12 February 2008

The cry of Lent: "Fix your eyes on Jesus!"

During the season of Lent, the Church calls us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Here's another gem from Ephraim the Syrian (A Spiritual Psalter #26):

All our hope is Christ. Cry unto Him.

Thou, O Lord of all, according to Thy mercy, be for me a harbor of salvation, a refuge of charity, and save me.

I beseech Thy kindness, O my Savior. From henceforth pour out upon me Thy mercies at that hour and set me far away from those who are to be tormented.

O Christ, Who didst will to become a sacrifice for us, destroy the sin which has stricken all my members. Descend and dwell in my members.

When he hears of this, the teeth of the evil one will be broken and the fire of Gehenna will be extinguished by Thy radiance.

Evil Satan has spewed out his venom on me, he has corrupted me and debased me with sin. But because I follow Thy way, and Thou art omnipotent, in my infirmity I nurture hope that Thou wilt scorn him and help me by pardoning sins—and then will my corrupter be ashamed.

The princes of evil have blinded me with their passions, and by their cunning have they robbed me of the beauty of my youth. What can I do, now that I have lost my purity? I will cry out to Christ, that He might return my beauty to me—and then will the evil ones be ashamed.

My Savior cries out to me, to His disciple: do not despair of thy salvation; I will restore thee and forgive thy sins. I have found thee and I will not leave thee; for I have redeemed thee with My very own Blood.

Cry out, O sinner, with all your might, and spare not your throat; for your Lord is merciful and love those who repent. As soon as you return, your Father will come out aforehand to meet you. He will slaughter the fatted calf, clothe you in a fine robe and rejoice in you.

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