"Do not lose heart, O soul, do not grieve; pronounce not over
thyself a final judgement for the multitude of thy sins; do not
commit thyself to fire; do not say: The Lord has cast me from
Such words are not pleasing to God. Can it be that he who has
fallen cannot get up? Can it be that he who has turned away
cannot turn back again? Does thou not hear how kind the
Father is to a prodigal?
Do not be ashamed to turn back and say boldly: I will arise and
go to my Father. Arise and go!
He will accept thee and will not reproach thee, but rather
rejoice at thy return. He awaits thee; just do not be ashamed
and do not hide from the face of God as did Adam.
It was for thy sake that Christ was crucified; so will He cast
thee aside? He knows who oppresses us. He knows that we have
no other help but Him alone.
Christ knows that man is miserable. Do not give thyself up to
despair and apathy, assuming that thou hast been prepared for
the fire. Christ derives no consolation from thrusting us into the
fire; He gains nothing if He sends us into the abyss to be
Imitate the prodigal son: leave the city that starves thee. Come
and beseech Him and thou shalt behold the glory of God. Thy
face shall be enlightened and thou wilt rejoice in the sweetness
of paradise. Glory to the Lord and Lover of mankind Who saves
From 'A Spiritual Psalter' No. 27 p.54, excerpted by Bishop
Theophan the Recluse from the works of our Holy Father
Ephraim the Syrian, Trans. by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen,
The St. John of Kronstadt Press, Liberty TN 1997
A Spiritual Psalter is available from St John of Kronstadt Press
It has been my favorite prayer and devotional book for years.