St Andrew of Crete: Are You Offering Tears of Repentance?

Forefeast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos

Andrew_of_Crete_Square.jpgHE IS FOR ME unto salvation Helper and Protector. He is my God and I glorify Him, God of my fathers is He and I exalt Him, for He is greatly glorified.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Where shall I begin to weep for the actions of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, in this my lamentation? But in Thy compassion grant me forgiveness of sins.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Come, wretched soul, with thy flesh to the Creator of all. Make confession to Him, and abstain henceforth from thy past brutishness; and offer to God tears of repentance.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

I have rivaled in transgression Adam, the first-formed man, and I have found myself stripped naked of God, of the eternal Kingdom and its joy, because of my sins.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Woe to thee, miserable soul! How like thou art to the first Eve! For thou hast looked in wickedness and wast grievously wounded; thou hast touched the tree and rashly tasted the deceptive food.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Instead of the visible Eve, I have the Eve of the mind: the passionate thought in my flesh, showing me what seems sweet; yet whenever I taste from it, I find it bitter.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Adam was justly banished from Eden because he disobeyed one commandment of Thine, O Savior. What then shall I suffer, for I am always rejecting Thy words of life?

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

[…] As the potter molds the clay, Thou hast fashioned me, giving me flesh and bones, breath, and life. But accept me in repentance, O my Maker and Deliverer and Judge.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

I confess to Thee, O Savior, the sins I have committed, the wounds of my soul and body, which murderous thoughts, like thieves, have inflicted inwardly upon me.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Though I have sinned, O Savior, yet I know that Thou art full of loving-kindness. Thou dost chastise with mercy and art fervent in compassion. Thou dost see me weeping and dost run to meet me, like the Father calling back the prodigal son.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.  

—St Andrew of Crete, The Great Canon

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