Wednesday, April 09, 2008

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


I entreat the Mother of God: O Birthgiver of the never-setting Light, hear the words that I proclaim before thee!

I who am miserable wallow in mire; I am all covered with impurities, completely blackened. Even the earth have I defiled with the multitude of my sins, O my Lady. And thus, with sighs does she cry out on my behalf to the incorruptible Judge, calling forth both heaven with its stars and the sun as witnesses.

And already the storm of my thoughts plunges me into despair....I, a prodigal, have laid all my hope upon thee, O Mother of God. Thou alone, who didst bear the Deliverer of the world in thy womb, loosen my unloosenable bonds. Whiten thou me, who am blackened and have been turned into darkness, with tears of repentance. Thou, who hast given birth to my life, raise up me who am slain by my carelessness, and lead me who have become alienated from God and the angels back to them, O Mother of God!

Awesome indeed is the miracle! How the Lord has tolerated my sins! How is it that He has not conveyed me who am miserable to the depths of hell while still alive! How is it that He has not sent from on high His invisible staff or His sword to strike me down....Without a doubt, thou, O Lady, hast granted me life by thine intercessions. Thou seekest my repentance--O All-good virgin give it to me, Thy servant--for thou art my wall, my harbor and my rampart.


Our Lord Jesus, O venerable King, Who by Thy suffering hast vanquished death the torturer; O Son of God Who hast promised us new life and the heavenly kingdom: removed from us all harm, that Thy grace might dwell in us, so that in the day of Thy coming we might come out to meet Thee in accordance with Thy good will, that we might behold Thee and stand before Thee with you.

Blot out our sins with Thy forgiveness, that we might praise Thy name because of Thine acts of kindness. Vouchsafe all of us, O Lord, according to Thy grace to glorify and worship Thy Divinity.

May the eyes that here have seen Thy glory there behold Thy great mercy. May the ears that here have heard the sound of thy words hear there also the sounds of rejoicing. May the lips that here have glorified Thee in Thy churches be vouchsafed there also to sing praise to Thee. May the tongue that here has cried "Holy, holy, holy" there also be turned to praise Thee. May the hands that have held Thy flesh and blood receive from Thee pardon from debts. May the feet that have entered the holy temple there also walk about the dominion of life.

Send our congregation, our brotherhood that worships Thy Divinity, the entire fullness of Thy saving gifts. May Thy supreme love remain with us, and may it make us worthy to offer thee due praise.
Open Thy door to our prayer, and may our service be pleasing to Thee.

Turn to us, O Good One,k according to Thy compassion; and drive away from us all harm, that we might ceaselessly praise Thee, O Lord, and Thy Father and the Holy Spirit.


Cast not aside my supplication, O good Lord! Unworthy lips cry out to Thee, together with an impure heart and a soul defiled by sins.

Hearken unto me, O Lord, according to Thy goodness. Confirm my heart in fear of Thee. Set my feet on the rock of repentance. May Thy goodness, O Lord, vanquish my sinfulness. May the light of Thy grace overcome the darkness that is in me.

Thou, O Lord, Who didst open the eyes of the blind man, open the darkened eyes of my heart. Thou Who didst cleanse lepers with Thy word, cleanse the stains of my soul. May Thy grace, O Lord, be a fire in me, consuming my impure thoughts.

Thou alone art good. Thou art the Light that surpasses all light. Thou art the joy that surpasses all joy. Thou art the Peace that surpasses all peace. Thou art the true Life. Thou art the Salvation that endures unto the ages.

I, who am deserving of every punishment, who merit every kind of torture, fall down before Thee, O Good One, with my supplication. I beseech Thee, O Redeemer, let not the adversary seize me in the end.

But do Thou, O good and merciful Lord, raise up my members paralyzed by sin; enliven my soul slain by iniquity, enlighten my heart clouded by wicked lust, deliver me from every evil deed; implant in me Thy perfect love, O Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world; and write the name of Thy servant in the book of life; grant me a good end, that, having secured victory over the devil, I might bow down unashamed with all the righteous before the throne of Thy kingdom.


Woe is me, O soul, for thou dost remain senseless in the present life, daily indulging in selfish pleasures and comforts and leading a dissolute life. In the age to come thou shalt cry like the rich man; thou shalt be tormented int he flames of eternal fire.

Woe is me, O soul, that thou canst not endure any sorrows inflicted by thy brother, nor even a word of insult; rather, thou art quick to contradict and oppose others. For this thou shalt lose the crown of patience and meekness and wilt be judge with those who begrudge others.

Woe is me, O soul, for thous hatest and revilest thy brother and dost allow others to do the same. For this thou shalt be punished with the murderers, for he who hates his brother is a murderer.

Woe is me, O soul, that thou dost scorn God's commandments and presume that salvation comes wit the label "Christian"' for on that terrible day thou shalt hear the Lord say: Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom.

Woe is me, O soul, for thou dost love the glory of men, honor, luxurious garments, and material acquisitions. For this in the day of judgement thou shalt be an abomination before God; thou shalt be cast away from His face and numbered withe the arrogant demons.

Woe is me, O soul, for thou dost sin daily, yet day after day dost thou postpone repentance. Death will overtake thee suddenly, like a thief in the night, and thou wilt be led away in bonds to gehenna, shedding tears and denouncing thy folly in vain.

Woe is me, O soul, that thou dost tremble not, thinking about the terrible day of judgement, when all the powers of heaven shall be moved with fear, and about how thou shalt appear before the face of God wearing a robe of shame and defilement.

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