Ancient, In Need Or Trial, Love

Shepherd Prayer – Gregory Of Nyssa

O Good shepherd,
Who carries the whole flock on your shoulders,
Where are you pasturing your flock?

Show me the place of peace,
lead me to the good grass that will nourish me,
call me by name so that I hear your voice,
Answer me,
For you are the One my soul loves.

I call you ‘the One my soul loves’
because your name is above every name
and above all understanding and no one can utter or comprehend it.

How could I not love you,
when you loved me so much?
Even though I was stained dark with sin,
You laid down your life for the sheep of your flock.
A greater love cannot be imagined, than exchanging your life for my freedom!

Show me where you pasture your flock,
so that I can find that saving pasture too,
and fill myself with the food of heaven without which no-one can come to eternal life,
and run to the spring and be filled with the drink of God.
You give it, as from a spring, to those who thirst –
water pouring from your side,
water that is a spring welling up to eternal life.

If you lead me to pasture here,
you will make me lie down at noon,
sleeping at peace and taking my rest in light unconquered by any shade.
For the noon has no darkness and the sun stands far above the mountain peaks.
You bring your flock to lie in this light,
You bring your children to rest in you.

Show me how I should sleep and how I should graze,
and where the path is to my noonday rest.
Do not let me fall away from your flock
and become lost.

O Good shepherd,
Who carries the whole flock on your shoulders.

Amen.

– Gregory Of Nyssa (334-395AD)

(Edited for clarity and simplicity by Matt)