Quote of the Day – 27 March – The Feast of St John Damascene (675-749) Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church
The Night Prayers before Retiring
The Examination of Conscience,
Act of Contrition and Resolutions
By St John Damascene (675-749)
Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church
“ (To be said pointing at the bed:)
O Lord, Lover of men, is this bed to be my coffin,
or wilt Thou enlighten my wretched soul with another day? Here the coffin lies before me
and here death confronts me.
I fear, O Lord, Thy Judgement and the endless torments,
yet I cease not to do evil.
My Lord God, I continually anger Thee
and Thy immaculate Mother,
and all the Heavenly Powers
and my holy Guardian Angel.
I know, O Lord, that I am unworthy of Thy love
but deserve condemnation and every torment.
But, whether I want it or not, save me, O Lord.
For to save a good man is no great thing
and to have mercy on the pure is nothing wonderful,
for they are worthy of Thy mercy.
But show the wonder of Thy mercy to me, a sinner.
In this, reveal Thy love for men,
lest my wickedness prevail over
Thy unutterable goodness and mercy.
And order my life as Thou wilt.
(As sleep is the image of death,
at night we pray for the departed)
With the Saints give rest, O Christ,
to the souls of Thy servants where there is no pain,
no sorrow, no sighing, but life everlasting.
Kiss your Crucifix
and make the Sign of the Cross
from the head to the foot of the bed
and from two sides
and then say the Prayer:
Hail, Most Precious
and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord!
Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered
and let those, who hate Him,
flee from His Presence.
As smoke vanishes, let them vanish
and as wax melts by the presence of fire,
so let the demons perish by the presence
of those who love God
and who sign themselves
with the Sign of the Cross
and say in gladness:
Hail, Most Precious
and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord,
for Thou drives away the demons
by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ
Crucified on thee, Who went down to hell
and trampled on the power of the devil
and gave us thee, His venerable Cross,
for driving away all enemies.
O Most Precious and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord,
help me with our holy Lady,
the Virgin Mother of God
and with all the Saints throughout the ages.
(When about to lie down in bed, say:)
Lighten my eyes, O Christ God, lest I sleep in death
and lest my enemy says: I have prevailed over him.
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Ghost.
Be my soul’s Defender, O God,
for I step over many snares.
Deliver me from them
and save me, O Good One,
in Thy love for men.
Now and ever and to the ages of ages.
Let us not silently hymn
the most glorious Mother of God,
holiest of holy Angels
but confess her with heart and mouth
to be the Mother of God, for she truly bore
God Incarnate for us
and prays without ceasing for our souls.
(Just before closing your eyes, say:)
Into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God,
I surrender my spirit and body;
bless me, save me and grant me eternal life.
Before retiring, The Examination of Conscience:
(or if one prefers, before beginning prayers)
go through all the points
suggested below in your mind and memory.
- Give thanks to Almighty God for granting you during the past day, by His grace, His gifts of life and health.
- Examine your conscience by going through each hour of the day, beginning from the time you rose from your bed and recall to memory – where you went, how you acted and reacted towards all persons and other creatures and what you talked about. Recall and consider with all care, your thoughts, words and deeds from morning until the evening.
- If you have done any good, do not ascribe it to yourself but to God Who gives us all the good things and thank Him.
Pray that He may confirm you in this good and enable you to do other good works.
- But if you have done anything evil, admit that this comes from yourself and your own weakness, from bad habits or weak will. Repent and pray to the Lover of men that He may forgive you and promise Him firmly, never to do this evil again.
- Implore your Creator with tears, to grant you a quiet, undisturbed, pure and sinless night and to enable you, in the coming day, to devote yourself wholly to the glory of His holy Name.
- If you find a soft pillow, leave it and put a stone in its place, for Christ’s sake. If you sleep in winter, bear it, saying – Some did not sleep at all!”