Sin – A Prayer

I have fallen, Lord,
Once more.
I can’t go on, I’ll never succeed.
I am ashamed, I don’t dare look at You.
And yet I struggled, Lord, for I knew You were right near me,
bending over me, watching.
But temptation blew like a hurricane
And instead of looking at You I turned my head away,
I stepped aside
While You stood, silent and sorrowful,
Like the spurned fiancé who sees his loved one carried off by his rival.

When the wind died down as suddenly as it had arisen,
When the lightning ceased after proudly streaking the darkness,
All of a sudden I found myself alone, ashamed, disgusted, with my sin in my hands

This sin that I selected as a customer to purchase,
This sin that I have paid for and cannot return, for the storekeeper is no longer there,
This tasteless sin,
This colourless sin,
This sin that sickens me,
That I have wanted no more,
That I have imagined,
played with,
fondled, for a long time,
That I have finally embraced while coldly by-passing You,
My arms outstretched, my eyes and heart irresistibly drawn;
This sin that I have grasped and consumed with gluttony,
It’s mine now, but it possesses me as the spider web holds captive the fly.
It is mine,
It sticks to me,
It flows in my veins,
It fills my heart,
It has slipped in everywhere, as darkness slips into the forest at dusk
and fills all the patches of light.
I can’t get rid of it,
I run from it, like the master of an unwanted and mangy dog,
but it catches up with me, and rubs joyfully against my legs.
Everyone must notice it.
I’m so ashamed that I feel like crawling to avoid being seen,
I’m ashamed of being seen by my friend,
I’m ashamed of being seen by You, Lord,
For You loved me , and I forgot You.
I forgot You because I was thinking of myself,
And I can’t think of several persons at once.
One I must choose, and I chose.

And Your voice,
And Your look,
And Your love hurt me.
They weigh me down,
They weigh me down more than my sin.

Lord, don’t look at me like that,
For I am naked,
I am dirty,
I am down,
With no strength left.
I dare make no promises,
I can only stand bowed before You.

Come, son, look up.
Isn’t it mainly your vanity that is wounded?
If you loved Me , you would grieve, but you would trust.
Do you think that there is a limit to God’s love?
Do you think that for a moment I stopped loving you?
But you still rely on yourself, son.
You must rely only on Me.

Ask My pardon
And get up quickly,
You see, it’s not falling that is the worst,
But staying on the ground

From “Prayers of life” by Michel Quoist, a French Cleric 
Image©Kevin Tam

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