Jacob of Serugh: Now is the Time when the Door of the Great Physician is Opened Tuesday, Jun 22 2010 

O thou who art wise,…suffer thy soul to have a care for her wounds and bind them up. Say to thy soul: “O thou soul, full of sores, now is the time for thee to receive a medicine for thy wounds”.

Now is the time for thee to pour out tears before Him who binds up, and He will apply mercy to thy disease which vexes thee.

Now is the time when the door of the Great Physician is opened, and He will bind up for naught; bring in thy sore that He may find a remedy for it.

Now is the hour for thee to lift up thy voice in supplication; for now the gates on high are opened to prayers.

Now is the hour when thou mayest entreat thy Creditor to come forth and cancel the note of hand that is terrifying thee.

Now is the hour when the Son of God is sacrificed and set forth upon the table for sinners, to pardon them.

Now is the hour when the doors and curtains give way, that the sacrifice may come in and mercy go forth for sinners.

[…] O thou soul, the ewe that fell among robbers, be quiet in the fold, full of healing for the broken.

Without the door the wolf is hiding and waiting for thee; anoint thy lips with the Blood of the Shepherd, and then go forth and despise him.

For the Bridegroom has come down and given thee His Body and sealed thee with His Blood: never shouldst thou go forth from the bride-chamber to them that are without.

The way of the world is full of snares and obstacles; the devils are standing on guard at the cross-roads of the earth; and they threaten the soul with rage to destroy it, and they thirst for her blood because of the virtues which are held within her.

And with all manner of pretexts and devices they lay snares for her to corrupt her from that virtue which belongs to her.

But thou, O soul, hast an armour and a wall, yea, and a Saviour who will not fail thee in the contest.

He keeps thee from the pitfalls of the enemy; and he will shew thee a way of life to walk therein.

He brings thee in before His Father, that thou mayest see His place; and He shews thee that He is a sacrifice on behalf of sinners.

Make thy petition in the name of the Son: offer it to His Father; and He will receive it for the sake of the sign of His Only-begotten.

Jacob of Serugh (c.451-521): On the Reception of the Holy Mysteries.

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Jacob of Serugh: The Bridegroom Hears the Bride, and He Who Died for Us Forgives Her Saturday, Jun 19 2010 

The Bridegroom is coming down to see the bride betrothed to Him. Abide, O soul, in the midst of the bride-chamber, that He may see thee here.

Go not forth from the chamber of the Bridegroom, the King, who is coming down to see thee, bearing riches from the house of His Father.

The priest, whom thou hast sent, has called Him: wait for Him; for if He come and see thee not, He will be angry.

Together with the priest the whole people beseeches the Father that He will send His Son, that he may come down and dwell upon the oblation.

And the Holy Spirit, His Power, lights down  in the bread and wine, and sanctifies it, yea, makes it the Body and the Blood.

And everyone who is in the house bestirs himself, that he may cry “Our Father”; and the new sons sanctify and bless Him.

And by His brooding He mingles them holily, and they become one with Him, as it is written, mystically.

[…] When these Mysteries full of life are administered, with all manner of devices Satan, by his subtlety, drives thee forth, that thou mayest be removed from that congregation which is crying “Holy”.

Satan is distressed by these voices of holiness; and if he could he would drive the whole world forth. There would not remain one man in the holy place to cry “Our Father”.

In that hour when the bride cries out “Forgive me my debts” he knows that the Bridegroom, the King, is full of mercy, and that He hears the bride, and He who died for us forgives her.

Wherefore Satan is concerned and uses much pains to drive men out of the holy place at the time of the Mysteries, lest when the whole congregation cries out “Forgive me my debts” the sinner also present himself and be justified.

For when the Gift comes forth from God, He gives it to him who is worthy and to him who is unworthy.

His grace, when He pours it forth, is like to the sun and the rain, and He has mercy for sinners and for the righteous.

And when the congregation asks mercy of God the sinners also who are therein are enriched from His Gift.

When the whole congregation asks grace of God, He withholds it not even from the bad who are found therein.

But the Evil One strives to steal away men at the time of the Mysteries, that he may cut them off from the Gift of God’s house; and he darkens the soul with restless and cowardly thoughts, and with worldly notions he chokes the mind.

Jacob of Serugh (c.451-521): On the Reception of the Holy Mysteries.

Jacob of Serugh: Life Flows from the Service of the House of God Thursday, Jun 17 2010 

Why art thou disquieted to depart and go about thine affairs? Why runnest thou after the world which may not be kept fast?  Why are the hours of the Church esteemed by thee as idleness?

Why is not the service accounted by thee as a banquet? Why art thou diligent when thou doest thine own work, but here remiss and cold and slack in asking?

Mercy hath brought thee in to this house that is full of profit; think it not loss if thou remain long herein.

Be patient and listen to the sound of the Psalms which the finger of prophecy to the words of David.

Hearken to the hymns sung by chaste women with voices of praise, which the wisdom of the Highest has given to the congregations.

Hear the Prophets who, as it were through pipes of choice gold, pour forth from their mouths life into the ears of men.

Hearken to the Apostles who, like the channels of rivers, arc opened and water the King’s garden with lofty streams.

Bend thine ear to the pulpit of the Godhead, and receive from it precious pearls.

Learn and give assent to the two Testaments, rivers both which hold for thee life unending. Hear the New, and hearken to the Old; and see that in both one truth is spoken unto thee.

[…] Life flows from the service of the house of God; ye lovers of life, refuse not the profit that comes thereof.

The soul of man is receptive of impressions, and in whatsoever she meditates, she is dyed withal and becomes (the colour) of the same.

When she hears the dirges of the wailing women, she overflows with grief and pours out tears over the departed; and when again she hears the songs and jests of the actors she waxes wanton, that with a loud voice she may pour forth laughter.

[…] When, then, she hears the sound of the service of God’s house, spiritually she is moved with love towards God.

And as it were she despises the evil world and its affairs, and comes in and mingles with these godly meditations; and she cleaves to and loves that spiritual conversation.

She contemns the world and its affairs and its doings; and she is steeped in these voices of holiness, and all carnal thoughts depart from her.

And the soul contemns the love of the world and its pleasures, and thoughts of wantonness and remissness.

And when she hears these voices that are sung to her, she is chaste and lowly and full of hope and moderation. Wherefore it is right that he who enters in to give himself to prayer should be long in God’s house.

Jacob of Serugh (c.451-521): On the Reception of the Holy Mysteries.