POETRY: Confession (O What A Cunning Guest) by George Herbert

March 13, 2019

O what a cunning guest Is this same grief! within my heart I made Closets; and in them many a chest; And, like a master in my trade, In those chests, boxes; in each box, a till: Yet grief knows all, and enters when he will. No screw, no piercer can Into a piece of timber work and wind, As God’s afflictions into man, When he a torture hath designed. They are too subtle for the subtlest hearts; And fall, like rheums, upon the tend’rest parts. We are the earth; and they, Like moles within us, heave, and cast about: And till they foot and clutch their prey, They never cool, much less give out. No smith can make such locks but they have keys: Closets are halls to them; and hearts, high-ways. Only an open breast Doth shut them out, so that [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Confession Based On The Parable Of The Wheat And The Tares by Moira Laidlaw

February 11, 2019

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, [...]

SERMON: The Dumb And Deaf Spirit by John Keble

March 4, 2018

He was casting out a devil, and it was dumb, and it came to pass that when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake. (Luke 11:14) As the holy time of Lent begins with the remembrance of our Lord overcoming Satan, so during the course of it we are warned by the church, again and again, of our warfare with the same evil spirit. Last Sunday we heard of an unclean devil being cast out of the daughter of a Canaanitish woman; and by and by, as the week of Christ’s Passion comes on, we shall hear more and more of Satan entering into Judas, and continuing to do Christ all the mischief he could. And on the third Sunday again we are told of a very remarkable case, a very signal blow struck in the warfare betwixt our Savior and our enemy. Jesus was [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Confession, 19th Century India

October 16, 2017

Like the bounding stag I have sought sensual pleasures and fallen into the lake. I am the greatest sinner among sinners, unwilling to part with even a grain of rice to the noisy crow. Like the fly buzzing about without any rest, I seek. O, Father, tell me what to do that I may not die without your grace, and grant me your grace to support me. Like the bull bearing heavy burdens, I have toiled carrying the load of my own grief. Not knowing anything, I have roamed like the unclean animal feeding upon the refuse of the streets. I am lower than the dog, which tires itself out with barking in utter thoughtlessness. Holy Father, what can I do to obtain your grace to support me in my distress? I have taken pride in regarding my darkness as light [...]

JESUS: To Live In Christ, by Hubert van Zeller

March 20, 2017

From To Be In Christ To live in Christ is, in the widest sense, to live in a state of grace.  It is a gift but a gift which God does not deny to anyone.  What we are more particularly considering in these pages is the development of the gift.  All are invited to develop the life of Christ in the soul, and those who set themselves to do so are actively and progressively on the way to identification: identification with the divine person so far as is possible in this life, leading to the fullest identification to be enjoyed eternally in Heaven.  Christ incorporates us into his life at baptism, offers his life to us in countless ways as we mature in our religious formation, and finally crowns us with the grace of divine union. Though [...]

POETRY: Repentance by George Herbert

August 24, 2016

Lord, I confess my sin is great; Great is my sin. Oh! gently treat With thy quick flow’r, thy momentany bloom; Whose life still pressing Is one undressing, A steady aiming at a tomb. Man’s age is two hours’ work, or three: Each day doth round about us see. Thus are we to delights: but we are all To sorrows old, If life be told From what life feeleth, Adam’s fall. O let thy height of mercy then Compassionate short-breathed men. Cut me not off for my most foul transgression: I do confess My foolishness; My God, accept of my confession. Sweeten at length this bitter bowl, Which thou hast pour’d into my soul; Thy wormwood turn to health, winds to fair weather: For if thou stay, I and this day, As we did rise, we [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Confession (Celtic)

February 15, 2016

From Celtic Daily Prayer O Father, O Son, O Holy Spirit forgive me my sins O only-begotten Son of the Heavenly Father, forgive. O God who is one, O God who is true, O God who is first, O God who is one substance, O God only mighty, in three Persons, truly merciful, forgive. [...]

SATURDAY READING: The Confession Of Saint Patrick

February 13, 2016

Part One I, Patrick, a sinner, very rustic, and the least of all the faithful, and very contemptible in the estimation of most men, had as father a certain man called Calpornius, a deacon, son of Potitus, a presbyter, who was in the town Bannaventa Berniae, for he had a little villa nearby, where I conceded capture. In years I was then almost sixteen. For I was ignorant of the true God, and I was led to Ireland in captivity with so many thousands of men according to our deserts, because we withdrew from God, and we did not keep watch over his precepts, and we were not obedient to our priests, who kept admonishing our salvation, and the Lord led down over us the wrath of his anger and dispersed us among many gentiles even as far as the [...]

PRAYER: A Short Form Of Confession Before The Eyes Of God, by Jacob Boehme

March 9, 2015

Each one may change and enlarge this form of confession according to his situation, as the Holy Spirit teaches.  I desire to set down only a short guide. O great, unsearchable, holy God, Lord of all being, who in Christ Jesus, out of pure love for us, revealed your holy being in our humanity, I, a poor, unworthy, sinful man, come before your revealed face, in the humanity of Jesus Christ, even though I am unworthy to raise my eyes to You, and I implore You, and confess to You that I have been faithless and disloyal to Your great love and grace that You have given us.  I have forsaken the covenant that You, out of pure grace, made with me in baptism, in which You took me as a child and heir of eternal life.  I have led my desire into the [...]

EVIL: The Discernment Of Spirits, by the author of The Cloud of Unknowing

December 26, 2014

1.  Because there are different kinds of spirits, it is necessary for us to know how to distinguish them; especially as we are taught by the Apostle Saint John not to give credence to all spirits.  For it might seem to those who have but little education in spiritual things especially, that every thought that resounds in the human heart must be the utterance of no other spirit except man’s own.  And this is not so: as both the faith and the witness of Holy Scripture clearly show.  “For I shall hear,” says the Prophet David, “not what I myself speak, but whatever my Lord God speaks in me.”  And another prophet says that an angel spoke in him.  And besides this, we are taught in the Psalm that wicked [...]

POETRY: Teaching A Child The Art Of Confession, by David Shumate

October 15, 2014

It is best not to begin with Adam and Eve. Original Sin is baffling, even for the most sophisticated minds. Besides, children are frightened of naked people and apples. Instead, start with the talking snake. Children like to hear what animals have to say. Let him hiss for a while and tell his own tale. They’ll figure him out in the end. Describe sin simply as those acts which cause suffering and leave it at that. Steer clear of musty confessionals. Children associate them with outhouses. Leave Hell out of the discussion. They’ll be able to describe it on their own soon enough. If they feel the need to apologize for some transgression, tell them that one of the offices of the moon is to forgive. As for the priest, let him [...]

PRAYER: A Litany Of Confession, by Peter Nott

September 8, 2014

O Lord, open our minds to see ourselves as you see us, and from all unwillingness to know our weakness and our sin, Good Lord, deliver us. From selfishness; from wishing to be the center of attraction; from seeking admiration; from the desire to have our own way in all things; from unwillingness to listen to others; from resentment of criticism, Good Lord, deliver [...]

FORGIVENESS: Transformation And Deliverance — Repent And Help Each Other, by Glen H. Stassen

September 4, 2014

From Living the Sermon on the Mount When he says, “Take the log out of your eye,” Jesus is calling for repentance – acknowledging our own need for change, and actually making the change.  The way of repentance is central to Jesus’s announcement that the reign of God is at hand: God is present, graciously delivering us; repent and believe the good news.  When we repent and allow Jesus to loosen our defensiveness, stop hiding our real selves from others, admit that we have a problem, and allow God’s grace to bring about a turning in our lives, that is participating in grace.  The reign of God then breaks into our lives.  When we allow Jesus to convert our judging into openness and gratitude, it really is the [...]

PRAYER: Prayers Of Confession For Lent (Third through Fifth Weeks of Lent) by David N. Mosser

March 24, 2014

From Prayers for Lent and Holy Week Third Week in Lent Prayer of Confession As we move through Lent, O God who is gracious beyond our ability to conceive, help us, as we journey, to recognize those other people who are on their journey too. Save us from insensitivity to the tangible and indefinable hurts of those people who walk past us each day as they too search for truth and meaning.  Forgive our sins – even the sin that clings so close and subtle that we scarcely know it is there.  Remove our guilt and lead us in lives of daily commitment to the highest and the best we can know.  Remind us that the greatest journey we will ever make is the trip from our minds to our hearts.  Send your spirit of healing upon us so that we can [...]

SACRAMENTS: Baptism And The Forgiveness Of Sins by Ronald P. Byars

December 5, 2013

From The Sacraments In Biblical Perspective Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38) And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:16) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the [...]

PRAYER: Prayers Of Confession For Lent (Ash Wednesday through the Second Week of Lent) by David N. Mosser

February 26, 2013

From Prayers for Lent and Holy Week,  Ash Wednesday Prayer of Confession Gracious God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole hearts, and we have not loved our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Forgive us, we pray.  Open our hearts wide to you, that you might renew our faith and strengthen us for obedient service.  Amen. Prayer of Confession O God who will not let us go, as we worship this day we confess that we have been so wrapped up in ourselves that we have taken little note of either you or our neighbor who is in need.  Forgive us, we pray, when we forget that our own scripture tells us that you, O God, “created humankind in your image, in the image of you, you created them; male and female you created [...]

LENTEN FIRE: Friday After Ash Wednesday

February 16, 2013

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers  I am sorry for my sin A brother questioned Abba Poemen, saying, “What should I do?”  He said, “It is written, I confess my iniquity, I am sorry for my sin.” (Psalm 38:18) He will soon plant others Abba Mark asked Abba Arsenius, “Is it good to have nothing extra in the cell?  I know a brother who had some vegetables and he has pulled them up.” Abba Arsenius replied, “Undoubtedly that is good but it must be done according to a person’s capacity.  If he does not have the strength for such a practice he will soon plant others.” That is a lot A brother questioned Abba Poemen, saying, “I have committed a [...]

HEALING: The Magnificence Of Absolution, or The Tale of Two Confessions

December 21, 2012

Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof, but speak the word only, and my soul shall be healed. It is a soul changing experience to be forgiven.  To have a tender and loving hand laid on your head, and to feel, through the ministration of the priest, God’s loving and absolute acceptance of your erring and scarred soul, and to feel his nod of understanding, even in the face of your own horror at the way your soul has wandered its own way into a deep forest of chaos and confusion. God, the father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the church may God give you pardon and peace, [...]

SERMON: The Great Humility Of Saint John The Baptist by Francis de Sales

December 16, 2012

Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent, December 13, 1620, concerning pride and ambition as the most powerful temptations, the excellent humility of Saint John the Baptist in renouncing the most dangerous and subtle temptation to pride and ambition, his immediate and succinct denial that he was the messiah, the desire of angels and of all men (even pagans) for the Incarnation, our foolish and untruthful acceptance of honors, Saint John’s humility in skillfully denying even the honored status that rightly belonged to him — without, however, being untruthful; how we should not excuse ourselves of the very faults we accuse ourselves of but confess them straightforwardly, humility’s excellence, affinity with charity, and necessity in [...]

PRAYER: Confession According to Augustine

August 27, 2012

From Overcoming Our Evil: Human Nature and Spiritual Exercises in Xunzi and Augustine, by Aaron Stalnaker “Confession,” or rather the Latin confessio, carries a double meaning.  It does include the sense of confessing one’s sins or failures, but also of acknowledging the glory of mercy of God, and especially of acknowledging God’s healing action within one’s own life.  Confession, for Augustine, is very similar in form and purpose to petitionary prayer or oratio, but even more intimate, a direct address to God concerning the state of one’s soul and God’s relations to that soul.  Augustine writes: Accept the sacrifice of my confessions offered by “the hand of my tongue” which you have formed and stirred up to confess [...]