O Mother of God,
through your virginal conception and birth-giving,
your Son, Jesus Christ, Our God,
took flesh to redeem the likeness that had fallen.
We now beg of your compassion,
seek those who bear the likeness of your Son
through the grace of baptism,
and unite them once more
to your holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
Render those who bear your Son’s image
not unto the prince of this world,
but unto their Heavenly Father
for Whom they were created.
Make them to know the beauty
of our Father’s house,
that they may recognize
that better is one day in his courts
than a thousand elsewhere.
Quicken their repentance that they, like David,
fashion praise with their lips
and offer their contrite spirit
upon the altar of mercy.
For you, who sought your Son
tenderly in the temple
and who made ministers like servants
His servants of the miracle at Cana,
seek the lost.
Stay with them in their temporal sufferings,
as you did with your Son at His crucifixion,
that they may know that death is certain,
life is short, and merely a prelude
to the inexhaustible joy of eternal life
with your Son, prepared for those
who seek Him in this life.
In this, may your Son be glorified,
together with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and ever and forever,
Prayer is food for the soul. Do not starve the soul, it is better to let the body go hungry. Do not judge anyone, forgive everyone. Consider yourself worse than everyone in the world and you will be saved. As much as possible, be more quiet.
-St. Joseph of Optina
O God, save me by Your name;
by Your power, uphold my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
listen to the words of my mouth.
For the proud have risen against me,
ruthless foes seek my life.
They have no regard for God.
But, I have God for my help.
The Lord upholds my life.
Let the evil recoil upon my foes;
You who are faithful, destroy them.
I will sacrifice to You with willing heart
and praise Your name for it is good;
for You have rescued me from all distress
and my eyes have seen the downfall of my foes.