BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Who will deliver us from evil, if not Thee, our Father?
Who will stretch out hands to the drowning children, if not their father?
Who concerns himself more about the cleanliness and beauty of the house than its master?
Thou didst call us from nothing to be something, but we bind ourselves down with evil, and so we are transforming ourselves again into nothing.
We fold around our hearts the very serpant that we most fear.
With all our might we are crying against the darkness, but the darkness abides in our souls, the microbes of darkness and the microbes of death.
We are fighting with one voice against evil, while evil silently penetrates our home; while we are crying, evil is forcing one position after the other, and comes nearer to our heart.
Stand Thou, Almighty Father, stand Thou between us and evil; we will lift up our hearts, and evil will evaporate like a wayside pool under the burning sun.
Thou art high above us, and Thou dost not feel the swell of evil; but we are suffocating under it. Behold, evil grows in us from day to day before our eyes and spreads its abundant fruits all around.
The sun salutes us every day with “Good morning!” and with the question: What have we to exhibit before our great King? And we exhibit only our old corrupt fruits of evil. O God, is not the dust, unmoved and unvivified, purer than man in the service of evil?
Look, we have built our houses and our mansions in the clefts and crevices of the earth. It would not be difficult for Thee to order Thy brooks to overflow all these clefts and crevices, and to wash the earth of men and of their evil doings.
But Thou art above our anger and our counsels. If Thou hadst listened to man’s counsels Thou wouldst by now have destroyed the universe to its foundations and been buried Thyself in the ruins.O, Wisest among fathers! Thou smilest always in Thy divine beauty and immortality, and behold, from Thy smiles new stars are growing! Always with a smile Thou turnest our evil into good, and graftest the good upon the tree of evil, and so patiently curest our uncultivated and lost Garden of Eden. Patiently Thou curest, and patiently Thou buildest. Thou buildest patiently Thy Kingdoom of good, our King and Father. We pray to Thee: make us free from evil and full of good, Thou, the perfect emptiness of evil, and fullness of good!