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A Spiritual Psalter, or Reflections on GodA Spiritual Psalter, or Reflections on GodA Spiritual Psalter, or Reflections on GodA Spiritual Psalter, or Reflections on God
Excerpted by Bishop Theophan the Recluse from the works of our Holy Father Ephraim the

Syrian
arranged in the manner of the Psalms of David

translated by Antonina Janda
together with The Life of St. Ephraim translated by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen

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O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, idle curiosity/meddling, lust
for power and idle talk.

But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity/integrity, humility, patience and love.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For
blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

- Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian

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Thus does sin keep me in check; thus does it bind me; thus does it buy and sell me; thus does
it lead me into error; thus does it flatter me and subject me to itself for, as the Apostle says,
man is carnal, sold under sin. For the sin that is in my flesh reigns over my mind, and
through my own fault, it uses my flesh to burden my soul.

If someone undertakes to fast or stand vigil or endure wounds, sin uses the flesh as if it were
its own property to burden the soul with chains and, as a sheep for slaughter, it binds her, and
uses the flesh also to cut off her hands and feet. I cannot flee, nor can I help myself.

Alas, alive I am a corpse. I look and do not see, I have changed from man to dog and though
I have reason I am treated like a beast.

Have mercy, O soul, on thyself, and hasten at last to engage in battle with sin before thou art
parted from the body, that we might not remain outside the doors like the foolish virgins;
for one dead cannot see life or contemplate righteousness there where there is no battle for
life or death, where there is no flesh for the enemy to curse when he is utterly vanquishing by
it.

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A fountain full of waters constantly flowing and abundantly giving drink to all who come
portrays the abundance of Thine inexhaustible compassion, O Lord.

Plentifully dost Thou nourish the heavenly powers and provide food for all that breathes on
earth. Thy love, which desires our salvation, condescends to us in order to bring us to herself
and to save those who come to her.

Thou, O Master, art omniscient and seest the resolve with which a man turns from sin. And
before he comes to the door, Thou dost open it for him. Before he falls at Thy feet, Thou
dost stretch out Thine hand to him. Before he sheds tears, Thou bestowest upon him Thy
compassion. Before he confesses his debts, Thou grantest him forgiveness.

Thou dost not accuse him or say: how did you squander your belongings? Thou rememberest
not how he angered Thee with his depravity; Thou reproachest him not for scorning Thy
good works. But, foreseeing his humility, lamentation and sincere disposition, Thou
proclaimest: take out the best garment and clothe him; kill the fatted calf that we may be
consoled and make merry. May the angels gather and rejoice at the son who was lost and has
been found, at the return of the prodigal heir.

As people go out to meet a merchant when he comes home with great riches, thus may Thy

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grace receive a sinner who returns to Thee with all his soul. For Thy grace loves to see tears,
longs to see repentance, rejoices at the ardor of those who strive to repent.

Glory to Thee Who art longsuffering and kindhearted, O master and Lover of men.

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Frightening and terrible is the day of Thy judgement, O our Savior, when secret sins will be
revealed. Therefore I tremble, O Lord, and am embraced by terror, for my sins have exceeded
all bounds. Be merciful to me according to Thy compassion, O good and kindhearted One!

I look, O Lord, at my sins and become agitated, seeing their multitude. Alas, how did it
happen that such misery has befallen me? My tongue utters marvelous things, but my
behavior is shameful and contemptible. Woe is me in that day when secrets will be revealed!

Others find my words immensely beautiful, but my deeds are repulsive. I teach others in the
world how to order their lives; but I, who am an unfortunate one, myself indulge in the
passions.

All my days have passed and vanished in sin. I have not served truth for even one day. As
soon as I began to repent with the intent to sin no more, the evil one always came and
trapped me through his hatred. Woe is me, for voluntarily do I land in his snare.

If I go out for a walk, I step out like a righteous man, like a sage. If I see another sinning, I
mock and deride him. Alas, my transgressions will likewise be exposed and I will be ashamed!

O, better it were for me not to have been born into this world! Then this transient life would
not have corrupted me. If I had not seen it, I would have no guilt, I would not have defiled
myself with sins and would not have to fear interrogation, the judgement and torment.

As soon as I vow to repent, i return again and fall into the very same sins. The time I spend in
sin gladdens me; I even think that I am doing something praiseworthy. Woe is me! Until now
I never considered that gehenna awaits me.

An evil will leads me into sin, and when I sin I lay the blame on Satan. But woe is me, for I
bring about my sins myself. The Evil One does not use force to make me sin; I sin according
to mine own will.

Be kind to me, O Thou Who art kindhearted to the penitent! Forgive me my transgressions
according to the magnitude of Thy goodness. Accept, O Lord, the tears I bring to Thee, and

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All the deceased will arise at the sound of the trumpet and sing praise to the Father and the
Son and the Holy Spirit, the Resurrector of their bodies.

O Father who created Adam from dust, O Son Who by Thy cross delivered Adam's race from
ruin, resurrect me and set me at Thy right hand, that I might glorify Thy name!

Thee do I worship, O Christ our Savior. Thou art the resurrector and savior of all the departed
who were baptized in Thy name and confessed Thy cross and Thy death.

Blessed is Christ who promised life and resurrection to Adam's children in the day of His
coming. We too shall arise and exalt Him along with the saints who have been pleasing to
Him.

Praise to Thee! By Thy resurrection didst Thou grant all the mortal race the hope of life and
resurrection. And we offer Thee praise, for Thou art the resurrector of all flesh.

Ye mortals, exalt and praise Him Who by His death emptied the dominion of death and
promised all the mortal race life and resurrection.

May the soul that has sought refuge in Thy cross and inherited eternal incorruptible treasure
praise and exalt Thee together with the spirits that number her among Thy ranks.

Meet it is to worship the Father Who sent us His only-begotten Son, Who saved our race
from death and Satan, and sits at the right hand of His Father entreating His compassion on
behalf of all of us.

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Ephrem the Syrian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ephrem the Syrian

Venerable Monk and Doctor of the Church

Born ca. 306, Nisibis

Died 9 June 373, Edessa

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