The Lenten Prayer of St Ephrem the Syrian Part 2
- The Lenten Prayer of St Ephrem the Syrian Part 2
By Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann
The basic disease is sloth. It is that strange laziness and passivity
of our entire being which always pushes us "down" rather than "up"
which constantly convinces us that no change is possible and therefore
desirable. It is in fact a deeply rooted cynicism which to every
spiritual challenge responds "what for?" and makes our life one
tremendous spiritual waste. It is the root of all sin because it
poisons the spiritual energy at its very source.
The result of sloth is faint-heartedness. It is the state of
despondency which all spiritual Fathers considered the greatest danger
for the soul. Despondency is the impossibility for man to see anything
good or positive; it is the reduction of everything to negativism and
pessimism. It is truly a demonic power in us because the Devil is
fundamentally a liar. He lies to man about God and about the world; he
fills life with darkness and negation. Despondency is the suicide of
the soul because when man is possessed by it he is absolutely unable
to see the light and to desire it.
contd.... Part 3