Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart
Although I have let myself fall
into seemingly eternal despair,
beating myself with the rod of doubt,
let me now dare with the slightest hope
to call upon the Holy Trinity to help me, a sinner.
For upon blessing and acknowledging
the life-giving God of all, and calling out to him
as to a family member,
it becomes possible for the benefactor
who grants all grace, to grant life
to me, a mortal, as the Prophet foretold,
“Whoever calls out the name of the Lord shall live.”1
Not only do I call, but I believe in the Lord’s greatness.
I pray not only for his rewards but also for himself,
the essence of life, guarantor of giving and
taking of breath
without whom there is no movement, no progress,
to whom I am tied not so much by the knot of hope
as by the bonds of love.
I long not so much for the gifts
as for the giver.
I yearn not so much for the glory
as the glorified.
I burn not so much with the desire for life
as in memory of the giver of life.
I sigh not so much with the rapture of splendor
as with the heartfelt fervor for its maker.
I seek not so much for rest
as for the face of our comforter.
I pine not so much for the bridal feast
as for the distress of the groom,
through whose strength I wait with certain
expectation believing with unwavering hope
that in spite of the weight of my transgressions
I shall be saved by the Lord’s mighty hand and
that I will not only receive remission of sins
but that I will see the Lord himself
in his mercy and compassion
and receive the legacy of heaven
although I richly deserve to be disowned.
Now for my many humiliations
my head bowed in shame
my lips locked with embarrassment
my tongue not daring to move
I resort again to intoning supplications,
mournful sobs and cries, offered on high.
Accept with sweetness almighty Lord my bitter prayers.
Look with pity upon my mournful face.
Dispel, all-bestowing God, my shameful sadness.
Lift, merciful God, my unbearable burden.
Cast off, potent God, my mortal habits.
Spoil, triumphant God, my wayward pleasures.
Dissipate, exalted God, my wanton fog.
Block, life-giving God, my destructive ways.
Undo, secret-seeing God, my evil entrapments.
Fend off, inscrutable God, my assailants.
Inscribe your name on the skylight of my abode.
Cover the roof of my temple with your hand.
Mark the threshold of my cell with your blood.
Imprint the outside of my door with your sign.
Protect the mat where I rest with your right hand.
Keep my cot pure from all seductions.
Preserve my suffering soul by your will.
Steady the breath of life you have given my flesh.
Surround me with your heavenly host.
Post them on watch against the battalion of demons.
Grant blissful rest
like the slumber of death
in the depth of this night
through the intercession of the Holy Mother of
God and the elect.
Firmly close the windows of sight,
sentient faculty of the mind,
with impregnable fortifications
against the waves of anxiety,
the cares of daily life,
nightmares, frenzy, hallucinations,
and protected by the memory of your hope
to wake again from the heaviness of sleep
into alert wakefulness and
to stand before you
raising my prayerful voice
in harmony with the heavenly choirs of praise
with the fragrance of faith,
to you in heaven, all blessed king,
whose glory is beyond telling.
For you are glorified by all creation
forever and ever.