Praying with Basil

Lent begins early this year. Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day are coming in less than a week. It’s time to pare down and choose a focus – in daily life and in writing. In my blue and gold copy of Daily Prayers for Orthodox Christians I found a guiding prayer for this year’s walk to the tragedy of the cross and the joy of Easter:

We bless you, O God, most high and Lord of mercy. You are always doing great and inscrutable things with us, glorious and wonderful, and without number. You grant us sleep for rest from our infirmities, and repose from the burdens of our much toiling flesh. We thank you, for you have not destroyed us with our sins, but have continued to love us; and though we were sunk in despair, you have raised us up to glorify your power. Therefore, we implore your incomparable goodness. Enlighten the eyes of our understanding and raise up our minds from the heavy sleep of indolence. Open our mouth and fill it with your praise, that we may be able without distraction to sing and confess that you are God, glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, with your only begotten Son, and your all holy, good, and life giving Spirit, now and forever, to the ages of ages. Amen.

I hope you will pray with me on this Lenten journey.

[Saint Basil, Bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, was born in 330AD, and died at age 49 in 379AD. He is remembered as a powerful theologian and orator, who helped define and defend what became Orthodox theology from Arianism. He worked for the uplifting of the poor and needy, and is remembered for his pastoral work. His feast day is January 1st or 2nd, depending on the tradition.]

2 thoughts on “Praying with Basil

  1. David Anderson

    Thanks for this ancient prayer that resonates today–loved especially–“Enlighten the eyes of our understanding and raise up our minds from the heavy sleep of indolence.”

    1. Johnna Post author

      The phrasing is so different from the usual speech of today, which makes an impact. Indolence is an underused word! Peace, Johnna


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