“Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace.” (Petition from a litany of the Byzantine Liturgy)
This brief text is repeated several times in almost every liturgical service of the Byzantine Rite. It is so simple, and yet so instructive, reminding me of two simple truths: 1.) that it is grace by which I receive salvation; by which I receive mercy, and by which I am “kept” going, through all the ups and downs of everyday life. And 2.) that this “grace” comes not from inside me, but from God. It is His uncreated energy, which He shares with those in communion with Him. So, we ask for it in prayer.
Today I begin my week with these words in mind, and repeat them often in my heart. I can repeat them often, because God is an energy-source that is never exhausted, never runs out. “Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace.”