True ardour makes the soul eager for salvation

OUT of the depths have I cried to thee, O Lord.

O Lord, hearken to my voice; let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.

Psalm 129[130]:1-2


A woman carrying a taper at a Vigil in an Orthodox Church

A woman carrying a taper at a Vigil in an Orthodox Church


DESCEND into the depths of the heart, and search out these three powerful giants of the devil – forgetfulness, laziness and ignorance, the support of the demonic Philistines – which enable the rest of the evil passions to infiltrate and be active, to live and prevail in the hearts of the self-indulgent and in the souls of the uninstructed.

Then through strict attention and control of the intellect, together with help from above, you will track down these evil passions, about which most men are ignorant, not even suspecting their existence, but which are more destructive than all the rest.

Take up the weapons of righteousness that are directly opposed to them: mindfulness of God, for this is the cause of all blessings; the light of spiritual knowledge, through which the soul awakens from its slumber and drives out of itself the darkness of ignorance; and true ardor, which makes the soul eager for salvation.

Mark the Ascetic, “Letter to Nicholas the Solitary” in the Philokalia Vol. I, tr. Palmer, Sherrard and Ware p. 160.


IF thou, O Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? For with thee is forgiveness.

LIFT up thine eyes O my soul and gaze into the providential management [τῇ οἰκονομίᾳ], the tender compassion, of God, how he bowed the heavens (Ps 17[18]:9), how he came to earth, in order to draw thee up from the hardship of thy passions, and stand thee upon the rock of faith (cf. Ps 39[40]:2). Aye, fearsome wonder! Glory be to thy emptying (Phil 2:5-11), O thou that lovest mankind.

For thy name’s sake have I waited for thee, O Lord, my soul has waited for thy word. My soul has hoped in the Lord.

LOOK upon thy lawless works, O my soul, and wonder, How cometh it, that the earth suffer to bear thee, and that a thunderbolt consume thee not? (cf. Gen 19:24; Lk 9:52-55) How cometh it that wild creatures eat thee not? But how too cometh it that the Unsetting Sun that ever shines upon thee hath not ceased? (Mt 5:45) Arise, repent, cry out unto the Lord: I have sinned against thee, I have sinned, have mercy upon me!

From the morning watch till night, from the morning watch let Israel hope in the Lord.

HAVING all our hopes resting in thee, O all-powerful Lord, we beseech thee to redeem us from out of all manner of dangers, and the storm of passions, so that we might lead our lives in peace, and, living in cleanness, on the day of judgment, O Master, find thee gracious and kindly.

At Vespers, Grave Tone, Mondays. My non-expert translation, from Analogion.


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