Wednesday, March 19, 2008

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


One person is the Father, and one person is the Son, and one person is the Holy Spirit--one Divinity, one power, one kingdom in three persons or hypostates.

So let us glorify the holy unity in the Trinity and the Holy Trinity in unity. This is the confession of the holy ecumenical Church of God!

In the Holy Trinity does the Church baptize unto eternal life; the Church sanctifies It with equal honor, confesses It indivisibly and eternally, bows to It sinlessly, glorifies It unceasingly.

To this Tri-hypostatic unity--to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit--are due glory, gratitude, honor, power and greatness unto the ages.


Lift your eyes to heaven when it, like a clean mirror, gloriously illumines the earth with it stars, and say in awe: if the stars shine with such glory, then how much more so will the righteous and the saints who have done the holy will of God shine with the inexpressible light of saving glory when the Lord comes.

Having called to remembrance that awesome coming, shudder in body and soul and with heartfelt agony say to yourself: what sort of person will I, a sinner, show myself to be in that terrible hour? How will I stand before the throne of the awesome Judge? How could I who am dissolute have a place among those who are perfect/ Or how could I, who am a goat, stand among the sheep at Chris's right hand? Or how could I, who am fruitless, be numbered among the saints, who have here brought forth the fruits of truth?

The martyrs will show their torments, the ascetics their good works; but what will I have to show but my apathy and my incessant indulgence?

O sinful soul, shameless soul, O soul which has always hated the God-pleasing way of life! How long will you delight in your wretched addiction to evil thoughts? What do you wait for in your apathy?

Do you think that the Judge will be late in coming? He will not tarry; rather, His coming will be like terrible lightning from the heavens.

Try to be prepared for that terrible hour, that you might not then weep unto the ages.


O kindhearted Lord, spare Thy servant, that I might not be found in fear and great shame at Thy judgement, that I might not be a disgrace to angels and men.

Punish me here, O my Savior, as a tender-hearted Father who loves His children; and forgive me there, as the only sinless and most merciful God.

For if Thou givest not understanding to an unfortunate one and illuminest not his heart, that he might daily offer blameless repentance for his sins--what can he do there if he has no means to justify himself?

Before I was on earth it pleased Thee, O Master, according to Thy great compassion, to form me in the womb of my sinful mother. When I was born, according to Thy mercy Thou madest me worthy to become a vessel of grace. But, after I received this gift, I who am weak and sinful was in my slothfulness disinclined to offer recompense for it.

Thus, falling down before Thy kindness, I pray Thee, O Only-Begotten Son, our Savior: sober me and raise me up, and shine Thy grace upon me again, that it might illumine my clouded mind as behooves Thy grace. May it always remain with me, and through its invisible guidance may it make me worthy of the heavenly kingdom. For as Thy grace has been for me, who am unworthy, at all times illumination, protection, a shield, a refuge and joy--so may I then find shelter, O my Savior, from the terrible judgement under its protection; and with its compassion, saved by Thy mercy, may I stand on Thy right hand in Thy kingdom, praising and glorifying Thy long-suffering kindness, O My immaculate Creator: for thou didst not overlook the tears of Thine unprofitable and sinful servant.


Stretch forth, O Lord, Thy hand to me who lie in the dust and help me. For I want to get up, but cannot. The burden of sin has crushed me; evil habits hold me chained to the earth, and I am altogether like the paralytic. I vow to change my ways and I fast, but everything remains the same. I am zealous to glorify Thee with my lips, but I have no zeal to please Thee with deeds.

How dare I ask forgiveness of my former sins when I have made no attempt to abandon my former love of sin? Or how shall I shed the old man, when I have not cut off my desire for sinful seductions?

O Lord, raise up me, a paralytic; souse me who sleep; resurrect me, deadened by sin! Save my miserable soul from death, O Lord who hast authority over life and death!

Before the end comes, exterminate all sin in me; and grant, O Lover of mankind, that I might shed heartfelt tears fro the cleansing of the stains of my soul all through my short life, that then I might be saved under the shelter of Thine omnipotent hand, when every soul shudders before Thine awesome glory.

O Master, hearken unto me and accept the supplication of Thy sinful and unworthy servant. Save me freely, according to Thy grace, for thou are a kindhearted and man-befriending God, and to Thee do we send up glory, thanks and adoration, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

I have been reading these every day, thank you.