Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Prayer Rule for a Busy Life from St. Seraphim

The Simple Rule 

       Many among the simple people told St. Seraphim that on account of their illiteracy or lack of time they could not read the appointed rules of prayer. To such people Fr. Seraphim gave a rule which cold be carried out quite easily.

       Let every Christian on rising from sleep, stand before the ikons and say the following:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
(3x, in honour of the Trinity)

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast born the Saviour of our souls.

The Creed
 I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
 Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
 the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages;
Light of Light, true God of true God;
begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made;
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from the heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man;
And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;
And He arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures;
And ascended into heave, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;
And He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead;
Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life; Who proceedeth from the Father;
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified;
Who spake by the prophets.
In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the remission of sins.
I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life or the age to come.

      Having performed this rule, let every Christian go to the work to which he has been appointed or called. But during his work, at home, or on his way to some place, let him say softly, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. But if he is surrounded by people, while doing whatever he has to do, let him say mentally only, Lord, have mercy! and continue till lunch-time.

      Before lunch let him again perform the above-mentioned morning rule (three times).

      After lunch let every Christian while going about his business say softly; Most holy Mother of God, save me a sinner, and let him continue that until bedtime.

      If he happens to spend his time alone, let him say: Lord Jesus Christ, through the Mother of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

      At bedtime let every Christian read again the above-mentioned morning rule. Then let him go to sleep, having protected himself with the sign of the cross.
      By keeping this simple rule, it is possible to reach a measure of Christian perfection and divine love. -St. Seraphim

From An Extraordinary Peace: St. Seraphim, Flame of Sarov, p. 327-328