PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Thursday, August 03, 2006

 

Falling from grace


I am too ashamed to come near You, Lord, but I have no choice. I come near You just the same, surrendering even in my sinfulness. I have nothing to offer You anyway but my shame. I came into this world naked and tainted by sin, crying out with all my might to be loved for I am helpless. I come before You now once again - this time with my head bowed under the weight of sin, my face hidden by the shadow of guilt, my body stripped of all dignity. I am no longer as lovable as a newborn; I approach Your throne as Your unlovable child.

Yet even if I were lovable, even if I am in a state of grace, I know I haven't merited anything to make myself pleasing to you. You bless men by Your generosity of heart and not because of theirs. Just coming before You in Your presence is privilege enough.

Do not forsake me then O Lord. Much as I have done my best to be pleasing to You, I fail You from time to time. I thought I could always be good by my own will and strength but always I am humbled. Truly, I am dependent on Your grace. Even a surrendered soul cannot afford to cry for your help. A surrendered soul especially needs to surrender all the more, renewing the vow day by day.

Look upon me anew with kindness. Pity me once again on account of my miseries brought about by sins that cling to me like fish scales on my legs. Show me exactly where and how I have faltered. Bend me, mold me, shake me, disturb me, break me that I may be shattered, ready to be fully restored to Your own liking.

How can I fend off Your wrath, Lord? How can I make it up to You? Do I really have to? If I did, what of it? "You are pleased with sincerity of heart, not with sacrifices or with holocaust. My sacrifice is a broken spirit, for You will not refuse a humble heart."

"Create in me a clean heart. Put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit away from me. Have mercy on me O God in Your goodness. In Your compassion, blot out all my sins. Thoroughly cleanse me from all of my guilt. Wash me till I'm whiter than snow."

"Restore me to the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit, so I will teach transgressors Your ways and sinners (like me) will come to You."

Amen.

10.15.2000


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