Rising in the Dark

Recently, a thoughtful exchange on Twitter talked about how mornings can be hard for hearts that are heavy, with anything from existential dread to melancholia or discouragement.

So, we started to look into prayers from St. Basil, and found the full prayer mentioned on Twitter. We thought some of our readers may find it a helpful start to the day, while still in bed, maybe on the cusp of giving this day a fresh try – or not.

Prayer of Saint Basil the Great

As I rise from sleep, I thank Thee, O Holy Trinity, for through Thy great goodness and patience Thou hast not been angry with me, an idler and sinner, nor hast Thou destroyed me with mine iniquities, but hast shown Thy usual love for mankind; and when I was prostrate in despair, Thou hast raised me up to keep the morning watch and glorify Thy power. And now enlighten my mind’s eye, and open my mouth that I may meditate on Thy words, and understand Thy commandments, and do Thy will, and hymn Thee in heartfelt confession, and sing praises to Thine all-holy name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O Come, let us worship God, our King.

O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and God.

O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ himself, our King and God.

Prayers like these can be so important, but survivors and wounded family members are wise to beware of demeaning oneself, even in prayer. Coming to terms with what is and is not one’s guilt or sin … coming to grips with what is critical downtime for self-care versus not … these are distinctions we help each other make while healing from abuse and integrating faith in our recovery.

In addition to the benefits of rejecting the wounds to our identities inflicted by abuse, we also, in this process of discernment, can deepen our connection with our Savior, Who has redeemed us from our sins and the sinfulness of the world. We can do so, safely, without stumbling upon the impulse for self-hatred or self-harm.

And, we can whisper into the morning, lambs once lost in the quagmire of our Church’s making, with a sense of being found and loved.

Rising into a dark morning with a spark of Light in our hearts called hope.

 


Source: Great Basil the Great Orthodox Church, Kansas City, MO

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