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a passionate repentance

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may God stand

Who will not lament for me, who have renounced the eternal kingdom for
the sake of meagre pleasures, ignoring the eternal fire? Having
surrendered myself to the passions, I have destroyed the integrity of
my soul and become like the unreasoning beasts.
At one time I found myself rich with gifts, but now I have come to
love the poverty of the passions. I have become a stranger to the
virtues and departed for the distant land of corruption. I am half
dead; I have only a tiny remnant of life in me.
Because I am this way by mine own free choice, I cannot even raise
mine eyes to the kindhearted Lord.
Lament, O blessed and righteous ones, for me who am caught in the
embrace of passions and sin.
Lament, O ascetics, for me who am a glutton and voluptuary.
Lament, O merciful and condescending ones, for me who am hardhearted
and cause much grief.
Lament, O God-pleasers, for me who strive to please men.
Lament, O ye who have attained meekness, for me who am irritable and
Lament, O humble ones, for me who am pompous and arrogant.
Lament, O ye who have attained the non acquisitiveness of the
apostles, for me who, burdened by my love for possessions, cling to
material things.
Lament, O ye who have loved lamentation and hated laughter, for me who
have loved laughter and hated lamentation.
Lament, ye who contemplate the judgement that will come after death,
for me who affirm that I remember the judgement but act to the contrary.
Pray, O saints of God, for my soul which is convulsed by all manner of
passions. Inasmuch as you are able, help me, O saints of God.
For I know that if you beseech God, the Lover of mankind, all will be
granted you from the sea of His kindness. And, like our
man-befriending God, so also when I, a sinner, beseech you, do not
despise my supplication; for I have not the boldness to pray to Him
myself because of the multitude of my sins.
Your role it is, O saints, to intercede for sinners; God's role it is
to have mercy on those who despair.
O saints of God, pray to the King on behalf of the prisoner. Pray to
the Pastor on behalf of the sheep. Pray to Life on behalf of the
corpse, that He might lend His hand to aid me and strengthen my humble
soul in its feebleness.

-By St. Ephrem the Syrian
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