Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Psalm of Hope

A word of encouragement from the Spiritual Psalter of St. Ephraim the Syrian:

The Second Stasis
27
Do not lose heart;
There is hope, and it is Christ.


“Do not lose heart, O soul, do not grieve; pronounce not over thyself a final judgement for the multitude of thy sins; do not commit thyself to fire; do not say: The Lord has cast me from His face.

Such words are not pleasing to God. Can it be that he who has fallen cannot get up? Can it be that he who has turned away cannot turn back again? Dost thou not hear how kind the Father is to a prodigal?

Do not be ashamed to turn back and say boldly: I will arise and go to my Father. Arise and go!

He will accept thee and will not reproach thee, but rather rejoice at thy return. He awaits thee; just do not be ashamed and do not hide from the face of God as did Adam.

It was for thy sake that Christ was crucified; so will He cast thee aside? He knows who oppresses us. He knows that we have no other help but Him alone.

Christ knows that man is miserable. Do not give thyself up to despair and apathy, assuming that thou hast been prepared for the fire. Christ derives no consolation from thrusting us into the fire; He gains nothing if He sends us into the abyss to be tormented.

Imitate the prodigal son: leave the city that starves thee. Come and beseech Him and thou shalt behold the glory of God. Thy face shall be enlightened and thou wilt rejoice in the sweetness of paradise. Glory to the Lord and Lover of mankind Who saves us!”

[The book, “A Spiritual Psalter or Reflections on God” by St. Ephraim the Syrian (Items # 2040, hard-bound and #2239, leather-bound) is available online from St. John of Kronstadt Press at: www.sjkp.org]

3 Comments:

At 8/03/2006 8:38 AM , Blogger E Rica said...

I love that Psalter. I read one of those stasis' every night.

I'm glad you recommended it.

 
At 8/04/2006 10:21 AM , Blogger Fr. Michael Reagan said...

That psalter was recommended to me by Mary Dibs from St. Mark's. At first I was put off by the price, but it has proven to be such a valuable resource that I feel the cost is more than justified.

The book itself is of top quality, but the psalms have such a depth of spiritual insight that anyone reading them will feel like they are a window to his own soul. They are a great help toward better understanding ourselves and focusing our repentance.

I think that this book is a treasure that no Orthodox believer should be without!

 
At 8/05/2006 2:44 AM , Anonymous Bruce said...

For those of you who attend St Barnabas Orthodox Parish in Costa Mesa, we do have this Psalter in our bookstore. I just purchased it and can vouche for it's brilliance!

 

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