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Prayer IV, of St. Macarius the Great question

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by SalemsConcordance, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. SalemsConcordance

    SalemsConcordance Member

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    One of the beautiful evening prayers confuses me - I stumble over the bolded portions, since I am interpreting it as "I am now saved" which I think I am reading it incorrectly, since mercy and forgiveness is still asked for.

    Does anyone have an interpretation? I haven't necessarily found "commentary" on the prayers of our great Saints - which would be great, but I've never heard of such a thing.

    Prayer IV, of St. Macarius the Great

    What shall I offer Thee, or what shall I give Thee, O greatly-gifted, immortal King, O compassionate Lord Who lovest mankind, for though I have been slothful in pleasing Thee, and have done nothing good, Thou has led me to the close of this day that is past, and established the conversion and salvation of my soul. Be merciful to me a sinner, bereft of every good deed, raise up my fallen soul which hath become defiled by countless sins, and take away from me every evil thought of this visible life. Forgive my sins, O Only Sinless One, in which I have sinned against Thee this day, known or unknown, in word, and deed, and thought, and in all my senses. Do Thou Thyself protect and guard me from every opposing circumstance, by Thy Divine Authority and power and inexpressible love for mankind. Be gracious, O God, be gracious unto the multitude of my sins. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me from the net of the evil one, and save my passionate soul, and overshadow me with the light of Thy countenance when thou shalt come in glory; and cause me, uncondemned now, to sleep a dreamless sleep, and keep Thy servant untroubled by thoughts, and drive away from me all satanic deeds; and enlighten for me the eyes of my heart with understanding, lest I sleep unto death. And send me an angel of peace, a guardian and guide of my soul and body, the he may deliver me from mine enemies; that, rising from my bed, I may offer Thee prayers of thanksgiving. Yea, O Lord, hearken unto me, Thy sinful and wretched servant, in confession and conscience; grant me, when I arise, to be instructed by Thy sayings; and through Thine angels cause demonic despondency to be driven far from me: that I may bless Thy holy name, and glorify and extol the most pure Theotokos Mary, whom Thou hast given to us sinners as a protectress, and accept her who prayeth for us. For I know that she exemplifieth Thy love for mankind and prayeth for us without ceasing. Through her protection, and the sign of the precious cross, and for the sake of all Thy saints, preserve my wretched soul, O Jesus Christ our God: for holy art Thou, and most glorious forever. Amen.
     
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  2. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    in a sense we are all saved, as Christ has destroyed death's power and deified us. however, we might really hate that.
     
  3. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:18 (KJV 1900)

    “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.2 Timothy 1:12 (KJV 1900)
     
  4. Phronema

    Phronema Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd recommend reading "On the Incarnation" by St. Athanasius of Alexandria if you haven't already as it expands on this topic a bit. In addition there's an audible version of the book as well if you'd prefer it.

    On a more off-topic note that's a wonderful prayer! If you don't mind my asking where did you find it? I haven't seen anything written by St. Macarius the Great; or any icons of him either actually.
     
  5. SalemsConcordance

    SalemsConcordance Member

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    This is an Orthodox sub-forum, you are welcome to start a topic in St Justin's corner to debate if you like.

    This is a video link ArmyMatt's answer reminded me of which you may like as well.


    Thanks! Maybe I got this from Fr Thomas Hopko above, your answer reminded me of. I've also heard it put "I was saved, I am being saved, and by God's mercy I will be saved."

    I get confused (or tricked) with "I should not be arrogant in assumptions" vs "having full faith in Christ."

    I'll need to re-read On the Incarnation, thank you.

    The prayer is from the Jordanville prayer book, which has a number of prayers (morning and evening) from St Macarius, its a beautiful book!

    I've collected a few links on St Macarius you may like, one of our old venerable ascetic Desert Fathers.

    This is the first writing on St Macarius I came upon that stuck with me, maybe its familiar to you?
    Once, Saint Macarius was walking and saw a skull lying upon the ground. He asked, “Who are you?” The skull answered, “I was a chief priest of the pagans. When you, Abba, pray for those in hell, we receive some mitigation.”

    The monk asked, “What are these torments?” “We are sitting in a great fire,” replied the skull, “and we do not see one another. When you pray, we begin to see each other somewhat, and this affords us some comfort.” Having heard such words, the saint began to weep and asked, “Are there still more fiercesome torments?” The skull answered, “Down below us are those who knew the Name of God, but spurned Him and did not keep His commandments. They endure even more grievous torments.”


    https://classicalchristianity.com/?s=macarius

    Here is his life as well:
    Commemorated on January 19/February 1. Venerable Macarius the Great of Egypt
     
  6. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sorry, I thought I was helping using nothing more than scripture. Do you have a link to St Justin's corner? I cannot find it anywhere.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  7. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    yep. salvation is put in past, present, and future tenses.
     
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  8. SalemsConcordance

    SalemsConcordance Member

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  9. Phronema

    Phronema Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you for those links.

    I am just surprised considering who he is, and what he did for monasticism in Christianity that there isn't much material out there in the form of prayers, or documentation of his life. Also the only icons I have seen are Coptic which is fine, but I'm just surprised there aren't many Eastern Orthodox icons, or much reading material surrounding him whereas there is for St. Anthony, and thankfully so I might add.

    Anyhow, thank you again for the links!
     
  10. Melily

    Melily Member

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    @SalemsConcordance, thank you for sharing this beautiful and comforting prayer. I don’t have any input (as a catechumen) but I certainly appreciated reading it and I copied it to my notes for future reference. :) I needed this prayer today! Glory to God!
     
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