Tuesday, March 18, 2008

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


Thus does the Lord speak to every soul: forgive your brother his transgressions, and I will forgive you your sins. You shall forgive minor errors, debts of perhaps a few coins or some three pence, and I will grant you thousands of talants. For you have only to forgive, without presenting any gift; but I will forgive you your sins and grant you healing and the heavenly kingdom.

And I will accept your gift when you make peace with him who is at enmity with you. When you have no ma.ice, when the setting sun does not find you angry, when you meet all with peace and love--then will your prayer be acceptable and your offering pleasing, and your house will be blessed and you also shall find blessing.

But if you do not make peace with your brother, then how will you ask Me for forgiveness? I am your Master; I command you and you do not heed Me. You are a servant; how dare you bring Me a prayer, or a sacrifice, or first fruits of your harvest, if you bear malice toward anyone? If you turn your face from your brother, so shall I turn Mine eyes from your prayer and from your gift.


O Lover of mankind, Jesus Christ our God: hoping steadfastly in Thy mercy I beseech Thee, set me not at Thy left hand with the goats, who have given Thee much grief; say not to me: Amen, amen, I tell you, I know you not. But according to Thy kindness, give me endless tears, give my hear contrition and humility and cleanse it with fear of Thee, that it may become a temple of Thy grace.

Although I am most sinful and unworthy, I ceaselessly knock at Thy door. Although I am apathetic and slothful and take no care about my salvation, I wish to follow Thy path. Save me for the sake of Thy mercy, for in every way Thou art good, O Lord, and Thy compassion is in all Thy works.

Help me, O Master of all, defend the infirmity of my soul, that I might be delivered from sinful corruption and freed from the bonds of the passions. May malice not torment me and may the hostile demon not take me captive, but may the kingdom of Thy divine and venerable Spirit come upon me, and cause the corrupt passions which now possess and reign in me to withdraw from me. For Thou art a God of mercy, compassion and love for mankind.


O most holy Mother of God, O only Lady who art utterly pure in both soul and body, look upon me, abominable and unclean, who have blackened soul and body with the stains of my passionate and gluttonous life. Cleanse my passionate mind/; set aright my blind and wandering thoughts and make them incorrupt; bring my senses to order and guide them; free me from my evil and repulsive addiction to unclean prejudices and passions which torment me; stop every sin that works in me; grant my clouded and wretched mind the sobriety and discernment to correct my intentions and failings that, freed from the darkness of sin, I might be worthy to boldly glorify and praise thee, O only true Mother of the true Light, Christ our god; for all creation, visible and invisible, blesses and glorifies thee, both with Him and in Him.


Blessed is he who is every filled with spiritual joy and untiringly carries the Lord's good yoke, for he shall be crowned with glory.

Blessed is he who has cleansed himself of all sinful corruption, for boldly can he receive the King of glory, our Lord Jesus Christ, into his house.

Blessed is he who reverently approaches the most pure mysteries of the Savior with fear and trembling, knowing that he receives into his body indestructible life.

Blessed is he who hourly contemplates death and has rendered ineffectual in himself the shameful passions that nest in the hearts of the careless, for such a man will be comforted at the time of his repose.

Blessed is he who ceaselessly recalls the torments of Gehenna and hastens with tears and sighs to repent sincerely before the Lord, for he will be delivered from all sorrow.

Blessed is he who always humbles himself willingly, for he will be crowned by the One Who willingly humbled Himself for us.

Blessed is he who with all reverence, like Mary, remains at the Lord's feet (in prayer), an, like Martha, hastens to receive the Lord and Savior (with good works).

Blessed is he who, inflamed with the fear of God, always bears within himself the warmth of the Holy Spirit, and has burned up the thorns and thistles of wicked thoughts.

Blessed is he who with spiritual awareness loves meekness, and does not allow himself to be deceived by the evil serpent, but lays his hopes on the good and kindhearted Lord.

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