Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lenten Prayer

SIN, in the contemporary imagination, either doesn't exist, applies only to other people, is something that shouldn't be taught in school, is of historical interest only, or is reduced to mere conformance to contemporary political initiatives. Contemporary thinking either states that we have no free will, or free will is elevated to a law unto itself. The consequences of these two extreme errors is the same: strife, chaos, self-destruction, totalitarianism, and Hell.

Contrition and penance is the first step towards peace with our own selves, our fellow man, with creation, with the Church, and with God.

Psalm 38 (Septuagint numbering); prayer of a sinner placed in extreme danger. The third Penitential Psalm, by David.
O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy furor; nor chastise me in Thy wrath.
For thy arrows are fastened in me: and Thy hand hath descended upon me.
There is no health in my flesh in the face of Thy wrath: there is no peace for my bones in the face of my sins.
For my iniquities are gone over my head: and are a heavy burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds are putrid and corrupt, in the face of my foolishness.
I am miserable and am bowed down: all the day long I walked in sadness.
For my loins are filled with fever; and there is no health in my flesh.
Greatly am I afflicted and humbled: I roared with the groaning of my heart.
Lord, before Thee are all my desires, and my groaning is not hidden from Thee.
My heart is troubled, my strength hath left me, and the light of my eyes themselves is not with me.
My friends and my neighbors stand nearby and look upon my troubles.
And my kinsman me stood afar: They laid snares, those who sought my soul,
and they that sought evil for me said wicked things, all day long they planned deceitful things.
But I, as a deaf man, heard not: and as a dumb man not opening his mouth.
And I became like one that heareth not: and that hath no reproofs in his mouth.
For in Thee, O Lord, have I hoped: Thou wilt hear me, O Lord my God.
For I said: May my enemies never rejoice over me: when my feet stumble, they speak great things against me.
For I am near to falling: and my sorrow is continually before me.
For I will declare my inequity: and I will be sorry for my sin.
But my enemies live, and are stronger that I: and they that hate me wrongfully multiply.
They that render evil for good, have humiliated me, because I followed goodness.
Forsake me not, O Lord my God: do not Thou depart from me.
Hasten unto my help, O Lord, my salvation.

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