I beg and beesech you, Lord: grant to all who have gone astray a true knowledge of you, so that each and every one may come to know your glory.”

— St. Isaac the Syrian

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On the Humble Man

A humble man is never rash, hasty or perturbed, never has any hot and volatile thoughts, but at all times remains calm. Even if heaven were to fall and cleave to the earth, the humble man would not be dismayed. Not every quiet man is humble, but every humble man is quiet. There is no humble man who is not self-constrained; but you will find many who are self-constrained without being humble. This is also what the meek humble Lord meant when He said, ‘Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ [Matt 11:29] For the humble man is always at rest, because there is nothing which can agitate or shake his mind. Just as no one can frighten a mountain, so the mind of a humble man cannot be frightened. If it be permissible and not incongruous, I should say that the humble man is not of this world. For he is not troubled and altered by sorrows, nor amazed and enthused by joys, but all his gladness and his real rejoicing are in the things of his Master. Humility is accompanied by modesty and self-collectedness: that is, chastity of the senses; a moderate voice; mean speech; self-belittlement; poor raiment; a gait that is not pompous; a gaze directed towards the earth; superabundant mercy; easily flowing tears; a solitary soul; a contrite heart; imperturbability to anger; undistributed senses; few possessions; moderation in every need; endurance; patience; fearlessness; manliness of heart born of a hatred of this temporal life; patient endurance of trials; deliberations that are ponderous, not light, extinction of thoughts; guarding of the mysteries of chastity; modesty, reverence; and above all, continually to be still and always to claim ignorance.”

— Homily 72, Ascetical Homilies of St Isaac the Syrian

— St. Isaac the Syrian

PRAYERS FOR VARIOUS NEEDS

The Jesus Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

(This prayer, practised properly and in faith, can become part of our subconscious being, protecting us from all temptation and evil. Monastics especially practice this prayer so that it is as much a part of their being as their breathing and heartbeat.)

At Commencement of any Work

O Lord Jesus Christ, Only-begotten Son of Your eternal Father, You have said with Your most holy lips: “Without me you can do nothing”. My Lord and my God, in faith I embrace Your words with my heart and soul and bow before Your Goodness. Help me, a sinner, to successfully complete this work which I am about to begin according to Your will, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

At the Completion of any Work

O Christ, our God and Saviour, You are the fulfillment of all that is good. Fill my soul with joy and gladness and save me, for You alone are all-merciful. Amen.

Before Lessons

Most gracious Lord! Send down upon us the grace of Your Holy Spirit to grant us intelligence and strengthen our spiritual powers that we may be attentive to our studies and grow up to glorify You, 
our Creator, to the joy of our parents and the benefit of our Church and people.

OR: O Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth, everywhere present and filling all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life, come and dwell in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, 
O Good One.

After Lessons

We thank You, our Creator, for having granted us Your Grace to be attentive to this instruction. Bless our instructors, parents, and teachers who lead us to the knowledge of good, and grant us the intelligence 
and strength to persevere in our studies. Amen.

OR: It is truly worthy to bless You, 
O Theotokos, ever-blessed, most pure and the Mother of our God.
More honourable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, without corruption You gave birth to God the Word. True Theotokos, we magnify You.

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    O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance!