Friday, April 3, 2020

"My mind is wounded, my body is feeble, my spirit is sick..."

Christ healing the sick (source)
My mind is wounded, my body is feeble, my spirit is sick, my speech has lost its power, my life is ebbing, and the end is at the door. What shalt thou do, O miserable soul, when the Judge comes to examine thy deeds?

I have reviewed for thee, O my soul, Moses’ account of the creation of the world, and then all of the canonical Scripture that tells the story of both the righteous and the wicked. But thou, my soul, hast followed the ways of the wicked and hast sinned against God.

The Law is grown weak, the Gospel unpracticed, and the whole of Scripture is ignored by thee; the Prophets fail and the words of the righteous are useless. Thy wounds, O soul, have multiplied, and there is no physician to heal thee.

I will now show thee, O my soul, examples from the New Testament, to lead thee to repentance. Follow the example of the righteous and avoid following the ways of the sinners and strive to regain the grace of Christ through prayer and fasting, purity and reverence.

Christ became man, calling thieves and harlots to repentance. Repent then, O my soul! For the doors of the Kingdom are already opened and the Publicans and penitent Pharisees and adulterers pass through before thee.

Christ became man by assuming my flesh and He willingly experienced all that belongs to our nature apart from our sin. Thus, He set before thee, O my soul, an example and image of His own condescension.
Healing sickness, Christ the Word preached the Gospel to the poor, cured the crippled, ate with publicans, and conversed with the sinners; and with the touch of His hand, He brought back the departed soul of Jairus’ daughter.
Do not require of me worthy fruits of repentance, for my strength has failed within me. Rather, grant me an ever-contrite heart and a poor and simple spirit, that I may offer them to Thee as a pleasing sacrifice, O only Savior.
O my Judge Who knowest me, look upon me with Thy merciful eye when Thou comest again with the Angels to judge the whole world, and spare me; take pity on me, O Jesus, for I have sinned more than any other.
-Excerpts from the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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