Theophan the Recluse, bishop of Tambov (1815-1894), called “Recluse” for having, in 1872, gone into seclusion in a cell of the Vysha Monastery in his diocese, where he devoted himself to prayer, writing, woodcarving, and serving liturgy, at first with the community and later alone. Theophan was officially declared a Saint in the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988, though his saintliness during his life was apparent to all who interacted with him and benefitted from his literary work. Most notable amongst his writings was a translation into contemporary Russian of the Old Slavonic Dobrotolubye, a version of the Greek Philokalia, a collection of Patristic writings on the theme of hesychasm, “stillness,” the central theme of Eastern Christian spirituality. His version is still treasured.
In 1874, Theophan compiled a little book titled Псалтирь, или богомысленные размышления извлечения из творений Святого Отца нашего Ефрема Сирианина и расположенные по порядку Псалмов Давидовых, or, in English, A Psalter, or Pious Reflections Extracted from the Works of our Holy Father Ephrem the Syrian, arranged in the order of the Psalms of David. It was published in Moscow in 1874 by the publishing house of V. Gotye. The book comprises 150 blocks of excerpts from writings attributed to Ephrem the Syrian, arranged in 150 psalms and the 20 kathismata, “settings,” traditional Eastern Orthodox divisions of the Psalter for liturgical and prayer use. The book was intended for laypeople, adapting the monastic-directed texts to their needs. It was immediately popular.
In the 1990s, an English translation was undertaken and published as a series of articles in the journal Living Orthodoxy, a publication of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. The translators were the Nun Antonina (Janda), responsible for the body of the text, and Reader Isaac Lambertson, responsible for a Life of Saint Ephrem. The articles were then collected and published in book form by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, the first edition in 1997 and the second edition in 2004, titled similarly to the original: A Spiritual Psalter, or Reflections on God, excerpted by Bishop Theophan the Recluse from the works of our Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian arranged in the manner of the Psalms of David. Understandably, it is generally referred to as A Spiritual Psalter. Following Theophan’s division of the text into 150 Psalms and 20 kathismata, this English version also includes indication of the stasis, “standing,” divisions, also traditional to Easter Orthodox Psalter use. It is beautiful little book, bound in a bonded leather hardcover with gilt edges and a register (ribbon), and printed in red and black. This lovely little book has also gained popularity in English-speaking circles, particularly amongst Orthodox Christians.
I obtained my copy February 4, 2000 on a day walking around Berkeley, California, with a (then) new friend Hieromonk Sophronios (Goutzinis, now Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne). One thing I had always wanted to know, however, was where all the various excerpts of the writings of Ephrem the Syrian had originated. I have now done the work to find out, and must say, therein lies a tale.
Theophan did not translate the excerpts himself, whether from an Old Slavonic collection of Ephrem’s writings, the Pareneses, a popular work in Slavic Orthodox monastic circles (translated from Greek in the tenth century), from Greek (in which Theophan had become fluent by spending a number of years in Jerusalem, where he was first ordained), or from Syriac (which he apparently did not know). In his book, beneath the numbers and titles of each Psalm, are references which are unexplained in his Preface, e.g., “(1, 529)” under Psalm 1. Within the references included with other Psalms, Theophan used some work of at least five volumes. What, however, was this massive work?
The answer is that on May 17, 1840, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church granted permission to the Moscow Theological Academy to commence a project to translate Patristic works into contemporary Russian. The Moscow Theological Academy had, since 1814, been a part of the Holy Trinity Lavra of Saint Sergius, founded in 1337 by Saint Sergius of Radonezh, one of the most renowned of Russian Saints. At the time, the Trinity-Sergius Lavra was one of the wealthiest institutions in Russia, and so was able to finance the project of the Academy, as well as numerous reprint editions. The publications began in 1843 and continued right up until the 1917 revolution. The translations were published in a serial, titled Творениям святых отцов в русском переводе, Works of the Holy Fathers in Russian Translation, with TCO as an efficient abbreviation. Initially, they were directed by the Holy Synod that one Patristic writer at a time be translated and published at a time, though, due to the exigencies of translation and publication, this block publication author by author was eventually abandoned. An account of the history of the project, as well as bibliographic information on all the TCO volumes and even copies (in djvu format) of the initial publications are all available here.
In regards to the work of Theophan, the volumes of the works of Ephrem the Syrian were published in eight parts, two volumes per part, from 1843 to 1853. (Some further works were published in 1896-1897, after Theophan’s death, but they are irrelevant here.). These translations are the works that Theophan drew his excerpts from to compile his Psalter.
Interesingly, and somewhat frustratingly for my curious task, the reference numbers given in Theophan’s Psalter do not correspond with the initial printing of the TCO translations, nor do they correspond to any of the several reprint editions that I checked. Whichever edition he used, and for which his references would be useful, is now located with the rest of his library in the State Library of Russia. A project was initiated several years ago (Kashirin, 2016) to track down all the volumes of Theophan’s library out of the millions in the State Library, but it is difficult as the only indication of his ownership is their being stamped with the seal of the parish library to which he bequeathed his library after his death. Two separate, but occasionally vague, lists of his library were published soon after his death, but they do not include information about the TCO translation reprints, only a general number for Patristic works of “around 80 volumes” (Kolosov, 1895).
So, for my tracking down the excerpts, I used not only a copy of the first, 1874, edition of Theophan’s Psalter, images of the initial printings of the TCO Ephrem translations, but also a and modern electronic and searchable version of Theophan’s Psalter, a 1993-1995 reprint edition of a 1900-1905 reprint of the TCO Ephrem translations published by Trinity-Sergius Lavra, and two separate website presentations of the Russian Ephrem translations, one based on a 1907 reprint, the other undated. Through a combination of various of the above, I was able to track down every work from which Theophan took the excerpts he included in his Psalter. The results are presented below.
Some additional points of interest are worth sharing. The TCO translations of the works attributed to Ephrem the Syrian were done from the 18th century publication Sancti Patris Nostri Ephraemi Syri Opera Omnia Quae Exstant Graece, Syriace, Latine in sex tomos distributa, six volumes (as it says), published in Rome 1732, 1743, 1746, 1737, 1740, 1743, under the auspices of Pope Clement XII (r. 1730-1740) and Pope Benedict XIV (r. 1740-1758). These six massive volumes are commonly referred to in toto as the work of the renowned Orientalist Joseph Simon Assemani (being of Lebanese Maronite origin, his given name was Yusuf ibn Siman as-Simani), but he is responsible solely for the first three (texts in Greek and Latin) volumes, in which he included in parallel with the Greek text apparently the Latin translation of Ambrose Traversari (1386-1439), and/or that of Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) [This point is something I will clarify in the future]. The Jesuit monk Petrus Benedictus (also being of Maronite origin, his given name was Butrus Mubarak) was responsible for volumes four and five (the first two of the Syriac volumes), and Joseph Assemani’s nephew Stephano Evodio Assemani was responsible for volume six (the third of the Syriac volumes). The Latin translations in the Syriac volumes are not of the same high quality of those by Traversari and/or Vasari found in the Greek volumes, but are instead paraphrastic and often inaccurate. The majority of the Syriac texts in these latter three volumes are authentic works of Ephrem, though a large portion are not. The authentic works have benefitted from critical editions by E. Beck, published in numerous volumes in the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, Scriptores Syri series. (see Brock.) The Greek texts of the first three volumes, on the other hand, have largely not benefitted from critical texts.
The body of work in Greek attributed to Ephrem (in scholarly parlance, “Ephraem Graecus”) is massive, second only in amount to that of John Chrysostom. However, but for a few pages worth, it is generally recognized as either inauthentic, or, at best, dubious. Aside from most of the works existing solely in Greek with no Syriac version, they often display metrical or other characteristics specific to the Greek language, and therefore requiring their having been written in that language. Ephrem did not write in Greek, and almost certainly did not know the language. Additionally, various indicators of origin later than Ephrem’s time appear in much of the Greek text. Theological concepts and terminology dating to later periods is one obvious giveaway. References reflective of a context in coenobitic monasticism, an institution unfamiliar to Ephrem, is another. Another factor is reference to various New Testament books that would not have been used by Ephrem, including the four separate Gospels (he knew and quoted from only Tatian’s Diatessaron in his authentic works), most of the Catholic Epistles (2 Peter, 2-3 John, Jude), and the Apocalypse. The latter were agreed upon as canonical only later in the Syrian context, and were added to the Syriac New Testament in the Harklean version of roughly the second quarter of the sixth century. In addition, various of these Greek works either appear in manuscripts under other names (e.g., the prayers in Assemani 3.492-552 are those found in the Horologion written by Thekaras, ms BNF grec 331), or are explicilty attributed by other writers to authors other than Ephrem (e.g., the prayer in Assemani 3.485b-f, beginning Μεγαλύνον μεγαλύνον σε κύριε ὅτι έπεῖδες ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσίν μου, is attributed to Eustratios by Symeon the New Theologian [PG 120.681], and, with a few differences, again attributed to Eustratios in a manuscript [Vat. gr. 341, f. 228v.] dated 1021). Various fragments by other authors also appear scattered throughout these Greek Pseudo-Ephrem works, amongst whom are (Pseudo-)Macarius, Palladius, Isaac the Syrian, Anastasius of Sinai, John Chrysostom, and Gregory of Nazianzen.
The Greek works attributed to Ephrem the Syrian that certainly contain some authentic writings of Ephrem preserved in Syriac are few. Study of these Greek texts, despite their longstanding appreciation in monastic circles from the first millennim onwerd, is not a popular subject, likely due to the lack of critical editions. This is something of a chicken and egg situation: without more study, the texts will not benefit from critical editions; without critical editions, study of the texts is not appealing. In general, the corpus of Ephraem Graecus, “Greek Ephrem,” is considered inauthentic. One must add the proviso that such inauthenticity is simply a first impression, and by no means intended to be the final word on the matter. Further work may bring to light more connections to the authentic works of Ephrem well-known in Syriac.
That Theophan used the TCO Russian translations of Greek and Syriac texts attributed to Ephrem the Syrian is clear in even the first spot-check one might do in comparing his Psalter text to the corresponding TCO translation. Most often, Theophan excerpted texts largely without altering them. Often enough, however, he would extract elements from longer passages, and paraphrastically link these together, effectively creating an epitome of the longer passage. I tracked down all of the passages, whether quoted or epitomized, in the Russian texts, and have provided detailed references to the location of each, along with an English translation of the source texts.
The reference paragraphs are oraganized systematically. First comes the Russian title of the work as found in the initial printing of the TCO translations. This is followed by two page-range references for that work as a whole. The first, preceded by “TCO,” indicates the Part and page numbers of the work in the initial publication; the second, following the semicolon, is the volume and page reference for that work in the reprint edition (published by the Moscow Patriarchate, 1993-1995, itself a reprint of a Trinity-Sergius Lavra reprint edition of 1900-1905) from which I draw the excerpt references below. Then follows the Assemani Roman edition volume and page range of the work, preceded by “Assemani,” along with the Latin title given that work in the Assemani volumes. I then provide an English translation of the Latin title. Then follows the number of that work, for the Greek texts only, assigned to it in the Clavis Patrorum Graecorum, the standard reference for Greek Patristic works, in which each work by each Patristic author is assigned a particular reference number. Finally, I provide excerpt references that describe the location within the work of the exact texts Theophan excerpted. When the TCO translations provide internal references (e.g., the numbered Beatitudes), those are used. More often, there is no such internal reference provided, so I give a reference to volume and pages (with or without reference to paragraphs and lines). Following the reference paragraph for each Psalm, an English translation of the TCO Russian text, the source of Theophan’s excerpts, is provided. (I used Google Translate for these, and then edited the English results quite hastily; any oddities or mistakes are my own, and I would appreciate being informed of them. In addition, if the reader would like a copy of a fuller presentation including both the Russian texts and their English translations, leave me a comment and I will contact you. It is roughly 220 pages worth of material.)
I have separated the material in the Psalms in two separate blocks. The first block is arranged in the order of Theophan’s Psalter, providing references and texts psalm by psalm. The second block, however, is that of the Paraenetic from which Theophan drew the largest number of excerpts. In the case of these, it seemed fitting to provide the entire section of the Paraenetica from which Theophan drew his excerpts. As he drew more than one psalm’s contents from some of these, rather than repeat the material, they are arranged in the order they appear in the Paraenetica, preceded by references to show from which section the various psalms’ excerpts were drawn.
The last part of this project, which is to follow and will be presented separately, is to indicate within Theophan’s Psalter all the biblical quotations, provided with citations. These are numerous, and lack indication and citations in both Theophan’s original and the English Spiritual Psalter translation.
First, the following is a very short summary of the sources used by Theophan in compiling his Psalter:
Psalm 1: Beatitudes, 55 chapters 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
Psalm 2: Sermon on the Passion of the Saviour
Psalm 3: Confession, or Supplication to God
Psalm 4: Paraenetica 74
Psalm 5: Paraenetica 58
Psalm 6: Paraenetica 28
Psalm 7: Beatitudes, 20 chapters, end
Psalm 8: Paraenetica 13
Psalm 9: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 2
Psalm 10: On the sufferings of the soul
Psalm 11: Reproof of oneself, also Confession; Ascetical sermon
Psalm 12: Paraenetica 11
Psalm 13: Paraenetica 17
Psalm 14: Paraenetica 19
Psalm 15: Sermon on the transfiguration of our Lord and God the Saviour Jesus Christ
Psalm 16: Ascetical sermon
Psalm 17: Ascetical sermon
Psalm 18: Supplications to God 3
Psalm 19: Supplications to God 4
Psalm 20: Supplications to God 6
Psalm 21: Paraenetica 12
Psalm 22: Sermon on virtues and vices; Hortatory sermon (1)
Psalm 23: Sermon on the transfiguration of our Lord and God the Saviour Jesus Christ
Psalm 24: Supplications to God 7
Psalm 25: Supplications to God 8
Psalm 26: Paraenetica 13
Psalm 27: To the careless soul
Psalm 28: On the proper manner of living
Psalm 29: Sermon on the transfiguration of our Lord and God the Saviour Jesus Christ
Psalm 30: On remorse
Psalm 31: On remorse
Psalm 32: Supplications to God 8
Psalm 33: On love
Psalm 34: Paraenetica 16
Psalm 35: Prayers to the most holy Mother of God 1
Psalm 36: Beatitudes, 55 chapters 15-22, 27
Psalm 37: Sermon on the transfiguration of our Lord and God the Saviour Jesus Christ
Psalm 38: Hortatory sermon (2)
Psalm 39: Hortatory sermon (2)
Psalm 40: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 1
Psalm 41: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 2
Psalm 42: Paraenetica 19
Psalm 43: On the proper manner of living
Psalm 44: Paraenetica 39, 40
Psalm 45: Hortatory sermon (3)
Psalm 46: Prayers to the most holy Mother of God 2
Psalm 47: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 2
Psalm 48: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 2
Psalm 49: Paraenetica 19
Psalm 50: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 4
Psalm 51: Beatitudes, 55 chapters 31-34, 36-41
Psalm 52: Paraenetica 21
Psalm 53: Sermon on deceased fathers
Psalm 54: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 3
Psalm 55: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 3
Psalm 56: Tetrasyllabic sermon
Psalm 57: On the proper manner of living
Psalm 58: On the fear of souls
Psalm 59: On the fear of souls
Psalm 60: Prayers to the most holy Mother of God 3
Psalm 61: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 3
Psalm 62: Prayers to the most holy Mother of God 3
Psalm 63: Paraenetica 22
Psalm 64: Beatitudes, 55 chapters 42-46, 48-49
Psalm 65: Paraenetica 23
Psalm 66: Paraenetica 23
Psalm 67: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 3
Psalm 68: How the soul should pray to God with tears when tempted by the adversary
Psalm 69: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 4
Psalm 70: How the soul should pray to God with tears when tempted by the adversary
Psalm 71: Paraenetica 25
Psalm 72: Paraenetica 26
Psalm 73: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 8
Psalm 74: Paraenetica 26
Psalm 75: Paraenetica 27
Psalm 76: Paraenetica 27
Psalm 77: On the proper manner of living
Psalm 78: How the soul should pray to God with tears when tempted by the adversary
Psalm 79: Paraenetica 29
Psalm 80: On the inconstancy of human will
Psalm 81: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 4
Psalm 82: Paraenetica 30
Psalm 83: Paraenetica 31
Psalm 84: Paraenetica 32
Psalm 85: Beatitudes, 55 chapters, 50, 53, 54, 55; Beatitudes, 20 chapters, 1-4
Psalm 86: Paraenetica 62
Psalm 87: Paraenetica 34
Psalm 88: Prayers to the most holy Mother of God 2-3
Psalm 89: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 4
Psalm 90: Paraenetica 42
Psalm 91: Paraenetica 44
Psalm 92: Paraenetica 62
Psalm 93: On the proper manner of living; Paraenetic Sermons to an Egyptian monk (50 Paraenesis) 2
Psalm 94: Paraenetica 63
Psalm 95: Paraenetica 64
Psalm 96: Paraenetica 65
Psalm 97: Paraenetica 66
Psalm 98: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 5
Psalm 99: That it is not proper to laugh and to exalt, but rather to weep and to mourn for, ourselves
Psalm 100: Paraenetica 67
Psalm 101: Beatitudes, 20 chapters, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20
Psalm 102: Paraenetica 74
Psalm 103: Paraenetica 69
Psalm 104: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 5
Psalm 105: Prayers to the most holy Mother of God 6
Psalm 106: Paraenetica 70
Psalm 107: That it is not proper to laugh and to exalt, but rather to weep and to mourn for, ourselves
Psalm 108: On the eight thoughts
Psalm 109: On the sufferings of the soul
Psalm 110: On repentence
Psalm 111: Prayers to the most holy Mother of God 6
Psalm 112: On remorse
Psalm 113: On remorse
Psalm 114: Hortatory sermon (2)
Psalm 115: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 6
Psalm 116: Funeral dirges 78
Psalm 117: On the eight thoughts
Psalm 118: Thirteen Sermons on the Birth of the Lord (Hymns on the Nativity), 2
Psalm 119: Paraenetic Sermons to an Egyptian monk (50 Paraenesis) 42
Psalm 120: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 6
Psalm 121: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 6
Psalm 122: Paraenetic Sermons to an Egyptian monk (50 Paraenesis) 42
Psalm 123: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 6
Psalm 124: Paraenetica 74
Psalm 125: On the pefection of a monk
Psalm 126: On the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
Psalm 127: Sermon on the general resurrection, on patience and on love, and on the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
Psalm 128: On the pearl
Psalm 129: On patience
Psalm 130: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 1
Psalm 131: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 7
Psalm 132: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 8
Psalm 133: Paraenetica 20
Psalm 134: Funeral dirges 83
Psalm 135: Sermon on the judgment and the resurrection
Psalm 136: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 5
Psalm 137: All is vanity and suffering of spirit (Eccl. 1.2)
Psalm 138: Paraenetica 74
Psalm 139: Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, 5
Psalm 140: Paraenetica 56
Psalm 141: Prayers to the most holy Mother of God 7
Psalm 142: On the beatitutdes and woes
Psalm 143: Woe to us, for we have sinned (Lam. 5.16)
Psalm 144: On the beatitutdes and woes
Psalm 145: Funeral dirges 80
Psalm 146: On patience and the end of this world, or the Second Coming, also on meditation on the divine Scriptures, and what are the degrees of usefullness in stillness and silence
Psalm 147: Prayers to the most holy Mother of God 7
Psalm 148: Sermon on the judgment and the resurrection
Psalm 149: Funeral dirges 75
Psalm 150: Funeral dirges 76
Source texts for A Spiritual Psalter
Блаженства. 55 глав. TCO 2.7–17; 1.341–350. Assemani 1.282–292: Веаtitudines, capita quinquaginta quinque. Beatitudes, 55 chapters. CPG 3935 (1): nos. 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
1. Blessed is he who in the Lord has become completely free from everything earthly in this vain life and has loved the only Good and merciful God.
2. Blessed is he who has become a doer of virtues and, like a fertile field, brought forth a high heap of fruits of life in the Lord.
5. Blessed is he who, standing at God’s service and at prayer, like an angel of heaven every hour has pure thoughts and does not give access to the evil one, so that he does not take his soul into captivity and away from God the Saviour.
7. Blessed is he who loves holy things like the light, and has not defiled his body before the Lord with the dark deeds of the evil one.
10. Blessed is he who always has in himself the remembrance of God, because on earth he, like an angel of heaven, will fully administer to the Lord with fear and love.
11. Blessed is he who loves repentance that saves sinners, and does not agree to do evil, becoming ungrateful before our Saviour God.
12. Blessed is he who, dwelling in his cell, like a courageous warrior guards the treasure of the Kingdom, that is, he keeps his body and soul blameless in the Lord.
13. Blessed is he who, dwelling in a cell, like an angel in heaven has pure thoughts and with his lips singing songs to Him who has power over every breathing thing.
14. Blessed is he who has become like Seraphim and Cherubim and has never been lazy for spiritual ministry, incessantly glorifying the Lord.
O страданиях Спасителя. TCO 4.239–246; 3.218–223. Assemani 3.244–248. Sermo de passione Salvatoris. Sermon on the Passion of the Saviour. CPG 4025: 3.222 (sect. 101) (1st full parag. to end of sect.)–223.
I bow down to You, Lord, I bless You, Good One, I beg You, Holy One. I fall down to You, Lover of mankind, and glorify You, Christ, because You, the Only Begotten, the Lord of all, the only sinless, were put to death for me, an unworthy sinner—and to the death of the cross, in order to free the soul of the sinner from sinful bonds. And how will I repay You for this, Lord? Glory to You, Lover of mankind! Glory to You, Merciful! Glory to You, Long-Suffering! Glory to You, forgiving of all falls! Glory to You, who descended to save our souls! Glory to You, incarnate in the womb of the Virgin! Glory to You, who has borne the bonds! Glory to You, who accepted the scourging! Glory to You, devoted to mockery! Glory to You, crucified! Glory to You, buried! Glory to You, risen! Glory to You, preached! Glory to You, in whom we have believed! Glory to You, ascended to heaven! Glory to You, who is seated with great glory at the right hand of the Father, and the crowd who comes with the glory of the Father and with the Holy Angels to judge every soul that has humiliated Your holy sufferings! In this trembling and terrible hour, when the heavenly forces will move, when before Your glory with fear and trembling Angels, Archangels, Cherubim and Seraphim will come together, when the foundations of the earth are shaken and everything that breathes will be terrified by Your incomparably great glory—at that hour let Your hand cover me under Your wings, and may my soul be delivered from the terrible fire and gnashing of teeth, and pitch darkness, and eternal weeping, so that I, blessing, may say: “Glory to Him who willed to save the sinner according to the great bounties of His benevolence!”
Молитвы на разные случаи. TCO 7.103–118; 4.6–9. Assemani 1.199–201: Confessio seu Precatio ad deum. Confession, or Supplication to God. CPG 3929: sect. 2.
Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed (Jer. 17:14). Wise One and merciful Doctor, I implore Your goodness, heal the ulcers of my soul and enlighten the eyes of my mind, so that I can understand Your eternal plan about me! And since my heart and my mind have gone mad, may Your grace, this true salt, correct them. What will I say to You, Forerunner, who tests hearts and wombs? You alone know that like a waterless land my soul longs for You, and my heart longs for You. And Your grace has always satisfied the one who loves You. Therefore, as you always listened to me, so now do not despise my prayer. For behold, my mind, like a captive, seeks You, the only true Saviour. Therefore, send your grace soon to come to my aid, and it will satisfy my hunger, quench my thirst. For I crave you insatiably, Lord. Yet who can be sated with You if he truly loves You and longs for the light of Your truth? Fill my petitions, Giver of light, and grant me through my prayer, exude in my heart a single drop of Your grace: let the flame of Your love kindle in my heart, like a fire in a forest, and like thorns and thistles, let evil thoughts be consumed. Give to me richly and without measure, like God to man; grant to me, like the King of kings, increase like a good father.
Блаженства. 20 глав. TCO 2.18–27; 1.351–355. Assemani 1.292–299: Beautitudines aliae, capita viginti. Beatitudes, 20 chapters. CPG 3935 (2): 1.354–355 (end of work).
You, Christ the Saviour, have become for me the path of life leading to the Father. This path is my joy, and the end of it is the Kingdom of Heaven. You, Lord Jesus, the Son of God, have become for me the way of life and enlightenment, and, filled with love for You, I myself have received gifts from Your source. Your grace in the heart of Your servant has become light and joy, which are sweeter than honey and honeycomb for the lips of Your servant. Your grace in the soul of Your servant has become a treasure, has enriched poverty, has driven out need and rottenness. Your grace has become for Your servant a refuge, strength, intercession, exaltation, praise, food for all life. How will Your servant, Lord, be silent, having tasted the great sweetness of Your love and grace? For I had opened my mouth unworthily. How can my tongue again find in itself so much strength to praise and glorify the Giver of blessings in proportion to the profit? And how dare I again put an obstacle before the waves of grace pouring into the heart of the sinner, full of sweetness in so many gifts? I will sing the glory of the Lord of heaven, who gave heavenly gifts to His servant. In Your many gifts, I will magnify Your grace, O Christ the Saviour. Exalting grace, I myself magnify grace. I will not cease with my tongue singing Your grace, O Lord; my lips will not stop, emitting spiritual sweet songs. Your love draws me to You, Saviour, the praise of my life. Your grace makes me sweet, that my mind is drawn after you. May my heart be a good land for You, receiving the seed in itself, and let Your grace water it with the dew of eternal life. May Your grace reap the good harvest of hearts on earth: contrition, worship, sanctity and everything that is always pleasing to You. Return my soul to the walled paradise of delight together with Your acquired sheep, so that my soul may be found in the light. You carried that newfound sheep on Your shoulders, and attract my unworthy soul with Your hand, and bring both of them to the Most Pure and Immortal Father, so that, in the midst of heavenly delight, you can say to me with all the saints: “Glory to the Immortal Father, worship the One Who gave heavenly gifts to the lowly so that he too would bring a dram of glory to the King of all forever!” Amen.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.31–32 (sect. 2).
I sigh like a publican, I shed tears like a harlot, I cry out like a robber, I cry out to You like a prodigal son: O Christ, lover of mankind, Saviour of the world, true light, strengthen my exhausted soul, relaxed from intoxication with sensuality; heal her scabs and the delusions of my mind, wash her, blackened by the festering blood of sin, with your true Blood. Now is a favorable time, now is the day of salvation. According to the abundance of Your mercy, convert me, O long-suffering one, and deliver me from all bliss of sensuality. May the cave of passions not completely burn me, extinguish it with the dew of Your mercy. Alas for me! You, Lord, gave me the light of knowledge, and I rejected it. Alas for me! I am always faint and exhausted, and Your grace never ceases to visit and heal me, but I every hour rejected and reject the gift of her healing. How many gifts, Lord, have You endowed always endow me with, a sinner, while I, a cursed one, am deliberately ungrateful. Your grace always delights, always enlightens, ceaselessly strengthens me, and I always reject it and again turn into my bitterness. You, the All-Good, remind me of death, eternal torment, and you will always draw me to life in order to save me; but I always remain malevolent. Therefore, I will not have any excuse then.
I knock at the door of Your mercy, O Lord; yes, it will open to me. I can’t stop begging to get what I ask for; as one persistent, I seek pardon. Be patient with me, the perverse one; deliver me from the sins that possess me; and, having become healthy, may I rise from the bed of pernicious sin. Deliver me from all evil deeds before the end befalls me. Who will praise You in the grave? (Psalm 6: 5). They whitened my defiled tunic before a terrible command came out and overtook me, unprepared and shameful. Deliver the contrite soul from the lips of the lion and save it by grace and bounty through the prayers of our All-Pure Lady the Theotokos and all the saints, because You are blessed for ages of ages! Amen.
O страстях. TCO 1.253–258; 1.187–191. Assemani 1.144–147: De passionibus animi. On the sufferings of the soul. CPG 3914: 1.187–189 (beg.).
Before Your glory, Christ the Saviour, I want to portray all my bitterness, all slyness and foolishness, but I will also describe all Your pleasantness and sweetness with which You treated me for the sake of Your love for mankind.
From my mother’s womb I began to become bitter and turn Your grace into nothing, and did not care for good. You yourself, Lord, the Son of God, according to the multitude of Your compassions, patiently looked upon all my craftiness. Your goodness exalts my head, O Lord, but it humbles itself daily because of my sins. The same grace of Yours again draws me to life, but instead I strive towards death with all zeal, because the same poor habit of weakness draws me towards itself, and I submit to it.
It is a terrible and very simple skill of the passions: It binds thought, as it were, with insoluble bonds, and these bonds always seem to me longed for, because I myself want to be so bound. My habits are entangling me in nets, and I am glad to be entangled. I plunge into the most unbearable depth—and it pleases me. The enemy renews my bonds daily, because he sees how glad I am for the variety of my bonds. My enemy is very skillful: he does not bind me with those bonds that I dislike, but, on the contrary, always imposes such bonds and snares that I accept with great pleasure; for he knows that my will is stronger than me; and in the twinkling of an eye, he imposes the bonds he wants.
It is worthy of sobbing and crying; this is the great shame that I am bound by my desires. I can break the bonds with one wave and free myself from all the snares, but I do not want to do this, being overcome by our weaknesses and arbitrarily subservient to passions as to customs. It is even more terrible and makes me weep tears of shame that I do not free myself from the will of my enemy. I am bound by the bonds that he imposes on me; and I mortify myself with those passions that delight him. I can break the bond, but I don’t want to; I can avoid the nets—but I’m not in a hurry. What is more grievous than this weeping and sobbing? What other shame is more painful than this? For I will affirmatively say that it is the most bitter shame when a person fulfills the will of the enemy.
Knowing my bonds, every hour I hide them from all viewers under a reverent appearance. And my conscience denounces me in this matter, hourly telling me: “Why are you not sober, poor man? Do you not know that the day of the Last Judgment has come and is near, on which everything will be revealed? Rise up as one strong! Break your bonds! You have the power to allow and to bind.” This it always tells me. My conscience denounces it, but I do not want to free myself from bonds and snares. Every day I lament and sigh about it, and it turns out that I am bound by the same passions. I am sorry and negligent, I do not make progress for the good of my soul, because I am not afraid to be in the net of death. My body is clothed with a beautiful appearance of reverence, and my soul is enmeshed in indecent thoughts. To viewers, I am entirely reverent, and inside is almost a wild beast. I delight in my speech, passing it on to people, and I myself am always bitter and sinful in intent.
So, what should I do on the day of the judgment, when God will reveal everything before the judgment seat? I myself know that I will be punished then, if now I do not appease the Judge with tears. That is why He does not withhold bounty even in anger, as He expects my conversion. For he does not want to see anyone burn in the fire, but it is pleasing to Him that all people enter life.
Therefore, trusting in Your bounties, O Lord, the Son of God, I fall down to You, and I beg You: look at me, too, lead my soul out of the prison of iniquity, and let a ray of light shine in my mind, before I am departed to the terror awaiting me: a judgment at which there is no room at all for repentance for bad deeds!
First part: Обличение себе самому и исповедь. TCO 1.32–39; 1.23–29. Assemani 1.18–23: Reprehensio sui ipsius atque Confessio. Reproof of oneself, also Confession. CPG 3906: 1.28 (last sent. of parag. 2 thr. sent. 1 of parag. 4).
Second part: Слово подвижническое. TCO 1.68–115; 1.49–84. Assemani 1.40–70: Sermo asceticus. Ascetical sermon. CPG 3909: 1.69–70 (line 5 fr. btm—p. 70 line 11).
…. No one can heal my illness, except Him who knows the depths of the heart.
How many times have I set limits within myself, and built walls between myself and between lawless sin and those opponents who came out against me to do battle! My thought overstepped the limits and destroyed the walls, because the walls were not secured by the fear of the All-perfect, and the walls were not based on sincere repentance.
That is why I am now knocking on the door to open it for me; I keep asking in order to receive what I ask for; as a shameless one, I seek mercy for myself, Lord. ….
Approach Him fearlessly, fall down, sigh, cry and say to Him: “My Lord, my Saviour! Why did You leave me? Have mercy on me, for You alone are the Lover of mankind. Save me, a sinner, for You alone are sinless. Hide me from the filth of my iniquities, so that I do not get bogged down for ages of ages. Deliver me from the mouth of the enemy, for behold, as a lion roars, and wants to devour me (1 Pet. 5.8), raise up Your strength, and come to save me (Ps. 79.3). Flash Your lightning, and destroy his strength (Ps. 143.6), that he might fear and be scattered from Your presence, because he does not have the strength to stand before You and in the face of those who love You. As soon as he sees the signs of Your grace, he comes into fear of You, and the one who is ashamed withdraws from them. And now, Lord, save me, because I have come running to You.”
Слово на преображение господа и бога спасителя нашего иисуса христа. TCO 2.147–159; 2.50–59. Assemani 2.41–49: Sermo in transfigurationem domini et dei salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi. Sermon on the transfiguration of our Lord and God the Saviour Jesus Christ. CPG 3939: 2.55 (parag. 2)–56 (thr. parag. 1).
And the Father called out: “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” He called out for the sake of the Son, who was not separated from the glory of the Divine. For the Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit are one nature, one power, one essence, and one kingdom. Of this one He spoke under a low name, but of a terrible glory. For Mary called Him Son, when not separated from the glory of His Godhead by human body. For one is God who appeared in the world in a body. His glory proclaimed the Divine nature, which is from the Father, and His body proclaimed the human nature, which is from Mary—both natures converged and united in one hypostasis. The only one from the Father—the only-begotten—and from Mary. Whoever divides natures in Him will be separated from His Kingdom, and whoever merges them will not be deprived of His life. Whoever denies that Mary gave birth to God, he will not see the glory of His Divinity, and whoever denies that He wore sinless flesh, he will not receive salvation and the life that is bestowed through His body. The works themselves bear witness, and the divine powers teach the discerning ones that He is the True God. And His sufferings show that He is a true man.
Слово подвижническое. TCO 1.68–115; 1.49–84. Assemani 1.40–70: Sermo asceticus. Ascetical sermon. CPG 3909: 1.77 (parag. 2 thr. last full sent. on 77), 78 (last parag. sent. 2)–79 (parag. 2 last 3 sents.).
O Good One, the Lover of mankind! If Your grace is abundantly poured out on the grass, on flowers, and on every green thing of the earth, then much more will You grant what you ask to Your servant, who pleads with You. For behold, the air is clearing, and the birds vary their voices, singing the glory of Your great wisdom. Now the whole Earth is clothed in a robe woven without human hands, strewn with flowers, rejoicing and celebrating two holidays: one—for the sake of her son, the firstborn Adam, because he was created from her; the other—for the sake of his Lord, because, having descended, He walked on it. ….
Sprinkle my heart, O Good One, the Lover of mankind, with the dew of Your grace. As a sown land without a visitation of Your grace cannot raise its plants, so my heart without Your grace is unable to speak what is pleasing to You and bear the fruit of righteousness. Behold, the rain nourishes the plants, and the trees are crowned with various flowers, so may the dew of Your grace enlighten my mind and adorn it with flowers of remorse, humility, love, and patience. ….
“May my prayer draw near before you” (Psalm 118.170). And grant me your holy seed, so that I can bring you handfuls full of remorse and confession, and say: “Glory to Him who gave what is brought to Him,” and worship the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.
Слово подвижническое. TCO 1.68–115; 1.49–84. Assemani 1.40–70: Sermo asceticus. Ascetical sermon. CPG 3909: 1.78 (2d. sent. 1st full parag.)–79 (parag. til quote).
Sprinkle my heart, O good One, Lover of mankind, with the dew of Your grace. As a sown land without a visitation of Your grace cannot raise its plants, so my heart without Your grace is unable to speak what is pleasing to You and bear the fruit of righteousness. Behold, the rain nourishes the plants, and the trees are crowned with various flowers, so may the dew of Your grace enlighten my mind and adorn it with flowers of remorse, humility, love and patience.
And what else can I say? Behold, my prayer is weak, my iniquities are great and strong, my sins suppress me, my weaknesses oppress me: may Your grace prevail over them, O Lord! You who have opened the eyes of the blind, open the eyes of my mind, so that I can constantly look at Your beauty. You who have opened the mouth of the one who was subjugated, open my mouth to the glory and praise of Your grace. You who have set a limit to the sea with the word of Your command, set a limit to my heart with Your grace, so that from neither the right hand to the left will I cease pleading of You. You, who gave water to a rebellious and contrary people in the desert, give me remorse and tears to my eyes, so that day and night I will mourn the days of my life with humility, love and with a pure heart.
Молитвы на разные случаи. TCO 7.103–118; 4.9–10. Assemani 3.482–483: Precatio. Supplication. CPG 4068: sect. 3.
Righteous and praiseworthy God, eternal God, hear the sinner man in this hour! Listen to me, God, listen in Your palace, without remembering, with this prayer of mine, the everlasting and incessant disobedience of my insignificance. Hear me, Lord, hear me with prayer as fire, like Your prophet in former times (1 Kings 18.36). Yea, God of holy powers, yea, the Creator of incorporeal, yea, You who said “you will ask … and it will be done to you” (Mark 11.24). Do not abhor me, one with unclean, defiled my lips and covered with sins. Listen to me, Who made the promise to listen to those who call upon You in righteousness, and direct the feet of Your servants and ours on the path of peace. Be merciful to the gentle servants on the wrong path. O You who recited “be … as simple as doves” (Matt. 10.16), I have cried to You with all my heart. God, O God, hear me (Ps. 119.145), Hope of all the ends of the earth and of those that are in the sea far away (Psalm 64.6). Forbid all unclean spirits—let them flee from the presence of Your servants. Take up shield and armor and rise to help them. Draw your sword and block those who pursue them. Say, say, Lord, O Lord, to their souls: “I am your salvation!” (Ps. 34.2–3). May their spirit of fear, the spirit of despondency, the spirit of pride and all malice depart from their thought. Let every kind of incitement produced by the devil’s action be extinguished in them. May their body, soul, and spirit be enlightened with the light of Your knowledge. And may they, having come into the unity of faith and knowledge of the holy, worshipful Trinity, as a man is perfected in the measure of time, glorify for the ages of ages with the Angels and with all who have been pleasing to God from time immemorial, the all-honorable and protective name of the Father with the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Молитвы на разные случаи. TCO 7.103–118; 4.10–18. Assemani 3.482–491: Precatio. Supplication. CPG 4069: 4.10–11 (all sect. 4).
Sovereign Lord, God of heaven and earth, King of the ages, be pleased to open the door of repentance to me, because I implore You with a sick soul. Find Your great benevolence, and accept my prayer, and do not reject my petition, but forgive me, who is guilty of many sins. Incline Your ear to my prayer and forgive me all the evil that I have done, like a man conquered by his will. For I seek rest, and I do not find it, because my conscience is defiled, and there is no peace in me, because of the multitude of my iniquities. Hear, Lord, the heart crying out to You with sickness. Pay no attention to my wicked deeds, but look at the illness of my soul. Hasten to heal me, cruelly wounded. Let me soon come to my senses by the grace of Your love for mankind. Deliver me from my worst deeds, and do not repay me what I have done, so that I do not perish completely and do not lose all zeal and thought about my correction. So, I fall to Your compassions. Have mercy on me, by condemning my deeds cast to the dust. Call, O Lord, me, a captive whom they are holding, and, as it were, bind my deeds with chains, for You alone know how to release the bound and heal invisible wounds, known to You alone, who knows every hidden thing. For no matter how angry I remain, I find that for all these calamities You are called the Doctor of the afflicted, the Door of the mourning outside, the Deliverer of those taken into captivity, always restraining Your hand and not sending Your anger prepared for sinners. But according to Your great love for mankind it is time for us to come to our senses, for You are swift in mercy and slow in punishment. So, be pleased to stretch out your hand to me and raise me out of the mud of my iniquities, You, who are not delighted with the destruction of man and do not turn His face away from those who look to You with tears. Hear, Lord, the voice of Your servant crying to You. Reveal Your face to me, one in the dark. Enlighten me with the coming of Your Holy Spirit. Grant me, one defiled, diligence and my labor. Lord, turn me into joy, strip my sackcloth, and gird me with joy, and may the gate of Your Kingdom be opened for me, and having entered it, I will glorify Your all-holy name, Father and Son and Holy Spirit for ages of ages. Amen.
Молитвы на разные случаи. TCO 7.103–118; 4.10–18. Assemani 3.482–491: Precatio. Supplication. CPG 4071: 4.12–13 (all sect. 6).
I greatly magnify You, O Lord, that You have looked upon my humility, and did not deliver me into the hands of enemies, and saved my soul from distress. And now, O Lord, may Your hand cover me, may Your mercy come on me, because my soul is confounded and grieves greatly, so that, when it leaves this poor body, the sinful hand of the enemy will not meet it and keep it in darkness for sins done by me in this life out of both ignorance and knowledge. Be merciful to me, Lord of all. May my soul not see the dark gaze of wicked demons, but may your pure and bright angels receive it. Give glory to Your holy name, and by Your power lift me up to Your Divine throne. And when I will be judged, let not the hand of the prince of this world take me away, so as to lead me, a sinner, into the depths of hell, but appear You to me and be my saviour and intercessor. Have mercy, Lord, on my soul, defiled by the passions of this life. And if in whatever, as a person, due to the weakness of nature, I sinned in word, or deed, or thought, You, who have the power to forgive sins, forgive and let me go, so that I will find refreshment, and I will appear before You without impurity or defilement, unashamed and untarnished. May Your hand take me, O Lord, for You are blessed forever.
Multiple excerpts from two works:
First part: Слово о добродетелях и пороках. TCO 1.3–31; 1.3–23. Assemani 1.1–18: Sermo de virtutibus et vitiis. Sermon on virtues and vices. CPG 3905: 1.4 (und. head. 1), 5btm—6 (und. head. 3, thr. 1st full sent. on p. 6), 7 (und. head. 5, sent. 1), 9 (paraphrase of beg. und. head. 9 + p. 10, und. head. 10 [ Jas quote ]), 11 (und. head. 11, thr. Mt quote), 14 (und. head. 15 thr. Philip. quote), 16 (und. head. 17, sent.1) + 17 (quote und. head. 18), 18 (und. head. 19 sent. 1), 21 (sect. 22 sent. 1) + 22 (mid 2nd parag.).
Second part: Слово умилительное. TCO 1.49–67; 1.35–49. Assemani 1.28–40: Sermo compunctorius. Hortatory sermon (1). CPG 3908: p. 47 (next to last sent. in 2nd parag.); 47 (sent. before the previous), 47 (last sent. in 2nd parag.), 47 (mid of 2nd parag.); back to Слово о добродетелях и пороках: (sect. 22) 22 (start of last parag.).
Blessed is the person who has the fear of God in him. He is clearly delighted with the Holy Spirit. “Blessed is the man who fear the Lord” (Ps. 3: 1). ….
Blessed is the person in whom is the love of God, because he bears God in him. “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God” (1 John 4.16). In whom love is, he is with God above all else. ….
Truly blessed is the person who has acquired longsuffering, because the Holy Scriptures also praise him, saying: “A patient person has much intelligence” (Proverbs 14.29). ….
Blessed is the person who does not easily get angry or irritated. He is always in the world. Driving away from himself the spirit of irritability and anger, he is far from war and rebellion, always calm in spirit and cheerful of face. He who does not soon become angry and is not moved by an empty word is a doer of righteousness and truth. ….
And whoever is always possessed by irascibility, is often and soon driven into anger by even an unimportant thing. Let him hear what the Apostle says: “The anger of a person does not create the righteousness of God” (James 1.20). ….
Truly blessed and thrice blessed is the person in whom there is meekness. About him the holy Saviour and Lord, confirming this, says: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5.5). ….
Blessed is he who has acquired true and unfeigned obedience, because such a person is an imitator of our good Teacher, Who “was obedient even to death” (Phil. 2.8). ….
Blessed is he who is not subject to envy and rivalry, for rivalry and envy hold on to each other, and in whom there is one of these vices, both are there. ….
And whoever is hurt by envy and rivalry is pitiful, because he is a partner with the devil, through whom “death entered the world” (Wis. Sol. 2.24). ….
Blessed and threefold blessed is he who has not damaged his tongue by slandering others, who has not defiled his heart with his tongue, but understands that we are all under punishment, and does not delight in slandering others, but is irritated against this passion. ….
Blessed is he who is established in all virtue and strives to shine with righteous deeds. ….
Blessed is he who benefits many beggars: he will find many defenders in the judgment. ….
Blessed is he who has a high life, but a humble way of thinking: he imitates Christ, and will sit with Him. ….
Blessed is he who forces himself to do every good deed, because those who use effort delight in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 11.12). ….
Blessed is he who follows the narrow path: he enters into heaven crowned. ….
Blessed are those who will then boldly appear before the Judge, who will receive the holy reward from the hands of the Lord. ….
Слово на преображение господа и бога спасителя нашего иисуса христа. TCO 2.147–159; 2.50–59. Assemani 2.41–49: Sermo in transfigurationem domini et dei salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi. Sermon on the transfiguration of our Lord and God the Saviour Jesus Christ. CPG 3939: 2.58 (sect. 8) (last line), 56 (2nd parag.)–58 (thr. parag. 1).
I confess one and the same as perfect God and perfect man, in two natures, hypostatically or personally united, cognizable inseparably, unmixed and invariable, clothed in flesh, animated by a verbal and rational soul, and made equal to us in everything except sin. ….
And if the weak by reason do not make sure, then they will be punished for this on His dreadful day. If He was not flesh, then why was Mary brought out on the third day? And if He is not God, then who does Gabriel call Lord? If he was not flesh, who reclined in the manger? And if not God, Whom did the descended Angels glorify? If He was not flesh, Who was wrapped in swaddling clothes? And if not God, Whom did the shepherds worship? If he was not flesh, Whom did Joseph circumcise? And if not God, in whose honor did the star move across the sky? If he was not flesh, Whom did Mary feed with her milk? And if not God, to whom did the wise men bring gifts? If he was not flesh, Whom did Simeon carry in his arms? And if not God, to Whom did he say: let me go in peace? If he was not flesh, Whom did Joseph take when he fled to Egypt? And if not God, on Whom was it fulfilled what was said: from Egypt did he call My Son (Hos.11.1)? If you were not flesh, Whom did John baptize? And if not God, of whom did the Father speak from heaven: This is My Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3.17)? If he was not flesh, Who was hungry and thirsty in the wilderness? And if not God, Whom did the descended Angels serve? If he was not flesh, Who was invited to the marriage at Cana of Galilee? And if not God, Who turned water into wine? If he was not flesh, who had the loaves in his hands? And if not God, Who in the wilderness fed many thousands with five loaves and two fishes, besides women and children? If was not flesh, Who slept on the ship? And if not God, Who forbade the winds and the sea? If he was not flesh, with whom did Simeon the Pharisee eat? And if not God, Who forgave the sins of the sinner? If he was not flesh, Who sat by the well, tired on the way? And if not God, Who gave the Samaritan woman living water and denounced her that she had five husbands? If he was not flesh, Who wore human garments? And if not God, Who did the signs and wonders? If He was not flesh, Who spat on the ground and created the mud? And if not God, Who gave sight to the eyes? If he was not flesh, Who wept on the tomb of Lazarus? And if not God, Who imperatively forced the four day old dead one to come out of the grave? If he was not flesh, Who sat on the foal? And if not God, to whom did the crowds of people go out with glory? If he was not flesh, Whom did the Jews take? And if not God, Who commanded the earth and cast them down? If he was not flesh, who was eaten? And if not God, Who healed and re-established in its place the ear cut by Peter? If he was not flesh, Who received spitting on his face? And if not God, Who breathed the Holy Spirit into the faces of the apostles? If he was not flesh, Who stood before Pilate in judgment? And if not God, Who frightened Pilate’s wife in a dream? If he was not flesh, from Whom did the soldiers take off the clothes and share them? And if not God, why was the sun eclipsed by the Cross? If He was not flesh, Who was crucified on the Cross? And if not God, Who shook the earth at the foundations? If he was not flesh, whose hands and feet were nailed? And if not God, why was the temple veil rent, stones scattered, coffins opened? If you were not flesh, Who called: My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me (Matthew 27.46)? And if not God, Who said: Father, let them go (Luke 23.34)? If he was not flesh, Who was crucified on the Cross with the robbers? And if not God, who said to the robber: will you be with me in paradise this day (Luke 23.43)? If he was not flesh, Who was served with vinegar and bile? And if not God, Whose voice did hell hear and shudder? If he was not flesh, whose ribs were pierced with a spear and blood and water flowed? And if not God, Who broke the gates of hell and broke the bonds, at whose command the imprisoned dead came out? If he was not flesh, Whom did the apostles see in the tomb? And if not God, how did he enter the closed doors? If he was not flesh, in Whom did Thomas feel nail wounds on his hands and a spear wound in his ribs? And if not God, to Whom did Thomas call: my Lord and my God (John 20.28)? If he was not flesh, Who ate on the Sea of Tiberias? And if not God, by Whose command was the abyss filled? If he was not flesh, Whom did the apostles and angels see ascending into heaven? And if not God, for Whom heaven was opened, to Whom the Powers bowed with trembling, to Whom the Father said: sit at my right hand (Heb. 1.13), as David also says: the speech of the Lord of my Lord: sit at my right hand (Psalm 109.1). If not God and man, then our salvation is false; the prophets are also false.
Молитвы на разные случаи. TCO 7.103–118; 4.10–18. Assemani 3.486: Oratio. Prayer. CPG 4072: 4.13–14 (sect. 7).
Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, my Saviour God, ineffable Delight, saving Name, grant me, Your unworthy servant, contrition and enlightenment of the heart, so that, enlightened in my heart, with sweetness I may shed tears in pure prayer, and with a few of my tears you will blot out the handwriting of my sins, and for the sake of a little weeping you will extinguish the kindled fire in me. For if you grant me, Lord, to weep now, then you will free me then from the inextinguishable fire. And although I know, indeed I know, long-suffering, benevolent Lord, that every day and hour I become immensely bitter and anger You, but the goodness of Your long-suffering will prevail over my anger and bitterness. For if a mother who does not consider her own offspring is conquered by her compassion and cannot despise him, then how much more will Your grace and kindness, blessed and long-suffering Lord, moved by Your immeasurable bounties, conquer my malice and have mercy on me? Yea, benevolent Lord, God of mercy and bounty, save me from the sinful thoughts of a nasty and terrible enemy, who every hour encircles and oppresses my soul with sinful and nasty thoughts. Let Your ineffable power, O Christ, forbidding the waves of the sea, forbid him, let him go into inaction, and drive him far away from me, Your servant. For every day he renews his intrigues against me and hastens to prevail with my relaxed mind and remove me from You and from your Divine commandments. But, Lord, all-merciful Lord, do soon send away and drive from me, Your perverse servant, this great serpent with all his sinful and vile thoughts, so that I may sing purely and praise You with Your Originless Father and Your All-Holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen.
Молитвы на разные случаи. TCO 7.103–118; 4.10–18. Assemani 3.487–489: Oratio. Supplication. CPG 4073: 4.14–17 (whole sect. 8).
The sinless Lamb of God, by His free will, endured the cross in the flesh, was slain for the salvation of us sinners, incorruptibly tasted death in the flesh in order to save our fallen nature, was enclosed in the underworld of the earth, was seen as a dead man, life poured out for Your world, and killed death, as a tent ruined the prison of hell, a Cloud pouring out rain of incorruption, a priceless Pearl from Divine lightning, a life-giving Grape, exuding the universal sweetness of salvation, the true and never-ending Light, the Word, Wisdom, and Power of God the Father, the radiance of His glory. O incomprehensible Jesus and unsearchable Christ, merciful One and Lover of mankind, pour out your great goodness on me, a sinner, and, having accepted my petitions, blot out the multitude of my innumerable iniquities and sins, and grant all my petitions. Do not condemn me, the incorrigible one; do not reject me, the lazy and impatient one, and at Your Second Coming, when you will judge the whole world, do not tell me, the miserable one: “What have you endured for my sake?” For I, the wretched, do not have even a little endurance. On this greatly terrible day, you, Lord, will say to us, sinners: “You people know well what I have endured for you. I, God, for your sake was incarnated; I, invisible, dwelt visibly on earth for your sake. Hungry, thirsty, tortured, for your sake I was persecuted and stoned. I, sinless, for your sake have been spat upon and buried. I, impassive, have suffered a shameful death for your sake. For your sake I was pierced in the ribs with a spear. I was given to drink vinegar mixed with bile, and suffering, nailed to the cross, did not get angry and outraged, and did not curse. I, the Lord, was above all accusations, and all this I endured for your sake, in order to make you heavenly and holy, a gift to the Father, I Who sent down the Holy Spirit. What have you endured for my sake, O people.”?
What will I—the cursed, sinful, sinful, perverse one—say then? The martyrs will point to their wounds, to slashes, to cut-off members, and to their endurance to the end. The ascetics will point to their asceticism, to prolonged fasting, to vigils, to non-covetousness, to tears and their endurance to the end. And will I, the lazy, sinful, guilty, point to this: in addition to the shameful fruits of gluttony, to sensuality, much sleeping, much acquisitiveness, impatience, vanity, and neglect? If you demand from me, Lord, an account of the time which, through my negligence, was given to me for repentance, then what justification will I give? And if they subject me to interrogation even for an idle word, for perverse thoughts and reasoning, then what fear, what confusion will then envelop me, the poor one, and what torment will follow? Have mercy, Lord! Have mercy, merciful One! Have mercy, Lover of mankind! Have mercy, O only good One, and do not recognize me as unworthy of Your compassions! Do not reprove me in Your anger (Ps. 6.1), do not remember my iniquities, the first (Ps. 78.8) and the last. You, Lord, have truth, we have shame on our faces (Dan 9.8). Remember, O Lord, that Your mercies are from everlasting, from generation to generation upon all Your people. Remember that for all of us You have become a refuge, and salvation to those who hope in You. Have mercy, have mercy on me, according to Your only goodness. Strengthen my soul, corrupted by the laziness of my neglect, O You Who raises the fallen and heals the broken! For behold, my iniquities are many and great, the multitude of my sins all innumerable. My prayer is weak, my cruelty has dried up my eyes, my bodily needs make me seek an excuse for my sins, and destruction prompts me to leave the path. You, Lord, know the curse of my negligence, you know how many sinful prejudices are at war against me, you see the all-wicked hostility towards me. Intervene for me according to Your great mercy and save me with grace and generosity, through the prayers of our All-Pure Lady the Theotokos and all Your saints, because You are good and the Lover of mankind, O Lord our God. And to You we offer glory, thanksgiving, and worship with Your Originless God, Your All-Holy, Good and Life-giving Your Spirit, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen.
K нерадивой душе. TCO 5.150–153; 3.411–413. Assemani 3.459–461: Ad animam neglegentem. To the careless soul. CPG 4059: 3.411 (sect. 131)–413.
Do not fall, soul, do not grieve, do not pronounce a decisive judgment over yourself for the multitude of sins. Do not draw fire upon yourself, do not say: “The Lord has cast me away from His presence.” This word is not pleasing to God, because He Himself cries out to you, saying: My people, what have I done to you? How did I offend you? Why are you cold? (Mal. 6.3). Can he who has fallen not rise up? Or can whoever turns away not turn back? Do you hear, soul, what is the goodness of the Lord? You are not betrayed into the hands of a prince or a military leader, as a condemned woman. Do not grieve that your wealth is gone. Do not be ashamed to turn, but tell me better: I will arise and go to my Father (Luke 15.18). Get up, go. He accepts you and does not reproach, but rather rejoices at your conversion. He is waiting for you, just do not be ashamed like Adam, and do not hide from the face of God. Christ was crucified for you, and will He reject you? Let this not be! He knows who oppresses us, and knows that we have no other helper but Himself alone. Christ knows that a person is weak. So, let us not indulge in negligence, like those prepared for fire. Christ has no need to cast into the fire; it is no gain for Him is to send us into torment.
Do you want to know the severity of the torment? Then, the sinner will be expelled from the face of God, then his crying and crying will not be endured by the foundations of the universe. For it is written: in that day … the day of darkness and gloom, the day of clouds and haze, the day of trumpet and cry (Wis. 1.15, 16). If a person convicted by a ruler is imprisoned for two years, or five, or ten years; how many tears do you think a person has, what shame, what sobbing? But he still has consolation in anticipation of the end of this period. Therefore, do we want to know how long has been assigned to sinners? Can we determine the time of their exile at twenty or fifty, or one hundred, or two hundred years? But how can time be counted where years are not supposed to count days? Alas! Alas! This time is hopeless. For intolerable is the wrath of the threat against sinners. Do you hear about the distress that awaits sinners? Therefore, do not bring yourself to such a necessity, for even one rebuke is unbearable for you.
Do you have many sins on yourself? Do not be afraid to cry out to God. Come, do not be ashamed. The stadium for achievement is near. Get up and shake off the materiality of the world. Imitate the prodigal son, who, having squandered everything, went to his father without shame. The father, however, regretted his captivity rather than the wealth squandered at the beginning. So he who has approached shamefully has entered with honor; he who came naked was accepted and clothed in a robe; made a hired hand, he was reinstated to the rank of master. This word is for us. Do you hear how successful this son’s boldness was? But will you also understand the kindness of your father? And you, soul, do not be embarrassed. Knock! Do you have a need? Stand at the door and you will receive everything you need, according to the Divine Scripture, which says: … for his persistence, he will give to him whatever he demands (Luke 11.8). God does not reject you, man, nor does He reproach you for the wealth wasted at the beginning, for He has no shortage of property. He supplies everyone diligently, according to the apostolic word: Ask God who gives to all impartially and does not reproach (James 1.5). Are you at the pier? Behold the waves, so that a storm does not suddenly arise and take you into the depths of the sea; then with a groan you will begin to say: you have come to the depths of the sea, and the storm will drown me. “I grew weary of crying, my throat became hoarse” (Psalm 68.3, 4). For hell is really an abyss of the sea, according to the Lord’s dictum that a great abyss is established (Luke 16.26) between the righteous and the sinful. So, do not condemn yourself to this abyss. Imitate the prodigal son; leave the city of wasting away from hunger; run away from the miserable life with pigs; stop feeding faces that do give nothing to you. So, come and beg—and eat manna, the food of the angels, without poverty. Begin to contemplate the glory of God, and your face will shine. Come, indulge in the paradise of delight. Take a few years to acquire eternity. Do not be alarmed by the length of this life. It is transient and short-lived; all the time—from Adam to the present—has passed like a shadow. Prepare to hit the road. Do not burden yourself. Winter is near. Hurry under the roof, under which we also strive, by the grace of Christ. Amen.
O правой жизни. 90 глав. TCO 2.171–188; 2.67–79. Assemani 2.56–72: De recta vivendi ratione (capita xc). On the proper manner of living. CPG 3941: 2.67 (sect. 34)–69 [1, 3a (1st sent.), 4, 6, 8, 3b (2nd sent.), 12, 13, 14, 15, 16].
1. Do you want the right life? Practice humility, because without it the right life is impossible.
3. Do all your deeds in humility, in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and through this your fruit will be lifted up to heaven. Pride is like a very tall rotten tree, with all its branches breaking, and if anyone climbs it, he will immediately fall from a height.
4. The beginning of the rejection of a person is his removal from humility; the one rejected by God, like Saul, is crushed by an evil spirit (1 Sam. 16.14).
6. If you look closely, you will find that the enemy’s nets are anointed with honey and sweets, and those who want to taste the honey will fall into the net.
8. Love humility and never fall into the devil’s net, because, soaring on swift wings, you will always be much higher than the enemy’s net.
12. Blessed is the one filled with good hope and illuminated with good thoughts; his glory is great and endless.
13. Let us strive for silence, so that, seeing our faults, we constantly humble ourselves, not cultivating in ourselves a thought of conceit or slyness similar to poisonous animals.
14. Let us love silence, in order to have a pure heart and so that the temple entrusted to us may be kept undefiled from sinful corruption.
15. Prayer with sighs and tears is wonderful, especially if we shed tears silently. Screaming out for hearing is a sign of pleasing people; whoever prays with knowledge and faith sees the Lord in front of him, for in Him we live and move and are (Acts 17.28).
16. If your heart is petrified, weep before the Lord, so that He will pour out the illumination of knowledge on you; do not mock those who cry out to heaven with fervor of heart.
Слово на преображение господа и бога спасителя нашего иисуса христа. TCO 2.147–159; 2.50–59. Assemani 2.41–49: Sermo in transfigurationem domini et dei salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi. Sermon on the transfiguration of our Lord and God the Saviour Jesus Christ. CPG 3939: 2.58 (mid., aft. quote)–59 (thr. parag. 1).
He who is from God, God the Word, the only-begotten Son from the Father, consubstantial with the Father, the pre-eternal Word who is from who is, ineffably born of the Father without a mother before all ages—He Himself in the last days is born from the daughter of a man, from the Virgin Mary. Without a father God is born incarnate, bearing Himself the flesh borrowed from Her, becoming a man who was not, and being the God that He was in order to save the world. And He is Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of the Father and the only-begotten of the Mother.
The one and the same I confess as the Perfect God and the perfect man, in two natures, hypostatically or personally united, cognizable inseparably, unmixed and invariable, clothed in flesh, animated by a verbal and rational soul, and made equal to us in everything except sin. The one and the same is earthly and heavenly, temporary and eternal, sub-originate and the beginning, timeless and subject to time, created and uncreated, suffering and immortal, God and man, perfect in both, one in two natures and two in one.
O сердечном сокрушении. TCO 1.269–276; 1.198–204. Assemani 1.154–158: De compunctione. On remorse. CPG 3916: 1.201 (2nd—mid 4th parag. to line 1 of 202), 202 (parag. 2, first few sents.), 203 (parag. 3).
Since the time of my life has been lost in vanity and shameful thoughts, grant me medicine in order to completely heal me from my secret wounds, and strengthen me to work diligently for at least one hour in Your vineyard. The time of this vain life is already at the eleventh hour.
Steer the ship of my actions through Your commandments, and to me, an insignificant merchant, grant prudence to sell my wares while there is still time. For the time of the voyage of the ship has come to an end, a great storm has overtaken it, and the very hour is crying out to me, the absent-minded: “Show me now, idle one; I will buy all that you acquired during your life.”
And the hour of death frightens me, the miserable one. For I look at my deeds, and my soul trembles. I see the negligence of my laziness, and my bones become numb. For the hour of separation presented itself to my eyes and, thinking about it, I came to be in great fear. Instead of rejoicing, I was even more afraid, because I had not made my works worthy with grace. ….
Alas, alas, soul! Why, then, are you so careless about your life? Why do you spend the days of your whole life in misery? Don’t you know that they will call you suddenly? What will you do there, living carelessly now? What will you answer in your justification, presenting yourself to the throne of the terrible Judge? Do you not understand, unfortunate one, how the enemy deceives you? Do you know, absent-minded one, how he plunders your heavenly wealth from day to day? Sober up! Sober up, soul, in the hour of battle. Ask God, praying with tears. Cry out to God with sorrow of the heart; and He will quickly send you a merciful Angel to help you and free you from the very battle and from embarrassment by the enemy. Struggle so that the hour of separation does not overtake you in sorrow and sighing, and so that you do not weep for ever and ever. ….
Enter, soul, into yourself, strive incessantly, and always be afraid. Love your God and serve Him with good deeds, so that when the hour of death and separation comes, He will find you ready and waiting for Him with great joy. ….
With joy I will go out to meet You, glorifying and blessing the immortal Bridegroom, that I might be worthy to be a partaker of the righteous ones and saints who have always pleased You. Amen.
O сердечном сокрушении. TCO 1.269–276; 1.198–204. Assemani 1.154–158: De compunctione. On remorse. CPG 3916: 1.203 (btm parag.)–204 (end of work).
Save me, O long-suffering One. Save me, O Son of God, the sinless Christ. Grant me, O Saviour, a thought for my life, so that I never have anything in my heart except for this thought, and so that I always do Your will for me, and so I, a sinner, cooperating with grace, will be ready and willing to walk in Your commandments, to use profitably the silver that You Yourself, the Heavenly King, gave to me, and in Your city, O Saviour, having made a good purchase, to receive praise from You, O Lord, and when you come, O Lord, to boldly say to you from a pure heart: “Blessed am I that you have come, O Lord! For the marriage of the immortal Bridegroom, clothe me in a worthy garment which I have acquired by Your grace. I will also light the lamp which Your grace and Your patience have given me, O Christ. With joy I will go out to meet You, glorifying and blessing the immortal Bridegroom, in order that I may be worthy to be a partaker of the righteous ones and saints who have always pleased You.” Amen.
O любви. TCO 3.274–280; 3.5–10. Assemani 3.13–17: De caritate. On love. CPG 3980: 3.5 (sect. 60, whole first parag)–6 (end of top sent.).
The Lord said beautifully: … My burden is light (Matthew 11.30). What is the burden, what kind of work, to forgive your brother for light and insignificant sins, to receive forgiveness in your own sins, and suddenly become justified? He did not say: “Give me a gift, or bulls, or goats, or fasting, or vigil,” so you could say: “I do not have this, I am not able to do this.” But what is easy, convenient, short-lived, he commanded, saying: “Forgive the sins of your brother, and I will forgive you your sins. You will forgive small mistakes, maybe a few obols, or three denarii; and I give you thousands of talents. And you forgive only, giving nothing as a gift, but I forgive you sins and give you healing and the Kingdom. And then I will accept your gift when you are reconciled with the one who is at enmity with you. When you have no enmity against anyone, when the sun does not set in your anger, when you have peace and love with everyone, then your prayer is auspicious, and your offering is acceptable, and the house is blessed, and you yourself are blessed. And if you are not reconciled to your brother, then how can you ask Me for forgiveness? I, your Lord, command you, and you will not listen. You are a slave. How dare you offer Me a prayer, or a sacrifice, or the firstfruits, having enmity against someone? As you turn your face away from your brother, so I will turn my eyes from your prayer and from your gift.”
Молитвы на разные случаи. TCO 7.103–118; 4.10–18. Assemani 3.489–490: Precationes. Supplications. CPG 4074–4075: 4.17 (all sect. 9, into last sent. of 10)–18.
O Lover of mankind, Jesus Christ, my God, firmly hoping for Your mercies, I implore You. Do not set me up against You with the goats that have harmed You, and do not tell me: truly I say to you, I do not know you (Matthew 25.12). But by Your goodness, give me unceasing tears, give contrition and humility to my heart and cleanse it with fear of Your in the communion of Your life-giving and most pure mysteries, so that it becomes a temple of Your grace. For although I am much of a sinner and unworthy, nevertheless I incessantly knock on Your door. Although I am negligent and lazy and neglect my salvation, yet I would walk Your way. Save me for the sake of Your mercy, for You are good, O Lord, to all, and His compassion is upon all His works (Psalm 144.9). Glory to You forever! Amen.
Be my helper, O Lord of all. O Christ, protect my spiritual weakness, in order to get rid of this vile and sinful corruption, to become free from the bonds of sin. Let not the tyranny of malice be active in me, and let not a hostile demon possess me like a captive with the power of sin, rather may the Kingdom come to me of Your divine and the worshipful Spirit, so that the foul passions that now prevail and reign in me will be far removed from me. For You are the God of mercy, and love for mankind, and long-suffering, and we send glory to You with Your originless Father and Your All-Holy and Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and always, and for ages and ages. Amen.
Молитвы ко Пресвятой Богородице. TCO 7.162–201; 4.59–94. Assemani 3.524–552: Precationes ad sanctissimam dei matrem. Prayers to the most holy Mother of God. CPG 4079: whole sect. 1.
O Most Holy Lady Theotokos, the only one purest in soul and body, the only one who surpasses all purity, temperance, and virginity, the only one who has completely become the abode of the grace of the all-holy Spirit, and who incomparably surpassed the immaterial purity and holiness of soul and body, look upon me, the accursèd and impure and dejected, and the soul and body in the pollution of a passionate and hedonistic life, cleanse my passionate mind, purify and direct my wandering and blind thoughts, put my senses in order and guide them, free me from the tyranny of the evil and vile habits of unclean prejudices and passions, stop every sin acting in me, grant to my darkened and accursed mind sobriety and prudence to correct my inclinations and faults, so that, freed from sinful darkness, I might boldly glorify and hymn you, the one Mother of the true Light, Christ our God, because only with Him and through Him are you blessed and glorified by every invisible and visible creature, now and always, and for ages of ages. Amen.
Блаженства. 55 глав. TCO 2.7–17; 1.341–350. Assemani 1.282–292: Веаtitudines, capita quinquaginta quinque. Beatitudes, 55 chapters. CPG 3935 (1): nos. 15–22, 27.
15. Blessed is he who is always filled with spiritual joy and bearing the good yoke of the Lord, for he will be crowned in glory.
16. Blessed is he who has cleansed himself from all sinful defilement, so that he may boldly receive him into his house the King of glory, our Lord Jesus Christ.
17. Blessed is he who, with fear, trembling and reverence, approaches the most pure mysteries of the Saviour, realizing that he accepts indestructible life.
18. Blessed is he who every hour thinks about death and has brought into inaction the shameful passions that nest in the hearts of the negligent; such will be comforted at the hour of death.
19. Blessed is he who incessantly remembers the fear of Gehenna and hurries with tears and sighs to sincerely repent to the Lord; such will be free of the great tribulation.
20. Blessed is he who always willingly humbles himself, for he will be crowned by One who willingly humbled himself for us.
21. Blessed is he who with all reverence dwells in his cell, like Mary at the feet of the Lord, and like Martha he hurries to receive the Lord and Saviour.
22. Blessed is he who, kindled by the fear of God, always has the warmth of the Holy Spirit in him and burns the thorns and thistles of wicked thoughts.
27. Blessed is he who loves humility with spiritual prudence and does not allow himself to be deceived by the evil serpent, placing his hope in the Good and merciful Lord.
Слово на преображение господа и бога спасителя нашего иисуса христа. TCO 2.147–159; 2.50–59. Assemani 2.41–49: Sermo in transfigurationem domini et dei salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi. Sermon on the transfiguration of our Lord and God the Saviour Jesus Christ. CPG 3939: 2.59 (whole 2nd parag.).
One person of the Father, and one person of the Son, and one person of the Holy Spirit. One Deity, one power, one Kingdom in three Persons. Thus we glorify the Holy Unity in the Trinity and the Holy Trinity in the Unity. After the Father called from heaven: This is My Beloved Son: Listen to Him, the Holy Universal Church of God accepted it. She baptizes into the Holy Trinity to eternal life. She sanctifies it with equal honor, confesses it inseparable and undivided, and worships it ceaselessly, and confesses and glorifies it. To the trihypostatic Unity are due glory, thanksgiving, honor, power, greatness, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and always and for ages of ages. Amen.
Слово умилительное 1—e. TCO 1.277–281; 1.204–207. Assemani 1.158–161: Sermo compunctorius. Hortatory sermon (2). CPG 3917: 1.204 (sect. 12)– mid. 205.
Once, getting up very early, I walked with two brethren outside the blessed city of Edessa, lifted my eyes to heaven, which like a clear mirror shone with stars on the earth, and said in surprise: “If the stars shine with such glory, then how much more will the righteous and the saints who have done the will of the holy God shine with the inexpressible light of saving glory in the hour when the Lord comes.”
But suddenly, at the recollection of that terrible coming of Christ, my bones trembled, and, feeling embarrassment in body and soul, I cried with heartache and said, sighing; “How will I, a sinner, find myself in that terrible hour? How will I appear before the throne of the terrible Judge? How can I, the absent-minded, have a place with the perfect? Or how can I, the goat, stand with the sheep at the right hand of Christ? Or how can I, one barren, be among the saints who have created the fruit of righteousness now? Or what should I do when the saints recognize each other in the heavenly palace? Who will recognize me? The righteous will be in the palace, the wicked will be in the fire. Then the martyrs will show their tortures, the ascetics their virtues, and what will I show, except the weakness of my negligence? O scattered soul, sinful soul, shameless soul, soul that has always hated its life! How long will it take you to grovel on the earth from entertainment? How long will you be carried away by the wretched skill of sinful thoughts? Do you not know that evil thoughts are hourly before you, like a dark cloud, and prevent you from sobering up before God? What, finally, do you expect in your negligence, while the heavenly Bridegroom waits to come? On the contrary, it does not consider, unfortunate one, how terrible the lightning from heaven will be His coming. Try to be ready in that terrible hour, so as not to weep there for ages of ages.
Слово умилительное 1—e. TCO 1.277–281; 1.204–207. Assemani 1.158–161: Sermo compunctorius. Hortatory sermon (2). CPG 3917: 1.207 (whole 1st full parag.).
Spare, O merciful Lord, Christ the Saviour, the only-begotten Son, spare Your wretched servant, so as I will not to be there to face the Judgment Seat in fear and great shame, not to become a shame for the audience—Angels and people. Rather now, my Saviour, punish me as a child-loving, compassionate, Father, and there forgive me, as the only sinless one, O Heavenly God. For if now, Saviour, you do not enlighten the unfortunate man, and give him the illumination of the heart, so that daily without shame he brings repentance for his sins, what is there to do for him who has no justification? When I was not yet on earth, it pleased You, O Lord, according to Your great bounties, to form me in the womb of my sinful mother and, having been born by mercy, I, unworthy, was honored to become a vessel of Your grace and a beautiful harp, who melodically proclaims the words of salvation always for everyone listening. But, having received this, I, weak and sinful, out of laziness refused the rewards of grace. Grant me Your grace, and make sweet-sounding in the lips of a lazy one the holy melodies. As it is willed, let grace illumine a darkened mind, so that I may proclaim words of melody. Therefore, I again fall down before Your grace, only-begotten Son, Saviour of our souls: just as now Your grace for every hour has become illumination, cover and protection, refuge and joy for me, one unworthy, so there, Saviour, under her wing I will hide from the Last Judgment. And in Your Kingdom, I who have been ravaged by grace, salvaged by mercy, I will stand at the right hand, singing and glorifying Your longsuffering, O most pure Creator, because You did not despise the tears of Your wretched and sinful servant.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.24 (sect. 1) (1st full parag.)–25.
Stretch out, Lord, a helping hand to me lying in the dust, for I want to get up, and I cannot. The burden of sin has overwhelmed me, and the weight of sin holds me down. I look with my eyes, but I walk as in darkness; I move my hand as in deep darkness, and I am as though paralyzed. I am complacent and dissatisfied with myself. I vow to change and to fast, but I always encounter obstacles. I am zealous for praise, and I will not bother to please God.
How dare I ask for the remission of my former sins, without in the least forgetting my former behavior? Or how can I put off an old, corrupted man, without putting aside the lusts of my former seduction? Alas for me! How can I bear the reproof of my lawless deeds and thoughts? Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy, and according to the multitude of Your compassions, blot out my iniquities (Psalm 50.3). Unworthy lips, and an unclean heart, and a soul blackened by sins cry to You, O Lord. Hear me, according to Your goodness, and do not reject my request, because You do not reject the request of those who truly repent. My repentance is not pure, but corrupted. I repent for one hour and grieve You for two. Confirm my petition in fear of You, O Lord. Strengthen my soul on the stone of repentance. Let the light of Your grace prevail over the darkness that is in me. Condescend to my prayer, O good Lord, not according to my righteousness, because I have nothing good in me, but according to Your compassions. According to Your great and ineffable goodness raise You my members broken by sin, enlighten my heart darkened by sinful lust, save me from every sinful deed, and let not the enemy completely overthrow me. Do not turn your face away from me and do not tell me: truly, I say to you, I do not know you (Matthew 25.12). Save the sorrowful soul from death, O Lord who has power over life and death. For you said, Lord: Ask, and it will be given to you (Matthew 7.7). Cleanse me, O Lord, from all sin before death and grant me, Lover of mankind, in all this short life of mine to shed tears from my heart to wash away my spiritual filth, so that now I could now pay at least a few punishments of my many obligations, and be saved there under the protection of Your omnipotent hand, when every soul trembles before Your terrible glory. Yea, O Lord, only-begotten Son of God, hear and accept the petition of your sinful and unworthy servant, save me freely, by your grace, because you are a merciful and humane God, and to you, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, we give glory and thanksgiving and worship , now and always, and for ages of ages! Amen.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.25 (sect. 2)–mid. 27.
Alas for me, what condemnation I have fallen into, what shame I am in! The innermost self is not the same as the outer. I talk about dispassion, but I myself, day and night, think about vile passions. Having begun a speech about purity, I mentally engage in lewdness. Alas, what a test I have before me! Truly, I wear on myself an image of piety, but not its strength. With what face will I approach the Lord God who knows the secrets of my heart? Being guilty of so many evil deeds? Standing in prayer, I am yet not afraid that fire will come down from heaven and burn me, as the fire from the Lord once burned those who brought the censer in the wilderness. So, what can I expect when I have a very heavy burden of sins? My heart is burning, my pious thought has changed, my mind is darkened. Like a dog I always return to my vomit (Proverbs 26.11). I have no boldness regarding the testing of heart and emotions. I have no pure mind. I have no tears during prayer. Although I sigh, I cool my face, covered with shame. I hit myself in the chest, this is the dwelling place of passions, this working temple of sinful thoughts. Glory to You, long-suffering one! Glory to You, only good One! Glory to You, benefactor of our souls and bodies! Great are Your compassions, O Lord, to us sinners! Do not reject me with those who say to you: “Lord, Lord!” (Matthew 7.21), and do not do Your will. Do not reject me, through the prayers of our all-pure Lady the Theotokos and through the prayers of all who have pleased You.
You know, O Lord. Hidden in the darkness of passion, the plagues of my soul are known to You. Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed (Jer. 17.14). If you, Lord, do not build the house of the soul, the builders labor in vain (Psalm 126.1). I will prepare for confrontation with passions when they are at war against me, but the serpent’s malice relaxes my mental strength with sensuality. And although no one binds my hands, they draw me as a prisoner. I earnestly wish to get rid of the flame that burns in it, and while I gather my strength, the smell of fire draws me into the fire myself. I also strive to save the drowning man, and out of inexperience I drown myself with him. I reproach the crippled, and yet I myself am blind. I, a weak man, want to become a doctor of passions, being myself in captivity. Enlighten, O Lord, the eyes of my heart, so that I may know the multitude of my passions. Let Your grace embrace me, O Lord. Enlighten my darkened mind and, in my ignorance, instill in me Divine knowledge, for no word will remain powerless with God (Luke 1.37).
You, O Lord, once made the impassable sea passable for Your people. You have given Your thirsty people water from flinty stone. You alone, in Your goodness, saved the one who fell into the hands of the robbers. According to Your great goodness, Lord, have mercy on me too, who fell into the hands of robbers and, like a prisoner, is bound by evil. No one is able to heal the suffering of my soul, except You, Lord, who guides the depths of my heart.
O правой жизни. 90 глав. TCO 2.171–188; 2.67–79. Assemani 2.56–72: De recta vivendi ratione (capita xc). On the proper manner of living. CPG 3941: 2.69 (sect. 20–30, 31 end, 32)–70.
20. Seeing the pleasures of life, beware lest you be carried away. For in them the deadly snare is hidden, just as the fisherman does not let down an empty hook.
21. The enemy, as a bait for a hook, uses desire in his work, so that he, an unclean one, should make every soul dependent on himself.
22. The soul, which is first of all caught in the snare of the enemy, becomes for other souls a net, delighting those who have not yet experienced the bitterness of the serpent. So, the trapped bird becomes bait for those who have not yet fallen into the snare. For the fisherman, having landed one, with it catches those who yet swim free.
23. Practice virtue without being discouraged by effort, because without effort you cannot know virtue.
24. During effort, raise the eye of the soul to sorrow, and, contemplating this joy, you will not renounce effort.
25. Indulge in effort tirelessly in order to avoid the weariness of vain labor for yourself, because the efforts of the righteous bring forth the fruit of life, but the labors of sinners are full of destruction.
26. Endure, for God, the sorrows of this life. You will not be led in vain by the hope of the saints. But the yoke of the enemy brings with it sorrow, from which death is born.
27. People struggling in a vain life try to break other struggling people with persecution, so as not to have conviction near them. But their attack on ascetics reveals people worthy of a crown of piety.
28. Practice humility so as not to lose the fruit of good deeds. For if you reject it, then you yourself will be numbered among those people struggling in vain.
29. Do you want to become the leader of your soul? Bring yourself to safety from everywhere, as a wise man, so as not to be bogged down in sensual thoughts and be shipwrecked in the harbour.
30. If you want the harbour to be safe, protect it with solid strongholds that would not suddenly be shaken by the storm of passions, otherwise the harbour will turn into a shipwreck site.
31. Do not attach an anchor to an anchor as long as there is something lighter in you, so that passions cannot carry you away. Whoever wants to lift out those who have fallen into the pit must go to the work with a courageous spirit, so that the anchor, lowered to the fallen, does not drag him into the same abyss. For passionate words, as soon as they find a place for themselves, drag the soul down as with hooks.
32. Always avoid harmful gatherings, and your soul will enjoy peace.
Слово умилительное 2—е. TCO 1.282–288; 1.208–213. Assemani 1.161–165: Sermo alius compunctorius. Another hortatory sermon (Hortatory sermon ). CPG 3918: 1.212 (1st full parag.)–213 (to end of sect. 13).
Alas for me! What sinful pleasure and what delight are prepared for us—and there is no struggling and no yearning! On the contrary, we prefer the present, the temporary, the impermanent, but we do not even bring these eternal blessings into our thoughts. What blinding! What an enemy deception! Alas for me! Such torments are prepared as punishment for sinners like me who live carelessly. For there is no one who fears and trembles, but as if by idle talk we revere whatever is suggested to us, amused by the passions of the body, because we are bound by them like iron chains and there is no opposing one, but those who are bound—we rejoice! O all destructive intrigues of the unclean serpent! How he has darkened the minds of all, in order for us to think that we should love what is wrong and harmful more than future blessings.
So, come, my brothers, come, fathers, come, servants of Christ, let us break our hearts, and weep day and night before the Lord. Come, let us remind ourselves of this hour and the inevitable necessity, and we will shed tears in contrition. Come, let us remember those ineffable and indescribable blessings, and we will be distressed. Come, let us remember that terrible and horrifying throne, and the shame that awaits us before it, and weep for ourselves. Come, let us remind ourselves, brethren, that the righteous will be enlightened like the sun (Matthew 13.43), and sinners will be like something burning in a pot, and, having been broken in heart, we will be zealous for good deeds. Come, my brethren, and with love let us establish ourselves in the fear of God, so that we might be worthy of eternal blessings. Come, in contrition and in simplicity of heart, let us fall down before God, for He is good and merciful, and saves those who repent. Therefore, let us beg Him to lead us into His Kingdom. Glory is due Him for ages of ages! Amen.
Молитвы ко Пресвятой Богородице. TCO 7.162–201; 4.59–94. Assemani 3.524–552: Precationes ad sanctissimam dei matrem. Prayers to the most holy Mother of God. CPG 4079: sect. 2.
O Virgin Lady Theotokos, O highly-favoured Mother of God, O most blessèd God-graced, repository of the Deity of the only-begotten Son of the immortal and invisible Father, incline your ear and listen to the words spoken by my dirty and unclean lips. For, behold, with a contrite soul and a humble mind I have run to Your goodness. Do not despise me, a weak man. Do not let me, your unworthy servant, perish at the end, but use Your Mother’s prayers. Heal my accursèd soul, unmercifully crushed by my sinful passions, for the evil enemy, having crushed her with sins of sensuality, has trampled her to the dust. Therefore, I am filled with every shame, and I dare not and do not present my face so that I may ask my mankind-loving God for forgiveness for my multitude of sins and for the healing of my incurable wounds. For I have defiled the temple of my body with my obscene desires, I have introduced into it a multitude of impurities, and have damaged all my senses with impermissible deeds. Therefore, I have no license to raise up my hands to heaven, which have been defiled by bad works. And I opened my mouth, defiled by slanders and lies against my neighbor, to prayer. Therefore, before your ineffable bounties, O all-blameless Lady, I, the weak and prodigal one, am subject. For I have no other hope, or refuge, besides you, my only consolation and quick protection—you, the joy of my soul, the deliverance from sorrow, the redemption from captivity, the deification of mortals, our atonement and refuge, the lifting up of the fallen, the restoration of my soul and body, the atonement of my sins, the God-flowing watering of my withered heart, the radiant lamp of my darkened soul, the covering of my nakedness, the cessation of my sighing, the change of my destinies. I trust in you, I boast of you. Do not deprive us of your intercession, but always help, patronize, and do not leave us. Your petitions are pleasing to your only-begotten Son. For he who deigned to be numbered among the slaves, will he not the more preserve His opinion and grace towards you, who served Him with an ineffable birth? Therefore, He rejoices in your intercessions, and, considering your glory to be His own, fulfills your petitions according to duty. Only despise me not, the weakest, nor let the impropriety of my deeds suppress your immeasurable mercy, O Mother of God, a name that has been glorified by me, for nothing can be stronger than your help. Therefore, O impeccable Intercessor of the world, I, guilty of many sins with repentance, fall down before You, an early Helper in need, according to God the Protector, a reliable and strong intercession for me, and from the depths of my heart I cry: have mercy on me, full of all stench and laziness, O Benevolent and Favorable, and accept this miserable and insignificant petition of mine. And although I lazily and carelessly bring it before you, nevertheless, by your Mother’s prayers, make it favorable to Your Son and God, making me worthy of the heavenly Kingdom, who praises and blesses the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.27 (sect. 2) (last parag.)–29 (end of 1st parag.).
Who would not weep for me, because for a little pleasure I have despised the endless fire and have not sought the eternal Kingdom? I served the passions, unhappily, and having ruined the dignity of my soul, I became like a beast, and now I cannot raise my eyes to the merciful Lord. I once was at rest, enriched with gifts, but now I love the poverty of passions. Having gone to a distant land of vices, virtues have become strangers. I am half-dead, having very little in me for the remnant of my life.
Weep, you reverend and righteous ones, for me, one seized by passions and sins. Cry, ascetics of abstinence, for me, a gluttonous and sensual. Weep, merciful and indulgent, for me, pardoned and grieving. Weep, you who loved good and hated the evil, for me, one who loved evil and hated good. Weep, you who have acquired a valiant life, for me, one who outwardly is a lover of virtue, but in fact is devoted to passions and careless. Weep, you who please God, for me, a pleaser of men. Weep, you who have perfect love for God and neighbor, for me, one who shows love in words yet is far from it in practice. Weep, you have acquired and bear fruit in patience, for me, one impatient and fruitless. Weep, you who pray to God unashamed, for me, one ashamed to gaze at the heights of heaven. Weep, you who have acquired humility, for me, a stranger to it. Weep, humble ones, for me, the most wise and proud. Weep, you who have acquired apostolic non-covetousness, for me, one adhering to the material and burdened thereby. Weep, faithful and unshakable in heart before the Lord, for me, two-minded, weak, unfavorable. Weep, you who loved weeping and hated laughter, for me, who loved laughter and hated weeping. Weep, you keeping the judgment at death in your mind, for me, asserting that I remember the judgment, but I do the opposite. Weep, heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven, for me, the heir of fiery hell. Pray, you saints of God, for the overwhelmed soul; however you can, help, you saints of God. For I know that if you plead with the mankind-loving God, everything will be given to us from the sea of His goodness. And as God is the Lover of mankind, so you who are considered worthy, do not despise my, the sinner’s, petition because of the multitude of my sins, for I myself have no boldness. Your work, O saints of God, is to intercede for sinners, and God’s work is to have mercy on the desperate. Entreat, O saints of God, the King for the captive; beg the Shepherd for the one sheep; beg Life for the dead man, to send His hand and strengthen my humble soul in its unsteadiness.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.29 (sect. 2) (1st full parag.)–30 (through 2nd parag.) (Th’s last 2 parags. paraphrastic)
I fall down before the bounty of Your goodness, O Lord of all. Accept the prayer of the sinner, delight the soul grieved by sin, give drink to the thirsty from the spring of life and guide me in its path. As the Lord of His servant, lead me through the Royal Gates to free me from slavery to dishonorable passions, because my heart is entangled, as it were, with iron chains. May Your compassions precede me, O Lord, through the prayers of Your saints, before I am drawn along with those who practice iniquity.
Then will be revealed what I have done in the darkness and in the light. Alas, what shame will envelop me when those who think now that I am irreproachable see me condemned. Leaving spiritual work, I, a weak man, obeyed the passions. Alas, my soul, why is the sun darkened by the mist of passion? Why is life wasted by death? Why doesn’t the haze disappear when the rays of light appear? Why do we prefer corruption to incorruption? Why do we allow passions to draw the soul to the earth? We have made the woven garment unfit for use and unworthy of a royal marriage, and voluntarily sold ourselves to sins, enslaved to the enemy of our life. What will you say to the Judge on that terrible and trembling day? Would you say: did you suffer hunger for His sake, or thirst, or nakedness, or humbled yourself, or loved Him with all your soul?
The Teacher incessantly cries out with boldness: He who is in power, receive the bridle for yourself; whoever is in bondage, receive equality; whoever is a beggar, receive a safe treasure. Why do you choose not freedom, but restriction? Why are you biding your time and not listening to reason? Why are you listening to a plotting friend and not to saving love? Why don’t we help our nature while we have time? While you are still the master of your thoughts, until your body and mind are exhausted, until others have your good in their hands, until the gift is obvious and not doubtful for you, and grace touches the depths, while your tears serve as an indication of your departure for you, warn, and stand courageously against the passions in God’s militia, with God’s help. Fight valiantly against Goliath, so that the robber does not take you, the murderer does not seize you, nor does someone predatory block you from taking the Kingdom by force.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.42 (sect. 4) (3rd parag. quote)–43 (thr. 1st parag.)
Have mercy on me, God, according to Your great mercy, and according to the multitude of Your compassions, blot out my iniquities (Psalm 50.3). For if You have mercy on me, having freed me from the miserable affliction of the passions, if You will only have mercy on me, then I wish to be obedient to Your goodness. If You create according to the abundance of Your goodness, You will deliver me. If You pour out Your goodness on me, I will be saved. I am sure that this is possible for You, and I do not deny it. I know this by the multitude of Your compassions, for my sins are multitudes. I know You will have mercy on all who turn to You with all their strength. I confess that I have abused Your grace many times, and always after this, having rejected Your grace, I sinned like no one else has sinned. But You who raised the dead, raise me also, who was dead in sin. You who healed the blind, enlighten the darkened eyes of my heart. You who rescued Adam from the mouth of the serpent, remove me from the mud of my iniquities, because I also belong to Your flock and, according to my desires, became the food of lions. Sins have made me a dog, but healed by Your grace, I will be a son. I was tossed away like a dead man, but if You would, I will be cleansed. I know that I have sinned with knowledge, but I have for myself the prayer books of Your saints. I know that I surpass every measure in my sins, but Your goodness is irresistible. You, who gave an advantage to the tax collector, give it to me, who did much worse. You, Lord, who had mercy on Zacchaeus as worthy, have mercy on me, the unworthy. Paul was once a wolf, and he pursued the sheep of your flock; he was a wild beast and ravaged the sheep. By Your grace, I became a shepherd, diligently walking after the sheep. I know that through ignorance he committed a sin and, as an ignorant one, was granted the remission of sins and greater grace. But You, O Lord, having condemned as guilty my committed sin, have mercy on me according to Your abundant grace.
Блаженства. 55 глав. TCO 2.7–17; 1.341–350. Assemani 1.282–292: Веаtitudines, capita quinquaginta quinque. Beatitudes, 55 chapters. CPG 3935 (1): nos. 31–34, 36–41.
31. Blessed is he who, having enlightened the eyes of the heart, always, as in a mirror, sees the Lord in himself; such has received relief from passions and from sinful thoughts.
32. Blessed is he who loves beautiful and good talk, but hates shameful and pernicious words; such will not be captured by the evil one.
33. Blessed is he who edifies his neighbor with the fear of God and has not deceived his soul, hourly fearing the iron rod of the Great Shepherd.
34. Blessed is he who considers his neighbor in God and endures sorrow with thanksgiving, for such will be crowned, becoming a confessor in the Lord.
36. Blessed is he who loves self-control according to God, for he does not prefer his stomach to grace, as does a sensual and unclean person; such will be exalted in the Lord.
37. Blessed is he who does not get drunk on wine as a dissolute, but always delights in remembering the Lord; with him all the saints are ever pleased.
38. Blessed is he who, according to God, disposes of his property and is not condemned by God the Saviour as a money-lover and unmerciful to his neighbor.
39. Blessed is he who keeps watch in prayer, reading, and good deeds; he will be enlightened and will not fall asleep in death.
40. Blessed is he who became a wonderful spiritual net and caught many to the good Lord; he will be praised in the Lord.
41. Blessed is he who has become an excellent model for his neighbor and has not hurt the conscience of a slave like himself by deeds that are unlawful; he will be blessed in the Lord.
Слово 1-oe. O скончавшихся отцах. TCO 1.300–305; 1.220–224. Assemani 1.172–175: Sermo in patres defunctos. Sermon on deceased fathers. CPG 3921: 1.220 (sect. 16; Th’s 1st parag. paraphrastic)–221 (mid. last parag.), 222 (last sent. of 1st parag.; 1st–4th sents. of last parag.), 223 (1st full parag.), 224 (last parag. of section; paraphr.).
My heart hurts. Be compassionate and you, brethren, blessed servants, come listen. My soul is sick; my insides ache. Where can I find tears, where can I find contrition, so that my body can be washed with tears and sighs? Who will take me to an uninhabited place, where there would be no noise interrupting tears and anxiety preventing crying? ….
I see, O Lord, that you take your saints, like choice gold, from the vain world into the refreshment of life. As a clever farmer, when he sees the fruits well-ripened, with foresight rushes to collect them so that they are not damaged by any troubles unfavorable to them. So You, the Saviour Himself, gather the elect, working righteously. And we, the lazy ones, weak by willfulness, remain in our bitterness, and our fruit always remains immature, because we do not have the determination to ripen in good deeds, and to be righteously collected into the granary of life. ….
“Alas, alas for me!”—Speak, O soul, and weep, having lost so soon perfect fathers and righteous ascetics. Where are our fathers? Where are the saints? Where are the sleepless? Where are the sober? Where are the humble? Where are the meek? Where are the silent? Where are the abstinent? Where are the reverent? Where are the non-possessive? Where are the brokenhearted, pleasing to God, who stood before God in pure prayer, like the angels of God, and moistened nearly all the earth with sweet tears of contrition? ….
They moved from here to the holy God, having their lamps ready. ….
Alas, alas for me, soul! What times we are living in! Alas for me, my beloved ones! What an abyss of evils we have entered today! We do not know this, because we want not to know. Since our spiritual eye is not sober due to great blindness and distraction, we are therefore unable to comprehend the impending trouble. The monks and saints are now being chosen and brought into the harbor of life, so as not to see the sorrow and temptations to befall us for our sins. They are chosen, and we doze. They are in delight, and we drag ourselves through a vain world. They gather in an assembly, and we sleep. They go boldly before God, but we on earth indulge in distraction. ….
I, the unworthy and sinful, ask all of you, I beg you all, shed tears in your prayer and in pure supplication, so that I too may come to contrition and weep with you, so that a little blindness of my heart may be enlightened and that I may seek holy God, the Saviour—may He grant me the perfect willingness to diligently repent, while it is still time to receive tears, and may I be saved with you, brothers, even I, one unworthy of life. I ask you, beloved ones, receive the prayer of the sinful Ephraim, your careless brother. And we will keep in mind the holy God of mercies while we yet have time. For behold, the Lord stands at the door to bring about the end of this vain age.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): (sect. 3)–33 (through 2nd parag.).
Love compels me to speak to God, and my unworthiness convinces me to be silent. Painful sicknesses force me to speak, and sins force me to remain silent. My soul is sick, my eyes long for tears.
You have sinned, O soul: repent. For now our days pass like a shadow. In the fearsome and terrible places you will go, do not hold off for a long time, day after day, turning to the Lord, my soul. Come in contrition, my soul, come in contrition at the thought of all those blessings that you received from the Lord, and you did not keep them. Come in contrition at the thought of all that you have done, yet God has been patient with you. Come in contrition, so that at the Last Judgment of Christ you will not be betrayed into pitch darkness. Woe to me, a sinner! For out of my weakness I have defiled and will always defile the purity of my heart. Neglect and indolence have put to shame the boldness of my heart. Sinful lust commands me as a master does a slave, and I, like a child, immediately obey him with fear. It deceives me, and I enjoy it. Alas for me, Lord! Your grace draws me to life, yet I prefer death instead. You ensure that I become equal with the angels, yet I, out of my depravity, humiliate myself. My sins have multiplied, O Lord, and they are continually multiplying, and there is no limit to their multitude.
And who will cry for me, or plead for me? You alone, my Saviour, inclined to mercy by Your goodness, look mercifully at me, the desperate one. How will I plead with You, O Lord, because my lips are full of slander? Or how will I sing to You, because my conscience is defiled? Or how will I love You, because I am full of passions? Or how will the truth dwell in me, because I have mistreated myself in falsehood? Or how will I call upon You, because I have not kept Your commandments?
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): (sect. 3) (3rd parag.; cont’d from last)–35 (end of p.).
After I acquired the knowledge of the truth, I became a murderer and offender. I quarrel over little things. I am envious and cruel to my neighbors. I harbor evil thoughts. I am not merciful to the poor. I am angry, quarrelsome, stubborn, lazy, irritable. I love smart clothes, and to this day I still have a lot of bad thoughts, outbursts of pride, gluttony, sensuality, vanity, pride, malice, gossip, secret eating, despondency, rivalry, indignation. I am nothing, but I think a lot of myself. I lie incessantly, but I am angry with liars. I defile the temple of God with lustful thoughts, but I strictly judge fornicators. I condemn those who fail, and I myself constantly fail. I condemn the evil-speaking ones and the thieves, but I myself am both a thief and evil-speaking. I walk with a bright gaze, although I am all unclean. In churches and at meals, I want to be in the first place. I see monks, and I am magnified. I see monks, and I boast. I strive to seem pleasant for women, dignified for strangers, intelligent and prudent for my own, perfectly prudent. I treat the pious as the wisest. I despise the foolish as the dumb. If offended, I take revenge. If honored, I abhor those who revered me. If they demand something from me by right, I start a lawsuit, and those who tell me the truth, I regard them as enemies. Convicted, I am angry. If they do not flatter me, I am displeased. I do not want to honor the worthy, but myself, being unworthy, I demand honors. I do not want to bother myself, and if someone does not serve me, I am angry with him. I don’t want to go along with the workers, and if someone doesn’t help me in my business, I slander him. When he is in need, I ignore him, but if he is healthy, I run to him. I hate a sick person, and if I myself am sick. I wish that all love me. I despise the highest, I despise the lowest. If I restrain myself from unreasonable wishes, I become conceited. If I succeed in vigilance, I fall into the net of disobedience and contradiction. If I abstain from food, I am drowning in arrogance and pride. If I am vigilant in prayer, I am overcome by irritability and anger. If I see virtue in someone, I do not consider it. I despise all worldly pleasures, yet I do not lag behind the vain desires for these. If I see women, I clean myself up. Outwardly I am humbly wise, but in my soul I am arrogant. Visibly, I am not covetous, yet mentally I am crave multi-covetousness. Yet why waste time? Visibly, I have renounced the world, but in fact I am thinking always about worldly things. During the service I am engaged in conversations, searching for thoughts and vain recollections. During the meal I go into idle talk. I am greedy for gifts. I take part in other people’s failures. I go into disastrous rivalry. This is my life. I oppose my salvation with so much bad. My arrogance and my vanity do not allow me to think about my wounds in order to heal myself. These are my valiant exploits. With such a multitude of sins the enemy takes up arms against me. Yet with all this I, the accursed one, strive to be glorified with holiness. I live in sins, but I want to be considered righteous.
I have one excuse for all this: the devil led me to this. But this did not serve as an excuse for Adam. I am sure that the devil taught Cain, but he too did not avoid condemnation. What will I do if the Lord visits me? I have no excuse for my negligence. I am afraid that I also may not be among those whom Paul called vessels of wrath (Rom. 9:22), for they will undergo a fate similar to that of the devil, and God gave them up to shameful passions for neglect (Rom. 1:26). So, it is dangerous that the same definition is not pronounced on me.
If you want to save me, an unworthy one, grant repentance, Lord, to me, a sinner. Revive, O life-giver, my soul mortified by sins. Wash away the stony hardness from my poor heart and grant me the source of contrition, Who has shed life for us from His life-pouring side.
O брани с диаволом. TCO 1.315–318; 1.230–232. Assemani 1.182: Sermo tetrasyllabus. Tetrasyllabic sermon. CPG 3923.: 1.230 (sect. 18)–232 (end of sect; Th’s last 2 parags. paraph.).
The sinful devil, after a decisive victory over him, sat down, complained about himself with weeping and said: “Alas for poor me! What have I, the unfortunate. been subjected? How did you leave the battle, yielding victory over yourself? However, I myself became the culprit of this shame, for a long time engaging in a struggle with them. Defeated in the first and second battles, I ought to immediately change my mind that Christ is with them. And now, in pursuit of victory over the saints, I only increased, to my dishonor, their reward, and, defeated, retreated in great shame, with my head wounded by my own blows. For I have set up nets to catch them; and they, capturing them, smashed my head. They also took my sharp arrows, which I threw at them, and they killed me. I wanted to overcome them with various passions, but they also put me to flight by the power of the cross. Therefore, I justly endure the greatest madman, who, unwillingly, made it possible to see that my opponents are well-skillful. I should have come to understanding after what I suffered from Christ, after all my strength had been overthrown by Him. For then I did everything to crucify Him; and his death put me to death. I again suffered the same from the martyrs, having undergone shame, both shame and laughter. I moved the kings, prepared torment, so that the martyrs, seeing this, would be horrified and deny Christ. They not only were not horrified by the various executions, but until their death they confessed Christ. So now, wishing to defeat these in battle, I retreated with great shame, defeated. I cannot bear the shame that I have suffered. I boasted of great designs, and my power and all my dominion were overthrown by insignificant people. Finally, I don’t know what to do and how to justify myself? Insignificant and ignorant people received a crown of victory, but I, the unfortunate one, remained in shame, darkened, struck with terror, and my strength was weakened. Therefore, I do not at all know what to do for my poor self, and what to do when running away from these courageous ascetics. I will go to my friends, who have chosen a carefree life, where there will be no work for me and no tricks are needed either. For, having taken their bonds from them, I will bind them with them. Then, having bound them with the bonds to which they are committed, I will already have them at my fingertips, like slaves who always voluntarily fulfill my desires, so that, at least in this case, I gain the upper hand, come to my senses a little, and boast of them as a valiant warrior and victor. For, although by their way of life they will plunge themselves into the abyss, nevertheless I will rejoice at their destruction, and will gladly lead them on the path of destruction, in order to have accomplices in the inextinguishable fire.”
So, brethren, having come to know the weakness of the enemy, let us be attentive to ourselves, competing with the fathers. If we walk the way they walked, we will find with them the Lord Jesus, who became our leader and facilitator. Then, soon, the enemy will see that Christ, the true Light, is with us, and he will not dare to look into our faces at all, because the light that is in us blinds his eyes.
So, according to what was said before, Christ-loving brethren, let us strive to cleanse our hearts in order to attract the grace of the Spirit to help ourselves, and the enemy will not grow stronger against us. We ourselves, foolish ones, give him strength, alienating ourselves from God by rejecting the holy commandments. Having caught us naked of grace, the enemy himself leads us on his path. Therefore, I implore you and constantly demand: let us flee the evil one, let us flee from him; let us also break the bonds with which he bound us at our own will. Let us run to Christ, bearing the good and light yoke of His mercy, so that, walking the good path of Christ’s commandments, we may reach the city that God has prepared for those who love Him. Honor and splendor to the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, now and always, and for ages of ages! Amen.
O правой жизни. 90 глав. TCO 2.171–188; 2.67–79. Assemani 2.56–72: De recta vivendi ratione (capita xc). On the proper manner of living. CPG 3941: 2.71 (sect. 34. 1st sent., then paraphr.; 36. paraphr.), 72–73 (sect. 41, 43–47).
34. If you are not yet greatly inflamed by the Holy Spirit, then do not wish to listen to others thoughts, for you will find in them a double war against yourself. Firstly, because the soul is corrupted by the remembrance of what it has heard, and, secondly, because you will meet resistance to being instructed, when a brave soul does not overthrow the passions with cross-bearing strength. When such a negligent person falls again into the same passions as the enemy, he looks to his chosen mentor, and the latter, if he is wise, will let the instructed one know that he has forgotten everything.
36. If you use reading, then look not only for the striking and flowery, and do not keep your attention on such, otherwise the demon of self-indulgence will strike your heart. Rather, just as a wise bee collects honey from flowers, so, through reading, acquire healing for the soul.
41. Blessed is he who preaches virtue by deeds. For if you say what is inherent in virtue, but do what is contrary to it, it will not save you. Likewise, he who does wrong in speaking of chastity will not receive the victory reward.
43. When you see people who are zealous for impure love, do not marvel at them, and let not the good-colored skin deceive you, which will soon turn to dust, but, sighing within yourself, sing, saying: Remind us, O Lord, that we are dust. A man, like the grass are his days, he blooms like a flower in the field, that the wind (spirit) passes through, and he is not, and will not know where his place is. The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting for those who fear Him (Psalm 102.14–17). And in this case, by the grace of God, you will not be a captive of the evil one.
44. Pray diligently to the Lord to grant you a spirit of perfect chastity. In order to escape the wiles of the wicked one in your nightly dreams, flee as one runs seeing that a beast is chasing him, or as a man pursued with a burning flame passes from house to house so that the fire does not burn him.
45. Just as it is impossible, without effort, to buy literacy or artistic skill for oneself with money, so it is impossible to become a monk without zeal and diligent patience.
46. The head is preferable for you to all the members of your body. And if a stone, or a stick, or a sword is brought to you, then you substitute the other members of the body, just to ward off the blow from the head, knowing that it is impossible to live without a head. So let it be more preferable for you to believe in the Holy and Consubstantial Trinity, because without this faith it is impossible for anyone to live a true life.
47. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and you will easily avoid evil plots. The Lord will not abandon those who serve Him.
O душевном страхе. TCO 1.319–326; 1.233–238 Assemani 1.183–187: De timore animarum. On the fear of souls. CPG 3925: 1.233 (3rd parag., sent. 2)–234 (whole 1st parag.) (Th’s last 3 parags. paraphr, exc. the 2nd includes next to last sent. of parag. 2 p. 234). [233.par2.sent2–244.par2].
Reflecting on this with myself, I suddenly lifted my eyes to heaven and came, as it were, into an ecstasy. Great fear fell upon me, and with the eyes of my heart I saw the Lord sitting in great glory, and He said to my soul: “Why, O soul, have you abhorred your heavenly palace, which is filled with the light of glory? Why do you, My soul, My bride, hate the most pure and immortal Bridegroom? Why have you, O soul, abhorred the blessings that I have prepared for you in the light of life? Why have you, O soul, become alien to Me by your obscene deeds and thoughts? Why do you, O soul, not care to appear before Me at My coming? Why, O soul, do you not hold your lamp, waiting for the cry when they say with joy: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming, let us go out to meet him’ (Matthew 25.6)? Why, O soul, do you not hasten to prepare a proper garment for marriage? Why, O soul, do you not enter joyfully into the holy and heavenly palace? Why do you, O soul, hate me, the Good One, who redeemed your life from death? For you, O soul, I entered into communion with death, in order to equip you as a bride for myself. As your inheritance, O soul, I have given you the Kingdom without envy. All My blessings I have communicated to you, O soul, as a King. For you, O soul, I became a man, wanting to redeem your life from corruption. Your life, O soul, I have honored and exalted above all My works. For you, O soul, I have prepared a palace in heaven and will have the angels serve you in this palace, which I have prepared so that you will enter there with joy. And you, O soul, have abhorred the Heavenly Bridegroom and the ineffable blessings that I have prepared for you. And who is more desirable than Me, who saves every creature with His bounties? What kind of father gives life as I give? And you have forsaken Me, O soul, having loved a stranger and the hateful one? ”
With great fear, brothers, I was afraid at that hour, with the eyes of my mind penetrating into the fearsome words of the Lord and seeing the great shame of my soul. I came to horror and trembling, and lost my strength through fear and great confusion, thinking: “Where can I hide, not tolerating the enormity of this shame?” Then I said: “You mountains, cover the sinner and the wicked!” Then, raising my voice, I wept, bowing my head in shame and shedding tears for myself, and said: “Why did I come out of my mother’s womb to irritate the holy, good and merciful Lord? I did not take advantage of my conception in my womb and physical growth. I did not take advantage of the heavenly gifts and holy cures of Your grace!”
O душевном страхе. TCO 1.319–326; 1.233–238 Assemani 1.183–187: De timore animarum. On the fear of souls. CPG 3925: 1.234 (last parag. quote)–235 mid. (1st half of Th’s next to last parag.); Th’s last parag. includes. 237 last par thr. 238 top.
However, I fell down weeping, with sickness and lamentation of my heart. I asked and cried out in tears, saying: “Hear, O Lord, my weeping, and accept the words of my prayer, which the sinner ashamed of You, brings to You, O long-suffering One, the merciful and generous! Do not walk with me in all my deeds, do not remember those bitter griefs with which I irritated Your grace, all-gracious Lord! But it is better for me, a sinner, that You grant me some time to have an opportunity for repentance, O good Lover of mankind. Your grace has endured the sins of my youth, of which there is a great multitude. Let your grace now tolerate alienation, grief, and the rashness of passion. I myself know, O long-suffering One, the oath which You swore by Yourself, saying: As I live, says the Lord God, I do not want the death of the sinner (Ezek. 33.11) and the wicked, but rather to save the sinner from all the iniquities that he has done. By Your compassions, generous, good, benevolent Lord, You swore that you did not want the death of a sinner, but ‘that you would turn … and live’ (Ezek. 33:11). Be merciful to me, the sinner who reminds You of Your mercy. Have mercy, forgive and do not charge me with the rashness of my oaths. You yourself, testing hearts and emotions, and even all human thoughts, know, O Lord, that because of bitter spiritual sorrow I dared to say this before You. Look, O Christ Saviour, at the source of my tears, at the contrition and sighing of my unworthy soul. Let a fearsome command come and cover me before this terrible command will come and overtook me, unprepared and embarrassed. For it is better that Your grace give me some time for true repentance. The sinner who sheds tears cannot despise, O Most Merciful, Your grace, which grants forgiveness for the sins it has committed to every soul that comes and asks. You, O holy and good One, listen to my voice and my tearful sobs, and have mercy on me. See now, O long-suffering One, O Good One, that I too may bear the fruit of repentance. That is why I beg You to grant me time of repentance. Always remind me, Saviour, and continually draw me to life so that I may be saved.” ….
Therefore, all of us people implore Your immeasurable love for mankind, O holy Lord. Give us time for repentance and forgiveness of sins, in order to serve You with a pure heart all the days of our life. Then, having pleased You with good deeds, to be honored, not only to end our life, but also to enter into Your eternal bliss, which You have prepared for all Your saints, who delight You in every way.
Молитвы ко Пресвятой Богородице. TCO 7.162–201; 4.59–94. Assemani 3.524–552: Precationes ad sanctissimam dei matrem. Prayers to the most holy Mother of God. CPG 4079: sect. 3.
O Virgin Lady Theotokos, who bore in your womb the Saviour Christ our God, I place all my hope in you. I trust in you, highest of all heavenly powers. Protect me, O most pure one, with your divine grace. Direct my life and guide me according to the holy will of your Son our God. Grant me forgiveness for my fall, be for me a refuge, a cover, a protection and a guide, leading to eternal life. In the fearsome hour of death, do not leave me, O my Lady, but hurry to help me and erase from me the bitter torment of demons. For in your will you also have the power to do this, as truly the Mother of God and reigning over everything. Accept, O honorable one, appropriate gifts from us, your unworthy servants, O Most merciful, all-holy Lady, Mother of God, chosen from all, who turned out to be superior to all creatures of heaven and earth. Because through you we have come to know the Son of God, through you the Lord of hosts has become with us, and we have been honored with His holy body and blood, so are you blessed for generations, most blessed, more radiant than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim. And now, beseeching you, O all-holy Theotokos, do not cease to implore for us, your unworthy servants, so that we can rid ourselves of every plot of the wicked one and from every distress, and be kept invulnerable to every poisonous trick. Even to the end, by your prayers, keep us uncondemned, so that those who are saved by your intercession and your help will always send glory, praise, thanksgiving and worship to the One God in the Trinity, the Creator of all.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.36 (sect. 3 Wed vespers) (3rd parag.)–37 (through 1st parag.).
O Almighty God, the only One who has power over life and death, grant me, a sinner, Your great bounties at this hour of Your terrible coming, so that there, before Your terrible throne, I do not become reproachful and a great shame for those looking at me: the angels, archangels, prophets, apostles, patriarchs, martyrs, ascetics, and all the righteous. Here, O my Saviour, here, where I have enjoyed the delight of sin, grant me understanding as a gracious and loving Father, and there forgive me, as heavenly God, the only sinless One. Every sin was committed by me, the accursed. I surpassed all in debauchery. I have earned the punishment, and if I begin to repentance, then I have no tears. Alas, with what eyes will I, a sinner and careless, gaze at that fearsome throne on which you will sit, O Lord, and will denounce what I have done? I know that you, the fearsome Judge, in Divine glory, will convict me. All my life, as one weak, have I wasted prodigally, incessantly, wallowing in the muck of sensuality. You alone, my Creator, know all my secret failings and all the vastness of my sins. No one was such a vital place of sin as I am. No one has grieved Your goodness so much, O Lord, as I have, following the aspirations of vice. But you, like a sea of goodness, dry up the harmful seas of my sins, and like an abyss of mercy you have descended into the abyss of my sins. Do not repay me for what I have done; do not condemn me to the flame of hell, for your anger is unbearable, O Lord. Who will endure this last threat? For the fire will not go out, and our worm will not die.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.37 (sect. 3) (whole 2nd parag.; cont’ng from last).
Fear, O soul, the threat to you. Put away the heavy sleep of neglect and the drowsiness of awful carelessness. The end is near. The Judgment is at the door. What will greet us when we are separated from life? Come to me, O saints and righteous who have fought the good fight, and weep for me as for a dead man, or pity me as if I was alive but half-dead, for I am full of shame and have no boldness, because of my sins done in knowledge. Pour out your mercy on me, as on a captive, and as on one covered with festering wounds. Have mercy on me, as the initiates of the merciful God, our Saviour, and beg Him to convert me freely, so that at the hour of His coming I should not be unworthy and not hear this fearful statement: Depart from Me, all workers of unrighteousness; I say to you: I do not know you (Luke 13:27).
Блаженства. 55 глав. TCO 2.7–17; 1.341–350. Assemani 1.282–292: Веаtitudines, capita quinquaginta quinque. Beatitudes, 55 chapters. CPG 3935 (1): nos. 42–46, 48–49.
42. Blessed is he who has become magnanimous and merciful and has not enslaved himself to wild irritability, that is, to evil anger; he will be exalted in the Lord.
43. Blessed is he who, having risen up in love, has become like a city built on top of a mountain, from which the enemy, looking at it, departs with fear, fearing that he is firm in the Lord.
44. Blessed is he who shone with faith in the Lord, like a clear lamp on a tall lampstand, and enlightened the darkened souls who followed the teachings of the faithless and wicked.
45. Blessed is he who always loves the truth and did not let his mouth be an instrument of wickedness, fearing the commandment regarding the idle word.
46. Blessed is he who does not condemn his neighbor as an unwise person, but, as a rational and spiritual person, tries to remove the beam from his own eye.
48. Blessed is he who abstained from the eyelids [flirting], and neither mentally nor sensually was seduced by the skin of the flesh, which will soon ooze pus from itself.
49. Blessed is he who has before his eyes the day of his exit and hates pride, before our natural weakness is clothed with death, rotting in the grave.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.38 (top)–39 (thr. end of sect.).
So, I beg You, O True Light, begotten of Your blessed Father, the image of His hypostasis (Hebrews 1.3), seated at the right hand of His majesty, incomprehensible Son of God, unsearchable Christ, the praise and joy of those who love You, my life, my light, O my Christ, do not despise me, the humiliated, do not reject me, the vile, because it is extremely pleasant to my enemy when I despair in myself because of the darkness of vice surrounding me. That is the only thing he rejoices in, when he sees that despair makes me his captive. But You, according to Your compassion, shame his hope, and remove me from his teeth; deliver me from his malicious intent, and from everything that he raises against me, because he takes up arms against me with so many. Grant me, Lord, enlightenment for knowledge of the intrigues of the adversary, the hater of good, because he puts in my way countless cases of inclination, and temptations, and wounding, and much acquisitiveness, and the distraction of this age, and carnal pleasure, and the longevity of real life, timidity towards effort, laziness in prayers, and sleep and bodily rest during psalm singing.
As much the enemy tries for my destruction, so much I, the poor one, indulge in carelessness and negligence. And the more he snares me, the more careless I am. Be attentive, O soul, take care of your conscience. Pay no attention to the faults of others, but rather be attentive to your own faults. Pay no attention to the splinter in the eye of your brother and neighbor, rather attend to the beam in your own eye incessantly. Hurry, look forward, be reconciled to Christ, crucified in the flesh for you. If we condemn ourselves, then perhaps we will not be condemned when there is the great and endless condemnation.
Have mercy on me, Lord, according to Your goodness, and save me, according to Your singular goodness, through the intercession of our Most Pure Lady the Theotokos and all Your saints, for You are blessed for ages of ages. Amen.
Слово o том, как душа, когда искушает ее враг, должна со слезами молиться богу. TCO 1.337–344; 1.245–251. Assemani 1.193–198: Quomodo anima cum lacrymis debeat orare deum, quando tentatur ab inimico. How the soul should pray to God with tears when tempted by the adversary. CPG 3928: 1.245 (sect. 21)–246 (thr. 1st. part. parag.).
With grief, the suppressed soul comes to You, O holy Lord, and with tears it appears, complaining about the destroyer, the enemy, and in all humility falls down, asking for protection from the oppressor. Since she approaches You without shame, listen to her and in care visit her soon, who comes to You with love. If you despise a soul crushed by sorrow, then it will perish. If you cease to listen to her, the oppressed, then she will become impoverished. But if you visit according to your bounty, then she will be enriched. If you look to her, she will be saved. If you hear her, she will be strengthened. Be jealous for her, for the soul is betrothed to You. For the apostle Paul betrothed her to You, who said that You are an immortal zealot (Heb. 12.29 and Deut. 4.24). Do not despise her, lest the enemy think that You are divorced from her and You sent her away. Punish me, O Lord, according to Your compassions, but do not deliver me into the hands of the destroyer. Behold, I have gathered my thoughts from everywhere, and I cannot remember anything good in front of You, except for one: I do not know any other God besides You.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.39 (sect. 4)–42 (thr. 2nd parag.).
Here I again fall down at the gate of my Lord, asking, begging, worshiping and crying out with fear. For a slave who has sinned against his Lord should not avoid His hands, but remain in His power. Hearken, O Lord, to my complaint and accept the words of my petition, which I, ashamed, a sinner, bring to You. Pour on me, the poor one, by Your mercy, at least a small drop of repentance, so that I may have at least some little zeal for correcting myself. For if your grace does not enlighten my soul, I will not be able to see in myself my passions and negligence.
Alas, the sin that prevailed over me found it in me to increase itself, and every day it humiliates me more and more and plunges me into the depths. Yet I, the accursed, do not cease to anger God, fearing neither the inextinguishable fire, nor the suffering of eternal torment. Sin, turning into a habit, leads me to complete destruction. Although I convict myself and do not stop bringing confession, nevertheless I remain in sins. I look and I do not see, because I sin in repentance itself. I am not discerning in my actions, rather I blame my repentance. As a slave to sin, and even though I do no evil, as a militant under the power of sin, I submit to it, and, having the opportunity to flee, I pay tribute to this inclination that reigns in me. Caring about passions, I receive the wages of the flesh. I know that corruption in me is intensifying, and like a slave, as soon as I am ordered, I immediately assist it. I avoid the impending battle and, like a dog on an iron chain, I return to the one giving the order. I hate sin. I abhor lawlessness. Yet I abide in passion, because it possesses me, the ill-fated, and, against my will, submitting to sensuality. I submit to my nature by necessity. Passion has bought my will for itself and pours sin on me. Passions boil in me in spite of my mind. I united them with the flesh, for they do not tolerate separation. I hasten to change my will, and my previous state opposes me in that. I try, poor man, to free my soul, but the evil creditor leads me into great debts; he does not remind regarding payment, but lends generously, and never wants to be paid, but only wants my slavery. He gives to me to enrich myself with passions, and does not collect a debt. I want to repay the old debt to him, and he adds a new one. If I make myself a little progress regarding my passions, then, in order to depose me, he gives me new passions. And, seeing that constantly being in debt forces me to be a sinner, he introduces new desires into me and, so that I do not confess, plunges my passions into oblivion. I meet new passions and, being occupied with them, I forget about the old ones. I make friends with the passions that have appeared again, and again I find myself in debt. I run to them as to friends, and my creditors again treat me like masters. Then I, who shortly before that tried to get freedom, become for their sake an expensively purchased slave. I hasten to break their bonds and suddenly I am taxed with new ones. I hasten to free myself from battle in their ranks and, as one who took many gifts from them, I find myself their steward. Oh, what a power over me of sinful passions! Oh, what a reign of a wily, cunning serpent! I act according to my nature, and he enters into bargaining, and gives a pledge in order to sell the mind itself to sin. He convinces me to please the flesh under the pretext of using it to serve the soul. Then I am conquered by sensuality and, having immediately indulged in intemperate sleep, I completely lose her service. When I pray, the thought of some insignificant pleasure inspires me, and with it, like a bronze chain, it keeps my mind weak, yet if my mind wants to run away, it does not weaken the bonds. Thus, sin guards the mind and locks the door of knowledge. Malice constantly watches over the mind, so that it does not come into agreement with God and does not prevent the wages of the flesh, leads to a lot of confused thoughts, assures that there will be no question of such a small thing at the Judgment, that it is impossible even to be aware of these thoughts and that everything like this, it will be forgotten. But I can imagine my reproof before my eyes, and I know that punishment threatens me. By this he restrains, by this he binds, by this he sells and buys my sin, by this he deceives me, by this he flatters me, subdues me to himself, because, as the Apostle says, a man of is flesh … is sold to sin (Rom. 7.14). For the sin that is in my flesh dominates the mind, and because of my guilt, using the flesh in action, it burdens the soul with it. If I decide to fast or stand in vigil, he will inflict wounds on me. Sin, through the flesh as its property, burdens the soul with chains and, like a sheep to be slaughtered and like a bird soaring high, binds it, and, like a strong giant, cuts off the hands and feet with the help of the same flesh. I can neither run nor help myself. Alas, I am alive and dead; I look and I don’t see. From a man I have become a dog. I, rational, am treated like an animal!
Have mercy on yourself, O soul, and hurry before separation, so that we do not remain outside the gate with the foolish, because it is impossible for mortals to see life, or to think about righteousness when there is no struggle, in which life and death are acquired. For when there is no flesh which is abused by the enemy, he is conquered by his weakness.
Слово o том, как душа, когда искушает ее враг, должна со слезами молиться богу. TCO 1.337–344; 1.245–251. Assemani 1.193–198: Quomodo anima cum lacrymis debeat orare deum, quando tentatur ab inimico. How the soul should pray to God with tears when tempted by the adversary. CPG 3928: 1.246 (mid. 2nd parag.)–247 (all 1st parag.) (Th’s last parag. his own).
Here is a spring full of waters, flowing continuously, giving abundant drink to all who come to it, which has no shortage of human praise. But a man praises it not for giving him drink free of charge, but for glorifying You in it, for it is obvious that the spring gives drink by Your grace. Thus, the spring represents the limitless sea of Your bounties. You abundantly nourish the heavenly powers and endow every breathing thing on earth with food, having no need for the praise and glorification of all creation. You are glorified in the essence of Your majesty and in the majesty of Your glory. Your love, desiring our salvation, itself bows down to us, so that we glorify it and are saved by it. I am sure that this very love for Your grace receives and protects those who come to it. As a Forerunner, O Lord, you see whether one has completely cut himself off from the world, and before he comes to the door, you open it to him. Before he falls, You stretch out Your hand to him. Before he sheds tears, You cast Your mercies on him. Before he confesses your faults, You grant him forgiveness. You don’t blame, you don’t say: “When did you waste your time? Why did you miss the deadline?” You not ask about the number of his sins in the book. You do not remember that he angered You with his negligence. You do not reproach him for neglecting Your blessings, but, foreseeing humility, crying, and heartfelt disposition, you proclaim: “Take out your best garment and put it on, slaughter the fatted calf for rest and joy; let the angels gather and rejoice at the finding of the lost son and the return of the lost heir”(Luke 15.22, 27). As a merchant who returns home with great wealth is welcomed, so Your grace accepts a sinner who comes to You with all his heart. For You love the fruit of weeping, long to see repentance, and rejoice in the zeal of those trying to repent.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.57 (sect. 8) (parag. 2)–58 (thr. parag. 1).
I will proclaim to You, O Lord, everything. Forgive a perverse servant; do not despise my pitiful petition. I stretch out my defiled hands. Do not cast me, seething with passions, away, but look on me with love in Your benevolence. I defiled myself with sensuality, dishonored spiritual beauty, was enslaved to fleshly wisdom, ruined my former dominion, listened to a libelous enemy, sculpted idols of passions, fulfilled the wishes of the stomach, and overpowered the mastery of the mind. Having the honor of true sonship, I am instead like an irrational animal. Fear, trembling and horror seize me when I foresee the visitation of death, imperceptibly approaching everyone, yet I myself remain incorrigible. From the depths I cry to You, O Lord. I fall down and sigh with tears. Be merciful and philanthropic to me, for I hope only in You. Make it so that I may avoid the coming wrath, threatening condemnation then. Grant that my petrified soul should be rich in virtues. Consume my fruitless thoughts with the fire of Your Holy Spirit. Do not cut me down like a barren tree, and do not cast me into an unquenchable fire. Do not turn me into food for fire like straw, but gather me up like wheat, O my God. I bow the knee of my heart, accursed, not daring to look up to heaven. Accept the prayer of unclean lips, only sinless Creator! You, the King of all, the Almighty, who overthrew the rebellious Belial, deliver me from all iniquity. Angels and mortals celebrate my conversion. I have despised your life-giving commandments. I have been deceived by vile deeds. Do not disdain me, O good Lord. Deliver me from the bondage of the evil one. With a heartfelt fear I entreat You, Who created me according to His own will and who loved me deeply, so that for my sake you were incarnate and you endured death. Now I, the accursed one, turn out to be oblivious to even a bit of Your love, O Deliverer. I have become a slave to pleasures. I have defiled body and soul, crying every day, “I have sinned,” yet I do not stop doing bad things. Now I stand before You as one condemned, but grant me, O good One, absolution of my evil deeds, as a merciful and humane God.
O правой жизни. 90 глав. TCO 2.171–188; 2.67–79. Assemani 2.56–72: De recta vivendi ratione (capita xc). On the proper manner of living. CPG 3941: 2.73 (sect. 48), 74 (sect. 50, 51, 53, 55), 75 (sect. 59, 60), 76 (sect. 66, 68, 69).
48. The Egyptian woman wished to seduce the God-loving Joseph and forcibly drew him toward the fulfillment of her depraved intention. Yet the young man watered his soul with the remembrance of the Almighty so that he would not be inflamed with a lawless fire. He protected his senses so as not to give place to alien thoughts and not to become the perpetual prisoner of a shameless woman. Seeing her always as a deadly snare, but enduring temptation, he was crowned and became king of Egypt.
50. Let us go, brothers, along the narrow and sorrowful path, so that, having become honorable, we may have God as our guardian.
51. Pearls are always kept in the innermost treasures, but useless things are immediately thrown out like dung onto the street.
53. Cleanse yourself of unlawful deeds by repentance, and you will not be frightened by the reproach of the spiteful one.
55. With the help of the Divine fire, we must resist the fire. As a brick, until it is fired, is not solid and is brittle, once it is in the fire and receives firing, it becomes an obstacle to both fire and water. As water is held in an pottery vessel, so a pottery furnace holds a blazing flame within itself. The oven itself is made of bricks.
59. Make an effort not to be subservient to your own will, but be obedient to those who fear the Lord and, by the grace of God, you will crush the head of the serpent. But as long as you easily surrender to your will, know this: you are far from perfect. And to the extent that you are far from perfection, in the same measure you need instruction and training.
60. Endure sorrow in the Lord, so that joy will overtake you. Endure your labor for a rich reward. The stonecutter who carves stones and the blacksmith who forges iron will receive a reward for these.
66. Do not laugh at and do not condemn the one who has fallen into temptation. Instead pray more often so that you yourself do not fall into temptation. For whoever’s heart is darkened by a storm of thoughts and conquered by passions, he feels no shamed from a person, nor does he fear God. If he is the master, then he does evil without fear. But if he is weak and poor, then, indulging the coarseness of his disposition, without shame he also acts badly.
68. A cell has been given to you, O monk. Pray more often with a humble heart, like the three youths in the fiery furnace. Do not make yourself a den of robbers, indulging in unlawful deeds, so as not to be ashamed on the day of Judgment, when human secrets will be revealed.
69. He who is negligent at the time of the harvest will not have abundance in the house. And whoever is now careless will be left without the comfort of the righteous during the time of reward.
Слово o том, как душа, когда искушает ее враг, должна со слезами молиться богу. TCO 1.337–344; 1.245–251. Assemani 1.193–198: Quomodo anima cum lacrymis debeat orare deum, quando tentatur ab inimico. How the soul should pray to God with tears when tempted by the adversary. CPG 3928: 1.247 (parag. 2)–248 (mid. parag. 1) (very paraphr.).
Therefore, show me your great mercy, and give me rest from the oppression of the destroyer. For, having troubled me, he stands and mocks me. And as the disciples came to the sea and awakened You, and from the blessed voice of Your mouth the windy storm calmed and the turbulence of the waves subsided, so hear my tears that awaken You day and night. Having worked for twelve years, the alleged doctors were not able to heal the woman’s bleeding, being more torturers than healers. But what they could not give, you yourself gave; that which they declared incurable, you made healthy and gave healing without difficulty. Hoping to hide, I secretly proceeded, bleeding, to the resurrection of Your garments. She came without touching the holy body, Your robe gave her healing and comfortable deliverance from many doctors. Free, O merciful Physician, my soul, suppressed by grief, from the shame and reproach of the enemy oppressing me. Show in my members your great wisdom, make my wounds undefiled and cover them with the beauty of virtue. And Your grace will be proclaimed to have saved me, O sinless Lamb, slain for the salvation of the world, who pacified heaven and earth.
О непостоянстве человеческой воли. TCO 6.395–397; 5.184–186 Assemani 6.622–624 (Syriac): De humani ingenii inconstantia. On the inconstancy of human will: 5.184 (sect. 160, parag. 1, 2)–185 (parag. 2 [partial], 3 [last sent.], 2 [last sent.]).
Be merciful, O Good One, to our evil inclination—this is the source of all troubles. Its thoughts are secret illnesses, and its deeds are visible illnesses. From it came the first transgression of the commandment, which resulted in all sins both in the past and in recent times. O Pure One, cleanse our freedom, for it is itself a muddy spring.
I marvel at our free will. She is strong—and yet deposed. She is the master—and she became a slave. She has the ability to win—yet loves to concede victory over herself. Although she is free, she gives herself into slavery, like a slave, and with her own hand writes consent to her slavery. This is a truly reckless scribe who, with her own hand seals the handwriting of her debts. But blessed is the One who gave us freedom with His bread and blotted out the handwriting of our debts with His chalice!
Our will is easily damaged. Whoever wants to put his treasure in heaven is distracted from this by an embarrassing envy. For those who have no purity, their common sense is supported only by praise, like a flower with dew, and if disapproved, it fades like grass from heat, and withers from the scorching breath of blasphemy and loses all taste and smell. I praise your will, O Lord! She constantly yearns for our repentance.
Blessed is the memory of the righteous who have been steadfast. They did not change like the moon, but became like the sun, whose light is always the same. Their spirit was not like rain-fed streams, which are full, then suddenly dry up. Waves of temptations of all kinds rushed over the righteous, but they did not fail. Blessed is the Just One who glorified their exploits with crowns!
And glory did not mock the righteous, and reproach did not bring them to exhaustion. They were always the same, the fragrance of their high virtues was never lost. Each of their thoughts emitted the fragrance of love. The Good Merchant, abundantly dispersing the fragrance of His aromas, delights those who heed the righteous, and they impart life to their disciples. Blessed is the good One, who exudes the fragrance of their deeds from His treasures!
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.43 (sect. 4) (parag. 2)–44 (thr. parag. 2).
Alas, alas! I am ashamed of those who now respect me, so as not to be ashamed before them for hidden sins. I am ashamed of those who gave birth to me, so that in time they would not condemn me, who made a vow to live in a worldly manner. I want to become like that widow who, having troubled the judge for a long time, achieved her goal. Like the unrequited friend, I want to appear before You, the most gracious and one Lord, so that You may convert my soul captivated by sins. He asked for bread to satisfy hunger, and I ask for spiritual comfort. He asked for fleshly food, and I ask for the invocation of the soul. As the Good and Most Good One, hear the voice of my tearful weeping and convert me so that I may bear the fruit of repentance. Sprinkle the heat of my conscience and renew me, who has grown old in sinful passions, so that, freed from their slavery, it is pleasant for me to breathe the air of freedom and glorify Your goodness with joy and gladness.
You know, O Lord, that, having little trouble with my soul, I dare to broadcast this before You. I, a sinner, also know that You are gracious, O Lord, and you want me to be changed, but the fruit of my will is desirable for You. You are ready to have mercy on me, but you expect my disposition for that, for, having mercy, you want to teach me and, forgiving, you want to make me a partaker of Your Kingdom.
Multiple selections from two works:
Блаженства. 55 глав. TCO 2.7–17; 1.341–350. Assemani 1.282–292: Веаtitudines, capita quinquaginta quinque. Beatitudes, 55 chapters. CPG 3935 (1): 50, 53, 54, 55.
Блаженства. 20 глав. TCO 2.18–27; 1.351–355. Assemani 1.292–299: Beautitudines aliae, capita viginti. Beatitudes, 20 chapters. CPG 3935 (2): 1–4.
50. Blessed is he who thinks about the multitude of those who rest in the tombs and has rejected all fetid lust; such will arise in glory when the heavenly trumpet is sounded, awakening all the sons of men.
53. Blessed is he who has hope not in man, but in the Lord, coming again with many glory to judge the universe in righteousness; such will be like a tree growing by the waters, and will not cease to bear fruit.
54. Blessed is he whose mind has become by grace like a cloud full of rain; as he made the souls of mortals increase in the fruits of life, so his grace will be in eternal praise.
55. Blessed are those who are always sober in God, because on the day of Judgment they will be protected by God and, having become sons of the bridal chamber, will see the Bridegroom in joy and gladness. And I myself, like the careless and sensual, will weep and cry, seeing our brothers in incomparable glory, and ourselves in torment.
1. Blessed is he who hated and left this human life, who has all his thoughts of life about the one God.
2. Blessed is he who hated evil sin and abhors it; he loved God, the only good One and Lover of mankind.
3. Blessed is he who on earth has become like a heavenly angel and an imitator of the Seraphim, constantly having blameless thoughts.
4. Blessed is he who has become blameless before God, holy and clean from all filthiness, from the thoughts and deeds of the evil one.
Молитвы ко Пресвятой Богородице. TCO 7.162–201; 4.59–94. Assemani 3.524–552: Precationes ad sanctissimam dei matrem. Prayers to the most holy Mother of God. CPG 4079: 4.63 (parag. 2)–64 (end of sect. 3) (very paraphr.).
O good and most noble Lady, mother of the good One, the Most Good God, attend to the prayer of your unworthy and perverse servant with your merciful eye, and walk with me according to the great mercy of your ineffable benevolence, and do not look at my sins, in deed, and in word, and made by every feeling, arbitrarily and involuntarily, with knowledge and ignorance, and renew all of me, having made the temple of the all-holy, life-giving and sovereign Spirit, who is the power of the Most High (Luke 1.35), and took up your all-pure womb, and dwelt in it. For you are the helper of the troubled, the representative of the distressed, the saviour of the overwhelmed, the haven of the troubled, the protector and intercessor of those in extremes. Grant your servant contrition, calmness of thoughts, constancy of thought, a chaste mind, sobriety of the soul, a humble way of thinking, a sacred and sober mood of spirit, a prudent and well-ordered disposition, which serves as a sign of the innermost being, as well as the decency and peace that our Lord has bestowed on His disciples. May my supplication come to your holy temple and to the dwelling place of your glory; let my eyes wear out the springs of tears, and may you wash me with my own tears, whiten me with streams of my tears, cleansing me from the defilement of passions. Blot out the handwriting of my sins, scatter the clouds of my sorrow, the darkness and confusion of thoughts, remove from me the storm and the striving of passions, preserve me in serenity and silence, expand my heart with spiritual growth, and let me rejoice and exult with unspeakable joy, continuous joy, in the right ways I walked through your Son faithfully, though with an unshakable conscience I went through an unrepentant life. Give me, who is praying before you, a pure prayer, so that with an undisturbed mind, non-wandering meditation and with an insatiable soul, I may constantly day and night learn the words of the Divine Scriptures, sing in confession, and in joy of my heart bring prayer to the glory, honor and magnificence of the only-begotten Son, your and our Lord Jesus Christ. All glory, honor and worship, now and always, and for ages of ages, befits Him! Amen.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.44 (sect. 4) (parag. 3)–45 (next to last sent. of sect. 4).
Oh, what senselessness I have! What poverty! Oh, what a rough and earthy soul! O depraved heart, mouth full of bitterness, my larynx, the coffin is open! (Ps.5.10). Why don’t you, O soul, remember the inevitable path of your separation? Why didn’t you prepare for this eventuality? Why are you mercilessly approaching destruction? Why do you incur eternal torment? What are you doing, O soul, living like a an irrational speechless animal? Alas, how do I choose darkness instead of light? How do I prefer this pleasure, which I have today and which will not exist tomorrow, to eternal and ineffable blessings? Alas, how, instead of this sun-shining robe, do I agree to instead put on a dark and black robe? How do I prefer to the Kingdom a gloomy dwelling in hell? Alas for me, a sinner! I alone by my conduct voluntarily inflict wounds on myself. Come, O soul, to yourself! Fear God, please Him with all sorts of virtues, so as not to accept from His severe punishments. Love your God and walk courageously in His way.
Understand, O soul, that this age is like a race, and the mighty serpent is trying by all means to gain victory. By some he is deposed and desecrated, while others he himself deposes and desecrates. Some, deceived by him, are overcome, while others are crowned for fighting against him. Some, having tasted bitterness from him, attain the pleasures of eternal life, while others, having tasted sweetness from him, acquire the bitterness of eternal torment. Some by extreme non-covetousness conveniently gain the upper hand over him, while others are easily overcome by his attachment to the earthly. For those who love God with all their hearts, fighting against him does not mean anything, but for those who love the world this fight is difficult and unbearable. Understand, O miserable soul, that the joy, luxury and peace of this age are filled with sorrow and sadness, yet sorrow, fasting, and adversity bring ineffable joy and eternal life. Turn, O soul, strive in silence, so that when the hour of death and separation comes, you will not be unprepared. Think, O my soul, about your calling and about your way of life, what your eventuality is, what it is for, and to what extent. Everyone reaches the end of everything earthly, and your carelessness will end.
Multiple selections from two separate works:
O правой жизни. 90 глав. TCO 2.171–188; 2.67–79. Assemani 2.56–72: De recta vivendi ratione (capita xc). On the proper manner of living. CPG 3941: 2.76 (sect. 70), p.77 (sect. 74, 76), p.78 (sect. 84 [last sent.]).
Поучительные слова к египетским монахам. TCO 2.189–370; 2.80–215. Assemani 2.72–186: Sermones paraenetic ad monachos Aegypti (Paraeneses quinquaginta). Paraenetic Sermons to an Egyptian monk (50 Paraenesis). CPG 3942. Sermon 2. 2.81–83: p. 81 last line to top of p. 82), 82–83 (p. 82 last parag. thr. line 7 of p. 83).
70. The time is coming for us, brothers, full of fear and awe, in which it will be revealed what we have done both in secret and in darkness. And woe to the soul that does not have the Lord as helper!
74. My heart sighs, and my eyes long for tears, but my sin holds my mind captive, so that I do not come to contrition and beg the Lord with bitter tears not to plunge me into pitch darkness.
76. As long as we have the strength, let us work for the Lord in righteousness of heart, so that in times of trouble we may have Him as our helper, delivering us from great troubles.
84. The oppressors rose up against those who had always oppressed the prophets of God, and the Judean people were betrayed into the hands of their enemies. But the enemies saw the prophet of God and freed him from the shackles, bringing him gifts, because they saw in him great piety. As he who walks with a lamp shines on those who are with him, so does virtue, which always carries glory with it.
…. It is not difficult to lay the foundation. It is difficult to complete the building. For the higher the building is erected, the more it represents the work of the builder until the very end of the work. ….
So, this is what happens to those who approach God: first temptation, then sorrow, then labor, despondency, nakedness, passions, oppression, humiliation. For this reveals the patience and skill of the faithful. In all this, he is victorious who, with all his heart, surrenders himself to the rule of God and abides in the will of God. God requires only perfect determination from us, and He Himself gives us strength and gives us victory. ….
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.45 (sect. 5)–47 (in parag. 1) (a bit paraphr.).
A sorrowful soul comes to You, O holy Lord, and with tears brings you a complaint against the fierce enemy. In humility it falls down before you, asking for protection from the oppressor who is oppressing her. And since she comes to You with relentless prayer, then hear her soon and come to her with love with zeal. If you despise her, the sorrowful one, she will perish. If you cease to listen to her, the oppressed, she will become impoverished. If you visit her with Your bounties, she will be preserved. If you look to her, she will be saved. If you listen to her, she will become stronger. Do not despise her, lest her enemy delight. Do not remember the grossest afflictions with which I have grieved Your grace, O merciful Lord, and do not deal with me according to all my deeds; but on the contrary, grant me, a sinner, a short time for me to find time for true repentance, O good Lover of mankind. Your grace has endured a great multitude of the iniquities of my youth, may it endure even now contempt, bitterness, and O recklessness. I know, Lord, by Yourself you swore that you do not want the death of the sinner, but that you want rather to save him from sins by your mercies. Your Grace, O life-loving Lord, prevails daily with its benevolence and its bounties. Have mercy and save those who love You. Your bounties are preached everywhere in the Gospels and the Apostle. Holy fathers and teachers, both eminent in the Church and unnamed, proclaimed about them in all the scriptures. I know the prodigal son, Manasseh, the robber, Zacchaeus, the publican, the harlot, the Canaanite woman, the bleeding woman, the paralytic, blind Jairus, all the pre-written ones. I come before You; open Your goodness and accept me. Delight my mind, because I often fall back into my former iniquities and, as in filth, I am immersed in evil thoughts. But Your grace, which has come into my heart, finds there a stench from bad thoughts, therefore it immediately retreats, not finding an entrance for itself, and cannot enter and dwell in me as it desires. Wash my heart with luminous delight, so that I come to my senses. How good is God! How God loves mankind! How he desires and motivates all people to be saved!
O том, что должно не смеяться и рассеиваться, но плакать и проливать о себе слезы. TCO 1.430–436; 1.315–319. Assemani 1.254–258: Quod non oporteat ridere et extolli, sed plangere potius et nos ipsos deflere. That it is not proper to laugh and to exalt, but rather to weep and to mourn for, ourselves. CPG 3933: 1.317 (parag. 2, 1st half), 318 (to mid. parag. 2).
We, brethren, will soon pass through fearsome and terrible places, but it is impossible not to follow this path. None of the people here will accompany us to help: neither parents, nor brothers, nor friends, nor family, nor wealth, nor anything like that. So, let us not but care about the good deeds that will be found in time of need. Let us be sober in this century, so that the princes of darkness do not detain us after separation from the body. And who will help us and deliver us out of their hand? If only in that hour we find ourselves naked from God’s cover, then the princes of darkness will be implacable and unmerciful. They do not fear the king, nor do they respect any rulers; they do not honor either the small or the great, except only those who lived in godliness and who were found in good deeds. Their faces will be afraid, and they will retreat from him with fear, in great haste, giving him a free path …
Imagining that hour in my mind, I fall down before Your goodness, O Lord. Do not betray me to my persecutors (Psalm 118.121), so that Your enemies will not boast about Your servant, O good Lord. Grinding their teeth and frightening my sinful soul, may they not say: “We have you in our hands. You were given to us. This is the day we were waiting for.” No, O Lord, do not repay me according to my iniquities, and do not turn your face away from me. Do not tell me: truly, I say to you, I do not know you (Matthew 25.12). Punish me, Lord, but according to Your bounties, and let not my enemy rejoice over me! Quench his intrigue, abolish all his actions, make my way to You free from insults and abuse. Bend down to my prayer, O good Lord, not for the sake of my righteousness, but for the sake of Your mercies and Your great goodness. Save a sorrowful soul from death. Remember, O good Lord, that, having sinned and almost beaten to death, I ran to no other doctor and stretched out my hands, not to an alien god, but to Your goodness. For You are the Lord of all, You have power over every breathing thing. You, O Lord, said: Ask, and it will be given to you … knock, and it will be opened to you (Matthew 7.7, 8). Before my end, cleanse me, O Lord, from all sin. Do not turn away from my prayer, O good Lord.
Блаженства. 20 глав. TCO 2.18–27; 1.351–355. Assemani 1.292–299: Beautitudines aliae, capita viginti. Beatitudes, 20 chapters. CPG 3935 (2): nos. 5, 6, 7, 9, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20.
5. Blessed is he who has completely freed himself in the Lord from all the affairs of this vain life.
6. Blessed is he who has the future fearsome day in mind and tries to heal the wounds of his soul with tears.
7. Blessed is he who, in tears, has become completely like a cloud and daily extinguishes the fiery flame of sinful passions with them.
9. Blessed is he who succeeds in the good rules of asceticism, hoping to receive the Kingdom of Heaven from God.
14. Blessed is he who has been kindled like fire with love for the Lord and has burned in himself every unclean thought and every contamination of the soul.
17. Blessed is he who found the chosen Heavenly Pearl and, having sold everything that he had on earth, bought only it.
18. Blessed is he who found the treasure hidden in the village, and, rejoicing, threw everything away, but acquired only it.
19. Blessed is he who incessantly remembers the day of his passing and tries to be ready and fearless at that hour.
20. Blessed is he who found boldness in this terrible hour of separation, when the soul with fear and illness is parted from the body, for the angels come to take the soul, separate it from the body and place an eternal and fearsome judgment seat before the throne.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.74 (sect. 6)–75 (thr. parag. 2).
How good is God! How God loves mankind! How he desires and motivates all people to be saved! Have mercy, O Lord, on Your perverse servant. Have mercy, O Christ the blessed Saviour, on Your creation. If you, O Lord, do not bring me, a weak man, to my senses, and do not give me enlightenment of the heart, then due to my great corruption I will not be able to see my negligence and laziness. But since I am oppressed by the unmerciful enemy oppressing me, night and day, with tears, I constantly cry out to Your goodness to deliver me from his snares, because every hour he renews his wiles against me. Every hour he oppresses my soul with wasteful thoughts and lusts for pleasure. Yours, O Christ, is the power that forbade the waves of the sea. Let it forbid him too, so that he would not have any effect on me, Your perverse servant. Send, O Lord, Your grace to my will soon, lest Your servant marry the great serpent with all his vile and sinful thoughts, because the ulcers inflicted on my heart by his arrows have become rotten scabs, and I, in my foolishness, hide them by all means. The Good Physician cries out to me, does not demand payment, does not shed my blood, but my laziness does not allow me to go to Him. He Himself comes to heal me, and finds that I am weakened by my wounds. And when I eat, then I repent, but my repentance is untrue.
Молитвы ко Пресвятой Богородице. TCO 7.162–201; 4.59–94. Assemani 3.524–552: Precationes ad sanctissimam dei matrem. Prayers to the most holy Mother of God. CPG 4079: 4.74 (sect. 6)–75 (thr. parag. 2).
I beg You, O parent of the unsetting Light, listen to what I will tell you. I sink into the mud, accursed, all covered with filth, all dirty. And the land (alas for me, the poor one!) I have defiled with the multitude of my sins, my Lady. Therefore, sighing, she now cries out to my incorruptible Judge, calling for witnesses (O my woe!) both the sky and the stars with the sun. And the storm of my thoughts plunges me into despair. My soul begins to tremble with trepidation, trying to avoid the sentence. All my hope I, the wasteful, have placed in you, O Mother of God. Alas! The face of your servant is all filled with shame, although you ceaselessly propitiate the One born by you, so that you may extend your mercies to me, who is unworthy. You alone, you who art the deliverer of the world, open my unlockable bonds. You, who have blackened me and become darkness, have been killed with tears of repentance. You, who gave birth to my Life, resurrect me, mortified by great carelessness, and, alienated from God and from the angels, raise me to them, O Mother of God.
A truly fearsome miracle! How the Lord has endured my sins! How at once he has not yet brought me alive, poor one, to the bottom of hell! How did he not send an invisible rod or sword from above to smite me! Undoubtedly, you, O Lady, granted me life by your intercessions, seeking my repentance, which you, continually also grant to me, your servant. For you are my wall, pier, and fence.
O том, что должно не смеяться и рассеиваться, но плакать и проливать о себе слезы. TCO 1.430–436; 1.315–319. Assemani 1.254–258: Quod non oporteat ridere et extolli, sed plangere potius et nos ipsos deflere. That it is not proper to laugh and to exalt, but rather to weep and to mourn for, ourselves. CPG 3933: 1.318 (mid parag. 2, aft. quote)–319 (end of parag. 1).
Do not turn away my prayer, O good Lord. Unworthy lips cry out to You, and an unkind heart, and a soul defiled by sins. Hear me, O Lord, by Your grace. For You do not reject the prayer to You of one truly repentant. But my repentance is unclean according to my corruption. I repent for an hour, but for two I anger you. Strengthen my heart, Good Lord, in fear. Place my feet on the stone of repentance. By Your goodness, O Lord, conquer my sinfulness. Let the light of Your grace overcome the darkness that is in me. You, O Lord, who opened the eyes of the blind, open the darkened eyes of my heart. You who cleansed the lepers with a word, cleanse the filthiness of my soul. Your grace, Lord, may it be in me like fire, burning my impure thoughts. You are the only good One. You are light above all light. You are joy above all joy. You are peace above all peace. You are true life. You are the eternal salvation. To You, the only good One, I fall down with prayer, I, worthy of all punishment, deserving of all torment. I implore you, O Redeemer, that the adversary will not finally take possession of me. But You, O Lord, as the good One, remember not my wickedness, and, O merciful One, raise up my members, weakened by sin, and revive my soul, mortified by iniquity, and enlighten my heart, darkened by evil lust, and deliver me from every evil deed, and put Your perfect love in me, O Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world, and write the name of Your servant in the Book of Life. Grant me a good end, so that, having won the victory over the devil, I will not be ashamed to bow before the Throne of Your Kingdom with all the righteous. Glory befits you forever! Amen.
O восьми помыслах. TCO 3.221–227; 2.390–395 Assemani 2.428–432: De octo cogitationibus. On the eight thoughts. CPG 3975: 2.395 (whole page).
Woe to you, O soul, that you remain insensitive in real life, every day indulging in luxury, laughter, absent-mindedness and living dissolutely. In the age to come, you will cry like the rich man, tormented in the flame of eternal fire.
Woe to you, O soul, that you cannot endure any sorrow inflicted on you by your brother, not even a cruel word, but immediately come into conflict and resistance, and for this you lose the crown of patience and meekness and you will be forever condemned with the memory of the malicious. Woe to you, O soul, that you hate and revile your brother but endure when others do the same. For this you will be punished with the murderers. For it is said: whoever hates his brother is a murderer (1 John 3.15).
Woe to you, O soul, that you neglect God’s commandments and assume that salvation is in one image and the name of a monk. For on a terrible day you will hear that the Lord will say: Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, rather do the will of my Father (Matthew 7.21). Go from Me, accursed, into eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his enmity (Matthew 25.41).
Woe to you, O soul, for you love human glory, and honors, and smart clothes, and the acquisition of material things; therefore, on the day of Judgment, you will be abominable before God, cast off from His presence and numbered among the arrogant demons.
Woe to you, O soul, for sinning every day, and postponing repentance day after day. Death will overtake you like a thief in the night, suddenly, and, bound, you will be taken to fiery hell, shedding tears uselessly and blaming your folly.
Woe to you, O soul, that you do not tremble, thinking how on the fearsome Day of Judgment, when the heavenly forces will shake from fear, you will appear before the face of God, having on you a vile and defiled robe.
O страстях. TCO 1.253–258; 1.187–191. Assemani 1.144–147: De passionibus animi. On the sufferings of the soul. CPG 3914: 1.190 (parag. 2, 1st clause; parag. 3)–191 (end of sect. 9).
The holy fathers, being God-loving, became graceful in suffering and temptation, and from the heavenly God they received with glory and praise an unfading crown. In sorrow, having acquired praise and a name for themselves, they became an excellent example for subsequent childbirth. Together with the fathers and saints, I always imagine the honorable, splendid, most chaste Joseph, full of heavenly beauty and love for the Almighty. What wonderful patience he acquired in temptation! The terrible envy of the brothers could not harm the beauty of his soul. Then the terrible serpent in its own hole could not dry up the blooming beauty of this young man, although every hour he fixed his eyes on the beauty of the chaste one, in order to pour out his bitter poison on him in his fury. Then the beauty of the soul and the beauty of the God-loving youth did not fade in prison and in bonds.
And if I, unhappy, also sin without any temptation, irritate and grieve the Lord, then, having experienced Your many and ineffable bounties, O Lord, I implore the greatness of Your compassions: save me, and grant Your servant forgiveness for his soul. This is all that he asks from the treasures of Your mercy, O Lord, that Your grace should constantly flow like a stream into the heart and lips of me, Your servant, so that my heart and my lips may be pure by grace and an immortal temple that receives the Heavenly King, so that they may not be likened to the sinful thoughts of the animal lair and the sinful wishes of a den of evil robbers, but so that the finger of grace may always set my tongue in motion, like a string on a harp, to Your glory, O Lover of mankind. And I, ceaselessly throughout my life, will also glorify and bless You in love and my heart! For whoever is too lazy to sing songs and glorify You, Lord, is alien to the future life.
O Christ the Saviour! Grant to me, according to the requests of my heart, that my tongue be like a pipe of grace, so that from the many records in the Covenant I can now present at least a few excuses, and under the roof of Your hands I will be saved again then, when every soul trembles before Your terrible glory. … Yea, O Lord, only-begotten Son, hear me, and receive the request of your servant like a gift. I am a sinner saved by grace; but glory befits Him who saves the sinner by His bounties!
O покаянии. TCO 1.259–268; 1.191–198. De paenitentia. On repentence. CPG 3915: 1.197 (parag. 3)–198 (end of sect. 10).
The heavenly trumpet will sound from heaven, saying: “Awake, O beloved of Christ! Behold, the Heavenly King has come to give you peace and joy in eternal life for the labor of your asceticism. Awake, behold Christ the King, the immortal Bridegroom who was loved! For having loved Him, you became strangers on earth. Awake to see His Kingdom, which He has prepared for you! Awake, behold the longed-for Christ! Awake, behold with an insatiable eye the Lord, whom you have loved, for whose sake you endured afflictions, for whom you fought! Come now, and with great boldness behold Him, the desired One, and rejoice with Him with joy ineffable, and no one will take your joy away from you (John 16.22). Come, enjoy the blessings that the eyes did not see, the ear did not hear, and that did not come into a man’s heart (1 Cor. 2.9), with the blessings which the desired One Himself bestows upon you, for the saints will be caught up in the clouds of light in their meeting (1 Thess. 4.17). The righteous and worthy of God will soar to the heights of the air in inscrutable glory to see the heavenly immortal Bridegroom.
Who is worthy to be caught up at that hour in the clouds, with great joy, for the meeting of Christ? All worthy ones will be taken up in glory, but all the wicked will remain below with great shame. Bliss and joy to those who have labored here! Punishment and shame for all sinners! Blessed is he who has taken the trouble to prove himself worthy at that hour. Pitiful is he who made himself unworthy at that hour. The clouds will delight in all the saints from earth to heaven. Angels will take up the wicked, to cast them into the furnace that burns with an inextinguishable fire.
Who will give my head abundant waters and my eyes a fountain that would always and continuously shed tears? Yea, I mourn for myself day and night, begging God so that I will not be unworthy to at the hour of His appearance, and not to hear from the Lord the terrible judgment: depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness. I do not know where you are from (Matthew 7.23; Luke 13.27).
Almighty God, immortal One, show Your great bounties to the sinner at this hour, so that my secret wickedness will not be revealed before the audience—angels, archangels, prophets, apostles, righteous and saints! Save this wicked one with grace and bounty, and bring him into the paradise of delight with the perfect righteous! Receive, O Lord, the petition of Your servant, through the prayers of the saints who please You. Glory to Christ! Amen.
Молитвы ко Пресвятой Богородице. TCO 7.162–201; 4.59–94. Assemani 3.524–552: Precationes ad sanctissimam dei matrem. Prayers to the most holy Mother of God. CPG 4079: 4.76 (sect. 6) (line 3 to mid parag. 3), 77 (parag. 1, 6 lines from end)–78 (11th line from end of parag.).
O Mother of God, surpassing all thought and words! O Virgin, incomparably surpassing all virginity, because even before the Divine birth you were a virgin more than all virgins, and you remained such in birth itself and after birth! O Virgin, whose human nature, which fell in ancient times and departed far from God, according to the laws of inexpressible love for mankind and unparalleled indulgence, is united with the blessed nature of God in such a way that the hypostasis has not at all undergone transformation, merging, or change! O Virgin, through whom we, also after a fearsome union and reconciliation, through the envy of the wicked one and through the vanity of our mind, do not fulfill their duty, are called again, and we gain Your Son and God to ourselves by His mercy, according to thy vigilant prayers to Him! I ask You, O Lady, I beg you, O merciful and mankind-loving Mother of a merciful and mankind-loving God, also at this hour protect me, as always, for I am now most in need of your protection and your help.
All I am is impurity and sinful filth. In short, I am the abode of all soul-destroying passions, but I intend to approach the most pure and fearsome mysteries of your Son and God. Therefore I am tormented by fear and embraced by trembling because of the intolerable multitude of my sins. ….
But if I remain without communion, under the pretext of my unworthiness, I neglect everything, falling, so to speak, into the depths of evil, and subject myself to the same, or even more, punishments. That is why it is difficult for me in both cases. And therefore I resort to you, the truly irresistible and strongest help. Have mercy on me, my most immaculate Lady. Having used a mother’s boldness before your Son and God, ask him for the abandonment of my previous sins. Do so in order that the burning and illuminating fire of His life-giving mysteries does not burn me up. For it is better to be able to acquire a willing ally above. Grant that I be cleansed and enlightened by the communion of the mysteries, and show you me the way—how to spend the rest of my life in repentance, purity, and humility. Be always with me in deeds, in words, in thoughts, in all mental and bodily movements, giving me direction, preceding me, guiding me, magnifying strength, and as to a slave, albeit a perverse one, supplying and protecting me with your goodness in every manner.
O сердечном сокрушении. TCO 1.269–276; 1.198–204. Assemani 1.154–158: De compunctione. On remorse. CPG 3916: 1.198 (sect. 11)–200 (line 2).
O Giver of all blessings, and the Source of healings, and the Treasure of bounty, You alone are the good and merciful God, always giving good things to those who ask! Since I myself often experience the immeasurable power of healing and good gifts that are sent to me every day, therefore I fearlessly implore You, O Christ, the long-suffering God. Let Your usual grace descend upon me to bring my mind together, and may she heal again my innermost wounds! For distractions and mists of thought continually renew secret wounds.
Be You Yourself, O long-suffering One, always healing with grace and generosity. As the Most Merciful, heal the frequent infirmities in me, a sinner. I, Lord, of course, am not able to pay in any way for the cures, for what price should I put on Your cures? Neither heaven nor earth can give a payment worthy of Your cures. Your great mercies are the cures of Your goodness, because it is impossible to buy heavenly and holy cures; they have no price but for the tears you give them, Saviour, and for penitent weeping given to all. Therefore, who will not be surprised, who will not come to amazement, who will not bless the great mercy of Your benevolence, O Saviour of our souls, when You are pleased to accept tears in payment for Your healing? O the power of tears! To what have you prostrated yourself? With great boldness you enter heaven itself unrestrainedly! O the power of tears! The angelic orders and all the heavenly forces are incessantly joyful about your daring! O the power of tears! If you want, you can joyfully stand before the holy and high throne of the Most Pure Lord. O the power of tears! In the blink of an eye, you soar to heaven, and you receive what you ask for from God, because He comes to meet you, willingly offering forgiveness.
So, Lord, grant me, the unworthy, tears and strength for every day, so that my heart, shedding with delight wells-worth of tears, will incessantly be enlightened by pure prayer, and so that the great handwriting may be blotted out with a few tears now, and with a little weeping the flaming fire would be extinguished then. For if I cry now, then I will get rid of the unquenchable fire then.
O сердечном сокрушении. TCO 1.269–276; 1.198–204. Assemani 1.154–158: De compunctione. On remorse. CPG 3916: 1.200 (sect. 11) (line 3)–201 (end of parag. 1).
Every day I irritate Your long-suffering, Lord. Before my eyes I have both my bitterness and Your mercy, but the goodness of Your long-suffering overcomes my bitterness. Birds, with great compassion, feed their nestlings, but do not neglect those not their own nestlings, because they are overcome by their own compassion. If the birds are so compassionate, then even more, Your grace, Lord, is mastered by Your own bounties, in order to have mercy on all who yearn for You. But like that of a mother dishonored by her child, her heart does not tolerate to despise him, because she is overcome by her compassion. If the one nurtured by her milk is conquered by her compassion, then even more so, the grace of Your love for mankind, O love-loving Lord, is overcome daily by Your bounties in order to save and have mercy on those who constantly yearn for You.
So, since I am at the mercy of an unclean enemy who always oppresses me, day and night with tears I will cry out to Your mercy to deliver me from his attacks. For who can endure the wiles of the evil one, if your grace retreats for even a minute, O Lord? The enemy from hour to hour and by words and deeds oppresses my soul. Your power, O Christ, which forbade the wind and the waves of the sea (Mark 4.39), will also forbid him so that he does not have power over me, Your servant. Because he daily renews his tricks against me, he hastens to master my mind, distracting from the sweetness of Your Divine commandments and the beautiful teaching in them. Send, O Lord, Your grace soon, to drive away from Your servant the great serpent with all his vile and sinful thoughts.
Your parable will convince You of this, O Lord. For You said there was a certain judge in a certain city. He was not afraid of God, and he was not at all shamed by the people, and that in the same city there was a poor widow who begged him every day and said: protect me, finally, from my rival. For a long time he unmercifully left the oppressed one without attention. Yet the widow’s patience was successful, and turned him, so unmerciful and ruthless, onto the right path (Luke 18.2–5). An offended widow comes to an unmerciful and unrighteous judge to protect her from her rival, and I come to my merciful Lord, the long-suffering and good, who has power on earth and in heaven, to hear me quickly. With holy, divine lips you are not lying, O blessed God, as You Yourself, the Saviour, said. Show your protection to all who trust in You day and night. Do not delay my protection, O Lord. Seize me from the enemy and direct my path to You, so that, having conquered the enemy with Your grace, I bless You, O merciful, long-suffering One, and glorify You, the One who desires salvation for all people.
Слово умилительное 1—e. TCO 1.277–281; 1.204–207. Assemani 1.158–161: Sermo compunctorius. Hortatory sermon (2). CPG 3917: 1.206 (parag 1. line 3—line 9 from end of p.).
We all know God’s providence and all the gifts that the good God has blessed us with. His grace at all times visits our hearts, and if it finds rest for itself. Then, having entered, it constantly dwells in the soul. If she does not find a pure heart, she immediately retreats. Yet Your bounty again prompts her to condescend and visit us sinners, because we are all changeable by will, but not by nature. We are always absent-minded and weak, envious and sinful, we often think badly of each other, engage in sinful thoughts, and always, like horrid filth, are immersed in thoughts. When grace comes to visit us, it meets in our hearts the stench of unclean thoughts, and immediately retreats, finding no way for itself to dwell in us, as it pleases, unless she makes an impression on the heart with her luminous sweetness. Then, a person feels that grace has visited him, but she does not find an entrance for herself, so that, thus delighting in the illumination of grace, he will seek her. However, grace itself cannot completely depart from us, because by her own mercy she is encouraged to show mercy to everyone. Do you see the Providence of God? Do you see the mercy of Christ? Do you see how the holy God always loves us and wants us to be saved? Blessed is the man who always tries to prepare a pure heart for grace, so that when she comes, she finds the fragrance of virtues and the sanctity of the soul, and dwells in him for ages of ages.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.51 (sect. 6)–52 (to end of parag. 1) (last sent. in Th is from Th).
Until now, and on this very day, with a shameful face and dropping down to the earth, I dare to speak to You, O Lord of the angels and Creator of all. For I am earth and ashes. I am a worm, not a man, a reproach among people and contemptible (Ps. 21.7), I am condemned, ill, and full of despondency. How can I raise my gaze to Your goodness, O Lord? How dare I use so ungodly and profaned tongue? How will I begin my confession? I have offended Your name beyond measure, as one accursed. I have lived more wastefully than the prodigal son. I have defiled and damaged Your image in myself. I have not kept the word of Your commandments. For which sins will I, a sinner, first ask for forgiveness for myself, whether done with knowledge or undoubtedly innocent, or in the transgression of Your holy commandments, or in consent of evil thoughts?
I know, O Lord, that due to the magnitude of my spiritual filthiness and my impurity I am not worthy to be called your fearsome Name. I cannot stand before You to pray. I cannot raise my eyes to the heights and look (Is.40.26). Therefore, I opened the door to perverse desires and, having indulged in outrageous aspirations, defiled my poor soul with passions, and dirtied my soul’s tunic with the ill desires of my will. My whole mind is filled with demonic thoughts. With all my deeds and thoughts I have grieved and always grieve Your goodness, but to my enemy, who fights against me, I am always amenable and do what is agreeable. My conscience denounces my mind. I cover my face with shame. In my heart, before the Judgment that awaits me, I condemn myself. In victory, the wasteful life that does not leave me drags along with it, because I always sink into the filth of gluttony, and am always entangled in bad thoughts. From childhood I became a vessel of pernicious sin, and until now, hearing about the Judgment and retribution every day, I do not want to resist carnal lusts. I am incessantly delusional. I am ceaselessly becoming a prisoner. Alas for me, O Lord! I have wasted Your long-suffering badly. Alas for me! For many years I have insulted Your Holy Spirit. Alas for me! The time of my life has passed all in vanity. But You, O Lord, do not expose me in Your wrath. Do not expose my hateful, shameful deeds to worldwide disgrace in front of all the angels and people, to my shame and eternal condemnation, though I am worthy of all shame and condemnation.
Нагробные песнопения. (84 sections) TCO 6.5–186; 4.366–533 Assemani 6.225–359 (Syriac): Necrosima. Funeral dirges: 4.525–526 (sect. 78).
“How I love Your law … I keep Your commandments” (Psalm 118.163, 168), but the wicked one raised up a war against me and the wicked one overcame me. For my guilt I have turned to dust. May Your voice call and resurrect me! The fruit of paradise made me guilty to die for my sins, but He who was born of the Virgin Mary shone, justified me, and gave me life according to His goodness. Call Your servant to life, O Christ, at Your coming, for You alone are merciful to sinners.
I remembered the day of my death and rebelled when I saw how many are my guilty actions, how grievous my iniquities. I thought that my iniquities will be revealed to everyone’s eyes, and there is no place for repentance, tears, and prayers. Everyone will receive a reward according to his labors, a reward according to his work, and the Righteous Judge will not be merciful either with weeping or suffering. Have mercy on me, O Lover of mankind!
On the day when the coffins of the dead are opened, a trumpet will blare, its voice will sound, and great trembling and horror will envelop the universe. All the angels will descend at Your command, and separate the good from the evil. Clouds of fire will appear and carry on themselves the pure flesh of the saints. On that day, too, may Your mercies come upon me, and may I stand at Your right hand. O good Lord, have mercy on me!
I thought I descended into Sheol. Seeing our incorruption and, considering what was around me, what was in me and outside me, I cried, “Do not turn away from Your servant, O Lord!” And he said, with Hezekiah, “They will not praise You, those who are in Sheol, nor will the dead bless You!” (Isa. 38.18). Resurrect, O Lord, this lost one, so that I may give praise to Your sovereignty. Cast down the wicked one who rejoiced over me in the day of trouble, and have mercy on me, because I put my trust in You!
Judgment without mercy awaits at the end those who have sinned and have not repented of their evil deeds. But those who have done righteousness and have kept the commandments of their Lord will receive heavenly blessings from Him, and will inherit eternal life. Then, the righteous will rejoice over their labors, and the saints will rejoice over the rewards they enjoy. We will all be brought into Your bridal chamber, O Merciful to sinners. Have mercy on our brother and absolve him of his guilt.
O восьми помыслах. TCO 3.221–227; 2.390–395 Assemani 2.428–432: De octo cogitationibus. On the eight thoughts. CPG 3975: 2.390 (sect. 55)–391 (end of parag. 1).
Know, child, that there are eight thoughts that produce everything bad: gluttony, fornication, greed, anger, endless grief, apathy, vanity, and pride. They are fighting every man. And you, child, if you want to conquer gluttony, love moderation, have the fear of God, and you will conquer. If you want to conquer fornication, love keeping vigil, avoid wine, always think about death, and never have conversations with a woman, and you will win. If you want to conquer the love of money, love non-acquisitiveness and indifference. If you want to conquer anger, acquire humility and magnanimity, and keep in mind how much evil the Judeans did to our Lord Jesus Christ, and yet He, as a mankind-loving God, was not angry with them, but, on the contrary, prayed for them, saying: Father, forgive them this sin: they do not know what they do (Luke 23.34). If you want to overcome endless grief, never grieve for anything temporary, but if you are hurt by a word, or disturbed, or dishonored, do not grieve, but rejoice. Then, only grieve when you sin, but, in this case, observe moderation, lest you fall into despair and perish. If you want to overcome apathy, take up some handicraft for a while, or read, and pray often. If you want to conquer vanity, love neither praise, nor honor, nor good dress, nor preference. On the contrary, love to be reproached and let yourself be dishonored by liars. Rebuke yourself that you are more sinful than any sinner. If you want to conquer pride, whatever you do, do not say that this is done by your own labors or by your own efforts. Whether you fast, spend time in vigil, sleep on the bare ground, sing psalms, serve others, or make many prostrations in prayer, say that this is done with God’s help and with God’s protection, and not by your strength or by your diligence.
Песнопения на рождество христово. TCO 6.302–363; 5.103–157. Assemani 5.396–436 (Syriac): In Natalem Domini Sermones XIII. Thirteen Sermons on the Birth of the Lord (Hymns on the Nativity): 5.111 (sect. 2, parag. 3)–114 (parag. 3 line 2) (sparse selection and very paraphrastic).
Praise be to Him who descended to us in His only-begotten! Praise the Silence which spoke to us with His Word! Praise be to the Most High, Who revealed Himself in His Dawn! Praise be to the Spirit, Who wished that the One who was of Him would become flesh, and His power would become tangible, and those who were related to Him in the flesh would find mercy in the flesh.
Praise be to that invisible One, whose Son has become visible! Praise be to that ever-living One, whose Son has tasted death! Praise be to the great One, whose Son condescended and belittled Himself! Praise be to that Power, which in His image expressed His greatness and showed His innermost being in visible outline so that we see Him with our eyes and spirit!
Praise be to that secret One, whom no mind, even though it wanted, is able to comprehend, and Who, by goodness, made Himself tangible in human nature, whose being is unsearchable! His hands were tied and entangled, His legs were pierced, and He was crucified, because He voluntarily gave Himself up in His body to those who would consume Him.
Blessed is the One who was crucified by His own will, because He allowed it! Blessed is the One who lifted Himself up on the wood, because He allowed it! Blessed is the One whom His own will brought to a mother’s womb, to birth, and to growth! Blessed is the One who, having become changeable, gave His life for our humankind!
Blessed is the One who sealed our soul, adorned it, and became engaged to it! Blessed is He who made our flesh the dwelling place of His innermost being! Blessed is the One who has revealed His secrets in our language! Let us glorify the Word, whose glory is proclaimed by our drum, and whose power by our flute! The nations flocked together, and gathered to listen to His chants.
Praise be to the Son of the all-merciful One, whom the sons of the evil one rejected! Praise be to the Son of the righteous One, whom the sons of iniquity crucified! Praise be to the One who freed us from our bonds, who was Himself bound for us! Praise be to the One who vouched for us and paid our debt! Praise to the most beautiful One, who created us in His own image! Praise to the most pure One, who has not looked at our filth!
Praise be to the One who shone light into darkness and exposed its secrets, but concealed His innermost being, and took from us the clothes of filth! Praise be to the Most High, who dissolved His salt in our spirit, and His leaven in our souls, and made His body bread to revive our deadness!
Glory to the rich One, who paid for us everything that we did not borrow, and Himself signed for our debt! By the yoke he took upon Himself, He broke the bonds for us of the one who had captured us. Praise be to the Judge, who was judged for us and made the twelve disciples judges of the twelve tribes, who by unlearnèd speech denounced the scribes of the people!
Praise be to the One who will never be measured by us! Our heart is small for Him, our mind is weak, our insignificance is lost in the riches of His judgments. Praise be to the omniscient One, Who humbled himself and asked in order to hear and find out what he already knew, in order to reveal the treasures of His saving means with His questions!
Let us adore Him who has enlightened our mind with His teaching and in our hearing has paved the way for His word. Let us give thanks to the One who grafted His fruit onto our tree. Let us give thanks to the One who sent His Heir to draw us to Himself through Him and to give us an inheritance together with Him. Let us thank the good One, the source of all blessings.
Blessed is the One who does not convict, because he is good! Blessed is He who does not excuse, because He is just! Blessed is the one who is both silent and convicts, in order to grant salvation by both. His silence is stern and accusatory, but when he denounces, his severity is sympathetic. He sternly denounced the hypocrites but kissed the robber.
Praise be to Him who invisibly cultivates our spirit! His seed fell on our land and enriched our spirit; it yielded a hundredfold in the grain of our souls. Let us bow down to the One who sat and rested and traveled, and for us who are walking, became the path for us to come to the gate leading into the Kingdom.
Blessed is the Shepherd, made the Lamb, to make us clean! Blessed is the Vine, which has become the Cup of our salvation! Blessed is the Grape-cluster, the source of life-giving medicine! Blessed is the Reaper, sown like grain, reaped like a sheaf! Blessed is the Builder who has become a pillar for our protection!
Blessed is the One who tuned the senses of our spirit so that on our harp we sang what the bird’s voice cannot sing in its sweet singing!
Поучительные слова к египетским монахам. TCO 2.189–370; 2.80–215. Assemani 2.72–186: Sermones paraenetic ad monachos Aegypti (Paraeneses quinquaginta). Paraenetic Sermons to an Egyptian monk (50 Paraenesis). CPG 3942. Sermon 42, 2.177–185: 2.184 (parag. 2)–185 (thr. parag. 1).
So, approach the Father of bounty, confessing your sins, saying with tears: “I have sinned against heaven and before You, O Lord God Almighty, and am not worthy to be baptized as your son (Luke 15.21), and, “I am not worthy to look and to see the heavenly heights due to the multitude of my iniquities” (Pr. Manass. 9). Nor am I worthy to name Your glorious name with my sinful lips, for I have made myself unworthy of heaven and earth, angering You, the good Lord! I beg You, O Lord, I beg you, do not cast me away from Your face and do not depart from me, so that I do not perish! If Your hand did not cover me, then I would have perished already, and would have been like dust in the face of the wind, and would have become like one who never appeared in this world. For since the time I left Your way, I have not met a good day. A day spent in sins, although it seems good, is but the most bitter. Henceforth I hope, strengthened by Your grace, to take care of my salvation. Now I fall down to You, begging, help me who has deviated from the path of truth! Pour out on me the multitude of Your compassions, as on the prodigal son, because I have shamed my life, squandering the riches of Your grace! Have mercy on me, do not be malicious because of my bad life. Have mercy on me as a sinner, as with the publican, and as with the robber. He was rejected by everyone on earth, but You accepted him and made him an inhabitant of the Paradise of delight. Accept repentance from me, Your inextricable servant, because I too have been rejected by everyone. You, O Lord, did not come to save the righteous, but to call sinners to repentance!
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.53 (sect. 6) (parag. 3)–54 (end of parag. 1).
By Your help, O Lord, send forth Your power, and convert me to live in reverence for You, according to Your holy will. Sanctify my heart, which has become a den and a dwelling place for demons. I am not worthy to ask my forgiveness, O Lord. For many times I have given You promises to repent, but became a liar who did not keep the promise. Many times You raised me up, and again I fell. Therefore, I pronounce the verdict on myself and confess that I am worthy of all punishment and torment. How many times have You enlightened my darkened mind and gathered together my wandering thoughts? Yet I’m back again to the worst. I am all in fear, thinking about this, yet again sensuality prevails over me. How can I enumerate all the gifts of Your grace, O Lord, which I, a wretched one, have received, but have turned into nothing with my negligence? You did fill me with thousands of gifts, but I, a weak man, reward those who are opposed to you. But You, O Lord, since You are a sea of longsuffering and an abyss in Your goodness, do not allow me to be beaten like a barren fig tree, and do not hasten to pluck me, unripe, in the field of life. Do not take me unprepared, do not snuff a lamp that has not yet been lit. Do not take one who does not yet have a wedding garment, but, as the good and mankind-loving One, have mercy on me, and give me time to repent, so as not to set my soul naked before Your fearsome incorruptible throne as a pitiful disgrace. If the righteous one is barely saved, then where will I appear, the miserable and sinful one? If the gates are narrow and the path leading to life is narrow (Matthew 7.14), then how can I, who live wide and luxurious and scattered, be honored with these blessings? But You, O Lord, my Saviour, Son of the true God, as you know Yourself, as You Yourself want, according to Your one goodness, do turn me from the sin that remains in me and from destruction.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.52 (sect. 6) (parag. 2)–53 (end of parag. 1).
How will I pay for the blinding of my soul? How will I pay for my ignorance? How can I pay for such a passionate and unrepentant will of my own? The ascetics rest today, comforted by the Holy Spirit. I, however, am troubled, considering the squalor of my neglect. He resembled senseless cattle and become like them (Ps. 48.13). I became naked and accursed out of my laziness, because I shun those who are in prayer and vigil. Look, O Lord, with mercy from Your holy height. Behold the recalcitrance of my wretched soul, set aside Your judgments, and have mercy and correct me. As if standing before the holy throne of Your glory, as if touching Your most pure feet, I implore and ask with a contrite heart: have mercy on me. Having mercy on Your creation, convert me to Your grace. I know that you can do everything, and nothing is impossible for You. Do not recall my corrupted will, because I have no zeal to correct myself. Let every visible and invisible nature weep for me, who has grown old in sins and passions. Weep for me, who for the show of those who see me is chaste, but inwardly I always commit fornication.
Поучительные слова к египетским монахам. TCO 2.189–370; 2.80–215. Assemani 2.72–186: Sermones paraenetic ad monachos Aegypti (Paraeneses quinquaginta). Paraenetic Sermons to an Egyptian monk (50 Paraenesis). CPG 3942. Sermon 42, 2.177–185: 2.181 (parag. 2 line 8)–184 (line 10) (very paraphr.).
So, beloved brother, take care of your salvation and, being in stillness, collect your thoughts, and say to yourself: “How long, O man, did you fulfill the lusts of your flesh and your thoughts! What benefit have you received, and what have you gained for yourself by doing this? Have you applied one cubit to your height? But you have become fat! It means that you have not collected anything in yourself except food for the worms. But what have you gained? Have you filled the heavenly treasury with blessings, when you live so devilishly? What is the use of leaving the world? ”
Alas, O my soul, you have reached such a state, such a transformation! Behold, my brothers are adorned with virtues. They are truly afraid of God, but I walk in darkness. In the early morning I repent of what I do, and later that day I act even worse. Also, since the Lord gave me strength and health, then, regarding this, I anger my Creator. Why are you so careless, O my soul? Why so careless? He who created you out of nothing and who brought you into being will not leave you here. He will send His angel, and the soul will have to leave here. Know your weakness, O my soul. How long will you contradict Him who created you and His commands? You have made me a disgrace to angels and to men, O devil, when I obeyed your evil counsel! You instilled in me the thought: “Once you satisfy your lust then you will no longer satisfy it, and your sin will not be known.” Now, this unimportant matter has become a great abyss for me: I cannot resist your sinful and varied desires! The water found itself a tiny crack and became a great hole out of it, visible to everyone. Truly, the habit of sins really leads the fallen to the worst. You have darkened my mind with impure thoughts and plunged me into a pit of sin. Who should I ask to weep for me? Through my laziness, the enemy stripped me naked, but turning to God with hope, I do not completely despair of my salvation.
What am I to do with the seducer? He destroyed moderation in me abstinence with the weaknesses of my stomach, made me alien to vigil prayer, planted in me a love of money, supposedly for old age, dried up my tears, made my heart hard, distracted me from obeying Christ, and multiplied distractions for me. The enemy made me disobedient, brought me to the point that I did not work, but was busy with meddling. He taught me envy and slander He did not allow me to see the log in my own eye, he presented to my eyes the splinter in my brother’s eye. He advises me to hide what is in my heart. If my brother falls into sin, he advises me to speak mockingly about him. He made me arrogant, irritable, and angry. He taught me overeating, drunkenness and sensuality. He considers the loss of my soul as gain. He taught me absent-mindedness while reading and singing psalms. I pray but I do not know about what. I surrender myself to captivity, and I do not understand that. Admonished many times by people who fear the Lord, I disobeyed their good instruction. I took their words for arrows, and was angry at the one who admonished . Away with you, devil! Finally, return to yourself, O my soul! What are you hoping for by angering your Creator? How long will it take for you to return to the same evil deeds? Do not reject the grace of your Protector, so that He does not depart from you, so you are not betrayed into the hands of your enemies. Flee the devil and his deeds, O soul. He is a hater of mankind, a murderer from time immemorial (John 8.44). If you approach him, he will not spare you and will destroy you. Leave the evil one, and stick to the Lover of mankind: God. Finally, soul, be ashamed, and embark on the path of salvation. Are you weak? Do not despair. It has often happened that the ascetic fell, and later found himself crowned. Have you fallen? Arise, take heart and say, Now I have begun (Psalm 76.11). Do not remain in your fall, so that you, as a corpse, do not turn into food for birds and beasts, about which the prophet cries out, Do not hand over the soul that confesses to You by the beast, do not forget to the end the souls of Your poor (Psalm 73.19). Come, then, to the King of glory, confessing your sins. He has great compassion. Those who would approach an earthly king are stopped by the guards at the gates, and are prevented by generals and ministers, but they bring gifts for the rulers if they want to succeed. And you, approaching the King of all, do not be afraid of anything like that. He does not need gifts, there is no one to take them or to stop you, and you directly enter to the King himself, He accepts you because he is not spiteful, loving mankind and repenting concerning human evils (Joel 2.13). When approaching Him, approach not with hypocrisy, nor with double-mindedness, but with a clear conscience. Before you say anything unimportant or important, He foresees what you will talk about. And before you open your mouth, he knows in advance what is in your heart. Do not hesitate and do not hide your illness. The doctor is not cruel, but compassionate, and heals with words. He merely spoke, and it was (Psalm 32.9). This is evidenced by his deeds. He said to the paralytic: I say to you, get up, and lift up your bed, and go to your house (Mark 2.11), and the man immediately became healthy, and bearing the bed that hitherto bore him, he left healed. And to the leper he said, I will it, be cleansed, and immediately he was cleansed of leprosy (Matthew 8.3). And the Lord raised up Lazarus four days from the dead.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.54 (parag. 2 to end of p./sect.).
I, wounded, flee to Your mercy. Receive my sighing like the tears of the harlot. You know, Lord, the tendency of human nature. Remember that the human mind concerns itself with evil from its youth (Gen. 8.21). Do not be angry with us, but open Your hand and the gate of Your mercy to me. Let not my negligence prevail over Your humanity. May my carelessness not prevail over Your concern. Receive, O Lord, and hear my unclean and unworthy petition. You save those who trust in You, not rejecting the prayers of sinners, but extending Your hand to the one who was cast down on the earth. Guide me in awe of You. Grant me tears of tenderness. I have lifted the eyes of my soul to You, O Lord. Do not reject me from Your presence, for blessed is Your name for ages of ages. Amen.
O том, как монаху быть совершенным. TCO 3.237–265; 2.401–424. Assemani 2.411–423: De perfectione monachi. On the pefection of a monk. CPG 3971: 2.417 (line 11 from btm), 414 (ll. 7–8 from btm), 414 (ll. 6–7 from btm), 414 (last line), 414 (line 3 from btm), 415 (mid), 415 (l. 13), 416 (l. 5), 416 (l. 2 from btm), 417 (l. 5), 417 (l. 8), 417 (l. 16), 418 (l. 15 from btm, excluding notes), 418 (l. 11 from btm), 417 (l. 21 from btm). (Rather than arrange the source material as above, the text provided below is continuous, from the first text excerpted on p. 414 through the last excerpted on p. 418.).
Recall your sinfulness and call on God for help. Understand your nature and do not shy away from God’s grace. Having sinned out of ignorance, do not be offended at any person. Having succeeded in some good, do not boast as if more than a man. Do not boast of success, and do not despair in case of error. Do not be proud of God’s grace and do not indulge in wickedness. Do not be excessive in either glory or despair. Run from the lying serpent and you will enter paradise. Do not readily believe what is said and do not agree with everyone who speaks to you. Do not quickly promise and fulfill too soon. Do not easily believe; abide in the truth. Try to find clarity in every matter, not in order to pronounce a judgment, but in order not to condemn. It is better to resort to court last. When you refrain from judgment, you show yourself mercy. Avoid litigation, but do not refuse to protect the oppressed. If you are a judge, then be more of an adviser. If called to counsel, be as supportive as a father. When giving advice, do not pronounce a decisive sentence, because you do not know the hidden things of God. When recounting a case, express doubt and you will not easily fall into reproach. Teach in order to learn for yourself, and you will benefit listeners. Think doubtfully about what you do not know; if you are wrong, you will not suffer harm. Prefer to die rather than succumb to envy. Prefer to suffer damage rather than take an oath, because piety does not continue without consequence. Be diligently jealous of good and have the same hatred of evil. If you take an oath when necessary, then you have a solid excuse. If you become a judge according to necessity, you will avoid condemnation after the judgment. If you are upset with other people, apologize as a person. If you fell with a thought, point to your nature. It is better to be considered discerning than to be considered wise. It is better to deserve contempt as one inexperienced than to fall under punishment as one experienced. If you have lied, confess. If you are possessed by passion, do not hide it from your listeners. If you are aware of what is ahead of you, do not live carefree. If you do not have an employee, then take on more work alone and do not be too lazy to do what two or three people would do. Falling into errors, do not hide it from people; open yourself as much as you should. Having committed an offense, do not hide it from God, so that God also does not hide from you in time of need. Do not boast of your righteousness, lest you be condemned by One more perfect than you. Do not boast in prudence, lest the test you will be subjected to will exceed your capacity. Agree to go to the sword rather than surrender to anger. It is better to hide anger in the heart than to show it. It is better to get into the net yourself than to put it on another. If the grace of God is with you, then you will not be exposed to anything. Provide for the future as a reasonable person; attend to the present as a mortal person. Challenge friends and reconcile enemies. Rebuke humbly and act piously in relation to others. Do not completely blame bad people and do not always praise the good. Do not be too reticent with others, but also do not be ignorant of their way of thinking. In goodwill, do not be partial and do not incite hatred towards yourself. Do not scrutinize others, and they will not suspect you as an enemy. Do not rush to learn the deeds of everyone and you will not be a traitor to yourself. Have no desire to understand everyone’s deeds, and you will not suffer punishment. Do not try to comprehend their secret, and they will not regard you as a traitor. If someone has a quarrel with you, do not go into an investigation of the reasons. If someone turns against you during a quarrel, do not irritate him. If someone suddenly asks you how to take revenge, do not be a collaborator. If an enemy threatens you, do not be discouraged. If you see a deception, do not immediately expose it. If you find out that many have malicious intent, do not go out to meet them in a rough way. If rebellion rises against you, do not rely on the power of your word. If you fall into the hands of sinful people, do not resist, hoping on your strength. Do not take part in the division of people from the very beginning. During a quarrel, do not be harsh with them. Look at the failures of the young, not condescendingly, but strictly. Do not indulge in idle talk. Don’t sit where a passionate story is told. Don’t take pleasure in laughter. Do not sow laziness in yourself. Do not look for amusement in jokes, lest you become distracted. Do not go often into city streets, so as not to return from there a devotee of passions. Do not like crowded meetings, because they create confusion in the soul. Love stillness so that your conscience is like a teacher. Avoid verbosity lest you become forgetful. Avoid festivals, lest you become a fornicator without women. Refuse unnecessary interviews, lest you become an unrighteous judge who does not have authority. Give up talking with women so that you don’t have lustful dreams. Do not eat often, so as not to dull your mind, and do not eat in large quantities, so as not to turn your flesh into filth. Refrain from remembering foods that are inappropriate for you, so as not to become lustful. Refrain from the desire to enjoy your meal, so as not to become pleasing to vice.
Spend most of the time in solitude, so that when you are in society, you will learn the benefits of both. Trust not everyone, but receive anyone who wishes to meet with you. Do not spend time in long conversations so as not to waste time otherwise spent in conversations with God. If you do not fall down to God in prayer, then read in silence. When you begin to read the Scriptures of God, try to read as if you were obliged to retell what you heard. When you stand before God, imagine yourself serving earthly authorities. From the example of slaves and masters, consider your approach to God. From the example of your disciples and teachers, learn what belongs to God. From the example of earthly friends, learn how inseparably you must stand with God. Appreciate the needs of the soul according to carnal needs. Do you find your body in weakness? Consider that your mind also needs food. What rules do you observe in taking food, depending on bodily weakness? Offer such a meal to your mind.
As zealous as you are about the fields, be zealous about your soul. Like a debtor who has borrowed something material, be a debtor to piety. As one considerate of your health, be the same for your mind. Like a guardian of children, try to be protective concerning good deeds. Like a supervisor over slaves, be a supervisor over inappropriate thoughts. Like the guardian of the city, take care of virtue. Like a bridle for animals, watch over the passions. Like a bridle of stubborn animals, be one for fierce passions. Like a shepherd, support your flesh with dispassion. Like the guardian of a treasure, be the guardian of your faith. Like a prudent military leader, strive for battle. Like a reputable worker, try not to dishonor yourself. Like a wise teacher, do not allow the first person to meet you to condemn you. As a kind warrior, be ready for the enemy. As a wise builder, experience your strength. Like a clever housekeeper, learn the abundance of your fruits. Like a true merchant, consider the business of buying your own goods. Like a benevolent steward of the home, fulfill your duties. Be careful to restrain the flesh so that the rider—the mind—is not thrown into danger. Look upon your limbs with reproach, lest the beauty of virtue disappear. Master the senses, so that, like military instruments, they do not take on rust. Watch over your soul so as not to suffer betrayal from malice.
Слово на второе пришествие господа нашего иисуса христа. TCO 2.380–406; 2.216–235. Assemani 2.192–209: In secundum adventum domini nostri Iesu Christi. On the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. CPG 3944: 2.232 (parag. 2)–233 (thr. parag. 1).
Look, no one says, “I have sinned a lot, I have no forgiveness.” Whoever says this does not know that God is the God of the repentant. He came to earth for the sake of those who suffer and said there is joy concerning a single sinner who repents (Luke 5.10); and again: I do not come to call the righteous, but the sinner to repentance (Luke 5.32). True repentance consists in moving away from sin and hating it, just like the one who says, Injustice I hate and abhorred (Psalm 118.163); and again, I have sworn an oath and confirmed to observe Your righteous judgments (Psalm 118.106). Then God gladly accepts those who come to Him.
But look, let no one dare to say, “I have not sinned.” Whoever says this is blind, has closed his eyes, deceives himself and does not know how Satan hides himself both in words and in deeds, now through hearing, now through eyes, now through touch, now through thoughts. For who can boast that his heart is innocent and all his feelings are pure? No one is sinless. No one is clean from filth. No one is completely free from guilt, except for the One who has become rich for our sake. He alone is sinless, taking away the sin of the world, willing to be salvation for all people, not wanting the death of sinners, loving mankind, the omnipotent Saviour of all people, the Father of orphans, the Judge of widows, the God of repentance, the Physician of our souls and bodies, the hope of the hopeless, the safe harbor, the help of the helpless, the way of life, calling everyone to repentance and not turning away from any of the repentant. We, too, have recourse to Him, because all sinners who have recourse to Him have obtained salvation.
Слово o всеобщем воскресении, o покаянии и любви, и о втором пришествии Господа нашего Иисуса Христа. TCO 3.5–23; 2.235–250. Assemani 2.209–222: Sermo de communi resurrectione, de paenitentia et de caritate, et in secundum adventum Domini nostri Iesu Christi. Sermon on the general resurrection, on patience and on love, and on the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. CPG 3945: 2.245 (sect. 37) (l. 9 from btm)–246 (thr. parag. 1).
Then he will say to those at His right hand, “Come with the blessing of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you (Matthew 25.34). Come, sons of My light; come, blessed heirs of my Kingdom, come. For my sake you have become poor, hungry and thirsty, have not loved the world, nor all that is in the world. Come, for my sake you who have forsaken every worldly region and joy, relatives and friends, parents and children. Come, you who dwell in the deserts, the mountains, the stables and caves of the earth with the beasts, and dwell with the angels in heaven. Come, all merciful and alienated ones. Come, all who have walked the strait and narrow path. Come, blessèd of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.”
Then he will say to those who belong to the passions, “Depart from Me, all you damned, into the ultimate fire. Depart from Me, haters, unmerciful, brother-haters, Christ-haters. You have not pardoned, and you will not be pardoned. You have not listened to my most pure Gospels and my blessed disciples, and I will not hear your weeping. You lived luxuriously on earth, and enjoyed the blessings in your life. There I daily cried out through the Scriptures, and you, hearing, mocked those who read. And now I say: ‘I don’t know you.’ Depart from Me, cursed ones, into the ultimate and eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Then they will go into eternal torment, and the righteous into eternal life.”
Слово на еретиков, в котором бисером и другими столь же ясными указаниями доказывается необходимость верования, что святая богородица для спасения мира зачала и родила господа бога нашего не по естественным законам. TCO 3.54–83; 2.273–296. Assemani 2.259–279: Sermo adversus haereticos, in quo tum ex margaritae tum ex aliorum claris argumentis, ostenditur credendum esse sanctam deiparam praeter naturae leges, dominum ac deum nostrum pro mundi salute et concepisse et peperisse (vulgo: In margaritam). Sermon against heretics, in which by both the pearl and then by other clear proofs, it is shown necessary to believe that our Lord and God was both conceived and born by the holy Theotokos beyond the laws of nature (Commonly: On the pearl). CPG 3949: 2.274 (l. 15)–275 (l. 2).
As the Creator, you know what You have created. As a Judge, You know that You have provided for it. You gave me a nature undefiled, but my father Adam, having covered it with great impurity, made me weak. I added the delight of vanity to impurity, and now I involuntarily bear the punishment. Corruption has been brought into my nature itself, and behold, I am in misery, overwhelmed by the sea. Have mercy on me as my Creator, be compassionate to my weakness, One made man for my sake. Do not reject me because of my passions, but dissipate them, considering the striving of my will. Do not disdain me because of impurity, but behold the zeal of my deeds. If You turn away from me because of my vile thoughts, then turn Your gaze to my weeping and to my condemnation of sensuality. I have the will, but I don’t know if I also have the strength. I give what I have. If You want to give what is missing, consider my disposition. I am a beggar, covered by a serpent. I am weak, bound by corruption. I have no strength, being overwhelmed by sin.
I have lost Your gift, and therefore I do not have perfect prudence. I have lost my fellowship with You, therefore I do not know where I am going. I have nothing. If I have anything, You gave me birth. I am extremely poor; if I am enriched, all this will be Your gift. And now it is Yours, and before it was Yours. I only ask for grace. I confess that only through You I will be saved.
O терпении. TCO 3.150–161; 2.345–354. Assemani 2.326–334: De patientia. On patience. CPG 3959: 2.353 (parag. 3)–354 (end of sect. 47).
Come, my friends, let’s try our best. Come, let us fall down before God. Let us weep ceaselessly and shed tears before Him so that He may grant us spiritual enlightenment. Understand the intrigues of our enemy, our adversary, the hater of good, who arranges for us all manner of inclinations and temptations, the harm of covetousness, the exaltation of this world, carnal pleasure, as well as the desire for a long continuation of life, fear of good works, laziness to prayer, sleep during psalms, and carnal rest. How diligent he is, so we are careless and careless. How cunning he is, so we are careless. Although we know that our days are numbered, the time has come, the Lord of glory is coming in the splendor of His beauty, with the terrible Powers of His Kingdom, to reward everyone according to his deeds. I am afraid, my brethren, that the word of the Lord may not be fulfilled with us, From the east and west they will come and recline at table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven. You will be driven out (Matthew 8.11–12).
I beg You, O Christ, the Light of truth, born of the Blessed Father, the image and radiance of His hypostasis, sitting at the right hand of His majesty, the incomprehensible Son, the inexplicable Christ, the unknowable God, the praise and joy of those who love You. Save my sinful life, O Christ. In Your kingdom, do not repay me according to my works, but save me according to Your grace and spare me according to Your goodness. For you are blessed and glorified for ages of ages! Amen.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.23 (sect. 1) (parag. 3)–25 (l. 5).
What is the image of deception: me, being a stranger to virtues, and doing the opposite before God, who observes everything? The Pharisees justly suffered conviction from Christ the Saviour, who called their appearance hypocritical. And I often find myself in such difficulty, because, being convicted by my conscience, I am indignant, and my reproof seems an attack. Truth is bitter for those who try to hide. I will reveal my appearance, and there will be worms in me. I will take off the mask of dust, and those around me will see what lies in the grave. Consider the quality of my deeds, and notice the Pharisaic likeness. And if this is not resolved here and now, then I will experience fire at the Judgment, as the Apostle says (1 Cor. 3.13).
Stretch out, O Lord, a helping hand to me lying in the dust. For I want to get up, but I cannot. The burden of sin has overwhelmed me, and the sinful inclination holds me back. I look with my eyes, but I walk as in darkness. I move my hand as in deep darkness, and I am all as though paralyzed. I am complacent and dissatisfied with myself. I vow to change and fast, but I always meet obstacles. I am zealous for praise, but I cannot be bothered to please God.
How dare I ask for the remission of my former sins, without in the least setting aside my former behavior? Or how can I put off the old, corrupted man, without putting aside the lusts of my former seduction? Alas for me! How can I bear reproof for my lawless deeds and thoughts? Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy, and according to the multitude of Your compassions (Psalm 50.3). Unworthy lips, and an unclean heart, and a soul blackened by sins cry to You, O Lord. Hear me, according to Your goodness, and do not reject my request, because you do not reject the request of those who truly repent. My repentance is not pure, but tainted. I repent for one hour and grieve You for two. Confirm my petition in fear of You, O Lord. Strengthen my soul on the rock of repentance. Let the light of Your grace prevail over the darkness that is in me. Attend to my prayer, good Lord, not according to my righteousness, because I have nothing good in me, but according to Your compassion. According to Your great and ineffable goodness, raise up my members, broken by sin, enlighten my heart, darkened by sinful lust, save me from every sinful deed, and let not the enemy completely overthrow me.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.55–56 (sect. 7).
Your grace, O Lord, has led me to say to you, As the only Good and Creator of us all, forgive the iniquity and sins of Your sinful and unrecognizable servant. I know, O Lord, that I surpass all men in sins, but I have refuge in the all-surpassing depth of Your mercies. I am sure that you accept and have mercy on everyone who comes to Your goodness and, as the Forerunner, O Lord, you foresee the heart of the one who comes, and, like a merchant who arrived with great wealth you accept the one who comes with all your soul. For you desire to see repentance and rejoice in the diligence of your ascetic servants. To me, an unworthy servant of Yours, grant tears, so that with an enlightened mind, with love and faith, I may implore Your incomparable goodness and be healed of my hidden wounds. So, show me, and your compassion will appear to me, the miserable. Deliver me from the torment I deserve. May Your grace be pronounced, as always and everywhere and on the innumerable multitude of careless ones, as on me. Just as You did fill the waterpots with Your blessing, so fill my heart with Your grace and Your goodness. The compassionate mother rejected by her offspring does not despise him, O Lord, because motherly compassion prevails over her. We often see similar things with birds, as well as with livestock. You have created them all, O Lord. They will not come to the judgment, but I will be punished even for an idle word, for sinful thoughts, and for lust itself. Meanwhile, as soon as a pleasure appears to me, I immediately and suddenly forget everything, and, like a madman, I serve every sin, vain, angry, relaxed, lazy, absent-minded, gluttonous, sensual, covered in filth, I wander hourly and do not understand it. The manifestation of Your grace, O mankind-loving Lord, brings delight, stillness, tenderness. O mankind-loving, most gracious Lord, whether willing or not, save me, according to Your great goodness.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.56 (sect. 8)–57 (thr. parag. 1).
As if standing before Your terrible judgment seat, Lord, I, the condemned, see both the denunciation of my deeds, and Your judgment about me, which removes me, the wretched, from Your holy face, and plunges me into unbearable torment. And as then I will weep before You, so now, with trembling and with tears, I cry out: “You are just, O most righteous Judge, and Your judgment is just. I am not wronged by this. O you good, most holy angels, shed tears for me, because I have not had mercy on myself by ignoring God’s mercy. At last I am completely justly punished. When the Lord offered me mercy, I always listened to this without having common sense, and now, for a just reason, He turns away from me.” With anger, of course, the angels will then say, “Now is not the time for repentance, but for reward. Exhortation is no useless. Tears of repentance are also useless. Tears shed from torment abound. Endless sighing is not heard now, but endless lamentation. Go and accept the bitter and heavy reward for your deeds, burning in the flame like an unclean substance, and fueling the inextinguishable hell. Enjoy the unsleeping beast, the fierce worm, as son of darkness. Revel in the dark spirits, for whom you abhorred the eternal light.” Then, there will be incessant crying and painful gnashing of teeth. Alas, my poor soul, naked from all good deeds! How will you look at the impartial Judge, at the standing archangels, at the earthly dead coming forward naked? Everyone is in terror of the fearsome judgment seat, for judgment without mercy to those who had no mercy now. Alas! You will be sick then, O soul! but there will be no voice, no hearing. Everything will change, everything will become different and take on a sad look. Then we will begin the eighth age. The righteous will rejoice forever, others will be tormented forever. They did not delight in the God of all, and now they are not what they seemed. Finally, we now cry out to God that He proclaim to the people, Your guarantors are the monastic saints.
Нагробные песнопения. (84 sections) TCO 6.5–186; 4.366–533 Assemani 6.225–359 (Syriac): Necrosima. Funeral dirges: 4.531–532 (sect. 83).
Standing at the coffin, I looked into it and saw there decayed flesh. In Sheol, she became unclean, there is not even a semblance of an attractive face, bones crumbled by decay are visible. With sorrow and grief I departed from the tomb and my thought was transported to the time when we will be raised by the sound of the trumpet and glorify You for the resurrection prepared for Adam’s children, and said: “Praise be to You, O Lord of all!”
Hearing what was said in the Gospel about the resurrection, I thanked God and exclaimed: “Praise be to the glorious nature of Your dominion, which in the beginning adorned and honored our nature with its image, but at the end of time sent down His Son!” He saved us from destruction and crowds will appear of the entire resurrected Adamic race. He will lift the righteous into heaven, and he will cast the wicked into Gehenna. They will exclaim to Him: “Righteous is Your Judgment, O Lord King! Praise You, O Lord of all!”
Слово o суде и об умилении. TCO 2.160–170; 2.59–67. Assemani 3.148–150: Sermo de iudicio et resurrectione. Sermon on the judgment and the resurrection. CPG 4014: 2.61 (parag. 2, l. 11)–62 (l. 7).
For He is long-suffering and draws us all into His Kingdom, but He will require us to account for our negligence in this short time. He will tell us: “For you I became incarnate, for you I visibly walked on earth, for you I was beaten, for you I was bruised, for you I was crucified, lifted up on the wood, for you earthly ones. I was given vinegar as drink to make you holy and heavenly. I have given My Kingdom to you. I have called you all my brothers. I have brought you as a gift to My Father. I have sent you the Spirit. What could I have done more than all this, that I have not done, to save you? I do not want merely to compel your will, so that salvation does not turn into a necessity for you. Tell me, you sinners and mortals by nature, what have you endured for My sake, the Lord, who suffered for you?” So, here is the Kingdom and life, repose, and joy, as well as eternal torment in the pitch darkness. We will go wherever you will, for there is freedom for everything.
Come together, we will all bow down to Him and weep before the Lord who created us, saying: “All this, O Lord, You endured for us, but we, sinners, memoryless, have forgotten Your great mercy. What then will the generation of sinners reward You, the incomprehensible, good, and merciful God? You, who have enlightened the entire universe with grace, You, who have enlightened the eyes of the one born blind, enlighten the eyes of our heart, so that we may love You, O Lord, and always fulfill Your will with love! ”
Here is the Chalice of Your fearsome Blood, full of light and life! Grant us understanding and enlightenment, so that we approach it with love and the sanctity of faith, and it will be for the remission of sins, not for condemnation.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.49 (sect. 5) (parag. 3)–50 (end of p./sect. 5).
Truly, O soul, the coming of death is terrible for people who are full of passions, sinful, and weak, who did not try to live blamelessly in this vain world. Workers and perfect ascetics rejoice in the hour of separation. Having before their eyes the great labor of their asceticism, with vigils, fasts, repentance, prayers, tears, and sackcloth, their souls rejoice that they are called out of their body to enter rest. Yet separation is extremely saddening for the sinner, who sees before his eyes his own negligence, the sustenance of much acquisitiveness. He is not allowed to say anything at all, because the commandment is given priority. What repentance will then embrace the heart of one who has neglected now his salvation? Alas, O soul, alas! Why are you so careless about your life? Suddenly you will hear your call. What will you do then, having been negligent now? What will you do before the judgment seat of the righteous Judge? How is it that the enemy shields you, but you do not understand this? How is it that the enemy steals your heavenly wealth, but you, distracted, do not recognize this?
Protect me, O long-suffering Son of God and sinless Christ! Grant me, Saviour, a thought of the future life, so that may I do your will. Although in old age, make me an agent of Your grace, in order to make of myself a good purchase with the silver that You yourself, the Heavenly King, gave me. How will I, absent-minded, appear before the fearsome judgment seat? How can I, impatient and fruitless, be an accomplice to those who have brought forth the fruit of righteousness here? What kind of life will I be known by when saints and monks recognize each other in the heavenly abodes? The righteous, the chaste, and the humble will walk in the unapproachable light, but the sinful, the lazy, the proud, the arrogant, the carefree, and the luxurious will be in eternal and unquenchable fire.
Oh foolish soul! O insensitive soul! O soul that has hated its eternal life! How long will the evil inclination of sinful thoughts attract you? In your negligence you expect that your end come slowly, but it will come like lightning. Stay awake, O my soul, praying with tears. Cry out with all your heart that death overtake you repenting. Through the prayers of our all-pure Lady the Theotokos and all Your saints, O Lord, for You are blessed for ages of ages. Amen.
Беседа на слова: «Вся суетство и крушение духа» (Еккл. 1, 14). TCO 5.430–438; 4.357–366. Assemani 5.338–344 (Syriac): Cuncta vanitas, et afflictio spiritus. Eccl. Cap. 1. 2. “All is vanity and suffering of spirit” (Eccl. 1.2): 4.360 (sect. 143) (parag. 3)–361 (end of p.).
Days go by and fly away. The clock runs and does not stop. In the rapid flow of time, the world is approaching its end. Not a single day allows another to go with him. No hour waits for another to fly along. Just as water cannot be held and stopped by fingers, so does the life of any person born of a mother remain motionless. The life of everyone who enters the world is weighed and measured. He has neither the means nor the ability to change his designated limit. God laid down the measure of a person’s life, and this certain measure is divided into parts. Every day, unnoticed by you, takes its part from your life. Every hour runs its track unstoppably with its own part. Days are draining your life. The clock ruins your housing, and you rush to your end because you are mist. Days and hours, like thieves and predators, rob and plunder you. The thread of your life is gradually being interrupted and shortened. Days commit your life to burial, hours put it in a coffin. Along with the days and hours your life disappears from the earth. The life that you live today leaves and flies away at the end of the same day, because every day takes its part from your life and leaves with it. Every day it buries its share, every hour puts its share in your coffin, and in the rapid flight of time they leave, disappear, and turn into nothing. Days demand what is theirs and take it. The clock also takes its toll and forces it from you, so that the measure of your life is exhausted and the end comes sooner. God has laid down and measured your life on earth, and each passing day takes its share from life until the whole thing is exhausted. As the days pass quickly, so quickly life passes and flies by. She has neither the means, nor the ability to stop and stand in one place. If the sun pause in its height, and the moon slows in its movement, then the time determined for your life may stop striving towards the end.
Слезные моления. TCO 7.118–162; 4.19–59. Assemani 3.492–523: Precationes e sacris scripturis collectae, quarum pleraque sunt sancti Ephraem, pro iis, qui volunt suam ipsorum proclivem ad passiones voluptatesque voluntatem cohibere 1–8. Supplications collected from sacred Scriptures, of which many are of Saint Ephraem, for those who would control the tendency of the will toward passions and pleasures, 1–8 (Prayers for various occasions, 1–8). CPG 4078 (1–8): 4.48 (sect. 5) (parag. 2)–49 (l. 17 from btm).
Behold, I am collecting my thoughts from everywhere, and I have not yet freed myself from the influence of evil spirits on me, which will hold me back on the heavenly way. I have not yet recognized the gravity of my many sins. Those who have immersed me in sin are still bearing fruit in my flesh. How long will I, the accursed one, be drunk without wine and not care about my self, as if it is someone else’s? As a wicked servant against my master, so I cheat against my own salvation, as if someone else would bear my labors. I do not want to be vigilant. I daily grieve Your long-suffering. My bitterness is before my eyes. You endure all things, according to Your great goodness.
Grant me, O Lord, the healing of conversion, so that I may be healed from everything that is bitter in me. Grant me to enter the field of moderation. Grant me to pass all the days of my life in heartbreak. Enlighten the darkened eyes of my mind, so that with zeal I may enter Your vineyard. For the time of my life has become short, spent in vanity and in shameful thoughts. The time of my life has already reached the eleventh hour. Direct, O Lord, the mode of my purchase and grant understanding to this low-level merchant, so that I may finish my buying while I still have time. For the hour of separation has come, it is already before my eyes, and I was extremely afraid when I saw my poverty. Instead of rejoicing, I was even more afraid.
Молитвы ко Пресвятой Богородице. TCO 7.162–201; 4.59–94. Assemani 3.524–552: Precationes ad sanctissimam dei matrem. Prayers to the most holy Mother of God. CPG 4079: 4.78 (sect. 7)–79 (next to last sent. of parag. 1).
O all-praised and all-merciful Lady, the source of mercy, the depth of humankind, the living water, the advocate of sinners, the haven of the overwhelmed, who conceived God without seed in the womb and was vouchsafed to be the Mother of God, the true vine, the jar containing the manna in itself, the reclamation of the fallen, the common life of the whole world! Although I am unclean and devoted to an adulterous and rebellious world, I am negligent in thoughts, and in deeds, and in my will, I wastefully depend on my life. You, as a child-loving and compassionate Mother of God, do not despise me, the sinful and prodigal, before accepting the petition brought to you by my wicked lips, and by your favorable and all-benign prayers, O truly immaculate Mother of God, make the Judge merciful to me. Open to me the mercy of your generous Son, entreat Him to ignore my sinful failings. Direct my mind to repentance. Reveal in me a skilled worker of His commandments. Do not allow me to become the property and food of the corrupter of souls—Satan. Rather by your intercession renew me, who is already old in a multitude of sins. Correct my dilapidated life, so that, having you as intercessor, I, living, could unashamedly appear before the Court and avoid terrible torment. By your intercession, make me an heir of glory, entreating my Creator, that I may take advantage of it.
O блаженствах и горе. TCO 3.162–164; 2.354–356. Assemani 2.334–335: De beatitudinibus atque infelicitatibus. On the beatitutdes and woes. CPG 3960: 2.355 (sect. 48) (parag. 2)–356 (l. 4).
Woe to him who is in sins and does not know the time of repentance, as though he will repent then, uselessly mourning his sins forever. Woe to the one who says: “At present I will delight the flesh, but in old age I will repent,” because, like a net, death will suddenly cover him, and his expectation will perish. Woe to him who deliberately sins and wants to repent in the morning, not to proclaim that he does not know what the next day will bear (Proverbs 27.1), nor the night preceding it. Woe to him who, knowing good, gives a hand to the wicked one, because on the day of his departure the evil angels will receive him. Woe to him who, by his sinful deeds, becomes a stumbling block to his neighbor, because on the day of Judgment he will give an account of all that he has seduced others with by his sinful habits. Woe to the one who renounced the world and yet adheres to the worldly way of thinking, because the parable of the plow will relate to him (Luke 9.62). Woe to him who follows the desires of the flesh and neglects the care of his soul, because his life and his hope will be scattered over the earth. Woe to him who, with all his strength, does not hasten to prepare now, how to justify himself then.
На слова Иеремии: «Горе нам, яко согрешихом» (Плч.5:16). TCO 6.233–246; 5.42–54. Assemani 5.350–359 (Syriac): Va nobis quia peccavimus Thren. 5.16. “Woe to us, for we have sinned” (Lam. 5.16): 5.53 (l. 2 from btm)–54 (to end of sect. 148).
Blessed is the good and gracious One, who rejoices over us if we present repentance. He accepts us without reproach and with joy because of His love! Blessed is the good One, by whom the door is opened to both good and evil, so that they may enter into it, who even for the evil, if they turn, does not shut the door of His goodness! Blessed is the One who gives to everyone the means so that all may acquire the inheritance of the Kingdom: the righteous by good deeds, the sinners by repentance! Blessed is he who gave himself up to death and reproach for sinners, who endured the shame of the cross, in order to give life to sinners! Blessed is He who created us in His mercy and who came down to save us with the cross and who has come to resurrect us on the great day of His coming! Grant me, O good One, according to Your goodness, to behold Your mercies on the day of judgment and, together with the righteous, sing Your praise for ages of ages!
O блаженствах и горе. TCO 3.162–164; 2.354–356. Assemani 2.334–335: De beatitudinibus atque infelicitatibus. On the beatitutdes and woes. CPG 3960: 2.354 (sect. 48)–355 (l. 5 from btm of parag.).
Blessed are those who have loved God and, out of love for Him, despise everything earthly. Blessed are those who weep day and night, because they will get rid of future wrath. Blessed are those who willingly humble themselves, because they will be exalted. Blessed are the temperate, because they await heavenly joys. Blessed are those who exhaust their bodies with vigils and effort, because heavenly joy is in store for them. Blessed are those who have cleansed themselves from evil thoughts, because the Holy Spirit dwells in them. Blessed are those who love God with all their souls, more than the whole world, because they will be recognized as friends of Christ. Blessed are those who voluntarily bore their cross and who truly followed Christ, because they will reach the heavenly Jerusalem. Blessed are those who have girded their loins with truth, and have their lamps ready, waiting for the heavenly Bridegroom, for they will reign with Him in the Heavenly Kingdom. Blessed are those who have acquired discerning eyes, and have steadily directed them to the contemplation of future blessings, for they will inherit them. Blessed are those who incessantly have before their eyes the day of justification and try to be found pleasing in it. Blessed are those who have become conquerors of carnal pleasures, because on the last day of the trial they will find boldness. Blessed are those who wept on earth for God, because their fruits will be reborn in heaven. Blessed are those who eat bread not for free, but by the labor of their hands, like the apostle, and who give to others from their own labors, for they will recline in the bosom of Abraham.
But woe to him who is in sins and does not know the time of repentance, thinking he will repent then, but uselessly mourning his sins forever. Woe to the one who says: “At present I will delight the flesh, but in old age I will repent,” because, like a net, death will suddenly cover him, and his expectation will perish. Woe to him who deliberately sins and wants to repent in the morning, not to proclaim that he does not know what the next day will bear (Proverbs 27.1), nor the night preceding it. Woe to him who, knowing good, gives a hand to the wicked one, because on the day of his departure the evil angels will receive him. Woe to him who, by his sinful deeds, becomes a stumbling block to his neighbor, because on the day of judgment he will give an account of of all that he has seduced others with by his sinful habits.
Нагробные песнопения. (84 sections) TCO 6.5–186; 4.366–533 Assemani 6.225–359 (Syriac): Necrosima. Funeral dirges: 4.529 (sect. 80 parag. 2 to end of p./sect.) (last 3 parags. of Th from Th).
The soul says: “I lived in the guest house, and the Householder sent me a message. It is impossible for me to stay in it any longer. The message urges me, ‘Get out of your house, leave this dwelling with joy on the day of resurrection.'”
Promptly came those who would destroy me. I did not know that the One who sent for for me was already there, and I did not perceive Him. Deliver me, our Lord, from the condemnation which fell upon the devil, the hater of Your immaculate Son, and with Your saints lead me into the Kingdom, so that I may sing praise and glorify You with them.
The soul says to the body: “How bitter is the cup of dissolution by death for you! How fearsome is that time and the hour of trial! Rest in peace, O pleasant dwelling in which I lived, as long as it pleases the Lord.” What sorrow will fill the heart of a sinner at the hour when the judge, Christ, sits on His fearsome judgment seat. All generations will appear before Him, and all the secrets of the heart will be revealed. The Judgment is terrible, the Judge is terrible, the hour is terrible. Blessed is he whom Your goodness will cover, O Lord!
O терпении, o кончине века и втором пришествии, о прилежном чтении божественных писаний и пользе безмолвия. TCO 4.58–74; 3.89–102. Assemani 3.93–104: De patientia et consummatione huius saeculi, ac de secundo adventu; necnon de meditatione divinarum scripturarum; et quae quantaque sit quietus silentiique utilitas. On patience and the end of this world, or the Second Coming, also on meditation on the divine Scriptures, and what are the degrees of usefullness in stillness and silence. CPG 4007: 3.94 (parag. 2)–95 (end of parag. 1).
Alas for me, burdened with unparalleled sins! The number of my sins is greater than the number of grains of sand of the sea, and I faint from them, as from many bonds of iron, for I have no daring to gaze at the heights of heaven. Whom shall I resort to, besides You, O Lover of mankind? Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy, according to the multitude of Your compassions (Psalm 50.1). I have recourse to You, and to Your great goodness. I have angered you, yet I run to you because of your great non-memory of your malice. I have humiliated You, yet I run to You because of Your great love for mankind, and, pleading, I cry: Turn Your face away from my sins, and cleanse all my iniquity. Build a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a right spirit within me for the sake of Your one name (Psalm 50.11–12). I have nothing that I could bring to You, not a good deed, not a pure heart, but, trusting in Your compassion, I cast myself down so that You would lead me into contrition, and, constantly doing Your commandments, and I would not fall again into sin so easily, but from now on serve You in reverence and righteousness all the days of my life.
Молитвы ко Пресвятой Богородице. TCO 7.162–201; 4.59–94. Assemani 3.524–552: Precationes ad sanctissimam dei matrem. Prayers to the most holy Mother of God. CPG 4079: 4.80 (sect. 7) (l. 5 to end of parag.).
O Lady, Mother of the mankind-loving God, bring my heart to contrition and humble it. Fill my eyes with spiritual tears, enlighten them with the light of your prayers, so that I will not sleep until death. Sprinkle and cleanse me with the hyssop of your mercy. Wash me, according to Your grace, with my tears, and I will be whiter than snow (Psalm 50.9). O Mother of my Lord Jesus Christ, accept this humble confession of mine and my prayer. Direct my mind so I keep the rest of my life in repentance without temptation. During the departure of my humble soul from my body, when (alas for me!) at the gates I will have a word with the enemies, then, O Lady, look at me with your merciful eye, and free me from the merciless torturers and terrible servants of the prince of this age. Be my protector then and destroy all the records of my sins. Lead me unashamed and saved to the throne of your Son, and His beginningless Father, and the all-Holy Spirit, the one light-originating and consubstantial Trinity.
Слово o суде и об умилении. TCO 2.160–170; 2.59–67. Assemani 2.50–56: Sermo de iudicio et compunctione. Sermon on the judgment and the compunction. CPG 3940: 2.64 (parag. 3 l. 4)–65 (end of parag. 1).
Blessed is the man who gains boldness in that hour and hears the voice: “Come, you blessed of My Father, all you elect, inherit My kingdom.” Then each, seeing himself in the light, will begin to examine himself and reflect, saying: “Is it really me? And how did I appear here, unworthy? ” Angels will come with great joy to glorify the saints and tell them their conduct, ascesis, self-control, vigil and prayer, voluntary poverty, complete non-covetousness, patience in thirst, resistance to hunger, constant prayer, and joy of nakedness for the sake of perfect love in Christ. They will tell the righteous about all this with great joy, and the righteous will answer them: “Not a single day on earth did we do a single good deed.” But the Angels will again remind them of the place and time and, wondering at themselves, glorify God, seeing that the bodies of the saints in heaven shine more than sun, because they willingly endured tribulations on earth. For they found the treasure hidden in the village, and, having sold everything that they had on the earth, they acquired it, and with patience they covered themselves with a beautiful pearl and unstolen clothing. The labor of achievement is not great, brothers, but the rest is great. The feat of abstinence is short-lived, but the reward for this in the paradise of delight will continue for ages of ages.
Нагробные песнопения. (84 sections) TCO 6.5–186; 4.366–533 Assemani 6.225–359 (Syriac): Necrosima. Funeral dirges: 4.529 (sect. 80 parag. 2 to end of p./sect.) (last 3 parags. of Th from Th).
Christ the Resurrector will appear with glory from above, reviving the dead, raising up those in the graves. The children of the earthly Adam will all rise together and give praise to the Resurrector of the dead.
“Let not your dead hearts grieve! The day of the Lord will come, it will rejoice and awaken us who have fallen asleep. Guardians will walk before the Lord, and the angels will rejoice on the day of resurrection. He will sound his voice in Sheol, and the dead will rise and give praise. ”
Let us give glory and worship Jesus, the Word of God, who came by His love and saved us with His cross. The resurrected crowd of the children of Adam will come on the great day when His majesty shines.
Who will deliver us from this body of passions, captive to death, and slave to sin? Thanks be to the Creator, who by His love gave us victory and redeemed our generation by the death of His Beloved!
“Do not grieve, mortals, for your incorruption. Christ the King will shine from above and by His omnipotent hand will raise the dead in their tombs and clothe them with glory in the Kingdom.”
If death reigned and ruined our nature because Adam sinned and transgressed the commandment, then how much more will we be justified and saved by the sufferings of Christ, who conquered death and made our nature right?
Our Lord has given hope and consolation to those who have died, for He Himself rose from the grave, conquered death, promised us resurrection and life, and endowed Adam and all his children with great blessings.
Нагробные песнопения. (84 sections) TCO 6.5–186; 4.366–533 Assemani 6.225–359 (Syriac): Necrosima. Funeral dirges: 4.522 (sect. 76)–523 (parag. 8).
All those who have died will rise at the sound of the trumpet and sing praises to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, the Resurrector of their bodies.
“O Father, who created Adam from dust, O Son, who by Your cross delivered the children of Adam from destruction, raise me up and set me at your right hand, that I may glorify Your name!”
We worship you, O Christ our Saviour. You are the Resurrector and Saviour of all those who have passed away, who were baptized in Your name and confessed Your cross and Your death. Blessed is Christ, who promised life and resurrection to the children of Adam on the day of His appearance. For we will rise up and glorify Him among the saints who pleased Him.
Praise to You! By Your resurrection, You have given the hope of life and resurrection to all mortals. We praise You for we are Yours, O Resurrector of all flesh!
“The time of my departure is approaching, and no one is able to deliver me from the murderer, death, except Your beckoning, our Lord, Resurrector of the dead.”
Praise and glorify, O mortals, the One who by His death abolished the power of death and promised life and resurrection to all mortals. The soul that sought refuge in Your cross, heir to the eternally enduring treasure, will praise and glorify You along with the spirits with which she is numbered.
Worship God who sent His only-begotten! He saved our generation from death and Satan, and sits at the right hand of His Father and asks for bounty to all.
O покаянии (Главы 5–76). TCO 5.237–416; 4.181-345. Assemani 6.367-561 (Syriac): Paraeneses, seu adhortationes ad Poenitentiam LXXVI. Paraenesis, or exhortations to Repentence, 76 chapters (or Paraenetica).
The list of sections, with the Psalms in which their respective excerpts appear, is:
Section 11 (Psalm 12), 12 (Psalm 21), 13 (Psalms 8, 26), 16 (Psalm 32), 17 (Psalm 13), 19 (Psalms 14, 42, 49), 20 (Psalm 133), 21 (Psalm 52), 22 (Psalm 63), 23 (Psalms 65, 66), 25 (Psalm 71), 26 (Psalms 72, 74), 27 (Psalms 75, 76), 28 (Psalms 6), 29 (Psalm 79), 30 (Psalm 82), 31 (Psalm 83), 32 (Psalm 84), 34 (Psalm 87), 39 (Psalm 44 partially), 40 (Psalm 44 partially), 42 (Psalm 90), 44 (Psalm 91), 56 (Psalm 140), 58 (Psalm 5), 62 (Psalms 86, 92), 63 (Psalm 94), 64 (Psalm 95), 65 (Psalm 96), 66 (Psalm 97), 67 (Psalm 100), 69 (Psalm 103), 70 (Psalm 106), 74 (Psalms 4, 102, 124, 138).
The list by Psalm, with the section from which excerpts are taken is in parentheses, is:
Psalm 4 (Section 74), Psalm 5 (Section 58), Psalm 6 (Section 28), Psalm 8 (Section 13), Psalm 12 (Section 11), Psalm 13 (Section 17), Psalm 14 (Section 19), Psalm 21 (Section 12), Psalm 26 (Section 13), Psalm 32 (Section 16), Psalm 42 (Section 19), Psalm 44 (Sections 39, 40), Psalm 49 (Section 19), Psalm 52 (Section 21), Psalm 63 (Section 22), Psalm 65 (Section 23), Psalm 66 (Section 23), Psalm 71 (Section 25), Psalm 72 (Section 26), Psalm 74 (Section 26), Psalm 75 (Section 27), Psalm 76 (Section 27), Psalm 79 (Section 29), Psalm 82 (Section 30), Psalm 83 (Section 31), Psalm 84 (Section 32), Psalm 86 (Section 62), Psalm 87 (Section 34), Psalm 90 (Section 42), Psalm 91 (Section 44), Psalm 92 (Section 62), Psalm 94 (Section 63), Psalm 95 (Section 64), Psalm 96 (Section 65), Psalm 97 (Section 66), Psalm 100 (Section 67), Psalm 102 (Section 74), Psalm 103 (Section 69), Psalm 106 (Section 70), Psalm 124 (Section 74), Psalm 133 (Section 20), Psalm 138 (Section 74), Psalm 140 (Section 56).
Number 11 (Psalm 12)
Who is so merciful to us, Lord, as You are? Who would bear our bitterness, like You, who so mercifully covers our shortcomings? Your long-suffering, O Lord, is very great, the iniquities of all people are before Your face, and Your love endures the world and its iniquities.
We are unable to properly thank Your goodness, because You have given Your soul for us to die for us. To give life to me, you died, O Lord, and redeemed me. Your Father has no other who would be greater than You and whom He would hand over for us. Blessed is the Father who has given you to men!
Hurry, you repentant ones, go to the all-good One, Who tasted death for us, in order to give us life. See how He longs for our conversion.
He rejoices when the lost return, He accepts the repentant. Lead us, O Lord, into your sheepfold.
Blessed is he who, having renounced everything, listens to himself and spends his days in tears! The one who has renounced everything incessantly sighs. He who once learned the path of the cross is in incessant struggles in this world, in order to finally find joy and bliss.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of the foolish is in the house of mirth (Eccl. 7.4). He who loves the world finds pleasure in it. As for the wise, who are attentive to themselves, there is no joy in this world, because it is deceitful and fills their hearts with sorrow.
Since they do not indulge in the delight and pleasures of this world, then for their sufferings they will be rewarded with heavenly joys and bliss.
Woe to the one who goes there to weep, because the gnashing of teeth will also be united with weeping when he begins to cry out in the place of torment. Behold, my brethren, it is clearest of all that it is impossible for a man to delight in both this and in the other world. Those who rejoiced here will weep there.
It is unfitting for a man to complain there for his sufferings, labors and sorrows. That is why our Savior said: Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep; Woe to you, who are full now, for you will hunger (Luke 6.25).
Blessed is he who wept for some time now, because then his tears will cease, and he will enjoy everlasting bliss.
How long will you repent, O my poor soul? The judgment is near, the fire is ready for my members. All the years of my life I have swum in a sea of evils, not mourning my sins, but suddenly death puts the fetters on me.
Satan deceived me and, having bound me with his lusts, took me captive. Without pity, he threw me to the ground. Alas, what should I do now? You, O righteous Judge, shame the wicked one who fights against me and, when I wish to repent, secretly sets up his cunning nets for me.
Be my helper, O most merciful Lord, and I will rise, laugh at him, and break all his snares. Woe to me on that day when you, O Lord, will judge sinners! Oh, let me not be ashamed there before the ranks of angels!
Tremble and be embarrassed, O my soul, and, begging, say to your Lord: “Have mercy on me, O my Savior, and take me out, mired in vices. I, a sinner, am ashamed to beg You. By Your grace, O Lord, save me from hell.” Behold, the day of the Lord will suddenly shine upon creation, and the righteous will go out to meet the Lord with burning lamps, and I will be darkness, for there will be no oil in my lamp to meet the Bridegroom when he comes.
He is a righteous Judge and is impartial to sinners, because he rewards everyone according to his deeds. What am I going to do with so many sins? Who will acquit me at His righteous judgment?
My spirit trembles, hearing that the day of judgment is near. My thoughts come to confusion at the idea that fire awaits the wicked. According to Your goodness, O Merciful to sinners, have mercy on me, one who is lost, and I will praise You when Your kingdom appears.
May Your cross accompany me during this terrible transition. May the dark forces be removed from me. May it serve as a key for me to open the gates of heaven to enter into joy, to rejoice and glorify Your bounties, O Merciful.
Most merciful Lord, do not leave me in hell, because You have given me Your Body to eat and Your life-giving Blood to drink. May I be cleansed by Your body, and by Your blood may I receive the remission of my sins. Then I will rise again and I will sing hymns to You among the ranks of Your saints.
Alas, the days of my youth passed in vanity! When I wandered, indulging in the lusts of this world, then my spirit was bound by the deceiving love of youth, and I did not think how terrible would be the day on which I would rise again.
Who will support my weakness in that land of horror, where neither family nor noble birth, nor wealth is respected, where a brother will not deliver a brother from the judgment, and where a man will not give God a ransom for another, according to what is written? (Ps. 48.8).
From my youth I have not prepared myself a wing with alms, I did not acquire light feathers for myself. What should I do, for I must cross the sea of fire? How can one fly over it without having wings?
Even the angels shudder when the Judge speaks, and the ranks of the fiery spirits stand in awe. What answer will I give when they ask me about the secret affairs that will be discovered there for everyone?
Number 12 (Psalm 21)
O You, to whom the repentant are pleasing, be well pleased with me, a sinner. Saturate me with morsels from Your great meal. Do not allow my life to perish in the darkness that is overwhelming. May Your righteousness not look at the vile filthiness of my misery on Your great day, when the eternal judgment will be pronounced.
The joy of this world is lamentation. Woe to him who is deceived by it! Like a ship in waves, my life is overwhelmed by calamities. Vain joy captivates her with a spectacle of pleasures. Be our helmsman and lead our ship to Your pier on Your great day, when the eternal judgment will be pronounced.
How God loves a sinner when he comes to repentance and, with tearful eyes, sighing and sobbing, cries out to Him: “O our Lord, deliver me from the fire! I pray You, accept the tears of my misery. I sinned voluntarily before You, but I also voluntarily repent. ”
Come boldly, O sinner, the gate is already opened and ready to receive you. Sacrifice tears to Him and come to Him. He does not demand gifts and is not partial, but is merciful to people and willingly forgives the debts of sinners.
Number 13 (Psalms 8, 26)
Pay for my nakedness, my beloved brothers. I angered Christ with my vicious life. As the Good One, He created me and gave me freedom, and I, as one worthy of hatred, rewarded Him with my evil, wicked deeds.
The good One made me a minister of the sanctuary, so that I would stand before Him like an angel, and I, the treacherous one, left the glorious angelic ministry, and served the demons. Therefore I mourn my youth.
The Lord of all made me perfect and made me a weapon of His glory, so that I might serve Him and sanctify His name. Yet I, the unfortunate, have made my limbs instruments of sin and have done unrighteousness with them. Alas for me, because He will judge me.
My shameful deeds will precede me at the judgment and will accuse my poor soul. I implore You, O my Savior, to overshadow me with Your wings and do not reveal my filthiness at Your great judgment, so that I may glorify Your goodness.
The wicked deeds that I have done before the Lord of all are excommunicating me from the community of saints. And since I did not serve God with my life as they did, I have no part in their good deeds. Alas, I am lost!
Now sorrow befalls me, which is what I deserve. For if I had fought with them, I would have been glorified like them. But since I was relaxed and served lusts, I do not belong to the host of conquerors, but became an heir of Gehenna.
To You, O Victor pierced with nails on the cross, crying out to sinners: “Come, receive cleansing for free,” I pray to You, my Savior: “Turn Your eyes from my wickedness, and with Your sufferings heal my wounds, so that I may glorify Your goodness.”
As soon as Your gaze, O Lord of all, turns to the darkness of my sins, it disappears before me, and without hindrance, with all zeal, I begin to walk the way of Your commandments, strengthening my hope in You and freeing myself from the darkness of delusion.
O all-good One, whose goodness is immeasurably greater than the iniquities of the world. By trusting in Your grace, strengthen my poor soul, which is exhausted and completely drained by the grievous ailments of unrighteousness and sin and rests only by trusting in You, hoping to find comfort in You!
The sea of fire makes me confused and horrified, and I am trembling because of the evil deeds that I have committed. May your cross, O Son of the living God, serve as a bridge for me. Let Gehenna depart with shame before Your Body and Your Blood, and may I be saved by Your compassions.
The sorrows and illnesses that I have endured now are the essence of the anticipation of the endless suffering and torment then, for I know that just as I suffered from illness now, so my sins will plunge me into torment then.
O You Lord of all, by Your mercy be for me a safe harbor and a secure refuge, and save me. I implore Your goodness, O my Savior. From now on pour out Your compassions on me and put me then somewhere away from the tormented.
O Christ, who was pleased to become a sacrifice for us, put to death, O Lord, the sin with which all my members are afflicted. Descend and dwell in my members. As soon as the wicked one learns about this, his teeth will be crushed, and the fire of hell will be extinguished by Your radiance.
If he dares to touch my members, so defiled by untruth, then by Your beckoning prohibit him and sprinkle me with dew, so that I may come out of this fire like three youths who cried out to You in the furnace.
The wicked Satan vomited his poison on me, corrupted me, and cast me down with sin. But since I walk Your way, and You are almighty, then my weakness nourishes the hope that You, despising him, will help by forgiveness of my sins, so my corrupter will be put to shame.
The princes of malice blinded me with their passions, and with their cunning stole from me the beauty of my youth. What should I do, because I have lost my purity? I will cry out to Christ to restore my beauty to me, and then the wicked will be put to shame.
Lovely and lovable youth, my brethren, is when the glorious crown of virginity shines on its head. But if this dear pearl is stolen, then the hope that youth boasts is also lost.
My Savior calls out to me, His disciple: “Do not despair of your salvation, because I will resurrect you and forgive you your sins. You are my reward and I do not despise you, because I have redeemed you with My own Blood.”
Therefore, cry out with all your might, disciple, and do not spare your throat, for your Lord is merciful and loves those who repent. As soon as you return, your Father precedes you with His greeting, prepares the well-fed calf, and clothes you in a bright robe and rejoices about you.
What was in my virginity the highest and most joyful, Satan despised with the unbridledness of my morals, and the precious stone, shining more than the sun, he cunningly took, and with his deceitful delusions the damned one stole from me. Alas, what was destroyed by me!
The first adornment of virtue is the degree of virginity. If your leg shook at this degree and did not resist for it, then there is still another decoration, the degree of holiness. For if you are truly holy, then together with the virgins you will be honored with bliss.
May my sinful soul give thanks to You, O our Lord, because the devil suppressed it with sin, and You healed it. May all my senses, all my thoughts glorify You, because You, O Lord, by Your mercy have cleansed and washed them with the bounty of Your goodness.
Let the hosts of the sons of light pray for me, a wretched man, because I angered God. Let them propitiate Him, so that our Lord by their love may grant one soul. Let them beg that I would not be excluded from their community, but that together with them I could praise Him.
O our Lord, seek and find me, the lost. For you have borne the lost sheep on your shoulders. Call me also, O Lord, that I may come and be numbered with Your flock. Numbered with Your sheep I too will sang praise to You with all those who repent.
Number 17 (Psalm 13)
I would begin to sing of the Lord, if unrepentant lips could even praise and magnify Him. I would teach if I were allowed to become an interpreter, but am unworthy to speak. Blessed is he who opens the mouth of sinners!
Our lips are a path and a bridge over which wicked speech often passes. They must be the outer gate to the sanctuary, within which is the Holy of Holies. Blessed is He who bows down from the height of His majesty and who dwells with us!
It is a very great mercy to a person to know God. God draws near to everyone, to the extent of human strength. And yet it is known that our infirmity is not able to approach the sanctuary of the Divine by its own guidance. Blessed is He whom sinners dare to approach and praise!
When a respectable person falls into a misdemeanor, he does not want to be seen by his acquaintances and those who knew his former impeccability. It is desirable for him that everyone should forget the past, so he could not be ashamed of his misdemeanor. With zeal, brethren, ask the Judge for mercy and learn that everything in the world is fleeting, that wealth, beauty and power are transient, like nothing.
Blessed is He whose dominion never fades!
Nothing is permanent in this world. Why do we torment ourselves by serving the world? All its blessings are a sleepy dream, all its wealth for us is a shadow.
So, we work for temporary amusement, for a sleepy dream, for a shadow. Beauty, the possession of which is unreliable, seduces us with its quick-fading charm.
Although we know that wealth does not bring true benefit to its owners, who are constantly trying to acquire it, nevertheless, today they are as busy as they were yesterday; and all the days are wasted by us. Why can we never get enough? The world is drawing to a close and we are carried away by its stream.
May Your help come to us, All-good, never leaving our kind! Give us Your probing wisdom, so that we may know the transience of everything. Heal our wounds with repentance.
Visit us, so that we do not remain stagnant any longer in our sins. O You Most Merciful to our souls, put in us the remembrance of the good, because we have loved evil very much. Turn away from us, O good One, everything harmful!
Accept our good will, how much of it is in us, and send us immeasurable strength. Our soul is not able to bring You a gift as great as You are great. May Your wondrous death atone for us, O Lord!
Our untruth is much stronger than our prayer. Our prayer is insignificant, but our guilt is great. What sacrifice could we make to reconcile ourselves to you? We have nothing to give you. Therefore, reconcile us with Your Blood, O All-Merciful.
Can anyone rejoice in you, O world? If we endure oppression in you, it is painful. If we enjoy the respite in you, it is harmful. Bitter is that single knot, temporary life, that connects you and me. Blessed by power is He who turns us away from you! When death approaches the bedridden, then sickness closes his mouth, and drops from the end of the finger begin to drip water into the throat of the wine drinker. How happy then are you, who are unaccustomed to wine, in advance!
The treasures we have gathered remain for others, but our sins burden our neck. Our skin then becomes like a scroll, here and there covered with our debts. Blessed, then, are you monks!
We indulged in love, and the desire to possess, as we would like, remaining unsatisfied. We have sinned, and the hope of getting rid of the punishment has not been fulfilled. The wealth that we loved remains behind us, and untruths precede us to the grave. Blessed are you victors who courageously opposed her!
Our enemy triumphs, seeing that our wealth remains behind us and, at last, rejects us. Our sins hasten to the Judgment, to confess us there before our Lord. Blessed is he who confesses You, our Savior!
Who is so long-suffering to us as You, our good and merciful Creator? If we are defeated, then we grumble. And if we win ourselves, then we have pride. Blessed are You whose love tolerates us, the unbearable ones!
May my soul be returned to your sheepfold, like a lost sheep. Carry her yourself and bring her in along with the gathered sheep, so that all of them appear before the Lord again. Thanks be to Your Father, who delights in the repentant!
Thanks be to the Father who sent You, our Savior! For by You are we, the guilty, justified. You have taken away our sins by Your cross. Take away our guilt from us also at Your coming. Praise be to Your coming, All-Merciful!
Number 19 (Psalms 14, 42, 49)
Cleanse me with Your grace, O merciful Father. Cleanse away my filthiness with Your all-purifying hyssop, and heal my wounds, that I may give thanks for Your grace!
I fell. Raise me up and strengthen me, O Lord. For You raise up all the fallen. Stretch out your hand to me and revive me again with Your bounties.
The enemy deceived me, took from me, and stole all my attire, made me remain bare, and I must go naked of everything. Let Your mercy be my garment on the day of Judgment!
There is great fear on this day of the Judgment, when everyone will give an account of their deeds, those in their thoughts and even in the twinkling of their eyes. Acquit me then, O my Judge, because I am guilty now.
Our heart will be tortured and infinitely tormented when everything that aroused lusts in us passes away, when everyone appears naked and is led to account.
Then woe to him who, like me, committed many iniquities, who sinned and hid his sins, so as not to be put to shame now! Then, on the day of Judgment, they will point at him with their fingers.
All people will tremble on the day when each of them will be judged for his deeds, each by himself will either be justified or condemned.
My iniquities have greatly increased, my days have passed and are gone. The time of the end is approaching, but I have no repentance. If there is no room for bounty, woe to me on the day of Judgment!
Blessed is the man who has labored a little in this world and inherits the Kingdom in the everlasting world. For little work, he acquires a great inheritance.
The day of death is a bitter day, because the body and soul are parted from each other on the same day. They are parted from illness, sorrow, tears and sighs. All people will then clothe themselves in spiritual sorrow, for they will see how insignificant is everything that we love, how all our pleasures disappear like a dream.
At Your Judgment, O our Lord, there is no respect for persons, because on the day of Your Judgment, everyone will be rewarded according to his deeds. To whom the deeds are good, is the Kingdom, and to whom the deeds are bad, is torment. Who will not then be horrified and shudder when seeing that those standing on two sides are torn apart and will accept their lot, some for the Kingdom, others for darkness!
We glorify Your goodness, which spares sinners. We worship Your righteousness, which admonishes the rebellious. We magnify both, in order to receive salvation by the one and the other. Open to me the gate of Your compassions, O Hope of the repentant, and stretch out Your hand, full of healing, to me, so that it may bandage my cuts and heal my wounds.
Your righteousness is justly angry with me, O Lord, for she did not look to her sister, grace. You, O Lord of righteousness and grace, save me by the one and the other!
Your treasury, O Lord, is open to those who ask, and whoever wants to be rich receives an abundance of benefits. Since I, out of my carelessness, have multiplied the number of my vices, then save me, according to Your grace.
My will refuses to follow Your will. Therefore, do You submit me to Your will, so that through this I may receive salvation and glorify Your will, which delights in the repentant.
Graciously accept my prayer for reconciliation with You and, according to Your goodness, grant me life at Your coming, and the wicked one will be ashamed when he sees that your righteousness has had mercy on me.
Truly great mercy is shown to sinners! As soon as the sinner repents, the handwriting of his debts is erased. But I have no repentance, so may I be saved by your grace!
Praise be to the good One, who descended for us, became like us, and healed our wounds with His all-sanctifying Flesh and His all-purifying Blood! May all sing praises to You!
Thanks be to the Merciful, who constantly bears our burden, although He knows our malice, and who created and nourishes us and commands His sun to shine for us! Praise Him for His goodness!
Open to me the gate of mercy, O our Lord full of bounties. Stretch out Your hand to me, O Good and Merciful, and return me to Your sheepfold, so that I may glorify Your goodness.
We knock at Your gate and call upon Your name, because everyone who asks, even though only mentally, receives everything from You, who seeks all means to benefit everyone.
My sins are a wall between me and Your goodness. Destroy it, so that I can approach Your mercy. Pour out Your love on me and delight me to Your height.
But the wall of my sins is ravaged by tears and contrition. Therefore grant me all the days of my life to diligently mourn my sins and to gather for myself fruits that will be useful to me on the day of judgment.
Blessed is the one whom, by Your love, You admonish, O Lord, because you do not turn away from those you love. Do not turn away from me, O Lord, so that the wicked one does not destroy me.
By Your goodness, spare me, the weak one, and grant me forgiveness of my many sins, so that with all those who please You, I may glorify Your goodness.
Spare, O Lord, according to Your goodness, and have mercy on all of us, who are rejected by righteousness, because we did not keep Your word, by the keeping of which we would receive salvation.
Yet I am rejected with everyone, even more than everyone else. Therefore, make me worthy, according to Your grace, to receive the remission of sins, and according this Your power, forgiveness and hope.
With love I have learned Your word every day. Therefore, honor me, together with the righteous, to proclaim praise: “Praise to him who has mercy on me! Glory to him who has forgiven me!”
You are blessed by the height, You are magnified by the depth, You are worshiped in every way, because everything was created by You. Everything is singing to You, O our merciful Lord.
Every debtor, if prudent, always tries to please his lender. Since he has nothing to pay him with, he uses affection to induce the lender to forgive him the debt.
Likewise, since I am not able to pay my debts by deeds of self-control, I try to bow down to the Judge, so that at His coming, in His goodness, He may grant me His bounty.
Number 20 (Psalm 133)
The Lord is a wise dispenser. He looks to the benefit of the supplicant, and as soon as he sees that what he is asking is harmful or, at least, useless to him, he does not fulfill the request and refuses an imaginary benefit. He hears every prayer, and the one whose prayer is not fulfilled receives from the Lord the same saving gift as the one whose prayer is fulfilled.
Whether the needy and the debtor come to the good One, he gives to the first and forgives the latter. Therefore, both leave the gate of the Giver with gifts: the needy receives deliverance from want, and the debtor receives the forgiveness of debt.
In every possible way God shows that He is a merciful giver. He gives us His love and shows us His mercy. Therefore, he does not answer any wrong prayer, the fulfillment of which would bring us death and destruction. However, even in this case, refusing what we ask does not leave us without a very useful gift. He removes the harmful from us and thereby opens the gate of His bounty to us.
In the Giver, the foolishness of the beggar finds no place for itself. To the unwise who, in his simplicity, contrary to reason, asks for the harmful, God gives wisely. He refuses gifts to those who do not fulfill His commands. Any other course of action would be foolish for the giver’s omniscience. Therefore, be sure that any petition that is not fulfilled is undoubtedly harmful, and the petition that is approved is useful. The dispenser is righteous and good, and will not leave your petitions unfulfilled, because in His goodness there is no malice, and in His righteousness there is no envy.
If the Giver delays in fulfillment, it is not because he repents of the promise. On the contrary, He wants to see your patience. When noon comes, in which the workers are experiencing heaviness and heat, then loudly you can demand for yourself a reward, and instead of one gift He will give you two: hope and grace.
If you, the petitioner, relentlessly knock at the gate of the Giver, then, while He has not given you anything yet, patience is already giving, and it is higher than anything you ask for. O wonderful Giver! When he refuses the request, he gives instead such a gift that is dearer than anything desired by the petitioner.
He is a wise dispenser; he subjects both request and time to consideration. As soon as he recognizes the request as harmful, he waits and does not fulfill it, postponing until a better time. And although it is regrettable to the petitioner who desires the fulfillment of the request even at a time when it would not be useful for him, yet God does His own will in order to fulfill the request to a greater extent later, at such a time when it will be more useful for him.
Number 21 (Psalm 52)
O Judge, whose judgment is righteous and who knows all that is hidden, do not condemn me at your righteous judgment, when all secrets are revealed!
The sinful woman, with the tears she brought to you, destroyed the handwriting of her debts. So I bring you tears as a gift. Receive them from me, Lord, as you received from her.
The evil one deceived me with his caresses and captivated my mind with his seductions. Take him away, O our Lord, from me, the poor one, to snatch me out of his hands, so that he will not tear me to pieces. Judge me, Lord, and judge my unmerciful enemy. He made me a target for his arrows. According to Your compassions, let those arrows pierce him.
Be a helper to me, the poor one, O Lord, because I have no other helper. Do not let the enemy laugh at me, defeated, as he laughed at our foremother.
Woe to me if all my secrets will be revealed and tried where no justification is respected, and not a single guilty person will be heard. My spirit trembles, O Lord, for I hear that the fire will test the wicked (1 Cor. 3.13). For I am hay and straw. For if You, Lord, look at my guilt, then I am lost.
Your goodness, O Lord, which once lifted You to the cross for the redemption of our kind, may it precede me, the poor one, with You, so that I may be vouchsafed the remission of my sins.
You, O Jesus, who redeemed everyone with your blood and with your death bound the strong one, take off the fetters of the wicked one, break the chains and his bonds. Prevent him from leading me, a weak man, and from doing his will on me. Coordinate my will with Your will, O Lord, and by Your mercy blot out my sins.
Do not leave me in the hands of the hater and do not give him power over me, because You have prepared Your flesh and Blood for me to eat, and Your Cross is imprinted on my forehead.
Strengthen me, O Lord, for I am weak. Let me make amends for my guilt, for I have sinned much. Let me be chaste in my senses, so that I may obediently follow the King’s path. May Your light shine in my thoughts, may they be enlightened by Your rays, and may Your majestic radiance rejoice them, for You are the all-illuminating Sun.
Cleanse our filthiness with Your hyssop, wash our wounds with Your blood, sanctify with Your body the secret movements of our thoughts.
The world passes away like nothing, but the last Judgment will remain immutable. Do not draw me to Your righteous Judgment, because everyone living will not be justified before You.
Your mouth has spoken to us the promise that you will listen to everyone who calls upon you. Behold, I appeal to You, O Lord, as You commanded. Hear me, the guilty one, according to Your promise. Incline Your ear and hearken to my voice, O Son, who was clothed in our flesh out of love, and receive my sighs, which I offer You for the lewdness I have done.
Call me from my scattered thoughts, wasted by the vanities of this world, and make my spirit live in another, eternal world.
Punish me, O Lord, according to Your compassions, so that I may be corrected. According to the abundance of Your mercy, let me be Your property. Call me out of sinful wanderings to be numbered among the sheep standing at your right hand.
To Simon, who called out to You from the midst of the waves, You gave help, and the waves did not drown him. Like Simon, take me out of the stormy waves of this world.
Glory to You, who redeemed the lost human race, lifted it up on Your shoulder and brought it to Your Father’s house!
Number 22 (Psalm 63)
Grant me, O Son of the All-Good, what my thoughts strive for, and add to this what is pleasing to Your will. Grant me permission to do good and not to deviate from Your will.
Do not let me be a wicked and selfish disciple and violate Your commandments.
Grant me, then, to be Your faithful disciple, to hate what is visible and to love the future.
Do not allow me to wastefully eat alms and by begging to acquire unrighteous wealth for myself.
Serve me as much food as You please, and instead of silver, may I acquire the glory that You please.
Deliver me from the need to place my hope in a person and in the temporary, which is unreliable. Give me relief, O You who rescues the oppressed and with Your only-begotten right hand satisfies the needy.
Protect me from those who call on your name, but destroy themselves with the care of the purse and bottle. Make me worthy to be one of those generous ones, who in this world has neither a purse nor a bottle.
Protect me from the thought of walking in Your path only for the sake of appearance and with my hypocrisy to deceive those who see me, so that they may proclaim me blessed.
Grant me, then, that my heart will delight in Your greatness in secret, and that my right life glorifies You openly. Protect me from those who do not acknowledge Your good deeds and, using Your gifts, do not praise Your name.
Grant me, in time of both satiety and hunger, to praise You, and not to murmur.
Do not let me, Lord, become like a harlot who, when in front of strangers, presents herself as innocent and chaste.
Let the truth be the guide for me, Your worshiper; she keeps me in chastity both near and far.
Deliver me from the misfortune of knowing Your law, yet not having the desire to please You.
Grant me a community of simple people who are experienced and wise in doing virtue.
Deliver me from the hard work of those scribes who have devoured all the books yet are doing every vile deed. They give mysterious interpretations, and explain high truths. Their words are astonishing, decisive, and beautiful, but their eyes are too weak to come close to the truth. Also, fear seizes me, because I read, but I do not fulfill what I have read, although I do not read out of a desire for glory nor out of pride, but I would like to keep my mind from delusions. I read a lot, and do not fulfill what I have read. I try to acquire knowledge, but in my busyness I am left behind.
To my condemnation I expound the Scripture to others, because I myself have no desire to observe the righteousness that Scripture teaches.
May those who enter the palace have mercy on me, the unfortunate one, and may they entreat the Lord of the wedding feast for me.
You are victorious, O Righteous Lord! Yet I voluntarily yielded victory over myself, even in the armor that You put on me.
I am weak for battle, strengthen me with Your strength.
My flesh is weak; strengthen me with your strength. Help me and crush the arrows of the treacherous. Bring me, O strong One, into the ranks of Your firstborn.
Grant me, O Lord, always to be Your property and to do without fear what is pleasing to You. As soon as I begin to do that good, O Lord, strengthen me, so that I can do this for You.
From You is all strength. You make the valiant win. You raise them to the height of a good life. Your love strengthens the weak and timid. Let me, O Lord, not pass the time fruitlessly.
I know that I have sinned against You. Deliver me from Your judgment. Since I did not blaspheme You, then may Your vengeance not strike me. I plead guilty to a crime, as I am really guilty. Therefore, let Your goodness have mercy on me, for it is indeed merciful.
I know that I have sinned. I have sinned against Your will. I see clearly that I have transgressed Your commands. I admit that I will come to the Court of my own free will. Therefore I implore You, in Your compassions, justify me.
O You shining Your sun … over the wicked and the good (Matthew 5.45). Be kind, let Your light shine in my darkened mind. By this Your light, my sins will be driven out, these murderers, like robbers who have taken root in my bowels.
The evil one does not see evil in me that would not be from him, for from him I became angry. However, he is defeated by my own free will. The wicked one entangled me, because I myself taught him this.
The lazy and timid flee from Your yoke. Your love will shame the negligent.
Praise be to Your goodness, this mother of teachers, who, no matter how painful their wounds, admonishes the stubborn, compassionately giving healing to the repentant! We worship Your Father and Your Spirit, rejoicing at our conversion!
Number 23 (Psalms 65, 66)
By Your grace, call us, O God, to draw near to You, and not to perish, O good One, who made a promise and preached: “Call on Me, and I will hear you.” I have pounded on the gate of Your goodness, O my Deliverer! Hear me, O Good One, according to Your compassions, and behold not my iniquities. Have mercy on me, according to Your goodness, for I am very much guilty before Your righteousness.
You created me, O Lord. You called me by Your image, according to Your goodness, and created me in Your likeness. You taught me to know the way to the abode of life and showed me the way to Gehenna. The evil one, out of his envy, set hidden ambushes for me, pulled me out of Your path, and I was mired in abominations. Alas for me, O our Lord, I am very much guilty! Have mercy on me, O Lord, and save me according to Your grace!
That robber, the thief of souls, maliciously took my freedom from me, seduced me, and abused me. With the gaze of his eyes he deceived and captivated me and put sinful thoughts in me. I looked, and willed, looked with curiosity, and sinned.
Since my hands were stretched out for an unlawful deed, then I perished completely. Alas, now I am threatened with fire! Save me, O Merciful, that I may not die.
I am the most unhappy of all those born, because by my deeds I made myself unhappy and plunged into destruction. Every day I sinned, and I was comforted by that, and did not think that death was waiting for me. Alas, the angel of death is already close, sent with the command to lead me to the Judgment! Alas, all the innermost secrets will be revealed there, and I will be covered with shame!
Behold, my deeds are marked by justice, not even a single word has been forgotten. In this great book, the Judge has written my deeds and iniquities. Woe to me when the Judge reads there all the sins that have been committed by me from my youth to my old age! What should I do at that hour and where can I run from You, O Lord?
Alas for me, O Lord! How very guilty I am! Alas for me, I sinned and did not bring repentance! O God, who had mercy on the sinner, have mercy on me, the poor one. O our Lord, may I not perish! Instead of the peace that the sinner brought to You, I have Your flesh and blood, united with my members. No, O our Lord, do not look at my works. Let your grace blot out my guilt.
Your justice is very fearsome, O Lord. The ranks of the angels will tremble before You, when the judgment seat of Your majesty is prepared. The heavenly regiments and the Dominions will be terrified when the angels take the flaming sword and the fire is kindled to burn the wicked. Woe to me, O our Lord, at that hour! Save me, O our Lord, that I may not die.
My thoughts bound me and threw me into the snare of the treacherous devil. I reassured myself that my thoughts were secret and were not written in that great book by the Judge. Yet behold, all of them are clearly visible before my eyes at the Judgment and are waiting for me there, so that I may receive reward for them. Alas for me, O our Lord! What fear I am in! The reward for my crimes is Gehenna!
My life has passed, disappeared, and I did not even notice it. She was stolen from me, and only misfortune remains for me. What will I do in this terrible country, engulfed in flames? How will I cross it? I implore you, O our Lord, be for me a bridge over the terrifying abyss separating these two countries. By you I will cross the place of horror and reach the land of life!
Your right hand, O our Lord, which You did stretch out to Your disciples over the sea, so that they would not drown, this Your right hand also stretch out to me, O our Lord. Take me out of the sea of my sins. Your baptism, O Lord, with which You have covered my members, may it be for my protection and salvation. By that, O my Deliverer, I will be transported through the waves of terrible flame, and I will not be scorched.
When I was young, I sinned, and I was comforted by the fact that I would repent in old age. Then death came. Her strong ax cut off my branches, and I have not yet reached old age. Now there is no room for repentance, because death puts an end to it. My sins await me before the Judge. Alas! My crimes will be punished there. Gehenna is my reward.
Do not enter into judgment with me, O our Lord, because no one living will be justified before You (Psalm 142.2). You alone, O Lord, are pure. Spare me and cleanse me from sins by Your grace. Grant me, O Merciful, Your great mercies, that I may be enriched by them and receive forgiveness and Your angels rejoice according to Your word, O Merciful to sinners.
Who can count the sins of my youth which I have committed in this deceitful world? Who will know the paths of my youth and be able to depict her paths? You, O good One, who had mercy on David, the son of Jesse, have mercy on me, a sinner. For behold, I appeal to you. On You, O favorable One, I put my hope. Accept me, according to the bounties of Your goodness!
Fire threatens, O Lord, my members, but in me, O my Deliverer, Your reconciling Blood is hidden. Gehenna awaits me for torment, but Your Life-giving Body is closely connected with me. I am clothed in the robe of the Holy Spirit, and I will not be scorched. When the fiery river surges, threatening vengeance, then the fire will extinguish in me, as soon as the scent of Your Flesh and Blood will reach it.
You, O our Lord, are the hope of the repentant. You are the friend of all sinners. I beg You, O Lord, by Your holy name, do not punish me with Your righteous Judgment. By the love of Your Father, by the Mother’s bosom that bore You, by the spear that opened Your ribs on Golgotha, I beg You! Pour out the dew of Your mercy on me, so that I do not languish then with thirst for water.
Listen to me, O Lord, as You listened to Elijah when he prayed to You. Hear my prayer, O Merciful to the repentant, as you heard the voice of the son of Amathi. Hear and save me like Simon Peter. I have sinned much, but I have not denied Your name. Confess me, O our Lord, because I confessed You, the Source of bounty and mercy.
Open your gate to me, O Lord full of mercy, just as you opened your gate to the sinner. Accept, O Lord, the tears that I bring, and give me water then. You, O living water, I will take with me to cool the flame of fire, for I heard the parable of the rich man who asked for water from his finger.
May Your cross, Lord, in which I seek refuge for myself, be for me then a bridge over the great fiery river. Let me go to the abode of life. I fear three punishments, O our Lord: fire, Gehenna, and the undying worm. Oh, that the fire and flame were extinguished for me! May Your Body and Your Blood save me!
Jonah cried out to You in the depths of the sea, and Daniel in the lion’s den. The three youths of the Hebrews called to You in the oven kindled by the Chaldeans. You have brought Jonah out of the abyss, saved Daniel, and Your mercy watered and extinguished the flame. Have mercy on me, O Lord, and save me because I confessed You, and, by Your grace, forgive me my debts.
Have mercy on me, O our merciful Lord, and according to the multitude of Your compassions, blot out my sins. Wash from me the iniquity of my hands, that I may be cleansed, and wash myself of my filth. I know that I have sinned, my sins are always before me and I see them. Before You, I alone am guilty and have sinned. Be merciful to me, O our Lord Jesus.
Simon denied you three times, Lord, but brought you tears, and you accepted him. So I shed tears in front of You, and I offer you a pure confession as a sacrifice. Many are my sins; they are uncountable. According to Your compassions, O our Lord, forgive me my iniquities. By Your grace blot out the handwriting of my filthiness and do not remember, O our Lord, my sins.
Praise be to the Lord God, who does not want the death of the sinner! Praise be to You, who has mercy on sinners! Praise be to You, who welcomes the repentant! Praise be to You, O Jesus, who opens His gate to everyone who strikes at it and asks for the remission of sins!
Praise be to you, O Lord, and let your bounties be upon us! Be merciful to us, our Lord Jesus!
Number 25 (Psalm 71)
He who, like me, is tormented and wounded by sins and defiled in this world, let him come and give me a hand, and together we will take up a mournful lamentation. But alas! It is impossible to be such a sinner as I am.
Look at me, O born of a woman, one both righteous and sinful. Weep for me, for my sins are beyond measure. They are countless and uncountable. Perhaps the Merciful will hear your prayers for me.
Horror envelopes me, and I am in terror as soon as I remember how much I sinned and did not feel it. As soon as I remember my sins, which were committed by me from youth to old age, I cannot help but cry out in sorrow and say, “Be merciful to me, O Lord God!”
How great will be the horror of what I have done when I am brought to justice? Alas! If justice demands satisfaction from me for the sins I have committed, what will I do then and where will I hide, Lord?
So my life was spent in the service of sins, and my days were spent in evil deeds. I did not think about Judgment, about punishment, and about the torment awaiting sinners. Have mercy on me, O Lord, on the day the secrets are revealed.
Alas! I have sinned in this transitory world, but now, reward awaits me in the everlasting world. Now, I have defiled my body with sins; then is a reward for my soul. Therefore, weep and weep for me, O you sinners like me.
Terrible and fearsome is the day of Your Judgment, O our Savior, when sinful secrets will be revealed. Therefore, O Lord, I tremble, and I am seized with terror, for my sins have surpassed the sea. Be merciful to me according to Your compassions, O Good and Merciful!
I look, O Lord, at my sins and lament, seeing their multitude. Alas! How did this befall me, the guilty one? My tongue speaks beautifully, but my behavior is shameful and despicable. Woe to me on the day when the secrets will be revealed!
My words are very beautiful to others, but my behavior is thoroughly contemptible. I teach others of order in the world, but I myself, the wretch, indulge in passion. The fire that threatens the wicked frightens me.
All my days passed and disappeared in sins, and not a single day did I serve righteousness. As soon as I began to repent with the intention of not sinning anymore, the evil one came and caught me out of his hatred. Woe is me! Because I voluntarily fell into his net.
If I go out to walk the streets, then I act as a righteous man and a sage. If I see that someone else is sinning, I laugh and mock him. Alas, alas! My iniquities will also be revealed, and I will be put to shame.
Oh, I wish I hadn’t been born! Then this transitory world would not corrupt me. I would not see it. I would not become guilty, would not defile myself with sins, and would not be afraid of torture, Judgment and torment. As soon as I make a vow to repent, I return again and fall into the same sins. The hour spent in sin pleases me, but I also think that I am doing good. Alas for me! Hitherto I have not thought that Gehenna awaits me.
This world is a great light for the righteous. From the very moment I began being in it, I walked in darkness, and not once did I dare to spend at least one day in this world virtuously, with true repentance. Therefore, I am afraid, how I will be rewarded in the next age.
I hated the path leading to the abode of life. I loved the path that leads to hell. Woe to me, woe, when the fire flares and kindles to burn the sinners! Where will I run from You then, O Lord?
The riches and treasures of the righteous are great, but I voluntarily loved vanity. I dreamed that the riches of this world are imperishable and eternal, and did not think that only the joys of the age to come do not pass.
Sometimes I soared in thought to the abode of the righteous, then turned my eyes and gazed at the abode of sinners. Then I called the first blessed, and about the last I complained, and called out to myself, the unfortunate, and said: “Alas, what awaits me!”
Evil inclination leads me into sins, and when I sin, I put the blame on Satan. But woe to me! Because I myself am the reason, the evil one will not force me to sin. I sin of my own free will. Why am I placing the blame on the evil one?
I appeal to You, O Kind and Merciful! Accept my prayer as you accepted the prayer of Simon and the sinner. I have not renounced Your holy name, and although I am more sinful than all people, nevertheless, because I have confessed You, confess me and have mercy on me, the poor one.
Have mercy on me, Merciful to the repentant, forgive me my guilt, according to the abundance of Your goodness. accept, O Lord, the tears I bring to You, and cleanse me from my sins, like the sinner. I realize that I have sinned. Spare me, according to Your compassions.
Hear, O Lord, my prayer, with which I implore Your majesty. Blot out my sins with the hyssop of Your mercy, and do not enter into judgment with Your servants, for none of the living will be justified before You (Psalm 142.2). Against You alone have I sinned (Psalm 50.6). Have mercy on me, O our Lord!
May my prayer, O Lord of all, come to You, and may You open the gate of Paradise for me. May I be accepted into Abraham’s bosom, and may I rest with the righteous who loved You. Then I will sing praise to You with all Your saints.
Number 26 (Psalms 72, 74)
Come, my brethren, seek bounty while it is possible for us to seek bounty. The time for repentance is in this transitory world, for in that eternal world neither prayer nor tears will be accepted.
The sinful woman, with the tears she shed, destroyed the handwriting of her sins. Now you, a sinner, take with you and bring tears as a gift, and sighing, cry to the Lord, and immediately He will forgive your debts.
Sinful waves rise, and every day I drown in them. I cry to You, O Lord full of bounty, according to Your bounty, take me out, one drowning and swallowed up by the sea of sins.
As a gift to Christ the Lord, bring tears, be repentant, and strike yourself in the chest, like that publican (Luke 18.13), who, sighing, prayed and said, Be merciful, O Lord, to me a sinner who angered You!
Now is His gate opened. He is waiting for your return, O O sinner. Return to your Lord, sinner. Leave the path of lewdness. Get up and enter the path to the Kingdom.
Woe is me! How unbearable the net that the crafty one, the hater of mankind, has set for me! He wrapped it around my legs, and I cannot move. He brought me to poverty and misfortune by the many sins I have committed.
All my members tremble at the thought of the final judgment, for I hear that the fire will test sinners (1 Cor. 3.13). Woe to me when he tests me too! For I have committed countless sins.
You have opened a sinful wound. If you slow down, it will completely destroy you. Your doctor is multi-skilled; show Him your bruise, cry tearfully at His door, and induce His bounties to heal you.
O Good One, who gave Himself to crucifixion and death for us in order to redeem us, deliver, too, the soul of me, Your servant, from the multitude of my sins, so that I may lift up a voice of thanksgiving to You, and to Your Father, and to Your Holy Spirit. The sea of sins terrifies me, and my insides tremble with fear. How wicked have I been on earth in my youth and in my old age! O You who have forgiven the robber, forgive my sins, known to You.
He gave me the talent of the priesthood, and I, through my laziness, hid it in the earth. Woe to me when He comes and exacts His talent from my hands! I was a lazy slave, I did not invest the silver for increase and did not gain anything for it.
Where can I flee from Your presence, and where can I hide? My debts are many, my sins have multiplied. Command, O Lord, and my debts will be blotted out, and my sins will be forgiven by Your word.
Who will heal my weakness if I leave the Physician Christ? Who has such a cure for disease as He has? O You who healed the sick, heal my soul, ruined by sins!
May Your compassions come upon me, O Lord, and Your salvation, as You promised. Let them help me, and then I will bring down my enemies, for You are merciful, O Savior of all those who repent.
Support me with Your might, O almighty and great God. The wicked one will be ashamed when he sees that I am ready for battle. He will be ashamed, and in shame he will run away from me, but I will be exalted and glorify You.
My evil deeds have made me a stranger to You, Lord. Hear and save me as the sinner Mary. Accept my tears as you received her tears, and forgive me my many sins.
O You who opens His gate to those who repent, to me, too, O Lord, open the gate of Your compassions, so that I may come in and ask You for forgiveness. You know that my sins have multiplied. O Lord, make peace for me.
May Your cross, O Lord, be a bridge for me through the land of horrors. By it I will go over to You and be saturated with the sight of Your glory, and I will glorify the bounty of Your grace, which had mercy on me, an unreasonable sinner.
Accept the tears of my misery and fulfill my petitions, O Almighty. Blot out the handwriting of my debts. This is a consequence of my carelessness. Let the evil one be put to shame when he sees that Your mercy has destroyed my handwriting and I will not be punished anymore.
Let the abundant bounties of Your grace come to help me, the weak one, and with them let me get rid of the insidious hater, in order for me to pass by the land of temptation and always be near You.
Hearing the voice of the repentant, heed the voice of my cry, O Lord, and accept my repentance. Hear my prayer and grant me what I ask from Your treasury, always rich in bounties.
A sinful soul will glorify You and Your Father and the Holy Spirit, because it wept and was washed with tears of repentance, and became a temple, and the Deity, who created the worlds, took up residence in it.
Number 27 (Psalms 75, 76)
You do not bring any benefits to lovers of peace, O dwelling place of sorrows. You deceive all those close to you with treasures and all sorts of pleasures, but on the day of death you cast both the beauty of the beautiful and the fortress of the strong into the grave. Woe to the one who loves you and is loved by you! His joys turn into screams.
In the world, this sea of sins, all my days were wasted. My life passed without benefit for me, I even forgot about the day of death, circled and collected for myself the burden of sins, handfuls of chaff, assigned for burning. And now weeping and sighing await me in this country full of horrors!
My Heart did not think about the bright palace, into which I was summoned, but longed for the flame. I left the abode full of bliss for the abode of death. And now, the day of the Judge is approaching, the day of the King of all probing the insides and discovering secrets, and I have prepared fire and flame for myself. Sprinkle me with Your bounties, O Lord!
Because from youth to my old age I loved you, O insidious world, and the time of my life passed unnoticed for me, now, in sins, death steals me away. Oh, it would be better for me not to have entered into you, the world that deceives everyone who enters! Those who love you do not enjoy delights, and those who hate you do not weep. Blessed is he who broke your nets: he inherits the palace of delights.
This world deceives the wise with its appearance, because for some time it seems longed for, even lends out goods and treasures. Yet on the day of death it takes them back, and gives them a torture incomparably greater than our sins. For a short time it allows him to sin, and as a reward it gives eternal darkness. You are righteous, O Judge, and righteous is Your Judgment! Make me worthy of forgiveness, O Lord my God.
One grief is from you, a dwelling place of sorrows, because you give fire to your lovers as a reward, torment and darkness to your loved ones, sighing and sickness to your friends. Your words are false, your community is malicious. You delight, as it were, in a dream; everything you give is bitter. Blessed is he who hates! The victorious crown is preserved for him.
You are righteous and your judgments are righteous, O Judge, in this everlasting world. The real world hides the sinners, but You reveal the guilty. Then people are justly punished for their sins. Now they accept without partiality what everyone follows. Then will be prepared darkness for the wicked, and an undimming light for the righteous. Every day I sinned in the world and fed on the pastures of vice. Now death comes, entangles me with its net and draws me to the land of the dead. What should I do? My life is over, and I am going into the grave, and there the Judgment awaits me. Show me Your bounties on the day of Judgment, O Judge, ready for vengeance!
I strayed and wandered on the path of vices, and did not think about the path to eternity. I left the path of truth and chased vanity. Alas! Now the day of reward has come, but my clothes are unclean and filthy. May Your grace protect me on that day from the fire that scorches the wicked.
Let Your right hand, which created Adam and brought Simon out of the sea, take me, too, out of the waves and rebellions of the world that revolts against me. I am immersed in muck, the waters of the world drown me, and do not let me get dry and catch my breath. Let Your cross, O Lord, be for me a rod and a support in the path which I go.
I am in great fear, because I am moving on from life and carry with me a burden of sins. On the day of resurrection, they will charge me for a record written by the Judge. Woe to me, when the book filled with my crimes is read to me, and my filthiness is revealed, and they make me feel bad! You, O Lord, be for me a light in the dark.
Neither wealth nor possessions will accompany me from this temporary dwelling. As I entered the world, so I leave it naked. Naked I came to the abode of mortals, and naked I will go out of it to judgment and torment. My friends enjoy my wealth, for I am already preceded by the punishment at the trial.
How wonderful the world is! But it is full of death, like a flower that unfolds in the spring month. It blooms while the dew and rain keep it alive, but when the heat comes the color fades. So death makes the body fade, and destroys the beautifully folded limbs in the grave. Grant us, O Lord, refuge and protection in the land where the righteous dwell.
Paradise shines brighter than the sun in this world full of darkness. Our mental eyes are too dark to see into the abode of delights. Darkness is in the air and they cannot see in height. Therefore, the sons of the earth always look only at the earth. O Light more radiant than the sun, illumine me in the darkness of the coffin!
The world has ruined its children. They sin, resent, and are overwhelmed by their own worries. How many of them are spinning, not knowing rest, gathering thorns for themselves for the fire! Wickedness haughtily opens its mouth, while truth is silent. Lawlessness parades, but the truth is hidden. Only death silences everyone who has entered the world. Blessed is he who made his way in it and did not get bogged down!
The world is more stormy than restless waves. It is more filled with sins than the sea is with the wind. There are times when the waters of the sea are calm, just when the winds disappear into their lairs. But in the world, waves of lust are incessantly stirring, and the wind of deception blows at the doors of its judges. However, the day is near when it will die down. Blessed is he who made his way through it and did not fall into its net!
Opening the gate to those who repent, there is no time when the Merciful will not heed them. He always listens to give us the medicine for the remission of sins. Behold, O Lord, we are mired in a sea of evils, and the judgment is approaching, at which there will be no bounty. Grant us, O Lord, to become vigilant in prayer, so that Your gate may open to our prayer.
I was formed in a sick mother’s womb, and came out of it into the light, bringing with me tears and sighs. The world barely saw my childhood, it outraged and carried me into its vanity. Thus, from darkness I passed into sinful darkness. Soon death will meet me and bury me in darkness. Then, behold, corruption destroys the body, and darkness is prepared for reward!
Fear overtakes me, because naked I set off into the sea, which throws out swimmers. I got on the ship to do shopping and to acquire treasures, but the waves rose up against me, and I drowned in the sea waves. The soul and its acquisitions remain the prey of the waves. Naked I launched into the sea at the beginning, naked it spews me out at the end.
The iniquity perpetrated in the world, this dwelling place of sorrows, is agitated and troubled. Stronger than the waves, ferocious lusts rage in the world. Snares and nets entangle its servants. Sins and iniquities are their evil burdens. For the virtuous, though, the time is drawing near when their ship will rest in the harbor.
Your times and your summers are pleasant, O world, but they are like smoke. You are like a flying dream, and your days are the same as a shadow. Your evening is passing quickly, and your morning is short. Your hours are racing one another towards the end. Hurry, sinner, to be forgiven while daylight shines for you.
The judgment is righteous, and righteous is the Judge. Righteous is the judgment of righteousness. In it the deeds of each are weighed and rewarded according to their merit. Those who committed lawlessness will suffer repentance on this day, and the ascetics of virtues in this place will enjoy delight. Let me, who wrote this for my benefit, be numbered among the righteous, O Lord, according to Your goodness.
Number 28 (Psalms 6)
The Son of Jesse writes in the book of psalms, having taken up and tuned his flute, he sings, Blessed are the blameless in the way, walking in the law of the Lord (Ps. 118.1).
Our Savior in the Gospel of life said, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God; blessed are those who weep, for they will be comforted; blessed are those who weep today, for you will laugh tomorrow (Matthew 5.8, 4; Luke 6.21). Those who have renounced the world and its vain deeds, who have hated its lusts and who despise its amusements, are given the promise of recompense in the Gospel of salvation: an everlasting palace and endless life.
Out of love for their Lord, they left in this world their relatives, parents, wealth and possessions, for they heard that blessed are the poor in spirit. And for this a higher Kingdom awaits them.
They made their bodies temples of the Holy Spirit. By the severity of their life they conquered lust, and carried the yoke of hard toil. Out of love for their Lord they despised their lives.
They crucified their souls, nailed their bodies to the cross, and by their asceticism they propitiated their Creator.
They saw that the world is transitory, that its pleasures are fleeting, that everything in it for those who possess it is the same as a dream.
Our Lord in His Gospel promises blessedness to those who diligently and vigilantly serve Him.
To those He stretches out His right hand. To those He gives a reward. Such He seats with Him at the meal of life.
On such He lays crowns, and they taste bliss in His palace for the sorrows they suffered with Him from morning to evening.
Those who keep His commandments and covenants soar and ascend to the Jerusalem above.
The Kingdom above awaits those who have won the victory in battle and are thus glorified.
Angels, according to their custom, descend to reinforce the fighters during the battle.
The spirits strive to meet the victors, call them blessed and say: “Come, O you burdened, rest from your labors; with patience in suffering you have conquered the evil one.”
Paradise opens its gates for them, they move into the abode of light and rest there.
Their light shines like a beautiful sun; their beauty is radiant, like a majestic light.
In their chants, they cry out: “Blessed are You, Son of the King, who did not refuse a reward to those who served You!”
In their mouths there is a voice of glorification and praise to the One who strengthened them in battle.
The sorrows and pains that they endured without murmuring prepared for them life in an endless world.
Angels marvel at the glory of the earthly, because they are clothed with glory similar to the glory of spiritual beings.
Those who have clothed themselves with the humiliation of their Lord are covered with the glory and garment of the Holy Spirit. The Father loves them, and the Son embraces them with love, and the Holy Spirit dwells in their clean bodies.
Christ calls to them and says: “Come, those who are persecuted for my name, enter into the palace, from which those invited will never go out.”
To this voice, full of life, the righteous, saints, and monks flock from everywhere.
They fly in the clouds to meet the Son of their Lord, in order to receive from Him the reward for their labors.
Eyes that have dulled their sight from exercising in His law, and lips that have fallen silent in the study of His commandments, enter the Church of the firstborn in heaven and, together with glorious priests, sing their songs of praise.
Their souls rejoice, their spirit rejoices, and their bodies are comforted in everlasting life.
These despised and needy people, who, in the hope of the life promised by our Savior, have taken upon themselves arbitrary poverty, receive enduring wealth as an inheritance and possession, and receive bliss as a reward and ever-amusing delights.
The evil one grieves that he did not put stains on their bodies and did not prevail in the struggle with them.
They abhorred gluttony, loved moderation, drove away carnal impurity, and loved chastity.
They chose suffering for themselves, hated wealth, put off pride, and put on humility.
The hater of humanity is tormented at the sight of them, because they have discovered his treachery and broken his bonds.
They defeated the enemy and triumphed over him, put him to flight and gained glory for themselves. They overcame him and were exalted, despised him and were crowned with glory.
He cries repeatedly, “Woe, woe to me!” when he sees that the righteous have defeated him with deception.
Grant me, now, O Lord, tears of repentance, in order to atone for the shameful deeds I have done.
The sins I have committed are abominable. Forgive them of me, according to Your grace. Begging, I knock at Your gate. Open Your treasury to me.
You know my deeds, my wounds and bruises; wash my sins in the sea of Your mercy.
I run to You, O Lord, and ask you, “Do not reject the tears that I bring to you.”
Until now, I have sinned, now I beg, “Show me Your compassions and grant me Your salvation.”
It is not characteristic of Your goodness to reject sinners who bring repentance for their sins and return to Your sheepfold. With my lips and tongue I praise Your goodness, O Friend of the repentant, O Merciful to sinners! I will proclaim this to the nations and encourage all sinners like me.
Your bounties were revealed to me, and by them I received forgiveness. At all times I will cry out praise to You, O Lord.
Pray to your Lord for the one who has written these pure discourses for you, that his sins may be forgiven him.
Number 29 (Psalm 79)
Why do you, O dear and precious soul, make yourself so unhappy with sins and do not think about the Day of Judgment? Suddenly, transgression will overtake you, and you will be tortured for all your evil deeds and the heinous sins that you have committed in this world. Arise, shed your tears and weep bitterly, so as not to cry for you there, in hell.
Woe to me, my beloved and dear brothers! I fled from our Lord, my lamp went out at the hour of the wedding feast, and I was thrown into pitch darkness. I am drowning in the stench of iniquity and sins, I became an abomination for Angels and a friend of Satan. Woe to me when the True One will sit down and begin to judge me, because then I will be put to shame together with the devil!
Behold, the mountains, valleys, and hills are weeping for me, because I am not repenting. The cliffs sob and weep bitterly for me with great sorrow. Let us be disposed to groan and weep, like the Prophet Jeremiah who wept bitterly. Alas, everything is immersed in lamentation and weeps over my bitter misfortune!
Let all the hills weep for me, because I am deprived of all good. All my life I had to seek refuge in the words of the Holy Spirit, but the enemy held me back from this by my crafty will. I did my will and walked the path of vice, and, even worse, walked from my youth. Yet he would have left me at once if I had wanted it.
Woe to me, my beloved friends! I loved the evil one, and behold, I, the poor, became a terror to all who see me. I beg, and no one gives to me. I will mourn immensely, weep incessantly, and shed tears for myself in bitterness and sorrow, because I have become a dwelling place of evil, and there is no good in me.
All the saints and righteous expected me to join them, but I did not shed tears for my sins, of which I have many since my youth. Weep for me, all you chaste and holy, because I have retired from the palace of delights.
All of you weep for me, my brethren, because I am cut off from your love. Here are the cliffs in which I took refuge, shedding tears for me, O my beloved brethren, for they see that I have renounced the occupations and labors of the pious. Complaining about me, they shuddered and trembled with a great crash, because I had not prepared for myself a way for eternity, and my stone heart, hardened from youth, remains insensitive.
Woe to me when the True One pronounces on me a terrible sentence! For behold, my life disappears quickly, and there is no bounty. Now they are only fully offered to anyone who, with tears and contrition, begs for the forgiveness of sins. Now they give life and bliss to everyone who brings repentance.
How mournful is the day of the sinner, my dear and dear brethren! No mouth, no tongue can express what kind of judgment awaits him. Yet if he awakens, turns his gaze to himself and, with sighing, grieving and sickness, begins to cry, he will enjoy bliss in the palace of delight and will not be condemned.
Blessed is he who corrected himself by repentance and made his life propitious to our Lord! If he migrates to that country, then he will rest in the Kingdom, in the haven of the saints, and be free of the judgment and terrible horrible torments that await Satan, whose condemnation is endless. Blessed is he who will not hear about it!
Blessed is he who ceaselessly gazes with tears at his iniquities and does not delight in thinking about those heinous sins that he has committed in this world! He will enter the palace of delights and enjoy there bliss with the ranks of all the righteous and saints in the new, everlasting world, at that wedding supper, which never expels those called to her.
But woe to poor me, O beloved ones! I have become hardened in a multitude of evils. I have such a cruel, stony heart that I have forgotten the day of Judgment, on which there is no room for either generosity or forgiveness of sins, and the tears of the sighing will not be accepted. Woe to me when I appear before the True One, for I know what has been done by me!
When You, O our Lord, saw that I had lost Your glory, Your love did not tolerate this. You descended by Your birth, and by Your suffering and by Your death on the Cross delivered me from Satan. But behold, I have sinned, angered You, and insulted Your name with the iniquities, sins, and atrocities that I have done. Woe is me! I was unjust and ungrateful, and I defiled myself with many evil deeds.
I wept and shed bitter tears when I came to meditation. It transported me, beloved, into fire, led me into a land of terror, transported me into a fearsome and terrible abyss, plunged me into flames, plunged me into darkness. My heart felt this, and I wept with fear and horror at the thought of this migration.
Carried away by thoughts, I looked at the dwellings of darkness, and I saw, on the right and left side of me, the abodes of all the saints. Then with sobbing and weeping, grieving and sick, I condemned myself and bitterly exclaimed: “Woe is me, woe, deep woe! What is righteous in me?”
In horror I awoke from sleep, but I did not get rid of the torment. I tore my clothes to pieces, and wept and sobbed. What happened to me, poor man? I will open my head, like a harlot, I will confess my sins, I will beg with sighing, I will turn my eyes into tearful springs to mourn myself, the unfortunate one.
I will go to tax collectors like me, I will go to sinners who have repented, I will awaken my sleeping heart, which has matured in a multitude of evils. I will join them, I will become like them, as they are, I will weep for the sins I have committed, so as not to come to God’s judgment and not be tormented in the abyss of hell.
Grant me, O Lord, to love Your love, in which the saints and righteous find comfort for themselves, and not to love anything alien to You, O God, favoring the repentant, loving the sinner who waters his face with tears and bitterly mourns his transgression. Grant me, Lord, that blessed end that is prepared for all the saints.
Your love, God, prompted You, according to Your goodness, to create me out of dust. You adorned me with Your heavenly beauties, but I forgot You, obeyed Satan and from great longed-for bliss fell into the abyss of stench and sinful filth. Woe is me! I did not know how to appreciate my glory. Now behold, I am watching for the pitch darkness.
I abjure You, O Lord, by Your cross, do not crush me for my iniquities, lest I appear to Your greatness, ashamed and trembling with fear. Grant me, O our Lord, the forgiveness of sins, cleanse my filthiness, like the son of Jesse. I abjure You by the day on which You were nailed to the cross: be merciful to me and cleanse me, according to Your grace.
The cherubim do not know to which the Power, which they serve as a throne, is likened. It is far from their gaze, although they carry It on themselves. Blessed is the Power, which they serve as the throne! May the spirits that draw Your chariot glorify You! May people glorify You together with Mary, Your Mother! From all those who are above and below, let unanimous praise be sent to You!
The martyrs were arrayed and stood firm in the battle. They gave themselves up to death for the sake of the Son of their Lord. They hated the temporary, transient life in the hope of their promise in heaven. Therefore they were not afraid of torment or sorrow, and despised suffering and bitter torment. So they are destined for an endless life, a palace of glimmering light. The generations and generations of people have turned into dust and ashes and are waiting for the voice of the resurrection, so that You will resurrect their dead bodies glorified, because they were clothed in You in Baptism, ate Your Body and drank Your life-giving Blood. May they, O Lord, be at Your right hand, and together with the Angels may they enjoy bliss in Eden!
Number 30 (Psalm 82)
Grant me also, O Lord, when I am awake, to be clean to stand before You, O my Redeemer, and when I sleep, to enjoy sleep without sin. If, while awake, I commit iniquity, may I be purified by Your grace, O Lord. If I sin while I sleep, may Your mercy be purification to me. By the cross of Your humiliation, make my dream serene, protect me from restless dreams in sleep and from impure notions of the imagination. Grant me to spend the whole night in a restful sleep, and may evil and vicious thoughts not prevail over me.
With Your Life-giving Body, Which I have tasted, protect me from unclean lust, and let me lie down and sleep in peace with your Blood to protect me. To my soul, which is Your image, grant freedom, which is fitting for Your image, and protect with Your right hand my body, created by Your hands.
Protect me with the wall of Your compassions, as a defensive shield. When my body rests and sleeps, let Your goodness be my guard, so that the evil one does not come near my bed. By the authority of the Mother who gave birth to You, by the sacrifice that You offered for everyone, I implore: “Take away Satan so that he does not disturb me.”
On me, O Lord, fulfill Your promise and with Your Cross guard my life. I will praise You upon my awakening, because I, the poor one, have shown Your love. May all who sleep, all who rest in peace, and all who are awake, protected by Your weapon, give praise to You, O Guardian who lives forever, who has roused me to Your praise!
Number 31 (Psalm 83)
Receive our censer and be merciful to Your people. Do not reproach us, O Merciful, and do not be angry with us because we have sinned much before You. Let Your compassions move You to receive from us poor sinners our censer and our prayers, like Aaron’s censer. May the dignity of the priests who serve You before the holy altar be exalted like Aaron’s.
I was immersed, O Lord, in a sea of iniquity and sins, fell into the fetters and snares of the evil one, and deviated from Your path. I suffer much, O Lord, and I am greatly oppressed. I have no helper, no one to save me from evil passions. I cry to You now, O Lord, as Simon called from the waves to You for help. You listened to him with Your mighty strength. Hear me too, just as You listened to him. Take me out of the sea of iniquities and sins that I have done, save me from Gehenna and from the undying worm. Then I will glorify Your grace, O Son of God who has come down for our salvation.
I tremble for the custom of this wicked world. My bones shudder and tremble at the thought of the fire that awaits those who love the world. I sigh and weep bitterly for my past and disappeared life, but am grateful for all the virtuous. Let Your own bounties propitiate You for the iniquities I have done, and let my filthiness not turn to shame before the terrible judgment seat of the Judge. Have mercy on me and be merciful to me, O Son of God, who came down for our salvation.
Woe to me, my brothers! My days passed, and my spirit was bound by the pleasures of this wicked world, and I did not think of the fearsome and terrible day on which the Firstborn would appear, and the Guardians and other angels would come with him. Everyone will then stand before Him with trembling to give Him an account of everything that they did in this wicked world. What answer will I give for myself when they ask me there about everything that I did secretly and openly? May Your life-giving Body and Your cleansing Blood, which I received from the hands of the priests, be sufficient for me, O Lord, for Your propitiation.
This world is nothing: all its riches and possessions, and all the attractive charm of its vain blessings. The world passes away, its power ceases, its pleasures disappear, and for their possessor it is the same as a dream.
Let us think, my brethren, about death, which is sudden, about judgment and about the torment that will finally befall those who do evil. While there is still time, let us cry with sorrow: Spare us, according to Your compassions, O good One, and be merciful to us in the judgment of righteousness. Forgive us all our sins, O Son of God, who came down for our salvation.
On the day when the Son of the King appears in glory and comes on the clouds of heaven to resurrect the dead, on that day the angels will descend to the prisoners in the tombs and sound the trumpets. All will hear, and in the blink of an eye they will awaken and rise incorruptible. The judgment seat will be prepared. The Judge will sit and separate the good and the evil: the evil into the fire, and the good into the Kingdom.
In this world, my brethren, let us beg for bounties, so that we may find bounties in that everlasting world, and inherit the Kingdom there, and at the meeting of the Judge, go out with a cheerful face, and sing, with all who please Him, songs of praise to Him.
Your lips, O our Lord, promised and said: “Call, and I will hear; knock on the door, and I will open” (Matthew 7.7). Like the sinner, we cry to You: according to the abundant bounty of Your mercy, forgive us our debts and our sins. Like the publican, we implore You, and like the son who squandered his property, we cry out to You with sincere repentance: I have sinned against heaven and before You, O Lord. Receive us, as You Yourself promised, and may the guardian angels and archangels rejoice. O You, who accepted the repentance of Simon, accept also the repentance of Your servants and have mercy on us.
Come, O sinner who sinned before the Lord, come to Him with spiritual repentance, and He will forgive you your debts and your sins. Shed tears at the Doctor’s gate, beg Him with sighs, show Him the wounds that are on Your soul. Protect your tongue from all evil, and let your lips, created for praise, not utter a blasphemous word.
Forgive your brother if he sinned against you, and Christ will forgive you, as He promised, according to His mercy. Have mercy on us, O Lord, our Lord, and forgive us our debts and our sins, and make us worthy of Your palace.
Why do you allow the transitory world to deceive you, O mortal man, and come into such confusion, and torment yourself with vain labor? It flatters you and encourages you to amass more and more wealth. When the end comes, the wealth will leave you, and you will not use it in the least.
Think, O man, about the hour of your separation and remember that rich man who desired one drop of water for himself. While you are still alive, scatter to the poor, and Christ, according to His promise, will reward you both in this and in that world with the blessedness of mercy, with the forgiveness of God on the day of Resurrection. Sow alms into the hands of the poor and wait for the resurrection. Then you will come and reap handfuls of delights. Forgive our debts, by Your goodness, O Son of God who descended for our salvation.
The day of the end is approaching and ready to open, on which Christ the King will come, and ranks of angels will come with Him. He will direct His procession to the Mount of the Jebusites, and His intention will command the Angels to gather the human race. The judgment seat is set, the Judge sits, and all the tribes will come to take judgment according to their deeds. Spare us, Lord, and according to the bounty of Your goodness, forgive us our debts and our sins.
Where will I go, where will I hide at Your coming, O Lover of mankind? The heights, and the depths, and the seas, everything is filled with You. I run to You, like that sick woman who touched the edge of Your robe and by Your robe was healed of her illness. Since I also seek refuge at Your Life-giving cross, may I then be delivered from the fire and inherit the Kingdom.
Number 32 (Psalm 84)
Before my sins precede me at the Judgment and put me to shame before the Judge, have mercy on me, O Lord full of mercy. Before You have shut Your door for me, O Son of God, and I became fuel for the inextinguishable fire in Gehenna, have mercy on me.
Before the wheel of time made its turn at the well, and the water-pitcher was broken at the fountain of all peoples (Eccl. 12.6), have mercy. Before the hypocrites say O Lord, our Lord, and you answer them, I do not know you, have mercy.
Before the armies go out, preceding the Son of the King, to gather our poor family to the judgment seat of the Judge, have mercy.
Before the dust returns to the ground, and becomes rotten, and all features of its beauty decay, have mercy.
Before the wind of death blows on me like a tree, and diseases appear in my body, foreshadowing an imminent end, have mercy.
Before the majestic sun dims in height, may your light shine from above and dispel the terrible darkness of my mind, and have mercy.
Before the trumpet sounds before Your coming, O our Lord Jesus, have mercy on Your servants who plead with You, have mercy.
Number 34 (Psalm 87)
O Merciful to sinners, be merciful to us on the day of Judgment. Forgive us our debts, according to Your mercy, and on the day of Your appearance, grant us Your palace.
When the host of those judged tremble before the Judge and stand naked in fear, then, O my Judge, have mercy on me, because I have glorified You.
When the lips of the wise are blocked there and the powerful and terrible scepter of the Judge threatens, then may my lips be opened, O Lord, because I have confessed You.
When neither lover nor friend saves, but everyone naked will be brought to account, then, Lord, be my intercessor, because I trusted in You.
When the fire surges, and the tribes tremble, and everyone, if they are not gold, will be consumed by the flame, then sprinkle me with the dew of Your mercy, so that I will not be consumed by it.
When trembling attacks the wicked like me, and fire by its power reveals the sinners, then, O Lord, be my helper and save me.
When the trumpet sounds, and the tribes will tremble, and everyone will appear to receive a reward according to their labors, then, O Lord, be my intercessor, because I run to You.
When the sea of testing fire boils, and whoever has a fragile boat will sink into the waves, then, together with the righteous, may I rest, O Lord, in Your safe harbour.
When the goats will be parted and stood there, and the sheep on the right hand, for them to go on down into Paradise, then grant me, together with Your sheep, to enter Your sheepfold.
Accept our service, O Lord of the heights and the Hope of the poor, and have mercy on us. Be merciful to us, O Lord. Be merciful to our parents. Be merciful to us, O Lord. Be merciful to our instructors.
Be merciful to us, O Lord. Be merciful to our companions.
Be merciful to us, O Lord, to the rest of our dead, and all the dead who confessed You and believed in You, and ate Your Flesh and drank Your Life-giving Blood.
Grant us, together with Your sheep, to enter Your sheepfold and, together with Your saints for ages of ages, to give Your greatness due praise.
May your gates be opened, O heavenly Jerusalem! May our prayers come to the throne of Christ, and may we beg for forgiveness, for mercy and forgiveness! By the intercession of she who has borne You and all Your saints, accept our service, and have mercy on us and all who have finished their lives in hope in You, so as to rest in the palace of delights.
Number 39 (Psalm 44 partially)
Thanks be to the Good One who freed our kind from slavery to the devil and death, and who reconciled us with the heavenly hosts, who were angry with us for our untruth!
Blessed is the Merciful, who sought us who did not seek Him, who rejoiced at our salvation, and in the parable of the lost sheep presented an image of how we wandered and returned!
The Heir and the Son called and restored our lost nature, died and rose again, and by our repentance and return gladdened the ranks of spirits.
The great love shown by the Lover of mankind is incomparable, for He took the Intercessor from our family and by Him reconciled the world with His greatness.
A great new miracle for us and for all creation was performed by God in our humanity. For he has made our body a temple, that He may fill it with that which is venerated by all. Come, O earthly and heavenly, marvel and be amazed at the greatness of dignity, because our race has been raised to the excessive height of an unattainable Deity.
Heaven, and earth, and all that is on them, let them glorify together with us the One who magnified our generation, because He renewed His image in us, blotted out our sins, gave us His name and subdued everything to us.
All glorification from those who honor Him is worthy for the One who exalted us above all. Let us all unanimously sing praises to Him, and to the Father who sent Him, and to the Holy Spirit.
Number 40 (Psalm 44 partially)
In this day, the firstborn of days, let us bring the firstfruits of praise to the Firstborn, who has no beginning and who has no end. As Zion cried out three times: “Crucify, crucify the Nazarene,” so the gentiles in the church call out to Him three times: “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Blessed is He who humbled himself, according to his own good will, and who betrothed himself to the Holy Church!
Your light, O our Lord Jesus, shone over creation and dispelled the darkness of delusion. May Your light shine now in our souls! O Jesus, our King, the True Light, deliver us from all harmful and disturbing thoughts that confuse the soul. Then, with a pure mind, let us praise You, the Son of the hidden Father, for You are the True Light.
Come, O soul, let us go together to beg the Wrathful one for us. By the fact that you, O soul, are separated from me, we will not escape the Last Judgment. There is a great debt that burdens us, and you, O soul, must participate in paying it. Do not be afraid! Though the judgment is cruel, yet do not deny me. Do you not know that together we angered Him?
Who will not weep with immeasurable sorrow at the thought of the impending Judgment? Of the account that the formidable and inexorable Judge will demand there? Of the bitter despair, of the tears shed without benefit, because there is no one who hears them? Of the terrible judgment of the Judge when He says: “Go from Me, accursed, into the fire!”?
The spiritual paradise is the Church, in which the tree of life is the holy altar of reconciliation, exuding life to the faithful who have loved life. So, enrich yourself, enjoy the gifts that the Father has prepared for you, and all of you cry out with one voice: Praise to the Good One, who, out of His love, shattered His Body for us so that we could enjoy it!
Adam is defeated by the beauty of the evil one. Become courageous fighters, O you children of Adam, and avenge your father, who lost his beauty in the Paradise of Eden. Stretch out your hand to him, raise him up, defeat and overthrow Satan, who tempted our race. By the power of our Lord, crush his head. Let us defeat all his intrigues. Let us turn into nothing all his tricks.
Number 42 (Psalm 90)
On my bed, I thought of You, O Lover of mankind, and at midnight I rose up to glorify Your goodness. I brought my debts and sins to my memory and shed torrents of tears. The robber, the tax collector, Mary the sinner, the Canaanite woman, and also the bleeding woman, encouraged me, and the Samaritan woman at the well of water. They told me: “Arise, beg for bounty! Your Lord is full of bounty.”
David the son of Jesse cried out to me in his psalms, and awakened me from the sleep that weighed down my limbs. He said to me, Rise up, man, why are you sleeping? (Ps. 43.24). The judge accepts the gifts at midnight. Stand up, pray and ask your forgiveness. The merciful Lord will rejoice in you. His gate is open day and night to those who repent.
At night, resting on my bed, I brought my debts and sins to my mind, then horror seized me, and I called: “Alas! A terrible night is already approaching and a darkness devoid of all light.” Whoever has a lawless life will not rejoice on the day of Resurrection, but will remain in darkness to the end.
David watched at night on his bed, thought of his iniquity, and confessed his sin. At night he watered his bed with the tears of his eyes, and with sighs he entreated, and said: I acknowledge, O Lord, my iniquities, and my sin is always before me. Against you only, O Lord, have I sinned. Have mercy on me (Psalm 50.5-6).
We cry out to You, O Lord! Come to our help, for behold, the wicked one has brought the world into confusion with his cunning. His sword is raging among the kings. The judges are in turmoil, and, if it were possible, he would not have spared seducing the chosen. Therefore, we ask You, O God, we beg You, O Merciful, full of bounty and forgiving sins: have mercy!
What will I bring to You, O incorruptible Judge, for my many debts? I heard that the tears of the eyes are more desirable to you than gold and silver and precious stones. Accept tears as a gift, because they are longed for by You. Grant me the forgiveness of sins, and have mercy on me according to the bounties of Your goodness.
We call upon you, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We beg you day and night, spare us! According to the multitude of Your compassions, cleanse our iniquities and sins. Grant us, O Lord, mental and bodily health, deliver us from the evil one and from his strength, from his fetters and from all his snares. Do not deny us, day or night, Your bounty.
We acknowledge our sins, O Lover of mankind, and therefore we dare not look up to heaven. With a shameful face, we cry out to You: Let Your mercy entreat Your righteousness for us. Hear the voice of our prayer, O good One. May our prayers propitiate You, and, may You, according to the compassions of Your goodness, have mercy on us.
Number 44 (Psalm 91)
Let us awaken from sleep, my brothers, and with sighing cry to the Lord. Day and night let us labor, taking care of our correction, while our life still continues, until the time has passed, after which there will be no place for repentance. Let us be vigilant at the gate of the Bridegroom, so that with the Bridegroom we may enter His palace and inherit eternal life.
Come, and at night we will sing all the praises of God and imitate the hosts of Angels who continuously praise Him, so that our Savior, when he moves and comes, accompanied by the angels, seeing our devotion and vigilance, will call us good servants and will seat us at His meal.
Let us, beloved ones, together with the righteous who delighted God day and night, strive for good. Ask for bounty from our Lord and, singing with David, say: At midnight I arose to praise You for Your righteous judgments (Psalm 118.62). Have mercy, O have mercy on me, and vouch for me to inherit the Kingdom.
Behold, the day of the Lord, as it is written, will suddenly come to the earth (1 Thess. 5.2). Come, my brethren, let us stay awake, and earnestly pray for repentance. Let us prepare oil for our lamps, so that we may go out to meet the Lord when he appears, and not hear this voice saying, Go from Me, accursed ones, into the fire … I do not know you.
I will not cease to praise You, O our Lord. I will continuously praise You, so that Your righteousness will not condemn me, O our Lord. I know how very guilty I am. I know that if you punish me for my sins, then my inheritance is hell. Then all hope will be lost. My prayer will be silenced. Therefore, have mercy on me and forgive me my debts.
May my filthiness not completely cover me at Your righteous Judgment, O Lord! May I not appear naked on that day when the righteous will be clothed with glory! I crawled and fell into sins. Stretch out Your right hand to me, and I will rise like the sinner in the house of Simon, like the thief on the cross. Have mercy on me, O Merciful to sinners!
Convert us, O God, that we may know You. Show us the way of life. Stretch out Your hand to us, like Simon, and take us out of the sea of sin. Accept from us a few tears and give us great mercies and bounties, and when secrets are uncovered, grant us the forgiveness of sins. Let us thank You and pray to Your name.
Turn, O sinners, from untruth, and with sighing implore the One by whom the door is opened, who waits and wants to give His treasure to those in need. Let us not indulge in sleep, like the foolish virgins who did not take oil for their lamps. Rather let us be like the wise virgins who took oil in their vessels and entered the palace with the Bridegroom.
Number 56 (Psalm 140)
Our Father who art in heaven (Matthew 6.9), hear us crying to You, because we have no other father who could help us! It pleased You to create us, who did not yet exist, and now let not your anger destroy us, who were called into being. Teach us, O Lord, Your commandments, and we will keep them and always please You with righteous deeds. Since I confessed you, O my Lord my God, then do not deny me on that terrible day, on which everyone will need mercy. Do not tell me, “I do not know you,” when you judge me. Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your goodness, and with the saints who have loved You, place me at Your right hand!
If our heart were not harder than a stone, then our lips would not cease to cry bitterly, and our eyes to shed tears. These times are filled with sorrows, but our hearts are mired in sins. Come, let us raise up our eyes and our hearts to God and cry out to Him in faith: “Praise be to You, Lord!”
What sorrow will be in the heart of the sinner in the hour when the King Christ sits on His terrible judgment seat. All generations will appear before Him, and everything hidden will be revealed there.
The Judgment is terrifying, the Judge is fearsome, the hour is frightening! Blessed is your grace, O Lord!
I sin and hide myself so that no one can see me, but the Lord sees me when I do evil. If a person sees me, I am ashamed, but I am not ashamed before God. Have mercy, O have mercy on us, O Judge and Lord of judges. If a person repents, whether it is early or late, You accept him.
I do not know what to do with my sins. My mind does not see how I can wash and cleanse myself. If I thought to wash myself in the waters, then the seas are too small for me, and the rivers are not enough to cleanse me. If I wash myself with the blood and water from the ribs of the Son of God, then I will be cleansed, and bounty will be poured out on me.
Tremble, O sinner, at the coming judgment. With sorrow and tears, resort to repentance. While prayer is still being accepted, pray now that you may be accepted then. Pray until death comes and takes your soul away. For then all prayer and supplication are in vain. Tears are also useless then.
Number 58 (Psalm 5)
Save me as the apple of your eye, O Lord God. Protect me and hide me from temptation under Your wings.
Be Thou the guardian of my eye, so that it does not seek thieves. Be Thou the guardian of my ear, so that it does not listen to untruth.
Be Thou the guardian of my mouth, so that my heart does not turn to deceit and does not commit iniquity.
Grant us, O our Lord, knowledge, and grant wisdom to us. Grant us, O our Lord, to be more pleasant for You than frankincense and myrrh.
Grant us, O our Lord, to love You and to hate the whole world. Grant us, O our Lord, to acquire You instead of temporary possessions.
Grant us, O our Lord, to bring you three choice gifts. Grant us, our Lord, to burn three fragrant censers before You.
Grant us, O our Lord, to kindle for You three brightly burning lamps: spirit, soul, and body. These are three gifts of the One Trinity.
Let us consecrate the Spirit to the Father. Let us consecrate our souls to the Son. Let us consecrate the body to the Holy Spirit, who will raise it again from the dust.
O Father, sanctify our spirit to Yourself! O Son, sanctify our soul to Yourself! O Holy Spirit, consecrate to Yourself our body, exhausted by wounds!
Grant us, O our Lord, to rejoice in You, and that You rejoice in us on the last day. Praise to you from spirit, body and soul, and to Your bounties to us!
Number 62 (Psalms 86, 92)
Praise be to Your compassions, O Christ our King, the Son of God worshiped by all! You are our King. You are our God. You are the originator of our life and our great hope. Unanimously, the heavenly host and all its ranks praise You. They sing a grateful song to You, because You, the Intimate One, in the final times appeared in our flesh.
When Your compassions were set forth, and Your love was pleased, You came for our redemption and delivered our generation. You have healed our diseases, cleansed our sins, and, in Your compassion, raised us who were dead. You founded the Holy Church on earth in the image of the Kingdom of Heaven.
You created her with love, planted her with bounties, became spiritually engaged to her, and you acquired her with Your suffering.
Yet the hater of humanity, out of his shameless audacity, attacks her in the person of his servants. Do not leave your Holy Church without Your care, O Lord, so that the promise You uttered is not false (Matthew 16.18). Do not allow her splendid beauty to be disfigured and her great wealth plundered.
Fulfill your promise to Peter. What you said, seal it with Your deed. Strengthen her gates, strengthen her locks, raise her horn, lift up her head. Bless her sons, preserve her children, give peace to her priests, and cast down her evil-seekers. Set your peace in her and drive away evil schisms from her. Grant us to lead a peaceful, serene life in holy fear. May we keep our faith with great hope and perfect love. May our life be pleasing to You, and may we receive bounty on the day of reward.
Let us ceaselessly offer praise to You, O Lord, and to Your Father, and to the Holy Spirit!
Number 63 (Psalm 94)
Praise be to the All-Merciful, Who, through His love, revealed His glory to the children of Adam! From the dust He created a mute nature but adorned it with a soul, the owner of treasures.
He made the mouth and fingers capable of magnifying Him, so that all creation would sing His praises.
Come, then, all you gifted with speech, let us sing His praises, until we fall asleep in the sleep of death. On every long night, let us think of death, which will block our lips and impose silence on us.
The righteous who have spent their nights in vigils are alive even after death. And the wicked, who deny the glory of the Son, are already dead in life. Let us stir up our body with psalms and spiritual songs, so that we may join the wise virgins whom our Lord praised, and vigilantly behold the Son on that night that will tremble the worlds.
Let us not drown in pleasures in order to behold His glory to us on the day of His appearance. Let us be vigilant slaves before Him, ready for the hour in which He will bring out the sons of men. Then the wicked will remain in hell, and the gates of bounty will suddenly be closed. Let us work a little while we are alive, because after death is the day of reward.
The body that has troubled itself in prayers will soar through the air on the day of resurrection. It will look to its Lord without shame. With Him it will enter the palace of light, and will be kind to the angels and people who here troubled themselves with vigils and prayers.
Blessed is He who made us the instruments of His glory and who placed praise on our unworthy lips! Praise be to His bounties, for He made earthly fellow-ministers of the angels, so that every night and at all times they would sing His holy name!
Number 64 (Psalm 95)
Praise God in the morning, O my beloved children of the Church! Every morning let us praise the good One and worship Him, who made all lights. The veil of the night was lifted, and the light of God shone over the creation. The appearance of the morning awakens the sleepers. May Your light, O Lord, illumine our hearts! You yourself teach us, O our Lord, to praise You and put life in our souls. As You brought us out of darkness, so deliver us from Gehenna. According to Your mercy, give Your gift to the children of the Church, who cleave to You. Let Your mercy be our intercessor, O Lord of morning and evening!
May Your grace, O Lord, accompany us and lead us to the great morning. May the right hand of Your bounty bless us with blessings, that by them we may cross the sea of fire. Do not condemn me according to Your justice, O Just One rewarding everyone according to the truth! Be a merciful companion for me, O my Deliverer, and lead me into the safe harbour of life. When there is a trial by fire, sprinkle me with Your dew, like the three youths. Let the fire burn on the wicked, but join me, O Lord, to Your righteous ones.
O Physician who heals all kinds of wounds, heal our ailments with the cure of Your mercies! Join me, O Lord, to the face of Abraham, Isaac, and the righteous Jacob.
Let Your Body and Your Blood be my companions. Let them get rid of the kindling. Let Your cross serve as a bridge for all of us, and along it we will pass through an abyss filled with horrors.
Behold, our ranks are crying out to You now, that we may hear Your voice saying, Come, you blessed of My Father (Matthew 25.34). O Almighty, full of mercy and bounty, lift us up, O our Lord, on the day of Your coming!
O heaven and earth, and all that is in them, together with us, praise Him for our conversion! Praise to You, O venerable Father, and to Your Only-begotten, and to the Holy Spirit!
Number 65 (Psalm 96)
Every evening, praise to You from all the lips of the sons of men! You gave them a day to do business and work, and to purchase food. Behold, those who are weary of hard work thank You for giving them peace.
Who will not worship You, who cares for us humans with such love? You wear out the stars, and you bring the time to evening, which blocks the demands of a gentleman who is not satisfied with the efforts of those who have worked for him all day for nothing.
Evening comes and brings peace to those who, struggling with hunger and thirst, have exhausted and wearied themselves with labor. The evening time comes and pleases the world and its workers.
But a merciless self-seeking person who is ruthless to his fellows, who is not satisfied with their service, hates the evening and mocks it, but his greed is not satisfied. Blessed is Your majesty, from the beginning providing for us humans! You bring rest to both people and animals in the evening.
Your cross, which seals Your Church, keeps her children safe from Satan and his armies. Let Your Cross, Lord, be a bridge protecting Your sheep, which You redeemed with Your Life-giving Blood!
Send Your peace, O Lord, to all the ends of the universe, and let the evil one flee from our midst. Let every tongue and every mouth in all parts of the world bring you praise! With them, may we glorify You, O Lord, and Your Father, and the Holy Spirit!
Number 66 (Psalm 97)
From all of us, O our Lord, accept our prayer and service and petition. Grant us a heart full of love and a spirit of patience in suffering.
Let our lips profess faith and our voice be a harp of praise. May the vigilance and labor endured by our bodies make You merciful to our sins! The lips, which served for You as a harp, and the tongue that sang Your praise, may they not let out, O Lord, screams of agony, for You made them worthy to sing Your praise.
Let the eyes which were both burdened with sleep be awake, and let the legs that were weary stand before You. May they not be deprived of hope and may they not lose their wages on the day of reward.
Let the sounds of our lips and tongues not turn into weeping and lamentation, but according to Your compassions, and according to Your mercy and goodness, receive our vigilance.
Grant all of us, with one accord with a pure and blameless heart, to stand before You and bring praise to You, O Lord, and to Your Father, and to Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Number 67 (Psalm 100)
Arise, O soul that has slept until now in sin! Shake off your sleep, hurry, and seek refuge in repentance. Then the Truthful will be pleased, perhaps, with your tears. Pull away the veil of filth from your mind, so that your eye may see faithfully.
Hourly shed tears of contrition before the Judge for your vile deeds. An abyss of torment awaits you for your deeds and as a reward for your lewdness. Weep especially for yourself, so that the Truthful will hear you and be reconciled with you.
Tremble, O unfortunate, and be horrified by the torment that you have prepared for yourself. Weep for yourself, accomplice of the angels, because the eternal fire will go everywhere with you. You were deeply immersed in lusts and never abandoned them. Thorns and thistles have stifled your thoughts, and you have not yet borne the fruits of repentance. Passions overwhelmed you like waves, and sank your ship into the sea of sins.
You have never brought to your mind the day that will test all that is hidden. What will you do when the voice of the Bridegroom surprises you, demanding that you go out to meet Him?
The light of your eyes will fade and disappear, and you will remain outside, with the foolish.
Stock up on oil, O poor girl, while there is still time for justification. Ask for yourself the remission of sins together with the harlot. Heal your wounds with your tears. The gate of repentance is still open. Enter, and cleanse yourself of your filthiness.
O You who desires the salvation of the sons of men, spare the soul that has moved away from You! Receive it, O Lord, with Your usual mercy. At the righteous Judgment, let Your compassions cover me, a sinner, and rescue me from torment. O You who forgives sins and has mercy on the weak, forgive me my spiritual sins at the righteous Judgment! Praise to You from those lost, whom You have gathered and brought to repentance.
Number 69 (Psalm 103)
Arise, O soul that has grown old in sins, and be rejuvenated by repentance. Through contrition and tears, take your medicine and heal the wounds of the fallen image in you. Call from your heart and reveal your iniquities, because the All-Merciful has mercy on all who are fallen. You have loved deceptive and transient beauty, but you have destroyed your beauty, O daughter of light. The temple of your body is distorted by the negligence to which you have been enslaved.
Woe to you, O poor one! How long will you deal with the transitory? Tremble and be terrified of the fire that you kindled for yourself with the shroud of your iniquities.
The ugly sins that you have committed from your youth to this day have overtopped your head. They have plunged you into despair, and therefore you do not care about repentance.
Remember that you are captivated by lusts. Remember that your mother was killed by lust. How long-suffering the Good One is to you, but you sink into the sea of sin! Are you not afraid of the day when your wounds and your secrets will be revealed? Who will protect you when everyone is concerned with the case against himself?
Your passions have made yourself an idol, have destroyed you, and left you alone. O great Hope that appeared to us at the end of time, spare the soul that has turned away from You! I am Your sheep, but for a long time I wandered away from You, serving the evil one. Go now, Lord, seek me out. Let me seek your wealth, for in vanity I have squandered Your riches.
For sinners You carried Your Cross, and I am one of them, do not turn away from me. We are yours, but the evil one has kidnapped us. Forbid him and take away from him his captives. Have mercy on me, O Lover of mankind, because I have no other hope but You. Praise be to Your compassions, O All-Merciful Son, for You are long-suffering toward sinners! Thanks be to You from the lost, whom You have gathered and brought to repentance.
Number 70 (Psalm 106)
O our Lord, Jesus, revered King, who through Your suffering defeated death the tormentor, O Son of God, who promised us new life and the Kingdom above, remove from us all harmful things. May peace and bounty be in our country, so that on the day of Your appearance we may, according to Your good pleasure, go out into the meeting, and see You, and be seen by You. Singing Hosanna (Matthew 21.9), let us glorify Your name for Your goodness to our kind, because Your bounties have been poured out in abundance on us who have fallen to death, and Your love for our souls is immeasurable.
Blot out our sins with Your forgiveness, so that we may praise Your name for Your good deeds. Grant all of us, O Lord, by Your grace, to glorify Your Godhead and worship You. May the eyes that have seen Your glory now see Your great mercy then. May the ears that have heard the voice of Your words, not, O Lord, hear the voice of torment. Let the lips that glorified You in the churches also sing Your praises then. Let the tongue that calls out now Holy (Isaiah 6.3), also then have this attitude towards Your praise. Let the hands that have held Your Body and Your Blood receive from You the remission of debts. Let the legs that entered the holy temple walk then in the land of life. Send to our council, which worships Your Divinity, the fullness of salvific means. May Your heavenly love abide with us, and may it make us worthy to bring You due praise.
Open Your gate to our peoples prayer, and may our service be pleasing to You. Turn to us, O good One, according to Your compassions, and drive away everything harmful from us, so that we may praise You, O Lord, and Your Father, and the Holy Spirit.
Number 74 (Psalms 4, 102, 124, 138)
O Jesus, strengthen the adornment of our prayer, that it ascend through You to Your Father so that we receive what we ask for!
Through Your mercy, You protect us before Your Father, because You are the chosen sacrifice offered for the world. For Adam, who ate the fruit, You embraced the pillar at the judgment seat. For the children of Adam, who sinned against you, the crucifiers pierced you with nails.
You took upon Yourself the common debt of all, in order to pay it back to your Father. Pay the same, O innocent Lord, for those sins that our freedom owes. You have redeemed us with Your precious Blood from the lawful penalty. Deliver those who were redeemed by Your blood and from the severity of justice.
Let not the debts of servants prevail over Your merciful bounties, O Lord, because no matter how great our iniquities are, Your mercy is even greater. It is true that we have many, many debts, but You have many more bounties. And if the truth weighs them, then our debts are still less than Your compassions.
Who will undertake to weigh Your compassions and compare our iniquities with them? The mountains have weight, but Your bounty has no weight. Your bounties are more precious than life, because life has a measure, but Your bounties are immeasurable. And may Your bounties be our great bulwark. I have angered You with sins, O Lord, but You are reluctant to be angry, because You are filled with overflowing mercy, and Your bounty is unchanging.
You are an ocean of bounty, and our untruths are an unclean drop. One drop cannot disturb the immense ocean. Here are the nations, like a drop, as it is written by the prophet (Isaiah 40.15). How could their falsehoods anger or enrage You?
You are not unmeasured when You are indignant, and You are not angry when You punish. If You were angry when You punish, the world would not survive Your anger. Your blows are filled with love. Your punishment blazes with bounty. By Your love, when You punish, you mean only benefit.
The rods of Your chastisement have been cut from the tree of Your mercy. Wherever your rod touches, everywhere its strikes brings great benefit. When a mentor punishes his pupil, he does not beat him out of hatred, but wishes him good, and lovingly punishes him.
For Your blow strikes out of love, and You do not punish out of malice. You desire our good, O Lord, because you prove Your mercy in every way. It is not difficult for You to bear our iniquities, because You are the Creator of our nature. You are not burdened by Your creation, because you knew us before You created all.
Who suffers the anxiety of looking after a baby if not the mother who gave birth to it? Who tolerates the iniquities of the world if not its Lord? It is easy for the Creator to endure everything burdensome from His creations, because if He didn’t want to endure them, He would not have created them.
Can a woman forget her nursing child, so as not to have compassion on the child of her womb? (Isaiah 49.15). Yet even if a woman could forget her child, God will not forget the world created by Him. His natural bounties were moved, and He conceived and gave birth to creation. Like an infant from a mother’s womb, the world arose out of His will. And so, He lifts up and carries the world, as a mother with her nourishing milk carries with love the fruit born of her womb.
The Merciful Father gave birth to us and feeds us with the Blood of His Son. So a mother gives her breasts to her offspring to nourish it. The baby sucks and receives the food it needs from its mother. As much as he needs, he sucks in food from his mother’s breasts. The baby does not know how to turn to some other side and in some other place to look for food for itself that is not from its mother.
Likewise, the world, from only You, O Creator, obtains the maintenance of life, and no one can give it food, except You alone. He does not need to ask in order to receive from You the maintenance of life, because even without asking, he has food for himself. It is not the baby’s request that makes the mother give him her breasts. She gives him her nipples, although the baby does not ask. She feeds him with milk, although she does not hear his prayers. She keeps him on her breasts, although he did not ask for it before. Thus, the Righteous One gives us what we ask for, not for the sake of our prayer, but nourishes us according to His own bounties, because He created us.
The all-exceeding Greatness bestowed upon us His Son, who was not asked for by us, Who for our sake appeared in the world and, although we did not ask Him, sacrificed Himself for our salvation. For who asked the Father to give up his Son to death on the cross? Or who pleaded with the Son to die for sinners?
Which of the righteous had the thought of asking the Father to give up His Son for the wicked? Truly, unheard of is this business, and no one thought of it. The Father gave up His Son to die on the cross, and by His death sinners acquired life for themselves. For if He gave His greatest treasure, then will He prevent those who ask from such a Lover of mankind to receive everything they need?
So, let us ask Him, because He gives. Let us declare our desires before Him, because He does not refuse. Let us plead with Him, because He desires to satisfy our needs in every way. For in His righteousness He expects that our prayer should appear at His gate, and by this prayer is the True One reconciled with all sinners.
If His goodness forgave crimes without prayer, then truth would be violated, and no one would think about it. Mankind would be more and more indulged in wickedness, because the Judge does not use an instructing rod. Everyone would gladly continue to sin, because no one admonishes him.
Then His goodness, so useful to us, would turn to harm, because it would give sinners more and more reason to multiply the number of their sins.
So it is even now that in this world righteousness is compelled to punishment as a work of goodness, for the sinner is made to shudder in order to stop sinning and come to heartbreak, because he has brought punishment on himself. So in this way the sinner, even for a short time, forgets his unrighteousness and tries to ask for the remission of sins. Who, then, will not thank You, O our Lord, that Your righteousness is goodness, and Your punishment is grace for us? You are truly good in everything! With the rod of righteousness you humble the head of sinners who sin with shameless arrogance and do not convert without special prompting.
So let us beg for bounty. Truth uses all measures to induce us to repentance, through which the lost are recovered. Let us pray to God with such a prayer as is pleasing to God. Let us plead not for anything unimportant, but for His whole Kingdom. Yes, let us ask for His Kingdom and His righteousness, as He Himself taught us (Matthew 6.33), because the Kingdom of God is acquired by righteousness. So, let us acquire righteousness for ourselves, and then the Kingdom will be ours, because it is kept for the righteous. Let us do what is true.
Doing what is true is not difficult for anyone. Let everyone do as much as they can. The truth does not require more of him. Let everyone, according to his strength, bear upon himself what is imposed on him by righteousness, because the yoke of God is light and easy for everyone to bear. God does not place a mountain on the righteous in order to crush those who seek His Kingdom with a heavy burden.
If you are walking the path to the Kingdom, then do not burden yourself with anything, for it is not pleasing to God that you should enter His palace loaded with a burden. He Himself commands You not to carry either a sack or even a promissory note with you (Luke 10.4).
If you go to the Kingdom, then throw off all unnecessary things. Is there something you will lack in the Kingdom, and you need to take it with you? Be sensible! God calls you to His meal. Throw off all burdens. Get ready for a path without burden and go with God into His Kingdom. He is looking for you, so that you will walk with Him and dwell with Him in His palace.
Look, the Kingdom of God is within You, O sinner.
Enter yourself. Seek the Kingdom there, and you will easily find Him.
Do not chase after the acquisition of property. Break free from the snares of lust, from the snare of sin, from the jungle of covetousness. Renounce your concern for the superfluous, the arrogance of power, the lust for power, and any harmful occupation.
Enter into yourself, live in yourself, in the silence of your insides, with a moderate and pure soul, and with a calm and humble spirit. Go inside yourself and seek the Kingdom of God there. It is really there, as the Lord Himself taught us in His Gospel (Luke 17.21). In the soul that loves God, God dwells, and His Kingdom is there. That is why He says that the Kingdom of God is within you.
So, let us break free from the snares of the outside world and seek the Kingdom of God in our souls. Until we find it there, we will not stop looking. For if it has not yet dwelt in us, let us seek, as the Lord taught us: Our Father … that Your Kingdom come (Matthew 6.9-10), and it will come if we ask for it.
Only the Kingdom of God and the righteousness of God will we ask of God. Yet the rest that we need, He will give us in abundance.
We will not humiliate this great Treasury, which willingly gives us the Kingdom, by asking her for bread, like dogs who care only about bread. Let us ask her for the highest gift, and she herself will apply the unimportant.
Let us ask for the greatest wealth, then it will not deny us food. Let us ask in order to make us worthy of a great meal, then he will give us our daily bread. Let us seek the eternal, then it will not refuse the temporal either.
It would be humiliating, O Lord, to ask You for one bread, when You gave us Your Holy Body to eat. Therefore, even without our request, give us bread, this food of animals. Through our prayer, give us Your Kingdom, this gift worthy of You, so that Your gift may be as high for those in need as You are.
Close, O Lord, the gates of hell for sinners who plead with You for mercy, so that those who repent will not enter it, humbly falling to You with prayer.
Pour out the rain of Your mercy on the fire that threatens us. Let the flame cool and extinguish for the one who calls on You in prayer. Protect us from having to ask for a drop of water, as the rich man asked of Abraham. Be the water of life for us. Let us drink You in the land of the thirsty. Do not lead us to cry out to You from the fire, but mercifully protect us from the fire. We appeal to You now, hear us then, as the Most Merciful.
Open, O Lord, the door of Your Kingdom, that a host of redeemed people may enter into it. You brought them out of captivity. Bring them into Your palace, also. May the hearts of those who seek You rejoice. May they have mercy, because they begged You for this. Let them be drunk with the largesse of Your house, and let them recline at Your meal.
Whoever seeks You with prayer, let him find comfort from You in his suffering. He who labors in prayer, let him rest with You at Your meal. We are looking for you in prayer, because everything is contained in you. Let us be rich by You, because You are wealth that does not change through the changing times.
Let Your mercy come to our aid! May your grace protect us! From Your treasure pour out on us medicine that heals our wounds.
Let Your punishment, O Lord, be united with mercy. Let it be our teacher. Let Your right hand help us to take benefit from Your punishment.
We must seek You instead of everything else, and we should not seek anything other than You. For whoever searches and seeks You, he finds everything in You. In You is riches for those in need, heartfelt joy for those who grieve, healing for all who are wounded, consolation for all who mourn.
You are peace within the realms and peace outside them. You are a field full of blessings. Whoever possesses You does not faint with hunger. Accept our prayer, O our Lord, and grant us Yourself. May we live in You, and possess You instead of everything else. Then everything is ours.
Love for the world has humiliated us and made us poor. Attachment to excess has driven us to such humiliation. How low is our shamelessness! The love of the world is smoke. Its honor is a vanity of vanities. Its beauty is a net for those who love the world.
You, who opened the eyes of the blind, open the eyes of our freedom so that she may see what the world is and flee the mortal world. Our soul’s ear listens hard, but Your teaching is indistinct to her. For if she obeyed Your commandments, then earthly possessions would not deceive us.
Open up, O Lord, the hearing of our soul, so that she heeds Your instruction. She voluntarily covered her ears; let Your grace open them. If the light of Your grace does not open the ear of the soul, then iniquity will block our hearing, and Your instructions will not enter into it.
Even though our freedom did not want it, against her will heal it, O Most Merciful. You have already worked a miracle, and given life to people without their will. You healed the demon-possessed man who was blind and mute (Matthew 12.22) without his will, because he had no reason with which to come and ask You for healing. He did not see You to run after You with the crowds that saw You. He did not hear to hear the rumor of your healings. The devil had damaged his mind. He was not conscious of himself, and the thought of asking for healing could not be born in him.
Yet You sought, although he did not want to, healed him, although he did not ask made him well, although he did not know that Your goodness was so great. You enlightened his darkened eyes, his deaf ears began to hear, his disorder of his mind was over, and he became healthy, free from any disease.
So look also to our freedom. She does not ask for healing, does not beg for the forgiveness of sins, because sins have damaged her mind. Heal our freedom, O Lord, according to Your mercy, just like You healed that poor man, full of ailments, who did not ask You for healing and whom You made sound, according to Your mercy. Also, just like the Samaritan woman who you gave living water to drink without her will, because she herself did not ask for this water, but You prompted her to do so.
Like a lost sheep, draw me along with You, O common Shepherd of all, because it is pleasant for the Shepherd Himself to go and bring back the perishing sheep.
Other needy people cried out to You, Lord, and received all kinds of healing from You. Yet it is equally easy for You to give healing to both the one asking and not asking. To the blind Bartimaeus, at his request, you restored his sight (Mark 10.46). The bleeding woman touched You with faith and received health. To everyone who pleaded with You, You restored health. For you heal even those who did not ask you for this, because you are the source of mercy, pouring it out abundantly everywhere. For some of us persistently beg for the forgiveness of sins, while others, like the blind and mute man, do not even know what it means to ask.
You, O our Lord, as the Good One, open, as usual to You, Your treasury, and give Your riches to everyone, so that we all glorify Your goodness. Let us be Yours. According to Your mercy, O Lord, be You ours, because the righteous Father gave You to us to heal our illnesses.
Be You ours, according to the will of Your Father. Be You ours, also according to Your will. You are with us, Immanuel. Be with us as You are our Lord.
Receive from us our prayers, O our God who has come down to us. Accept the tears of sinners and show mercy to the guilty. You have united with us by Your own will. Be our intercessor in our prayer. Lift her up to Your Father and establish peace in our souls.
All that the Father has is Yours (John 16.15). Scatter Your treasures to the poor, and use Your riches for those in need, so that all may satisfy their needs. You have become a sacrifice for us in order to atone for our guilt with Your Blood. You became a Priest for us, to cleanse us by the sprinkling of Your Blood. All our hope is in You, for You heal our wounds. You have poured out Your Blood on the wounds of sinners, so that they may be healed by You.
Behold, You are sacrificed at our meal and you moisten our lips. Through you, may our prayer aspire to the Father. Blessings to You from all, O Merciful to all!
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