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.