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Prayer 38

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A

Now, as I wrote in the beginning of this work,1
about the dark origins of the cardinal sins and
the workings of the bodily organs,2
by which I am dominated, human heir of death,
here, in this prayer, I recount, even if it is
a drop taken from the limitless expanse of the sea,
a few aspects of the spiritual life
that liberate those born in the light
through our Lord Jesus.3

B

Some of these are truly splendid, and should be
placed on a high throne,
their stores of grace, filled to the brim with
kindness and wealth,
the king and his loving subjects,
the emperor and his nobles,
the crowned and their princes,
the famous and his good report,
the victor and his trumpets,
the general and his troops,
the hero and his glory,
the groom and his revelers,
the queen and her maids,
the lady in waiting and her retinue,
freedom and its benefits,
the visitation and its outstretched hand,
the promise and its atonement,
the protection and its right hand,
the gifts and their wrapping,
the seal of life and its indelibility,
the soul and its imprint,
the cloud and its shadow,
art and its miracles,
the spirit and its immortality,
the word and its perfection,
the taking of the oath and its fulfillment,
the force and its order,
the baptismal font and its miraculous work,
manna and its incorruptibility,
the living rock and its stream,
the pillar of fire and its rays,
thunder and its echo,
hope and its salvation,
the tree of blessings and its fruit,
the bough and its bounty.
And so that I shall not err by saying this,
I note my omissions,
for as the eyes are blinded when looking at the sun,
I have averted my attention from the greatest and
presented the lesser points that are within
my meager ability.

C

I apologize for my always miserable, wretched soul,
because my composition mixes
the voice of good news with mournful protests,
bringing justice and judgment,
decision and penalty,
investigation and spotlights,
scolding and torches,
nakedness and embarrassment,
revelation and shame,
innocence and reward,
error and punishment.

D

Again and again, I flinch doubly misfortunate
and wretched,
for unbearable anger is coming with a sickle
to harvest my ripened sheaves of grain,
a judge for the court,
a strongman for the tribunal,
an executioner for execution,
an arm to carry out the judgment,
a rod to reprimand,
armor for revenge,
a shepherd for sorting the flock,
for the words you said to me,
shall judge me, the condemned, on the
last day of judgment.4
Hurry, merciful Lord, with your sweet acceptance,
attend the faint sighs of my cowardly wavering
with the great strength of your blessed hand.
Do not be angry, but with your characteristic good will,
comfort, cure, forgive and save me,
at my last trial.
And to you glory, forever and ever.
Amen.
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Notes
  1 ...... See Prayer 6.

  2 ...... Rom. 7:23.

  3 ...... Rom. 8:2.

  4 ...... Jn. 12:48.