Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
Two particular faults
Release from Resentment
Lord, Jesus, you know me altogether. You know that I've steadily refused to forgive this one was wronged me, yet have had the audacity often to seek your forgiveness for my own wrongdoing.
The essence of bitterness and a vengeful spirit of threatened to eat away my peace. Yet I have stubbornly rationalised every unluckily motive. I have said, "I am clearly in the right. It is only human to dislike a few people. This one deserves no forgiveness." How well I know that neither have I ever deserved the forgiveness which you have always freely granted me.
So, Lord Jesus, I ask you now for the grace to forgive this hurt. Even now, I am divided about it, only partially willing to release it. But you can manage even my reluctance, my loitering feet. Take now my divided will and make of it one piece, holy your will.
And Lord, I give to you this emotion of resentment which clings as if glued to my heart. Wrest it from me. Cleanse every petty thought. Make me sweet again.
I dare to ask that you will not only forgive me to the extent that I have forgiven … , but that you will bless … to the degree that you have blessed me. For these great mercies I thank you, in Your name, who gave me the supreme example in forgiving even those who slew You.
Liberation from materialism
Forbid it, Lord, that our roots become too firmly attached to this earth, that we should fall in love with things.
Help us to understand that the pilgrimage of this life is but an introduction, a preface, a training school for what is to come. Then we shall see all of life and its true perspective. Then shall we not fall in love with the things of time, but come to love the things that endure. Then shall we be saved from the tyranny of possessions which we have no leisure to enjoy, of property whose care becomes a burden. Give us, we pray, the courage to simplify our lives.
So may we be mature in our faith, childlike but never childish, humble but never cringing, understanding but never conceited.
So help us, O God, to live not merely to exist, that we may have joy in our work. In your name who alone can give us moderation and balance and zest for living, we pray.
—The Prayers of Peter Marshall, edited by Catherine Marshall. London: Peter Davies, 1955.
J.S. Bach. Er nahm alles wohl in acht [He of all did well take heed]; chorale no. 9 from the St. John Passion (BWV 245, 1724). The Monteverdi Choir and The English Baroque Soloists, dir. John Eliot Gardiner.
Er nahm alles wohl in acht |
In der letzten Stunde,
Seine Mutter noch bedacht,
Setzt ihr ein' Vormunde.
O Mensch, mache Richtigkeit,
Gott und Menschen liebe,
Stirb darauf ohn alles Leid,
Und dich nicht betrübe!
(Paul Stockmann, 1633)
He of all did well take heed|
In those final moments,
On his mother still intent,
Gave to her a guardian.
O man, ever do the right,
God and man love dearly,
Die then free of every pain
And yield not to sorrow!
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.