Thursday, April 10, 2008

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


The holy Fathers, who loved God and become accomplished in sufferings and temptations, received from the Heaven King imperishable crowns with glory and praise.

But I, who am miserable, sin without any temptation; I irritate and embitter my Master.

However, having learned through experience of Thy vast and unutterable compassion, O Lord, I beseech the greatness of Thy grace. Save me and grant Thy servant his heart's request, from the treasures of Thy loving-kindness, that Thy grace might ceaselessly stream forth in my heart and lips like a river; that my heart might, through Thy grace, become a pure and undefiled temple that receives in itself the heavenly King; that the finger of grace might set my tongue perpetually in motion, like the string of a lyre, to the service of Thy glory, O Lover of mankind; and that I may ceaselessly, throughout the days of my life, glorify and bless Thee with love with both heart and lips.

O Christ the Savior! Grant me my heart's request, that my tongue might become like unto a sweet-sounding flute; that by comforting, enlightening and educating others I might pay off a small portion of my great debt and, protected by Thy mercy, I might be saved when every soul is set trembling before Thy terrifying glory.

Verily, O Master, only-begotten Son of God, hearken unto me and accept the petition of Thy servant as an offering. I, a sinner, am saved by Thy grace. to Thee Who savest a sinner by Thy compassion, is due all glory unto the ages.


A trumpet will sound from the heavens, saying: Awake, ye beloved of Christ. Lo, the heavenly King has come to give you repose and joy in eternal life in return for your ascetic labors. Awake and behold Christ the King, the immortal Bridegroom, whom you have loved. Behold His kingdom that He has prepared for you. Come and rejoice together with Him in inexpressible joy.

And those righteous and worthy of God shall soar high in the air in unutterable glory, and all the lawless will remain below with great shame. Those who have labored here shall receive bliss and joy; all the sinners shall receive shame and chastisement.

Blessed is he who has labored here to render himself worthy in that hour, and pitiful is he who has made himself unworthy in that hour. the clouds will gather all the saints from the earth and carry them to heaven, but angels will snatch away the lawless and cast them into the oven that burns with unquenchable fire.

Who shall give my head abundant waters and my eyes a fountain ever gushing tears, that I might weep for myself day and night, entreating God that I might not be found unworthy in the hour of His coming, and not hear from my Master the terrible sentence: go away from Me, O worker of iniquity; I know not from whence thou art.

O God on high, only Immortal One! Show this sinner Thy great compassion in that hour, that my hidden deceit might not be made known to the witnesses there: the angels, archangels, prophets, apostles, righteous and saints. Save this lawless one by Thy grace and compassion, and lead him into the sweet paradise together with the righteous who are perfect. Accept the supplication of thy servant, according to the prayers of the saints who have been pleasing to Thee!


O Mother of God, who surpassest every mind and word! O virgin who exceedest all earthly virginity, for even before the Divine birth wast thou a Virgin beyond all virgins--and such didst thou remain both during and after the birth!

Thee, O Lady do I beg, thee do I entreat, O merciful and man-befriending Mother of the merciful and man-befriending God: defend me at this hour if ever thous wilt do so, for now am I most in need of thy protection and thy help.

I am all a mire of filth and sin, a dwelling place of soul-corrupting passions. Yet I intend to approach the all-pure and terrifying Mysteries of thy Son and God, and therefore do I suffer fear, and trembling embraces me because of the unbearable multitude of my sins.

but if ever I am to remain without communion on the pretext of my unworthiness, then shall I fall into a great abyss of evil and bring upon myself great chastisement. I anguish over both the first alternative and the second.

to thee do I run; be kind to me, my all-pure Lady. Take advantage of thy motherly boldness before thy Son and god, and gain for me forgiveness of my former sins. Vouchsafe me to be made pure and enlightened by communion of the Mysteries, and show me how to spend the remainder of my life in repentance, purity and humility. Remain always with me in my thoughts, words and deeds, in all the movements of my soul and body, instructing me, leading me and guiding me, deflecting from em all hostile powers, and preserving me and providing thy servant, however worthless, with thy grace in every way.


O Giver of all good things, O fountain of healing and treasure of compassion, Thou only good and kindhearted God, Who ever grantest good things to those who ask! I beseech Thee, that thine abundant grace might descend upon me and gather together my mind and heal my hidden sores anew, for distractions and wandering thoughts constantly renew my secret sores.

O long-suffering Lord Who ever curest with grace and compassion, heal the great spiritual infirmities that are within me, a sinner!

I have nothing to give Thee, O Master, in return for Thy cures. And what price could be put on Thy cures? neither heaven nor earth can give a reward worthy of them. It is impossible to purchase these holy heavenly cures, for they are priceless. Thous givest them only in return for tears, O our Savior; and in return for bitter weeping dost Thou grant them to all.

O my Master, grant me who am unworthy daily tears and strength, that my heart, enraptured and streaming forth fountains of tears, might be ceaselessly illuminated by pure prayer, and that a few tears might blot out the weighty record of my sins, and a small measure of weeping might extinguish the fire that burns therein. For if I weep here, there will I be delivered from the inextinguishable fire.

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