February 16, 2020

A Prayer of Repentance by St. Symeon the New Theologian

A Prayer of Repentance

By St. Symeon the New Theologian

O Master, Lord of heaven and earth,
I know that I have sinned before You,
more than any human being,
more than even the irrational animals and reptiles,
and I am not worthy to ever receive any mercy from You.
Therefore, I would not have dared
to draw near or to fall down before You,
O King, lover of man,
had I not heard your holy voice saying:
"I do not at all desire the death of the sinner,
but that he may return and live."
And again: "There is joy in heaven
over one sinner who repents."
I remember, also, the parable of the Prodigal Son,
which You have said, O Master,
that when he returned,
before he had drawn near to You,
You, O compassionate one, came to him
and fell upon his neck
and kissed him affectionately.
Hence, taking courage from the ocean
of your goodness,
I have come near to You
with pain, sadness, and grief in my heart,
even though I am still hardened
and wounded sorely and lie in misery
In the depths of the Hades
of my transgressions.
But, from now on,
I give you my word, O Lord,
that as long as You order me
to remain alive and in this body,
I will not forsake You,
nor will I turn back,
neither will I ever touch vain and evil things.
But You, O my God, know my weakness,
my wretchedness, my faintheartedness,
and my old predispositions,
which are going to torture and oppress me.
Therefore, as I fall before You,
help me and forsake me not;
neither allow me to be ridiculed
and mocked for long by the enemy,
for from now on I am your servant, O Good One.

From The Discourses, "On Penance", Ch. 30.