08 September 2008

Prayer to the Theotokos II: Post-communion prayer, part 2

O most holy Lady, Theotokos, light of my darkened soul, my hope, protection, refuge, consolation, my joy; I thank thee that thou hast vouchsafed me, who am unworthy, to be a partaker of the most pure Body and precious Blood of thy Son. O thou who gavest birth to the True Light, do thou enlighten the spiritual eyes of my heart; thou who gavest birth to the Source of Immortality, revive me who am dead in sin; thou who art the lovingly-compassionate Mother of the merciful God, have mercy on me and grant me compunction and contrition in my heart, and humility in my thoughts, and the recall of my thoughts from captivity. And vouchsafe me until my last breath to receive without condemnation the sanctification of the most pure Mysteries for the healing of soul and body; and grant me tears of repentance and confession, that I may hymn and glorify thee all the days of my life, for blessed and most glorified art thou unto the ages. Amen."

The structure of this prayer, roughly speaking is as follows:
I. Introductory address
II. Petition of thanksgiving
III. Petitions of intercession
IV. Conclusion

In the introductory address, the Theotokos is called:
> most holy Lady, Theotokos--we've addressed this in a previous post.

> light of my darkened soul--My soul is darkened, because I seek my own good and not the will of God. But she shows me a different way, a way that begins with "let it be to me according to thy will," and finds its focus in "whatever he tells you, do it." If Christ calls all Christians the light of the world, how can we object to his Mother being called the light of our darkened soul?

> my hope-- St. Paul calls the Thessalonians his hope, glory and joy:

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

Why then would it be wrong to call the Theotokos our hope or our joy?

> protection, refuge--as noted in an earlier post, the city of Constantinople experienced protection and refuge from the Theotokos, during the invasions of Arab and Slavic peoples in the second half of the first millenium. That is the historical background of the song, "To thee the Champion Leader."

>consolation-- how can she help but console us, when she is the mother of the Consolation of Israel?

>my joy--mentioned above, in connection with 1 Thessalonians 2.

So much for the address. (I apologize for the sketchiness and undeveloped nature of these posts. The academic year has begun, and I have very limited time to flesh out my thoughts. But anyone of good will can easily think through the issues himself, I think.)

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