Does this still make sense? Does it read TOO Orthodox? I had to condense significantly from Fr. Schmemann's excellent commentary.
Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian
O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
St. Ephrem’s prayer covers a basic “checklist” for Lent- it helps liberate us from our spiritual sicknesses and heal by turning to God.
The basic disease is sloth, the laziness and passivity of our entire being which constantly convinces us that no change is possible and therefore desirable. It is in fact a deeply rooted cynicism which to every spiritual challenge responds "what for?" and makes our life one tremendous spiritual waste. It is the root of all sin because it poisons the spiritual energy at its very source. The result of sloth is faint-heartedness, the state of despondency considered the greatest danger for the soul. Despondency is the impossibility for people to see anything good or positive; it is the reduction of everything to negativism and pessimism. Sloth and despondency fill our life with lust of power. One begins to evaluate everything in terms of selfish needs, ideas, desires, and judgments. Idle talk, especially gossip, enforces all these.
Chastity, when translated from the Greek sofrosini and the Russian tselomudryie means whole –mindedness, the opposite of Sloth is. Humility alone is capable of truth, of seeing and accepting things as they are and therefore of seeing God's majesty and goodness and love in everything. This is why we are told that God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud. The closer we come to God, the more patient we grow and the more we reflect that infinite respect for all beings which is the proper quality of God. Finally, the crown and fruit of all virtues, of all growth and effort, is love -- that love which can be given by God alone-the gift which is the goal of all spiritual preparation and practice.
Pride is the source of evil, and all evil is pride. Yet it is not enough for me to see my own errors, for even this apparent virtue can be turned into pride. But when we "see our own errors" and "do not judge our brothers," when, in other terms, chastity, humility, patience, and love are but one in us, then and only then the ultimate enemy--pride--will be destroyed in us.
Reflections excerpted and summarized from Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann