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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.