Friday, April 04, 2008

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


There will come a time filled with fear and trembling, when all that each person has done in secret and in darkness shall be revealed--woe to the soul that does not have the Lord as her helper.

My heart sighs and my eyes long for tears, but my sin holds my mind captive, that I might not feel contrition and beseech the Lord not to cast me not outer darkness.

While we yet have strength, let us work for the Lord in rightness of heart, that in the time of sorrow we might have Him as our helper Who shall deliver us from all misfortune.

Like a man who walks with a candlestick and gives light to those who are with him, so does virtue, which always carries glory with it, also give light.

Until you resolved in your mind finally to leave this life and to consider this world and its glory but a despoiled tabernacle--until such a time, it will be impossible to overcome the earthly passions and worldly lusts that plunge a man into utter destruction and ruin.

It does not take a great effort to lay a foundation, but it is difficult to complete the building. The taller the building, the more work it presents for the builder right up until it is finished.

This is what happens to those who come to work for the Lord: first there is temptation, then sorrows, and next follow labor, despondency, nakedness, suffering, lack of privacy and humiliation. He will prevail who with all his heart dedicates himself to God's guidance and God's will. god requires from us only our consummate determination; it is He Who gives us strength and grants us victory.


Praise to the All-good One, Who because of His love has revealed glory to the sons of men! From dust did He create a voiceless being and adorn him with a soul, a proprietress of heavenly treasures.

He gave these lips of dust the capacity to magnify Him, so that through them all creation might sing praise unto Him.

Come, ye who are endowed with speech, let us sing praise unto Him until we repose in the sleep of death.

Every night shall we contemplate death which will stop our lips and lay silence upon us.

The righteous who spent their nights in vigilance live even dafter death; but the lawless, who reject the glory of the Son of God, are already dead while they yet live.

Let us rouse our bodies with psalms and spiritual hymns that we might join the wise virgins whom our Lord praised, and in vigilance behold His glory in the night that will cause the world to tremble.

Let us not wallow in pleasures, that we might behold His glory in the day of His coming. Let us stand before Him as watchful servants, ready for the hour when He will bring the sons of men to the judgement.

The body that burdened itself with prayer shall soar through the air on the day of the resurrection; without shame shall it behold its Lord; with Him shall it enter into the habitation of light, where it will be cherished by the angels and by those who here burdened themselves with vigilance and prayer.

Blessed is He Who made us instruments of His glory and put exaltation in our unworthy lips! Praise be to His compassion, for He has made those who were of dust concelebrants with the angels, that every night and at all times they might sing His holy name.


Praise God in the morning, ye children of the Church. Every morning let us exalt the Good One and worship Him, Who arranged the luminaries in the day and night skies.

When the veil of night is lifted and God's light has shone forth over creation, the arrival of morning wakes those who sleep. May Thy light, O Lord, irradiate our hearts.

Thyself, O our Lord, teach us to exalt Thee and put life in our souls. As Thou hast let us out of darkness, so also deliver us from gehenna.

According to Thy mercy, nourish the children of the Church, who have cleaved themselves unto Thee. May Thy loving-kindness be our helper, O Lord of the morning and the evening.

May Thy grace, O Lord, accompany us and lead us to the great morning. May Thy generous right hand shower us with blessings and bring us across the sea of fire.

May heaven and earth and all that is within them together exalt Thee at our return. Exaltation to Thee, to the Father Whom we worship, to Thine Only-begotten Son, and to the Holy Spirit.


Every evening mayest Thou be praised from the lips of all men! Thou gavest them the day to labor and work to acquire nourishment. Now, exhausted by their heavy labor, they thank Thee for granting them rest.

Who shall not worship Thee, Who carest for us men with such love? Thou leadest out the stars and causest the approach of evening which brings a halt to the day-long labors of those who have exhausted themselves with work.

The evening comes and consoles those who, in their struggle with hunger and thirst, have wearied and exhausted themselves with labor. Evening time comes and gladdens the world and its toilers.

Blessed is Thy greatness, that has from the beginning been ever mindful of us men!

Thou providest rest for both men and beasts in the the evening time. May Thy Cross, O Lord, which is the seal of the Church and protects Here children from Satan and his warriors, be the comfort of Thy sheep, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy life-creating blood!

Send Thy peace, O Lord, to all the ends of the universe, and may the Evil One flee from our midst.

May every tongue and every mouth offer Thee praise from all the ends of the earth.

With them do we also glorify Thee, O Lord, and Thy Father and the Holy Spirit.

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