Nativity Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian (AD 306-373)

The feast day of your birth resembles You, Lord
Because it brings joy to all humanity.
Old people and infants alike enjoy your day.
Your day is celebrated from generation to generation.
Kings and emperors may pass away,
And the festivals to commemorate them soon lapse.
But your festival
will be remembered until the end of time.
Your day is a means and a pledge of peace.
At Your birth heaven and earth were reconciled,
Since you came from heaven to earth on that day
You forgave our sins and wiped away our guilt.
You gave us so many gifts on the day of your birth:
A treasure chest of spiritual medicines for the sick;
Spiritual light for the blind;
The cup of salvation for the thirsty;
The bread of life for the hungry.
In the winter when trees are bare,
You give us the most succulent spiritual fruit.
In the frost when the earth is barren,
You bring new hope to our souls.
In December when seeds are hidden in the soil,
The staff of life springs forth from the virgin womb.

St. Ephraim the Syrian (AD 306-373)

[Painting by Guido Reni And courtesy of Wikimedia Commoms]

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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2 Responses to Nativity Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian (AD 306-373)

  1. Matt Smith says:

    St. Ephrem is a treasure waiting to be unburied. Here is one of his prayers that I’ve started saying every morning. I think that Byzantine Catholics pray it every day, too.

    _______________________________

    {Prostrating yourself} O Lord and master of my life! Grant that I may not be infected with the spirit of slothfulness and inquisitiveness, with the spirit of ambition and vain talking.

    {Prostrating yourself} Grant instead to me your servant the spirit of purity and humility, the spirit of patience and neighborly love.

    {Prostrating yourself} O Lord and King! Bestow upon me the grace of being aware of my sins and of not thinking evil of those of my brethren; for you are blessed forever and ever. Amen.

    Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings, You have power over life and death. You know what is secret and hidden, and neither our thoughts nor our feelings are concealed from You. Cure me of duplicity; I have done evil before You. Now my life declines from day to day and my sins increase. O Lord, God of souls and bodies, You know the extreme frailty of my soul and my flesh. Grant me strength in my weakness, O Lord, and sustain me in my misery. Give me a grateful soul that I may never cease to recall Your benefits, O Lord most bountiful. Be not mindful of my many sins, but forgive me all my misdeeds. O Lord, disdain not my prayer – the prayer of a wretched sinner; sustain me with Your grace until the end, that it may protect me as in the past. It is Your grace which has taught me wisdom; blessed are they who follow her ways, for they shall receive the crown of glory. In spite of my unworthiness, I praise You and I glorify You, O Lord, for Your mercy to me is without limit. You have been my help and my protection. May the name of Your majesty be praised forever. To you, our God, be glory. Amen

  2. Today, December 26, would have been my mother’s 98th birthday. As much as I miss her, I feel strongly that she rejoices in God’s presence where she continues to pray for me, our family, and all mankind!

    Sal Buttaci

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