Penitence

O Lord of grace,

We have been hasty and short in private prayer. O quicken our consciences to feel this folly, to mourn this ingratitude; Our first sin of the day leads into others, and it is just that You should withdraw Your presence from those who waited so carelessly on You.

Keep us at all times from robbing You, and from depriving our souls of Your due worship; Let us never forget that we have an eternal duty to love, honor, and obey You; that You are infinitely worthy of such; that if we fail to glorify You we are guilty of infinite evil that merits infinite punishment, for sin is the violation of an infinite obligation.

O forgive us if we have dishonored You. Melt our hearts, heal our backslidings, and open a communion of love. When the fire of Your compassion warms our inward man, and the outpourings of Your Spirit fill our souls, then we feelingly wonder at our own depravity, and deeply abhor ourselves; then Your grace is a powerful incentive to repentance, and an irresistible motive to inward holiness.

May we never forget that You have our hearts in Your hands. Apply to them the merits of Christ’s atoning blood whenever we sin. Let Your mercies draw us to Yourself. Wean us from all evil, mortify us to the world, and make us ready for our departure hence animated by the humiliations of penitential love. Our souls are often like chariots without wheels, clogged and hindered in sin’s miry clay; Mount them on eagle’s wings and cause them to soar upward to Yourself.

Amen.