St. Ephrem the Syrian on Psalm 1

Psalm 1: Beatitudes

Blessed is he who has in the Lord become completely free of all earthly things in this troublesome life, and who has loved the one good and merciful God.

Blessed is he who has become a doer of good works and, like a fruitful field, brings forth a great abundance of the fruits of life in the Lord.

Blessed is he who stands at prayer in service to God and, like the heavenly angels, at all times has pure thoughts and does not allow the evil one to approach him, that he may not enslave his soul and lead it away from God the Savior.

Blessed is he who loves sanctity (purity) like light, and has not defiled his body before the Lord with the shameful acts of the evil one.

Blessed is he who always retains in himself remembrance of God, for such a person on earth is like a heavenly angel, constantly celebrating the Lord with fear and love.

Blessed is he who loves repentance, which saves all sinners, and does not delight in sin, that he might not appear ungrateful before God our Savior.

Blessed is he who, like a courageous warrior defending heavenly treasures, preserves his soul and body without reproach in the Lord.

Blessed is he who, like the heavenly angels, has pure thoughts, and who with his lips sings praises to the One who has authority over all that breathes.

Blessed is he who has become like unto the seraphim and the cherubim and is never slothful in spiritual service, who ceaselessly glorifies the Lord.


  1. The text is from A Spiritual Psalter or Reflections on God: excerpted by Bishop Theophan the Recluse from the works of our Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian, translated by Antonina Janda; with The Life of St. Ephrem, translated by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen. St. John of Kronstadt Press: Liberty, Tennessee, 1997. It appears to be out of print, so is no longer available from the publisher, but is still available here.

    It’s a beautiful little book, 4.5 x 7 x 5/8 inches, printed in red and black, with illuminated red initial capitals and red capitals beginning every line, in a dark brown leather cover with gold imprinted titles and a yellow ribbon marker. Very few generally affordable books, it seems, are made with such care for beauty anymore, being a treat for the hands and eyes as much as for the mind and spirit.

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