Tuesday, April 22, 2008

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


O all-praised and all-good Lady, O fountain of loving-kindness, O abyss of love for mankind! Though I am unclean and committed to this adulterous and rebellious world, careless in both word and deed and even in the exercise of my free will, and want only to lay waste to my life, yet thou, who art a loving and sympathetic Mother of God, be not repelled by me, a wanton sinner, and before it is too late accept the supplication presented to thee by my defiled lips and, with thine all-good and pleasing prayers, incline the Judge to be merciful to me.

Open to me the benevolence of thy compassionate Son; entreat Him to overlook my sinful failings, direct my thoughts to repentance, show me to be accomplished in observing His commandments; do not let me become a morsel for the corrupter of souls--the devil. But by thine intercession renew me who have grown old in a multitude of sins. Correct my decrepit life, that I, having thee as mine intercessor, O all-good mistress, might stand fearlessly before the Judge and escape terrible torment. By thine intercession make me an heir of glory; entreat my Creator that I may obtain all this.


Woe is he who abides in sin and can find no time for repentance, for in that place shall he repent, mourning his sins to no avail unto the ages.

Woe is he who says: now shall I enjoy the flesh and I will repent in old age--for suddenly death will capture him like a snare and his hope will perish.

Woe is he who knowingly chooses to sin with the intention to repent when morning comes, for he knows not what the coming day or the night that precedes it will bring.

Woe is he who knows what is good but lends a hand to the evil one, for on the day of his exit the wicked angels will take him.

Woe is he who by his evil deeds causes his neighbor to stumble, for in the day of judgement he will give an account for every error that he seduced others into committing with his evil ways.

Woe is he who has renounced the world yet clings to a worldly way of thinking, for the parable about the man who has put his hand to the plough yet looks back pertains to him.

woe is he who follows the desires of the flesh and is loath to attend to his soul, for his life and his hopes will be scattered over the earth.

woe is he who does not make haste and use all his strength to prepare himself here, that he might there be justified.


Blessed is the good and Merciful One Who rejoices over us when we repent and without reproach accepts us with joy according to His love.

Blessed is the Good One Who opens His door to the good that they might enter therein, and also does not lock the door of His goodness to the evil if they are converted.

blessed is He Who grants everyone the means to inherit the heavenly kingdom: the righteous inherit it through good deeds, and sinners through repentance.

Blessed is He Who for the sake of sinners gave Himself up to death and revilement, Who suffered humiliation in order to grant sinners life.

Blessed is He Who created us according to His loving-kindness, Who descended to save us by the cross, and Who is to come again to resurrect us in the great day of His coming.

Vouchsafe me also, O Good One, according to Thy goodness, to behold Thy compassion in the day of judgement, and to sing Thee praise together with the righteous unto the ages of ages.


Blessed are they who have loved God, and because of their love for Him have come to despise all that is earthly.

Blessed are they who weep day and night, for they shall be delivered from future wrath.

Blessed are they who willingly humble themselves, for they shall be exalted.

Blessed are they who exercise restraint, for the joys of paradise await them.

Blessed are they who afflict their bodies with vigilance and feats of asceticism, for the delight of paradise has been prepared for them.

Blessed are they who have cleansed themselves of all evil thoughts, for the Holy Spirit dwells within them.

Blessed are they who with all their soul love God more than this world, for they shall be called friends of Christ.

Blessed are they who have willingly borne their cross and actively followed Christ, for they shall attain the Jerusalem on high.

Blessed are they who have girded their loins with truth and keep their lamps ready, expecting the heavenly Bridegroom for they shall reign with Him in the heavenly kingdom.

Blessed is he who has obtained the eyes of the mind and unfailingly applied them in contemplation of future blessings, for he shall inherit those good things to come.

Blessed is he who never fails to keep the day of judgement before his eyes, and endeavors to be found pleasing to God in that day.

Blessed is he who has conquered the carnal pleasures, for at the trial of the last day he shall be made bold.

Blessed is he who has wept for God on earth, for his fruits shall be borne in heaven.

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