Rags of Light

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Smudges.

I’ve been reading the new Orthodox Christian Prayers from St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press. I’m very happy with it; now may I use it as it deserves for my salvation and edification.

Looking through it, I remembered a story that a friend told me about one of his treasured possessions: an old prayer book that had belonged to his father. This Serbian immigrant had worked as a machinist in a steel mill, and was never able to get his hands completely free of the machine oil that he worked with every day. So, my friend told me, every single page of his prayer book was marked with oily thumb-prints. It was a quiet spiritual life made visible.

How many (less visible) thumb-prints will the angels find in my prayer book?