Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Another prayer from St Ephrem: Lord, keep me mindful of my own sins, and so not condemn my neighbor.

Your grace has made it possible for me to call upon Your name, O Lord. O only good One, Who has created us all, forgive the transgressions and sins of Your sinful and ungrateful servant.

I know, O Lord, that my sins exceed those of all other men, but I have as my refuge the abyss of Your compasssions which exceeds all things. I am confident that You will accept and have mercy on all who approach Your goodness, for it pleases You to behold repentance, and You rejoice at the ascetic struggles of Your servants.

Grant me, Your unworthy servant, tears, that with an enlightened mind, with love and faith, I may entreat Your incomparable goodness and be cured of my hidden sores. Show miserable me Your charity. Deliver me from the torment I deserve. May Your grace be preached all about, to the benefit both of the coutless multitudes who are careless, and me as well.

As You did fill the waterpots with Your blessing, so likewise fill my heart with Your grace and Your goodness. When a caring mother is rejected by her child, she does not scorn him, for her motherly care triumphs over all; may my sins likewise not surpass Your grace.

I know that I will be punished even for idle words, for evil thoughts, for mere desire. Yet as soon as an opportunity to satisfy my pleasures presents itself, I immediately forget everything, and like a fool indulge in all manner of sin. I am a vainglorious, wrathful cripple, a lazy, dissolute glutton, a sensualist covered with impurities who hourly strays into error -- and I do not realize it.

Only my hope in the manifestation of Your grace, O man-befriending Master, consoles me and keeps me from despair. Whether You so desire or not, save me, O all-good Lord, according to Your great kindness!


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