Thursday, October 22, 2009

Saint Ephrem
the Syrian

Saint Ephrem the Syrian (+373), a deacon and a hermit, wrote hundreds of hymns in honor of the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is a patron of spiritual directors.
I found an excerpt of his writing in my Maginificat (yesterday's meditation) and wanted to share it.

Grant me, O Son of the Good One, that for which my mind yearns, and join to it that which is pleasing to your will. Grant that I may choose to do good and in no way deviate from you will.

Do not permit me to be a wicked and hypocritical disciple who violates your commandments.

Protect me from thinking that I can walk along your path merely for the sake of appearance and thus by my hypocrisy deceive those who see me, inciting them to proclaim me blessed.

Grant that my heart might please your greatness in secret, and that my just life might glorify you publicly.

May truth be a mistress to guide your worshiper; may it preserve me in chastity both near and far.

Deliver me from the misfortune of knowing your law, yet lacking the desire to please you.

Vouchsafe me the company of people who are simple, but experienced and wise in the performance of virtues.

My flesh is weak. Fortify it with your strength. Help me, break the arrows of the cunning enemy, and number me among the hosts of your heirs.

Grant me, O Lord, ever to be among your dominion and to do what is pleasing to you. And whenever I begin something good, do you, O Lord, give me strength to complete it.

The Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian:

O Lord and Master of my life, keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement, lust of power and idle chatter.

Instead, grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humble-mindedness, patience, and love.

O Lord and King, grant me the grace to be aware of my sins and not to judge my brother; for You are blessed now and ever and forever.


Icon of Saint Ephrem the Syrian, from Meryemana Kilesesi, Diyarbakr, Turkey.

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