Eastern spirituality: Catholic style
I came across an incredible prayer by a seventh century Syrian mystic named John the Visionary. The Syriac Fathers are rich in their contemplation of God the Father, Son, and Spirit. And John the Visionary has a sensitivity of how each Divine Person invites us to intimate fellowship at Mass. The prayer has helped me prepare for the Eucharist. I offer a part of the prayer here.
To You be praise First-born of Being, exalted and full of awe, for by the sacrifice of your body, you have effected salvation for the world.
O Christ, Son from the Holy Father, to you do I pray in awe at this time; of you, Lord, do I ask your will and beseech your compassion, that my whole person may be made holy through your grace, and that the enemy’s constraint upon me may be rendered ineffective.
Purify my understanding in your compassion, so that my hands may stretch out in purity to receive your holy and fearful Body and Blood.
Cleanse my hidden mind with the hyssop of your grace, for I draw near to the Holy of Holies of your Mysteries.
Wash from me all understanding that belongs to the flesh, and may an understanding which belongs to your Spirit be mingled within my soul.
Cause to reside in me a faith that beholds your Mysteries, so that I may behold your sacrifice as you are, and not as I am.
And now, when your Spirit descends from heaven upon your mysteries, may I ascend in spirit from earth to heaven.
At this time when your power is mingled in with the bread, may my life be commingled with your spiritual life.
At this moment when the wine is changed and becomes your blood, may my thoughts be inebriated with the commixture of your love.
At this time when your Lamb is lying slain upon the altar, may sin cease and be utterly removed from all my limbs.
At this moment when your Body is being offered as a sacrifice to your Father, may I too be a holy sacrifice to you and to Him who sent you, and may my prayer ascend before you together with the prayer of your priest.
May I be intermingled with you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and with your love and your longing on that day when your majesty will shine out.
And along with the spiritual beings and all who have loved your revelation in spirit, may I confess you, praise you, exalt you in that kingdom which does not ever dissolve or pass away, now and always one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.