December 21, 2012

Prayer of Compunction and Adoration

Most High, good and loving God, there are so many things for which I used to pray. But now I just don't anymore.

I used to pray for forgiveness of my sins. But now I don't, because I know that you are the merciful and forgiving God, and if I don't feel forgiven it's because, in my hardness of heart, I have not accepted the vulnerability and humility of receiving your mercy. Or perhaps I have not forgiven from my heart my brother who has sinned against me.

I used to pray for the graces to overcome the sins that weaken my life with you and hurt my soul. But now I don't, because so many times I have thus prayed in vain, asking wrongly, to spend it on the passions. (James 4:3) For I didn't want to overcome sin in order to give you glory, but for the vainglory of thinking myself devout and holy.

I used to pray to know the next steps in the journey, both in exterior life and in the interior journey of prayer. But now I don't. Since I have not yet fulfilled what you command publicly and plainly in your Scriptures, loving you with all my heart and caring for your poor, what business do I have asking for further, personal instructions?

So many times I have constructed clever personal tales that recount the work of your grace over my life, emphasizing unimportant details that appealed to my vanity and paying no mind to what you were really doing. Since I have been unable to interpret clearly the work of your grace in the past, what makes me think I understand it well enough in the present to presume to direct it? Most of the time I have been for you like an anesthetized patient, dreaming pious theater while you were at work on my soul in some way from which I was more or less distracted.

So I just pray that you keep at it.

I pray also for conversion, for I know it is your will that I be converted. I pray that my heart and mind be converted to you, that my thoughts and hands be converted to the salvation you give to my brothers and sisters, especially your poor.

But most of all I pray in thanksgiving. For I know that the whole mess of my being, the meager bits of good that I have let you accomplish in me together with all the misery I insist upon for myself--and my neighbor--with my sins, you take to yourself in the broken Body of Christ crucified. And I know that, on all the altars in all your churches throughout the world--with a humility so deep that it shrouds how it works from our proud minds--you make that broken Body nourishment and salvation for me and for the world.

And for that I adore you.


5 comments:

Word in the Hand said...

with heartfelt agreement

Louis M said...

Homerun. I am deeply moved.

Grazie fratello!

Buon Natale

-Lou

Br. Jack said...

This is beautifully written and expressed. Thanks for an important Christmas meditation.

Anonymous said...

I am deeply renewed through this prayer. Thank you for this precious gift.
-Malcom

Anonymous said...

Thank you.