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Prayer 11

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A

And now, I, the most laggard of believers,
devoid of goodness, contemplate with my mind’s eye
all creation out of nothing by the hand of our maker.
And with hope, my faith grows
that Jesus Christ can do anything he wills,
as Paul advised1 and David taught.2
As I believe, so have I spoken.
May their prayers take life in me
so that through faith I might know him and the power
of his resurrection. And that I may,
in the words of the Apostle, share in
his torment3 and the glory that followed.
For true faith attends and resembles
the transformation of renewal,
from sin to atonement,
from wrongdoing to righteousness,
from uncleanness to holiness,
from unforgivable mortal transgressions
to blameless bliss,
from earthly bondage to heavenly freedom.

B

For what is more wondrous
than the sinner laughing for all to see,
yet secretly weeping, when his heart
with the help of God is purged
of the thick darkness of doubt?
And though cast from the highest summit
into the pit of the perdition,
and weighed down by unforgivable sins,
never before conceived,
he grabs the life-giving wafer of salvation,
clinging as to the last glimmer of light
preserved in mind and soul.4
Or like the amazingly intense fire, kindled
at the bottom of the sleeping well,
by the Almighty’s command, the sinner,
consumed with grief,
all expectation of goodness abandoned,
all assurance of grace lost,
can but hope to regain
the blessed innocence of the new-born.
This spark of hope, which God keeps alive
for broken, contrite hearts,5
souls laid low, whose offerings are
sweeter to God than the finest of incense,6
for they proclaim the good tidings
of the Giver’s almighty power.
It was for this reason the Savior asks
the blind, “Do you believe I can do this
for you?” 7 thus obtaining a token of faith
before restoring light to their eyes.
And what hope of revival seems more remote,
than for a corpse four days dead?8
Yet, armed with faith the women of his family,
fell at the feet of the creator, and they saw
the manifestation of God’s glory when their
brother was resurrected.

C

And there is proof that even after sin
the grace of God persists: First there is
the case of Enoch,9 then Aaron,10
then David11 and next Peter.12 And Eliezer,13
the younger, upon whom God took great pity
that he might be an example to his elders.
And it is unnecessary to add the example of
the Prodigal Son,14
the prostitute praised by the Lord,15
the tax collector remembered for his good deed,16
the lucky thief, who, with his last breath,
earned a halo through faith.17
Or even those whose sins cannot be atoned for,
such as those who took part in killing our creator,18
or Paul, foremost of the chosen,
who was formerly the chief of the unjust.19
And there are others who stumbled,
even knowing the law,
but then raised themselves up ten thousand times higher
than those who lived under the law. And what of him
who, before the law was given,20
honored the traditions of his fathers,
remaining more faithful to the commandment of
his forefather
and taking the guilt of man’s original sin upon himself,
paid for it with the torment of mortal passions,
atoned for it, not by burial in earth,
but through the torments of the body,
was transfigured, miraculously triumphing
over death’s grip to become the herald
of the possibility of eternal life for us mortals.21

D

And consider those who chose a dissolute life
from a tender age and in the fullness of time
did not tumble from their high stations but rather
were raised from their squalid lives
into the vault of heaven.
In times past the wayward
changed their ways by their own efforts,
turning earthen vessels into gold and
etching a princely image of our heavenly model
in majestic, imperishable and irreplaceable relief.
Triumphing over the betrayals toward which
our nature inclines us, they give us more cause for hope,
especially now that the Light has been revealed.
Its veil lifted, its curtain drawn,
by the promise of our Lord Christ
by whom the divine word is fixed firmly
in us, and who is according to the voice
of the prophet,22 “The covenant of peace and
the seal of constancy,”
the mediator of our reconciliation,
our heavenly advocate, immortal, living and eternal.
And therefore by this most true law,
and the immutable terms set by the creator,
I kiss the image of the Word with lips of faith
and await the glory of grace,
For verily, in the words of the Apostle,
“If God absolves us, no one retains
the power to condemn.” 23

E

And taking refuge in this unclouded assurance,
I who was broken, am restored,
who was wretched, am triumphant,
who was dissipated, am healed,
who was desperately outlawed, find hope,
who was condemned to death, find life,
who was mortgaged by damnable deeds, find the light,
who was debauched by animal pleasures, find heaven,
who was twice caught in scandal, again find salvation,
who was bound by sin, find the promise of rest,
who was shaken by incurable wounds,
find the salve of immortality,
who was wildly rebellious, find the reins of tranquility,
who was a renegade, find calling,
who was brazenly self-willed, find humility,
who was quarrelsome, find forgiveness.

Therefore, to Jesus Christ
and his almighty and awe-inspiring Father,
to the name and the will of
the beneficence of the true Holy Spirit,
the blessed essence and one Godhead,
all power and dominion, majesty and glory
forever.
Amen.
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Notes
  1 ...... 2 Cor. 45:13.

  2 ...... Ps. 114.

  3 ...... Phil. 3:10 - 11.

  4 ...... 2 Macc. 1:19-20.

  5 ...... Ps. 51:17.

  6 ...... Ex. 30:7-8; 25-26.

  7 ...... Mt. 9:28.

  8 ...... Jn. 11:39, 43-44.

  9 ...... Gen. 5:24, Heb. 11:5, Sir. 44:15.

  10 ...... Ex. 32:1-6.

  11 ...... 2 Sam. 12:1-16.

  12 ...... Mt. 26:75.

  13 ...... Ex. 18:4 (Moses’ youngest son).

  14 ...... Lk. 15:11-32.

  15 ...... Lk. 7:36-50.

  16 ...... Lk. 18:9-14.

  17 ...... Lk. 23:39-43.

  18 ...... Lk. 23:43.

  19 ...... Acts 8:1.

  20 ...... Abraham

  21 ...... Enoch

  22 ...... Is. 54:10.

  23 ...... Rom. 8:33-34.