Synopsis: In our continuing series of small homilies between Vespers and matins, based upon the texts of the services, we examine the repentance of St Mary of Egypt, and see how we can emulate it. Her repentance was not a one time, unique event! We must find ways to cultivate a repentant spirit; the hymns discussed today give us much to do to accomplish this.
"The pollution of past sins prevented thee from entering the church to see the elevation of the Holy Cross; but then thy conscience and the awareness of thine actions turned thee, O wise in God, to a better way of life. And, having looked upon the ikon of the blessed Maid of God, thou hast condemned all thy previous transgressions, O Mother worthy of all praise, and so hast gone with boldness to venerate the precious cross" (5th Sunday of Lent, Sat Vespers, Lord I have cried)
"I am held fast in the mire of sin, and there is no strength or courage in me; the tempests of my trespasses hast overwhelmed me. Look upon me, O Virgin, I entreat thee, for thou hast borne the Word who alone loves mankind. Deliver me from every sin, from all the passions that destroy my soul, and from every ill inflicted by the enemy, that I may sing with joy; Intercede with thy Son and God, O undefiled, that remission of transgressions may be given to those who in faith take refuge beneath thy protections." (5th Sunday of Great Lent, Matins, Sessional Hymn after the 3rd Ode)
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