Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart
Since I have begun
these conversations with you
who holds in your hand
the life breath of my sinful soul,
I am shaken, and rightly so,
trembling in constant fear, remembering,
with unbearable terror that defies words,
O creator of heaven and earth,
your inescapable tribunal,
which justly judges me a sinner.
And what is more, there exists no remedy
for the multitude of incurable, mortal wounds
and the stinging bites inflicted by the deadly fangs
of him who pursues my soul’s destruction.
Especially since according to the Prophet,
there is no putting off the day of confrontation: 1
Not by words of justification,
not by a cloak of protection,
not by a mask of obfuscation,
not by speeches of propitiation,
not by appearances of deception,
not by compositions of prevarication,
not by swift feet of evasion,
not by aversion,
not by the ashen dust of abnegation,
not by fixing one’s mouth to the earth,
not by self-burial in the depths of the earth,
for even the covered and the invisible are
readily seen by you.
My virtue is dissipated and depleted,
my sins laid open and ever worsening,
my wrongs permanent and I am lost as
the weight of the right is ever decreasing
and the weight of wrong is increasing,
the harvest of goodness washes away
and the errors of my ways harden to stone.
The bail is lost even as the sentence is sealed.
Death’s mortgage is signed,
while the covenant of good news is voided.
The doer of good is despondent,
while the doer of evil is jubilant.
The host of angels grieve,
while Satan’s horde dances in glee.
The army on high is orphaned,
while the army below is elated.
The murderer’s bounty grows,
while the protector’s treasure is plundered.
The third parties’ rights are upheld,
and the true heir’s legacy is betrayed.
The creator’s gift is forgotten,
while the destroyer’s ambush is remembered.
The Savior’s grace is mocked,
while the tricks of Satan are celebrated.
The fountain of life runs dry,
while the tyrant’s rust continues to corrode my soul.
And now, would it not be better.
as the prophecies foretold,2
never to have been conceived,
never to have taken shape,
never to have been born,
never to have seen the light of life,
never to have been counted among mortals,
never to have struggled toward the state of immortality,
never to have been dressed in the image of beauty,
never to have been armed with words,
than to be seized by such horrible sins,
too great for a hard rock to bear
let alone the frail body?
And now, compassionate God,
I pray for your mercy,
as you instructed in your own words,
“Make offerings in the name of God’s salvation
and you shall be made holy,
for I want contrition not sacrifice.”3
Be exalted anew in remembrance of this offering in
for everything is in you, and everything is from you.
To you glory from all.