18 February 2008

Stichera for the Second Week of Lent

Christian, dost thou see them on the holy ground,
How the powers of darkness prowl and prowl around?
Christian, up and smite them, counting gain but loss,
Smite them by the merit of the Holy Cross!

Christian, dost thou feel them, how they work within,

Striving, tempting, luring, goading into sin?
Christian, never tremble; never be downcast;
smite them by the virtue of the Lenten fast.

Christian, dost thou hear them, how they speak thee fair?
"Always fast and vigil? Always watch and prayer?"
Christian, answer boldly: "While I breathe I pray!"
Peace shall follow battle, night shall end in day.

"Well I know thy trouble, O my servant true;
Thou art very weary, I was weary, too;
But that toil shall make thee some day all Mine own,
At the end of sorrow shall be near my throne."

~ St. Andrew of Crete (Tr. John Mason Neale)

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