fast is starting. Very happy. I've just about killed my arteries eating up all the meat and dairy these past few days. I probably have more animal fat in my blood right now than W.C. Fields had booze in his.

Well, I have math homework waiting for me. I need to get to it.

Friday, November 12, 2004

My poor parents

My dad has pneumonia. These have been three pretty bad years for them, healthwise. It is very sad.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Chemistry and School Problems

Well, passed the chemistry test with a 78%. I ran out of time and left 6 % of the questions unanswered. But I still passed. And as we know, "Cs earn degrees."

I'm trying to put my schedule to gether for next quarter. I have three classes I have to take. I need the next class in the math series, the next class in the chemistry series, and hematology. Problem: The classes all conflict with each other. I can only fit two of the three into my schedule. This screws things up for me so badly. It pushes my clinical year back a whole year. I don't know what to do. I'm thinking about dropping out of the program. It is so frustrating.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A few Little Things

Just got home from school. Whew! I passed my chemistry test. I don't have the official score as I only took the test tonight, but I know I got enough questions right to pass. What a relief. I just haven't been doing enough studying. I'm still pulling As in phlebotomy and math. No idea how I am doing in Aikido. I've never taken a PE class before. I never had to do PE because of my time in the Army, colleges always credited me 5 units for PE. Consequently, I do not have a feel for how grading is done in a PE class.

I'm working on the agenda for my extended protestant family's Christmas party. I have a feeling that it is going to be my parents last christmas together on Earth.

Anyway, here is how I've put it together so far. It doesn't include food plans. Traditionally, we have curried chicken. My parents have 35 descendants (counting the spouses of their children, and spouses of grand children)

A Opening Prayer (my dad)
B The First Reading: Matthew 1:1-16 (me)
C "O Come, O Come, Emanuel" (All songs lead by my eldest brother or second nephew)
D Blessing of the Food (brother-in-law)
E The Readings during the Meal
E1 Second Reading: To Be Selected By Reader (sister)
E2 Third Reading: To Be Selected By Reader (middle brother)
F Crafts for under 7s (my wife, manager)
G Carols sung during crafts
G1 "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus"
G2 "What Child Is This?"
G3 "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
G4 "Silent Night"
H Opening of presents for under 12s (middle brother, manager)
I Final Reading (my mom)
J Final song: "Joy to the World"
K Closing Prayer (my dad)

Okay, I know you must be thinking that I'm nuts for planning a christmas party like this. It seems more like a church service. I suppose it is. But, I figure, that is what Christmas celebrations should be, so if I can weave a church service into a party, I'll feel like I've done my bit.

Hollywood moment on the battlefield.

While reading up on the Battle of Falujah, I came across this excellent quote in a Chicago Tribune report:

"Your mortars--they are on the freakin' money!" a jubilant Lt. Col. Will Buhl, the Marine commander, shouted around the stub of a Montecristo cigar as the 2-7's leader, Lt. Col. James Rainey, screeched to a halt in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. (Read the whole article here.)

I am so proud of our men. They are doing such a great job. I know that some people think of war as a lesser evil. I don't think that is the correct way to think of it. I think it is a lesser good. Ideally, there would be no war, and someday that will be the case. But if many of the saints waged war, if the angels wage war, if even God wages war, how can we say it is an evil? It is, sometimes, a good response to evil.

The problems we have with war arise from the fact that fallen and sinful men are called upon to wage war, even good wars. Motives get blurred. Shooting combatants can quickly become shooting surrendering soldiers. Artillary kills combatants and non-combatants alike. War interupts commerce and destroys the means of production. Famine follows on the heels of war. This is part of the reason why war is a lesser good. War can be good because it establishes order and justice. It is a "lesser" good because it is a response to sin, and many people suffer when it is waged.

Pray for our men, not just that they will be kept safe from bullets and bombs, but that they will be protected from blood-lust, and carry out their duty efficiently and without passion. Pray for them because they have powerful weapons and are very dangerous.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Two years

Yesterday marked two years since we were taken in to the Church. They sang "Many Years" for us. We cooked for the them: Cioppino We used this recipie as a guide. But changed the fish to scallops, crabs, grouper, bottleneck clams, shrimp, and mussels - and multiplied everything by 10.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Drizzly Day

Cold and drizzly today. Last night as I sat in my math class there was thunder and hail. We get thunder maybe once every three or four years. I don't know when we ever had hail. I know it snowed once, back in 1977.

I was 7 years old. The weather was cold and rainy, like it is today. I told my parents that I was going to pray for snow. They were worried that my faith would be damaged by an unanswered prayer, and told me I should pray for rain instead. (It was already raining!) That if it rained in the South Bay, then it would snow in Sonora, where my parents had a cabin. I said "No, God can make it snow here." Sometime in the middle of the night my mom woke me up to see the snow falling ouside my bedroom window.

The next day at school when I shared with my class that I had prayed for snow and God made it snow I thought everyone would be excited and want to know how to pray. I was wrong. The teacher then explained how snow is frozen water vapour and how no two snow flakes are alike.

I think it is so amazing that God answers the totally selfish prayers of a 7 year old boys. But, when my little boy asks for something, don't I give it to him if I can? God always can.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

That fabulosity

Just ate my last olive. THe martini is gone. Just heard that the President has gone to bed. Still don't know who the next president is going to be. Hawaii has just been painted blue. Hmmm. A tie would be fun. If I weren't so sleep deprived and full of martini I'd try to figure out if that is possible. When was the last tie? I think it was back when grown men wore powdered wigs and velvet knee-britches. It would be cool. I'd love to see the House of Reps choose the next president.

Well, if bed is good enough for the president, it is good enough for me. Goodnight.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Gosh, How long is this going to take?

NPR has the EV count at Kerry-224 to Bush-249 (They still won't call Ohio until the matter of provisional votes is setteld.) Foxnews has the EV Count at Kerry-238 to Bush-269 .

Just heard the Dem's Veep nomineee (whatsh his name?) say they are going to count every vote. Uggghhh! I hope they don't try to do that tonight. Maaaybe need another martini.

I have a crack in my heel. No noit my shoe. My heel. Technically, it is a fissure. Painful. Just appeard today. Haven't been diligent in removing calouses. or maybe it is weight related. Don't know. man it hurts.

WOOOOH! HOOOOH!!!!! NPR is reporting that EVEN OREGON (can you believe it?) has banned gay marriage!!!!! WAY TO GOOOOOO DUCKS!!!! I love you, man!

I think I need a hamburger.

Election

Just got home from school. Called my Mom. (She is probably the reason I am a Conservative. Also, she is the reason I am a Christian, and though she is Pentecostal, she is the reason I am Orthodox.) She is so excited about the GOP Victory (according to most news sources Bush has 269 right now.) Listing to NPR on Streaming (they still haven't called Ohio for bush). Watching FOX News website (They've called Cuba, New Zeland and Alberta for Bush.)

Drinking a doubler martini: 2.5 oz Gilby's, 1 oz Gallo extra dry vermouth, 1 dash of bitters, shaken, poured into coctail glass, two spanish queens skewerd on my silver tooth-pick. (FYI Gallo extra dry vermouth has two advantages over all other vermouths: 1) Cooks Illustrated rated it as best vermouth in the world, and 2) it is the least expensive vermouth on the shelf. Munching on a bagguette and little pieces of fabulous cheese.

Ohhhhhh!!!!! I just heard that Daschle might go down!!!!! Truly fabulous!!!!!!

This Day

I was up till four this morning doing homework. Slept in till nine. (thats when the little boy jumped on me. Kind hard to stay asleep with a two year old jumping on my chest.) Morning prayers. Followed by breakfst of canadian bacon, scrambled eggs, toast with peanut butter and jam, coffee.

Had to deal with some plumbing problems. Read some books to the little boy. Did a little cleaning up around the property. The plumber says that to fix all the problems the right way will cost about $135,000. I don't think the owner will go for that.

The bow ties I ordered for the little boy and I arrived today. Unfortunately, there was an error in the little boys tie; I had to mail it back to the company. But the people there are so nice. It was all cleared up on the phone. They are fedexing the correct tie today.

Cyndi came home around noon and we went to the polls. She had forgtten to register so wasn't able to vote. I voted for the Constitution Party (In California : The American Independant Party.) for every office for which they were running a candidate. If no Constitution Party candidate was running, I voted Libertarian. If no Libertarian, I voted Republican. For non-partisan elections (I really hate non-partisan elections.) I voted for the person who was not the incumbant, and/or the person who was not currently a government employee. (I heed the advice of Lord Acton.) Voted "NO" on all issues put before the voters, except one to fund public libraries in San Jose; the people need easy access to the laws that govern them. All the others seemed to be written by murderers and thieves. Oh, I declined to use the electronic ballot, and voted on a paper ballot. Democracy: Better than civil war.

Even though Cyndi couldn't vote, she went in with me. We always go to the polls together. But she is a socialist so our votes usually cancel each other. The little boy went, too.

The little boy is taking a nap. I think I will join him.

Monday, November 01, 2004

What? Me worry?

In about 24 hours we will have elected a President, 1/3 of a senate, and a whole House of Representatives. I'm not very pleased with any of it, but I'm not worried about it either. My Lord is unelected.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The Lord shall reign forever-Your God, O Zion, to all generation. Praise the Lord!