Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lenten Reflection on the Publican and the Pharisee

(for biblical reference, see Luke 18: 9-14)

Sinfully I have followed the Pharisee in his arrogance; bitter and terrible has been my fall, and I lie trampled by the enemy.  But take pity on me, O Christ, and save me for out of pity You have humbled Yourself, O most high King of Glory.
(Lenten Triodion: Cantical 9, Matins, Tuesday, week 4)

You Yourself have shown us, O Christ, that the best path to exaltation is humility; and You have emptied Yourself and taken the form of a servant.  You have not harkened to the arrogant prayer of the Pharisee, but in heaven You have accepted the contrite sighing of the Publican as a blameless sacrifice.  Therefore I also cry to You: Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful, my Saviour, and save me.
(Lenten Triodion: Aposticha, Matins, Monday, week 4)

I have surpassed the Publican in my transgressions, yet I do not vie with him in his repentance; I have not gained the virtue of the Pharisee, yet I imitate his self-conceit.  O Christ my God, in Your supreme humility You have upon the Cross destroyed the devil's arrogance: make me a stranger to the past sins of the Publican and to the foolishness of the Pharisee; establish in my soul the good that each of them possessed, and save me.
(Lenten Triodion: Aposticha, Vespers, Tuesday, week 4)

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