Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Beatitudes

Father confessor gave me as penance the reading the Beatitudes, reflecting upon them.  To this end, and that my reflection may bear fruit, I post here the Beatitudes as sung in the Russian Divine Liturgy, opening with the cry of the Good Thief: Lord, remember Thou me, when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom.  O thief Dismas, who stole Paradise! teach us to seek the one thing necessary.

Grant us, Lord, deep recognition of our spiritual poverty and utter dependence upon Thee; teach us to cast our cares upon Thee, O Lord, knowing Thee as the God of all comfort; change us from sinful pride to the meekness of Moses, yea, such meekness even of Thy Christ; turn us from gluttony to desire for the food that endureth unto everlasting life, lest we be such as have their stomach for their idol, whose end is destruction, but may rather say with Thy Son, My food is to do the will of My Father; break our hard hearts and give us hearts of flesh, wherewith we may be merciful, lest being mercifiless, biting and hating each other, we live and die in endless hell; grant us purity of heart, lest with the multitude, ensnared by temptations, we rush down to destruction; make us be peacemakers not breakers, sinful warmongers, destroyers of peace, likewise bound for hades; grant us to rejoice when we suffer for doing right, bearing our Cross right joyfully, and alway to give thanks unto Thee for all things, for Thou dost dispose all things unto our eternal wellbeing, sending Thy Holy Spirit to grace us and change us that we may be worthy of salvation, O God All-Merciful and Eternal, through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

(The English supplied with the above chant strangely inverts the order of the second and third Beatitude, I don't know why.)

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