In Imitation of Proverbs

In Imitation of Proverbs, and On the Fear of God (CPG 3910 and 3911)


Excerpt 1

Sing, beloved, with the spirit, and sing, also, with the mind.* How sweet to my throat are your words, more than honey and the honeycomb (Ps 118:103).

The beginning and end of those who believe is faith, hope, and love. The most dangerous of dangerous things is listlessness (acedia), especially if it has faithlessness as its companion. For its fruits are full of fatal barbs.

Be mindful, beloved, of the fearful judgement seat of the God of all and it shall be a source of support for you. And you shall conquer those who plot against your soul.

A prudent monk, when he is sent in obedience, will lay down his own soul for the sake of peace. But the imprudent and untutored monk puts up struggles.

Lord and Master of my life, a spirit of idleness, meddling, and love of power give me not. Rather, a spirit of chastity and patience grant to your servant.**

Ed. K.G. Phrantzoles, Ὁσίου Ἐφραίμ τοῦ Σύρου ἔργα 1 [Thessaloniki: Perivole tes Panagias, 1988; repr. 1995]: 185-280; cf. Assemani Gr. 2:70-71, 71-111). Excerpt 1: ed. Phrantzoles, 261.

*Cf. St. Theodore the Studite, Epistle 172 (ed. Fatouros, Theodori Studitae Epistulae, vol. 2 (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae. Series Berolinensis 31) (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1992), 293.

**A variant of the ‘Prayer of St. Ephrem’: Κύριε καὶ Δέσποτα τῆς ζωῆς μου, πνεῦμα ἀργίας, περιεργίας, φιλαρχίας, φιλαργυρίας, καὶ ἀργολογίας μή μοι δός· πνεῦμα δὲ σωφροσύνης, ταπεινοφροσύνης, ὑπομονῆς καὶ ἀγάπης χάρισαί μοι τῷ σῷ δούλῳ. Ναί, Κύριε Βασιλεῦ, δώρησαί μοι ὁρᾶν τὰ ἐμὰ πταίσματα, καὶ μὴ κατακρίνειν τὸν ἀδελφόν μου· ὅτι εὐλογητὸς εἶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν (ed. Phrantzoles 6:353; CPG 4078.9)

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