Day Seven — 20 February

Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.

Lectionary readings (Click the links to see the readings):
Jonah 3.1-10 | Psalm 51.6-9 | Luke 11.29-32

A sinner who thought he had changed

Lord, nothing is going right tonight. I didn't think I was capable of this. I thought I had got rid of it. But, no!

This time I really feel like letting go of everything. If this is what it all comes to, I would rather give up at once. For you know, Lord, that I have tried.

What hurts me deep down is that I must give up the habit of thinking so highly of myself. Lord, I must admit that the thing that bothers me most is my wounded pride. Lord, I know it isn't good. But I would rather admit it to you directly, without beating about the bush. My regret isn't pure. I do regret my sin.

But what I regret most is myself. The self I thought had changed. The self that I was beginning to feel proud of—like Seneca, I believe it was, who visited his soul every evening and took pleasure in finding it in order.

Forgive me, Lord, for having loved myself more than you. For having put myself before you. Teach me to bear my sin and not just drag it behind me. Help me to accept with courage that in your eye I am a sinner, and help me not to sulk about it like a little child.

Give me your forgiveness. For my sin. But also … for my wounded pride. Lord, I thank you for having made me realize that I am like all other men.

—Paul Geres. Prayers for impossible days, tr. from French by Lucien Jerphagon. Revised edition. Augsburg Books, 2001.

Lent 2013The Rooster: "Forgive me, Lord, for having loved myself more than you."

Psalm 51: the setting by Gregorio Allegri, c. 1630. The Sixteen, directed by Harry Christophers.

Psalm 51 Sons of Korah.

May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.

St Philip's Anglican Church, cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602