Saturday, January 19, 2008

Trusting Christ, not Faith, Part 2

I've just discovered mamajuliana's blog, Abide and Endeavor (see blogroll on left) and there found this wonderful prayer from St. Ephraim the Syrian. This prayer, by acknowledging how crummy my faith is (as measured by my deeds) and by then turning to Christ, puts into practice what I was trying to say in my previous post about having faith in Christ, and not in our faith.

…Bad habits entangle me like snares, and I rejoice at being thus bound. I sink to the very depths of evil, and this delights me. Daily the enemy gives me new shackles, for he sees how the variety of bonds pleases me.

…Although I know how dreadful these shackles are, I hide them behind a noble appearance from all who might see. I appear to be robed in the beautiful clothes of reverence, but my soul is entangled with shameful thoughts. Before all who might see, I am reverent, but inside I am filled with all manner of indecency.

How pitiful I am; and how pitiful is my daily repentance, for it has no firm foundation. Every day I lay a foundation for the building, and again with my own hands I demolish it.

My repentance has not even made a good beginning as yet; yet there is no end to my wicked negligence…

…I hope in Thy mercies, O Lord; I fall at Thy feet and beseech Thee: Grant me the spirit of repentance and lead my soul out of the dungeon of iniquity! May a ray of light shine in my mind before I go to the terrible judgement which awaits me, where there is no opportunity to repent of one’s wicked deeds.

Mamajuliana concludes, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have mercy upon me, a sinner!"