Enlighten the eyes of our understanding and raise up our minds from the heavy sleep of indolence.
If Saint Basil had left off the last two words, it would be a simple request: wake me from sleep, body and mind. But he added “of indolence,” making it a whole different kind of request. It isn’t my nightly sleep that I need to leave behind, it’s the spiritual laziness that darkens my thoughts and makes me blind to the sacred life God has given me. It’s Pink Floyd’s comfortably numb existence: going through the motions, playing the game, climbing the ladder, taking meds or that second and third drink. I can live my life awake and aware on the outside all the while asleep to my true, deep self.
Leaving the heavy sleep of indolence behind has its price. Awake, I see this beautiful, broken world. I can’t reduce others to bit players in my life’s drama, props to move my story along and support my starring role. I am awake to the terrible holiness of every person, and my own part in their life’s play in God’s good creation. Life isn’t about me when I’m awake; I am about Life.
If I pray these words, God will answer my prayer. Do I want to be awake? I do, with God’s help.
For the complete prayer, click Prayer of Saint Basil above.