“Spotless Mother of God, only all-hymned Virgin, pray intensely that we may be saved.” (Great Canon, Ode 2, Clean Wed, Theotokion)
When chanting this verse from the Great Canon tonight, which shows the confidence we have in the intercession of the Mother of God, I trembled a little. When a reasonable person asks for something, they know there is an obligation placed upon them. If we ask the all pure one to pray intensely, we must also attempt in our feeble way to pray intensely. Her prayers are powerful, but God is not pleased with the lazy. The Most Holy Theotokos indeed will pray intensely to her Son, and we should do no less, otherwise we are liars and hypocrites. We are liars because we are breaking the tacit promise of this prayer, and hypocrites because the All-Holy will be praying that we be helped to be made pure by her Son, and to ask for help but give no assistance to the helper is to be a lazy hypocrite.
O Lord, Lord, help me to pray intensely!
Priest Seraphim Holland 2012 St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
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