Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,
Always seek to produce the fruit of repentance and humility. Acknowledge the greatness for which God has created you and do not allow yourselves to be drawn to what is banal. Likewise do not let your smallness and weakness become an excuse for drawing back from the holiness to which God has called you. Let not your eyes be turned to trifles of this world which will crumble into nothingness. Call out to your Beloved who can shape you anew - who can remove from your hearts all that is malevolent, diseased, or anxious. Then your hearts will become fertile ground!
Onto your knees, generations and nations, before the majesty of God! You are quick to fall down on your knees before your bandit leaders, yet you hesitate to fall down on them before the feet of the Almighty!
You say: "Will the Lord really punish us who are so small? If He had made us bigger and stronger, then He would punish us. But as it is, take a look—we are scarcely any taller than a thorn bush along the road compared to the roaring universe around us, yet do you threaten us with punishment by One who is incomparably greater than we are?"
Fools! When your bandit leaders summon you to evil that even causes the universe to tremble, you still say that you are too small. You excuse yourselves by reason of smallness or weakness only when it comes to performing illustrious deeds.
Even if you are small in your own eyes, you are recorded in the book of fate under a great name. Your forefather Adam used to have the greatness of an archangel and used to glisten with an angelic countenance. Therefore, either the reward of an archangel or the punishment of an archangel is designated for you.
When the desire of your forefather creeps into your heart without a sound, the desire to know creation without the Creator, his archangelic countenance darkens like the earth, and his greatness cmmbles into trifles—into you, his seed. For he wishes to know trifles and to cmmble into trifles, so that he might enter into the trifles, taste them, and test them.
All trifles, all trivial trivia, most come together and turn their face from the earth to the Creator, so that your archangelic forefather may be established once again and so that his face may shine once again with the radiance of a mirror turned toward the sun.
O my Lord and my Creator, establish man as You first created him. This sort of man is not Your work. This sort of man created himself. His name is disease—how was there ever disease in Your hands? His name is fear—how could fear have ever come from the Fearless One? His name is malevolence —how could malevolence ever have come from the Benevolent One?
Fill me with Yourself, O my health; fill me with your eternal matinal light, and make disease, fear, and malevolence evaporate out of me-even as a marsh evaporates in the presence of the sun and is transformed into a fertile field!
Prayers by the Lake
St. Nikolai of Ochrid