Note: As a personal, spiritual discipline, reviving my practice in the Lenten season of 2017, I revise the prayers I wrote then for each of the forty days of this Lent; each petition focusing on a theme, a concern weighing on my mind and heart or a care of my soul and spirit.
On self-knowledge, self-loathing, & self-love (being a meditation on 1 John 4.19)…
O my Lord, I oft fancy that one day soon I might love my self.
Yet, thus far in my living, I find myself daily paying this great cost of self-knowledge: Being too aware of my failings, too wary of my flaws, I cannot love my self without condition…
I cannot love myself without, at best, saying, sometimes with sorrow’s murmur, sometimes with loathing’s bellow, “If only I had not done (this or that), none of which I can forget and if only I was not (this or that), none of whom I can forsake, I might attempt my self to love!”
Yet, my Lord, Your Word teaches me that You, as Love, loved me first – and not first and once, but first and always, aye, first and forever – so that I can love.
Thus, I pray that I, by Your Spirit, may continue to know my lack, though not that I may cling more grievously to my despair, but rather that I may cleave all the more joyously to You, to Love.