Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Spiritual Psalter from the works of our Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian


Grant us Thy help, O All-good One, and never abandon our race! Vouchsafe us thine all-searching wisdom, that we may know the transience of all things. Heal our sores with repentance.

Visit us, that we might not persist in our sins. Thou Who art most merciful to our souls, instill in us remembrance of good, for much have we loved evil. Dispel all harm from us, O Good One.

Accept whatever good will is in us, and send us a corresponding measure of strength. Our soul is not capable of offering Thee a gift which is as great as Thou art. May Thy marvelous death move Thee to compassion, O Lord.

Our error is much mightier than our prayer. Our prayer is insignificant, but our guilt is great. What sacrifice could we bring to reconcile ourselves with Thee? We have nothing to give to Thee. Thus we ask Thee to reconcile us by Thy blood, O All-merciful One.

Thanks be to the Father Who sent Thee, O our Savior! For by Thee we who are guilty are vindicated. Thou hast taken away our sins by Thy cross; take away our guilt also in Thy coming.


Praise be to the Good One Who descended for our sake, became like unto us and healed our sores by His all-sanctifying flesh and His all-sanctifying blood! May all sing praises to Him!

Thanks be to the Kindhearted One Who ever bears our burden, although He knows our wickedness, Who has created us and nourishes us, and commands His sun to shine upon us! May we praise His goodness!

Open to me the door of loving-kindness, O our Lord, Who are full of mercy; stretch out Thine hand to me, O Good and Merciful One, and return me to the fold of Thy sheep, that I may glorify Thy kindness.

My sins are a wall between me and Thy goodness. Tear it down that I might approach Thy loving-kindness; pour out Thy love upon me and exalt me to Thy heights

But the wall of my sins can be torn down only by tears and contrition; so grant me all the days of my life diligently to lament my sins and to gather the fruits which will serve me well in the day of judgement.


The Father exclaimed: this is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; heed Him. Thus He spoke of the Son, Who is undivided from the glory of the Divinity. For the Father and the Son together with the Holy Spirit are one nature, one force, one essence and one kingdom.

And Mary was called the mother of God by His Son in the flesh, Who was undivided from the glory of His Divinity. for one is god, Who has appeared to the world in the flesh.

His glory proclaimed His divine nature which is from the Father, and His body proclaimed His human nature which was from Mary; both of His natures converged and were united in a single hypostasis.

He was the Only-Begotten of the Father and also the Only-Begotten of Mary. And he who divides the hypostasis in Him will also be separated from His kingdom, and he who conjoins His natures will be deprived of the life that is of Him.

He who denies that Mary gave birth to God will not see the glory of His divinity, and he who denies that he was clothed in sinless flesh will receive neither salvation nor the life which was granted through His body.

His very deeds give witness and His divine strength teach the contemptuous that He is true God. And His sufferings give proof that He is true man.


O good lover of mankind! If Thy grace pours forth upon the grass, the flowers and all earthly vegetation in its time, then the more so shalt Thou grant to Thy servant that which he requests of Thee.

For the air becomes clear and the birds adorn their voices with varied melodies, singing glory to Thy great wisdom. Al the earth is clothed with a raiment of many-colored flowers woven without human hands, and is glad and celebrates the holy day.

Water also my heart with the dew of Thy grace, O good Lover of mankind! Just as a sown field cannot sprout and nourish its plants without sufficient rainfall, so my heart is incapable of producing things pleasing to Thee and of bearing the fruits of truth without Thy grace.

Lo, the rain nourishes the plants and the trees are crowned with diverse flowers. May the dew of Thy grace also enlighten my mind and may it adorn my heart with the flowers of contrition, humility, love and patience.

May my prayer draw near to Thee, O Lord! Grant me Thy holy seed, that I might bring Thee a harvest of sheaves abundant in good fruits and say, "glory to Him Who gave me this that I might bring it unto Him," and bow down to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

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