January 18, 2007

Punctuation

The other day after I had prayed the Act of Contrition in confession, I noticed that the way I punctuate the prayer has changed over the years, revealing a shift in my spirituality.

I used to say the end of the prayer like this:

I firmly resolve: with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, do penance, and to my amend my life.

But I realized that I now do it like this:

I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace: to confess my sins, do penance, and to amend my life.


When I was younger I thought I needed grace to do things. Now I realize that I need the grace to even make a resolution.

2 comments:

Jason said...

I like that... encourages me not to worry about whether or not I might fall back into a rut of habital sin while making the Act of Contrition.

Also, I think it's easy to underestimate the intensity of the little word, "help." In a single verse of Psalm 27 (one of my favorites), David describes God as both "my salvation" and "my help." This isn't the kind of help where you lend someone a hand to make their day a little easier. No, instead, this is more like a lifeguard helping a drowning victim get to dry land. It's not, "Well, it would be nice for God's grace to help me out here," but rather, "I can 'firmly resolve' every day 'til the day I die, but I'll never amend my life without God's grace."

Charles of New Haven said...

That's just what I was trying to get at! Thanks for the comment!