My dear God, do You like this? My dear God, is that Your will?

I AM continually with thee: thou hast holden my right hand.

Thou hast guided me by thy counsel, and thou hast taken me to thyself with glory.

For what have I in heaven but thee? and what have I desired upon the earth beside thee?

Psalm 72(73):23-24 (LXX).

**

The chapel of St John the Forerunner, at the small St Anne's Skete on Mount Athos

The chapel of St John the Forerunner, at the small St Anne's Skete on Mount Athos. This was Elder Joseph's chapel.

**

GOD is the one closest to us, with Whom we may speak continuously.

For God is in your sight; God is in your nous, in your speech, in your breath, in your food — wherever you look, God is there.

In Him we live and move (Acts 17:28); He holds us in His bosom.

So cry out constantly, “My dear God, do You like this? My dear God, is that Your will?”

Day and night, constantly speak to God with all the simplicity of a son towards his father. Then you feel the love of the Father and His divine protection.

Then you love, since you are loved, and you are afraid lest you violate His divine will.

You tremble lest you sadden your good Father, Who showed you so much love without any self-interest; it is for you that He [Christ] died on the Cross.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast (+1959). “Monastic Wisdom”, Letter Forty-Eight.

**

AS we venerate unceasingly thy life-giving Cross, O Christ God, we glorify thy Resurrection upon the third day; for by it thou hast made anew the corrupted nature of man, O All-Powerful One, and set forth in example the way up to heaven (1 Pet 2:21); because thou alone art good, and lovest mankind.

THOU didst give the price* of the tree of disobedience (1 Cor 6:20, Mk 10:45), O Saviour, when thou wast willingly nailed to the tree of the Cross; when thou didst go down into Hades, O Powerful One, as God thou didst tear asunder the bonds of death.

Wherefore we venerate thy Resurrection from the dead, crying out in exceeding joy: Glory to thee, O Lord All-Powerful.

Small Vespers, on the Eve of the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman (which falls tomorrow). Original at Analogion.

*I’ve substituted ἐπιτίμιον (“value or price of a thing; penalty or wages”) for ἐπίτομον (“abridgement”). In his translation, Archimandrite Ephrem similarly has “the penalty of the tree of disobedience”.

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