By Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra
The prayer of Mount Athos, who does not recognize it? It is comprised of one small phrase, of measured words.
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
With the loud cry “Lord”, we glorify God, His glorious majesty, the King of Israel, the Creator of visible and invisible creation, Whom Seraphim and Cherubim tremble before.
With the sweet invocation and summons “Jesus”, we witness that Christ is present, our Savior, and we gratefully thank Him, because He has prepared for us life eternal.
With the third word “Christ”, we theologically confess that Christ is the Son of God and God. No man saved us, nor angel, but Jesus Christ, the true God.
There follows the intimate petition “have mercy”, and we venerate and entreat that God would be propitious, fulfilling our salvation’s demands, the desires and needs of our hearts.
That “on me”, what range it has! It is not only myself, it is everyone admitted to citizenship in the state of Christ, in the holy Church; it is all those who are members of the body of the Bridegroom.
And finally, so that our prayer be full of life, we close with the word “a sinner”, confessing – since we are all sinners – as all the Saints confess and became through this sound sons of light and of the day.
Through this we understand, that this prayer involves: