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 sin and absolution (being a meditation on Donne’s words, “Wilt Thou forgive that sin…” and Luke 15.11-24)…
O merciful God, in Your Love, hold not my sin against me, lest I, dwelling now and, worse, dying eternally, in the wrong I have done, forego the wonder of Your Presence.
Yet, I beseech You, by Your same forbearing Love, hold me against my sin, lest I, for sake of my egoistic ease, forget it; that in my deserved discomfort, I, today and alway, learn only to delight in the unfathomable depth of Your Pardon.
Endnote: The hymn, Wilt Thou forgive that sin, where I begun, is an adaptation of the poem, A Hymn to God the Father (c. 1623), composed by the great English poet and Anglican Church cleric John Donne (1572-1631).
Illustration: Return of the Prodigal Son (detail, father and son) (c. 1669), Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)