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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Paul Evdokimov

In the catacombs, the most frequent image is the figure of a woman in prayer, the Orans; she represents the one true attitude of the human soul. It is not enough to say prayers; one must become, be prayer, prayer incarnate. It is not enough to have moments of praise. All of life, each act, every gesture, even the smile of the human face, must become a hymn of adoration, an offering, a prayer. One should not offer what one has, but what one is. ... It translates the message of the Gospel : khaíre, "rejoice and be glad," "let everything that has breath praise the Lord." This is the astonishing lightening of the weight of the world, when man's own heaviness vanishes.

Via Daily Readings in Orthodox Spirituality, ed. P. Bouteneff (Templegate Publishers, 1996), p. 55. Originally appeared in The Sacrament of Love (SVS Press, 1985), pp. 61-63.

Paul Evdokimov

Eve is called "mother of all the living," but the author of Genesis who, in his prophetic clear-sightedness assigned this name, envisioned infinitely more than a mere biological continuation, more than a "seal of grace promised," more than the prospect that from such a race, would arise "the queen arrayed in gold of Ophir" (Ps 45:10). Our biological conformity to the life of our species reflects our spiritual conformity to eternal life. The second Eve was proclaimed "God-bearer" (Theotokos) by the Third Ecumenical Council (Ephesus, 431). The one who gives birth to the Eternal God, the one who gives human life to the Ever-Living One, is herself immortalized. It is in this magnificent sense that Eve is called Life (Gen 3:20). Now we can understand why it is the woman who received the message of salvation. The message of the Annunciation is addressed to a woman; the risen Christ appears first to a woman, and it is "the woman robed with the sun" (Rev 12:1) who represents the New Jerusalem. Scripture exalts woman as the religious element of human nature. Woman is the mouth of humanity through with the humble "Be it done unto me" (fiat) of the servant of God replied to the creative fiat ("Let it be done") of the heavenly Father. Woman is this free "Amen" of all humanity which, in the work of the Incarnation, becomes the indispensable human foundation.

Paul Evdokimov, Woman and the Salvation of the World : A Christian Anthropology on the Charisms of Women, trans. A. P. Gythiel (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1994), pp. 155-6.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Paul Evdokimov

From his book Woman and the Salvation of the World (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1994), pp. 223-5


To woman belongs the task of correcting the masculine zeal that blunders so frequently, deeper and deeper, into a profanation of the mysteries, to the detriment of the spiritual values.

:: :: ::

In the Kontakion of the Annunciation, the Virgin is called the "victorious leader of triumphant hosts" -- not as a woman warrior but as one who is, by nature, deadly to demons and invincible by her triumphant purity. She has the power to bruise the head of the serpent, but not by her deeds (the domain of the masculine). It is through her very being that "in her invincible power, she keeps us free from every peril."

:: :: ::

The fact that a woman gave birth to God shows the power of every woman, when she is indeed a "new creation," to bring forth God in devastated souls.

:: :: ::

Salvation will come only from holiness; but in the conditions of actual life, sanctity is more at home to woman. The Virgin "treasured up all these things in her heart" (Lk 2:51); every woman holds an innate intimacy, almost a complicity, with the tradition, with the continuity of life. In God, existence coincides with essence. In holiness, a woman is more apt to come close to this relationship of essence and existence through the power of humility, since "humility is the art of finding oneself exactly at one's place." In contrast to all egalitarianism and all demands, this is the most natural resplendence of her charismatic state. This is the ministry of the Paraclete, the grace of consolation and of joy, which presupposes a feminine being as a mother for whom each being is a child. The world will be saved by Beauty -- not just any beauty, but that of the Holy Spirit, that of the woman "robed with the sun."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Paul Evdokimov

In the immense cathedral which is the universe of God, each man, whether scholar or manual laborer, is called to act as the priest of his whole life -- to take all that is human, and to turn it into an offering and a hymn of glory.

(Quoted by Bishop Kallistos Ware in The Orthodox Way, SVS Press, 1995, p. 65)

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Prayer of St Basil the Great

O Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, our God, the well of life and immortality, the Maker of every thing visible and invisible, the co-eternal and co-everlasting Son of the everlasting Father, who for the abundance of his goodness, in these latter days, didst put on flesh and wast crucified and buried for us unthankful and ungracious men, and hast by thy own blood renewed our nature corrupted by sin: do thou, O immortal King, accept the repentance of me, a sinner, and incline thine ear to me, and hearken to my words: for I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned before heaven and before thy face, and I am not worthy to gaze upon the height of thy glory; for I have provoked thy goodness, I have transgressed thy commandments, I have not obeyed thy ordinances. But thou, O Lord, since thou rememberest not evil, but art long-suffering and of great mercy, hast not given me to destruction for my lawlessnesses, but hast ever awaited my conversion. For, O thou that lovest all men, thou hast said by thy Prophet, I desire not the death of a sinner, but that he may turn and live; because thou dost not wish, O Master, that the work of thine hands should perish, neither dost thou take pleasure in the destruction of men, but thou desirest that all men should be saved and come to knowledge of the truth. Wherefore even I, although I am unworthy both of heaven and of earth, and of this temporary life, having wholly yielded myself to sin, and become the slave of pleasures, and defiled thine image, yet being thy creature and of thy shaping, I despair not of my salvation in my wretchedness; but, emboldened by thine infinite compassion, I draw nigh. Receive, therefore, O Christ who lovest all men, even me, as the Harlot, as the Thief, as the Publican, as the Prodigal; and take away the heavy burden of my sins, O thou that takest away the sin of the world, and healest the infirmities of men, and dost call to thyself and give rest to those who are weary and heavy-laden; who camest not to call the just, but sinners to repentance: cleanse me from every stain of flesh and spirit; teach me to fulfil holiness in thy fear; that having the witness of my conscience clean, and receiving my share of thy hallowed things, I may be united to thy holy Body and Blood, and may have thee to dwell and abide in me, with the Father and thy Holy Spirit. Yea, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God, may the partaking of thy most pure and life-giving Mysteries not bring me into judgement, nor may I become weak in soul and body by reason of unworthily partaking thereof: but grant me, even unto my last breath uncondemned to receive my share of thy hallowed things, and thereby to receive participation of the Holy Ghost, provision for the journey of eternal life, and an acceptable answer at thy dread judgement-seat; that I, together with all thine elect, may also be a partaker of the spotless good things which thou hast prepared for those that love thee, O Lord, among whom thou abidest and art glorified for evermore. Amen.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Flowers for God

by Fr Sergei Fudel (1901-77), married Russian Orthodox priest, bearer of light and love for the Church during and beyond his years in prison and exile at the hands of the Communist régime

People who believe in God in their own way, yet do not believe in the Church, often say, "Does God really need all this ritual? Why do we have to have all these formalities? We only need love, beauty, and humaneness." A man, on his way to the woman he loves, seeing flowers, buys them or picks them and brings them to her, never stopping to think whether this is a formality or not. Yet this is the very concept of church ritual.

Love for God gives birth to the beauty and humanity of the ritual, which we lay, like flowers, at the feet of God. Faith is love, and the essence of Christianity is to be in love with God and to feel that the Church is His body which has remained with us and lives with us on earth. This feeling expresses itself in actions which we call ritual.

However, if only external and dead action remains, then such action will be sterile and self-deceptive, not only in Christianity but in any sphere of human life, even in science. This truth should be clear to everyone.

Formalism and sanctimoniousness is not Christianity. Each one of us has to move along this long and narrow way from non-Christianity to Christianity, from artificial flowers to live ones.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To thee, O Mother of God ...

To thee, O Mother of God, victorious leader of triumphant hosts, we, thy servants, delivered from evil, sing our grateful thanks: but since thou possessest invincible might, set us free from every calamity, that we may cry unto thee: Hail, O Bride Unwedded.

Most glorious ever-virgin Mother of Christ our God, bring our prayer unto thy Son and our God, that by thee he may save our souls.

All my hope I lay upon thee, Divine Mother, preserve me beneath thy protection.

O Virgin Mother of God, despise me not, a sinner, who seek thy help and thy intercession; for in thee hath my soul hoped; have mercy upon me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On the Mother of God

by Jacob of Serug (451-522)

O cloud of mercy, which is full of hope for all the world, all the earth which had been ravaged was pacified by it.

O ship of riches in which the Father's treasury was sent to the poor in a needy place and it enriched them!

O field, which without a ploughman yielded a sheaf of life, and all creation that had been needy was satiated by it.

O virginal vine, which though not pruned gave a cluster, behold by whose wine creation, which was mourning, rejoices.

Daughter of poor ones, who was mother to the only rich One, behold whose treasures are lavished on mendicants to enrich them!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

From the Syrian Orthodox Church

Open to us, Lord, your great door; O Fountain of all mercy, hear our prayer and save our souls. Shine upon me, Lord, and I shall be light like the day; I will sing your praise in light while I marvel; may the morning awaken me to the praise of your Godhead and I will pursue the study of your word all the day long. With the day may your light shine on our thoughts and may it drive away the shadows of error from our souls. The creation is full of light, give light also to our hearts that they may praise you with the day and the night.

(via The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. George Appleton)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Just flood into my parched soul, my Life and my Salvation"

Prayers by the lake by (Orthodox) St Nikolai of Zicha.

Friday, July 25, 2008

John Betjeman

The domed interior swallows up the day.
Here, where to light a candle is to pray,
The candle flame shows up the almond eyes
Of local saints who view with no surprise
Their martyrdoms depicted upon walls
On which the filtered daylight faintly falls.
The flame shows up the cracked paint -- sea-green blue
And red and gold, with grained wood showing through --
Of much kissed ikons, dating from, perhaps,
The fourteenth century ...
Thus vigorously does the old tree grow,
By persecution pruned, watered with blood,
Its living roots deep in pre-Christian mud.
It needs no bureaucratical protection.
It is its own perpetual resurrection.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Prayers for our Enemies

Thou who didst pray for them that crucified thee, O Lord, Lover of the souls of men, and who didst command thy servants to pray for their enemies, forgive those who hate and maltreat us, and turn our lives from all harm and evil to brotherly love and good works: for this we humbly bring our prayer, that with one accord and one heart we may glorify thee who alone lovest mankind.

As thy first martyr Stephen prayed to thee for his murderers, O Lord, so we fall before thee and pray: forgive all who hate and maltreat us and let not one of them perish because of us, but all be saved by thy grace, O God the all-bountiful.

St John Chrysostom

He who is seated upon the cherubim washed the traitor's feet, and do you, O man, who are but earth and ashes, and cinders, and dust, magnify yourself and act arrogantly?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Prayer for All the Deceased

By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham's bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wisdom 7:7 - 8:1

7: Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me: I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

8: I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her.

9: Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her.

10: I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out.

11: All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands.

12: And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them.

13: I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches.

14: For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.

15: God hath granted me to speak as I would, and to conceive as is meet for the things that are given me: because it is he that leadeth unto wisdom, and directeth the wise.

16: For in his hand are both we and our words; all wisdom also, and knowledge of workmanship.

17: For he hath given me certain knowledge of the things that are, namely, to know how the world was made, and the operation of the elements:

18: The beginning, ending, and midst of the times: the alterations of the turning of the sun, and the change of seasons:

19: The circuits of years, and the positions of stars:

20: The natures of living creatures, and the furies of wild beasts: the violence of winds, and the reasonings of men: the diversities of plants and the virtues of roots:

21: And all such things as are either secret or manifest, them I know.

22: For wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me: for in her is an understanding spirit holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good,

23: Kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure, and most subtil, spirits.

24: For wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passeth and goeth through all things by reason of her pureness.

25: For she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore can no defiled thing fall into her.

26: For she is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness.

27: And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God, and prophets.

28: For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.

29: For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.

30: For after this cometh night: but vice shall not prevail against wisdom.

1: Wisdom reacheth from one end to another mightily: and sweetly doth she order all things.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

St Ephrem the Syrian

Lo, I try to gather my thoughts from every corner, but I am unsuccessful, for the things responsible for the passions of my thoughts remain in me. I have not yet been freed from the influence of the evil spirits that will detain me on my upward path toward heaven. I have not yet acknowledged the weight of the multitude of my sins. Those who have plunged me into sin now bear fruit in the flesh of my body.

How long shall I who am wretched continue to become intoxicated in the absence of wine, and neglect my self as if it were alien to me? Like a wicked servant who concocts plots to harm his master, so do I scheme to undermine my own salvation, as if someone else were to suffer the injury my actions produce. I do not want to be vigilant; daily do I offend your great patience. My wickedness stands before mine eyes. Yet you will be patient with me according to your kindness.

Grant me, O Lord, the remedy of conversion, that I might be healed of all the evil that is in me. Grant that I might enter the realm of restraint. Grant that I might spend all the days of my life in contrition of heart. Enlighten the clouded eyes of my mind, that I might rush zealously to embark on the path that leads to your vineyard.

The time of my life has run low, spent in vain cares and shameful thoughts. My life has come upon the eleventh hour. O Lord, steer my ship with its cargo and grant understanding to this powerless merchant, that I might complete my purchase while I still have time. For the hour of departure has arrived -- it already looms before my eyes -- and I took fright exceedingly when I saw my poverty.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

From the Homilies of St Macarius

To all souls that love God, to all true Christians, there shall come a first month of the year, as the month of April, a day of resurrection.

Monday, March 24, 2008

An Invocation to the Holy Spirit

Come, true light.

Come, life eternal.

Come, hidden mystery.

Come, treasure without name.

Come, reality beyond all words.

Come, person beyond all understanding.

Come, rejoicing without end.

Come, light that knows no evening.

Come, unfailing expectation of the saved.

Come, raising of the fallen.

Come, resurrection of the dead.

Come, all-powerful, for unceasingly you create, refashion and change all things by your will alone.

Come, invisible whom none may touch and handle.

Come, for you continue always unmoved, yet at every instant you are wholly in movement; you draw near to us who lie in hell, yet you remain higher than the heavens.

Come, for your name fills our hearts with longing and is ever on our lips; yet who you are and what your nature is, we cannot say or know.

Come, Alone to the alone.

Come, for you are yourself the desire that is within me.

Come, my breath and my life.

Come, the consolation of my humble soul.

Come, my joy, my glory, my endless delight.

-- St Symeon the New Theologian

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Theophilus of Antioch

The form of God is ineffable and indescribable, and cannot be seen with eyes of flesh. He is in glory uncontainable, in greatness incomprehensible, in loftiness inconceivable, in strength incomparable, in wisdom inaccessible, in love inimitable, in beneficence inexpressible.

Just as the soul in a man is not seen, since it is invisible to men, but we know of its existence through the movements of the body, so God cannot be seen by human eyes, but he is seen and known through his providence and his works.

Friday, March 14, 2008

St Gregory of Nyssa

God's name is not known; it is wondered at.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Prayer

In the morning are we filled with Your mercy, O Lord, and we rejoice and delight in all of our days. Let us delight therefore even in the days that you make us lowly and for the years that we have seen evils. And look upon Your servants and upon Your works and lead their sons aright. And let the light of the Lord our God be upon us, and the works of our hands may You guide aright. Yea, the works of our hands may You guide aright.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

You are more holy than all the Powers of Heaven, More honored than all, you are our foundation, O Theotokos, Mistress of the World. Entreat the Savior to save us from the multitude of stumbling blocks and rescue from danger those who pray to you, as you are the good one.

It is good to give praise to the Lord and to chant Your name O Exulted One. To proclaim Your mercy in the morning and Your truth in the night!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Orthodox hymnody

[For the Sunday of the Last Judgment. Via Mere Comments.]

Thy judgement is without respect of persons; no cunning argument or skill in eloquence can deceive Thy judgement-seat; false witnesses cannot pervert Thy sentence. For in Thy sight, O God, every secret stands revealed.

Alas, black soul! How long wilt thou continue in evil? How long wilt thou lie in idleness? Why dost thou not think of the fearful hour of death? Why dost thou not tremble at the dread judgement-seat of the Saviour? What defence wilt thou make, or what wilt thou answer? Thy works will be there to accuse thee; thine actions will reproach thee and condemn thee. O my soul, the time is near at hand; make haste before it is too late, and cry aloud in faith: I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned against Thee; but I know Thy love for man and Thy compassion. O Good Shepherd, deprive me not of a place at Thy right hand in Thy great mercy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Daily Confession of Sins

I confess to Thee, my Lord, God and Creator, to the One glorified and worshipped in Holy Trinity, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all my sins which I have committed all the days of my life, at every hour, in the present and in the past, day and night, in thought, word and deed; by gluttony, drunkenness, secret eating, idle talking, despondency, indolence, contradiction, neglect, aggressiveness, self love, hoarding, stealing, lying, dishonesty, curiosity, jealousy, envy, anger, resentment, and remembering wrongs, hatred, mercenariness; and by all my senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch; and all other sins, spiritual and bodily, through which I have angered Thee, my God and Creator, and caused injustice to my neighbours. Sorrowing for this, but determined to repent, I stand guilty before Thee, my God. Only help me, my Lord and God, I humbly pray Thee with tears. Forgive my past sins by Thy mercy, and absolve me from all I have confessed in Thy presence, for Thou art good and the Lover of men. Amen.

Monday, February 18, 2008

St Andrew of Crete (+740)

I persist in caring only for my outer garment, while neglecting the temple within -- one made in the image and likeness of God.

Through love of pleasure has my form become deformed and the beauty of my inward being been ruined.

A woman will search her house for one lost coin until she finds it. But in me has been lost the beauty of my original image, buried in the passions. Come now, O Savior, search to recover it.

Like the sinful woman I will cry to Thee, O Savior, "I have sinned." I alone have sinned against Thee! Accept my tears as once [Thou didst] hers when she came to anoint [Thy] feet.

Like the Publican I will cry to Thee : "Have pity on me, O Savior." Have pity on me, for among the children of Adam none has sinned more than I!

I have no tears, no change of heart, no remorse -- O my God and Savior, grant these to me!

O Lover of mankind, whose wish it is that all be saved, in Thy goodness receive me as I return to Thee.

Give ears to the groaning of my soul, and accept the tears that fall from mine eyes, O Savior, and save me.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Prayer

You are more holy than all the Powers of Heaven, More honored than all, you are our foundation, O Theotokos, Mistress of the World. Entreat the Savior to save us from the multitude of stumbling blocks and rescue from danger those who pray to you, as you are the good one.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

St Ephrem the Syrian

O Lord, Master of my life, grant that I may not be infected with the spirit of slothfulness and acquisitiveness, with the spirit of ambition and vain talking.

Grant instead to me your servant the spirit of purity and humility, the spirit of patience and neighborly love.

O Lord and King, bestow upon me the grace of being aware of my own sins and of not thinking evil of those of my brothers and sisters.

For You are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

O God, be gracious to me a sinner, and have mercy on me.

Yes, O Lord and King, bestow upon me the grace of being aware of my own sins and of not thinking evil of those of my brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Prayer of St John of Damascus

(To be said pointing at the bed.)


O Lord, Lover of men, is this bed to be my coffin, or wilt Thou enlighten my wretched soul with another day? Here the coffin lies before me, and here death confronts me. I fear, O Lord, Thy Judgment and the endless torments, yet I cease not to do evil. My Lord God, I continually anger Thee, and Thy immaculate Mother, and all the Heavenly Powers, and my holy Guardian Angel. I know, O Lord, that I am unworthy of Thy love, but deserve condemnation and every torment. But, whether I want it or not, save me, O Lord. For to save a good man is no great thing, and to have mercy on the pure is nothing wonderful, for they are worthy of Thy mercy. But show the wonder of Thy mercy on me, a sinner. In this reveal Thy love for men, lest my wickedness prevail over Thy unutterable goodness and mercy. And order my life as Thou wilt.

(As sleep is the image of death, at night we pray for the departed.)

With the Saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing, but life everlasting.

(When about to lie down in bed, say:)

Lighten my eyes, O Christ God, lest I sleep in death, and lest my enemy say: I have prevailed over him.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Be my soul's Defender, O God, for I step over many snares. Deliver me from them and save me, O Good One, in Thy love for men.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Let us not silently hymn the most glorious Mother of God, holiest of holy Angels, but confess her with heart and mouth to be the Mother of God, for she truly bore God incarnate for us, and prays without ceasing for our souls. Amen.

Friday, January 11, 2008

St Symeon the New Theologian

You, O Christ, are the kingdom of Heaven; You the land promised to the gentle; You the grazing-lands of paradise; You the hall of the celestial banquet; You the ineffable marriage-chamber; You the table set for all; You the bread of life; You the unheard-of drink; You both the urn for the water and the life-giving water; You moreover the inextinguishable lamp for each of the saints; You the garment and the crown and the One who distributes the crowns; You the joy and the rest; You the delight and the glory; You the gaiety and the mirth; and Your grace, grace of the Spirit of all sanctity, will shine like the sun in all the saints; and You, inaccessible sun, will shine in their midst and all will shine brightly to the degree of their faith, their asceticism, their hope and their love, their purification and their illumination by Your Spirit.

Monday, January 7, 2008

St Isaac of Syria

Do not fall into despair because of your stumblings.

I do not mean that you should not feel pain because of them, but that you should not consider them incurable.

For it is better to be wounded than dead.

There is indeed a healer : he who on the cross asked for mercy on those who were crucifying him, who pardoned murderers as he hung on the cross.

Christ came on behalf of sinners, to heal the broken-hearted and to bind up their wounds.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, he says; for that reason he has anointed me in order to proclaim good tidings to the poor. 'He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captive, recovery of sight to the blind' [Lk 4.18], and to strengthen the bruised by forgiveness.

And the Apostle says in his Letter, 'Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners' [1 Tm 1.15]. And his Lord also testifies, 'I am not come to call the righteous, for they who are in good health have no need of a doctor; only those who are sick' [Mk 2.17].

Friday, January 4, 2008

Theodotus, bishop of Ancyra (d. 445)

Hail, O full of grace, the Lord is with you!

Hail, O longed-for object of our delight!

Hail, O source of the Church's rejoicing!

Hail, O name redolent of fragrance!

Hail, O countenance radiant with God and aglow with beauty!

Hail, O repository of everything revered!

Hail, O soft fleece, health-giving and spiritual!

Hail, O fairest mother of dawning light!

Hail, O unblemished mother of holiness!

Hail, O gushing spring of living water!

Hail, O bright new mother, shaper of the new birth!

Hail, O mother inexplicable and full of mystery!

Hail, O alabaster vase of the ointment of sanctification!

Hail, you who show the value of virginity!

Hail, O little space that held within it Him whom the world cannot contain!

Ethiopian salutations to Mary

Salutation unto the memorial of thy name, O thou who dost resemble a star that is seen by thy people, even when dark clouds have enveloped the light thereof ...

Salutation unto thy face, O lowly and glorious face, the splendour of which is sweeter than the splendour of the sun and the moon ...

Salutation unto thy cheeks, which are like unto roses and pomegranates, the languor thereof is fire and the tears thereof are mingled with flame; by thy covenant, O Mary, lift thou me up into the field of delight ...

Salutation unto thy mouth, the mouth of abundant blessing and the holy gate, the book. I have taken refuge, O Mary, in thy covenant, which hath been accepted; therefore let me not be put to shame ...

Salutation unto thy voice, which returned speech unto the word of the angel of mystery, Gabriel, whose apparel shone with splendour. O Mary, thou holy woman of God, the place of his power. Hail! Hail!

Salutation unto the departure of thy body into the house of life, and the making thereof anew ... I entreat thee to redeem my soul by thy covenant, and let my wounds be anointed ...

Salutation unto thee, O thou covenant of mercy, thou gold which comprehendeth all riches; thou art the storehouse of him that is poor and needy. O Mary, bestow a portion of thy blessings and make supplications unto thy good son on our behalf.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Prayers of St John Chrysostom

(1) O Lord, deprive me not of thy heavenly blessings.

(2) O Lord, deliver me from eternal torments.

(3) O Lord, if I have sinned in mind or thought, in word or deed, forgive me.

(4) O Lord, deliver me from every ignorance and heedlessness, from littleness of soul and stony hardness of heart.

(5) O Lord, deliver me from every temptation.

(6) O Lord, enlighten my heart which evil desire hath darkened.

(7) O Lord, I, being man, have sinned: do thou, being God, in lovingkindness forgive me, for thou knowest the weakness of my soul.

(8) O Lord, send down thy grace to help me, that I may glorify thy holy Name.

(9) O Lord Jesus Christ, enrol me, thy servant, in the book of life, and grant me a blessed end.

(10) O Lord my God, even if I have done nothing good in thy sight, yet grant me, according to thy grace, to make a beginning of good.

(11) O Lord, sprinkle on my heart the dew of thy grace.

(12) O Lord of heaven and earth, remember me, thy sinful servant, cold of heart and impure, in thy Kingdom.

(13) O Lord, receive me in repentance.

(14) O Lord, leave me not.

(15) O Lord, lead me not into temptation.

(16) O Lord, grant me thought of good.

(17) O Lord, grant me tears, a remembrance of death, and a sense of peace.

(18) O Lord, grant me mindfulness to confess my sins.

(19) O Lord, grant me humility, charity, and obedience.

(20) O Lord, grant me endurance, magnanimity, and gentleness.

(21) O Lord, plant in me the root of all blessings, the fear of thee in my heart.

(22) O Lord, vouchsafe that I may love thee with all my heart and soul and in all things obey thy will.

(23) O Lord, shield me from evil men and devils and passions and all other unlawful things.

(24) O Lord, who knowest thy creation and what thou hast willed for it; may thy will also be fulfilled in me a sinner; for thou art blessed for evermore. Amen.