To You, O God, Fountain of Mercy,
I come, a sinner.
May You wash away my impurity.
O Sun of Justice,
give sight to the blind.
O Eternal Healer,
cure the wounded.
O King of Kings,
restore the despoiled.
O Mediator of God and man,
reconcile the sinful.
O Good Shepherd,
lead back the straying.
have pity on the wretched,
show leniency to the guilty,
bestow life on the dead,
reform the impious,
and give the balm of grace
to the hard of heart.
O most merciful God,
call back the one who flees,
draw back the one who resists,
lift up the one who falls,
support the one who stands,
and accompany the one who walks.
Do not forget those who forget You.
Do not desert those who desert You.
Do not despise those who sin against You.
For in sinning,
I have offended You, my God;
I have harmed my neighbor;
I have not even spared myself injury.
I have sinned, O my God,
against You, almighty Father,
because of my weakness;
against You, all-knowing Son,
because of my ignorance;
against You, merciful Holy Spirit,
because of my malice.
Thus have I offended You,
most high Trinity.
Woe to me, a pitiful soul!
and how diverse
are the sins I have committed.
I abandoned You, Lord
I question Your goodness,
by yielding to evil cravings
and weakening myself with harmful fears.
By such things, I preferred
to lose You
rather than abandon what I desired,
to offend You
rather than face what ought not to be feared.
O my God,
how much harm have I done
by word and deed,
and by sinning
secretly, openly, and defiantly.
out of my weakness I beg You
not to pay heed to my iniquity,
but rather to Your immense goodness.
And I beg you mercifully to pardon
what I have done,
sorrow for my past actions
and precaution in the future.
-St. Thomas Aquinas
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,
That my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit,
That my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,
That I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
To defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
That I always may be holy.
Father, I woke with an ache and a longing. You call to me across the earthen strand, you woo me away from self debilitating thoughts, you draw me to intimacy. My spirit mingles with your Holy Spirit and I am awakened. My heart is the tinder yours is the flame, cast just one spark and ignite all of my desire, burn in me your Holy Fire. Your love is a mystery! My life is a scandalous poem! I throw caution to the winds of change. I must lift Him up! I must lift Him up! Going to church is not enough. Going to work is not enough. Being in ministry is not enough. Being married is not enough. Only Jesus Christ is enough! Pregnant with possibility I pause, to become the prayer. Amen.
— Sonya Ritter
CREED OF CHRISTIAN LOVE IN CHRIST
Faith issues in love. Love is not a belief system. Love does not mean agreeing with everything someone else thinks. Love prevails as the only precept. Love rises above conflict, extends the hand of peace, even the peace to differ. Love bears the fruits of the kingdom. Love does not require another to be like you. But love respects differences, respects all people as children of God, all searching, all erring. Love exists within humility and humanity. Love cares for others, even if the others do not care. Love does not throw stones. Nor make demands. And especially not the demand for uniformity. But love celebrates divides and draws strings across canyons. Love extends hands that touch hearts, because Love is greater than opinions, dictums, and legalisms. Love does not seek to extinguish individualism but celebrates community, invites and builds relationships even when each wears different shoes and walks different talks. Love sings a tune of hope and invites a symphony of diverse voices, not demanding the same notes, the same song, the same way, but sings together with others. Love maintains identity while rejoicing in human relationship with all people. Love God and neighbor. Love God first. Love to give your neighbor even better than what you would love for yourself. Love your neighbor because your neighbor is human like you. Humanity has no sides. Love takes no sides. But only affirms and recognizes its neighbor in flesh and blood. The blood of humanity is thicker than the waters of contention, and we all share blood. Love is not an ideology or a standard, not an expectation or demand. Love does not seek justice and is not dependent on fairness, but transcends both of these. For Christian life is not fair, but is committed to the gifts of love and mercy. Love is merciful. Love lets go of control, power, and the desire to mete out punishments. Love respects that God is the only justice. And that God’s justice is cloaked in mercy. Love desires not to serve in the place of God, but steps aside to allow Christ to lead. Love does not need idols. But serves only in the name of the one who is Love. Love God. Love Neighbor. Love in faith that the Love of Christ is more powerful than being right. That love is more powerful than being wrong. Only Love wins. Love in faith. Just love.
O Lord, give us the vision to dream the unknowns, the naivety to believe they exist, the faith of first steps forward thrown in paths of resolute grace: to stay the course when, even to revision the vision brings collision, division, and derision. Amen.
Now concerning the Eucharist, give thanks in this manner:
First, concerning the cup:
We give thanks to you, our Father, for the holy vine of your servant David, which you have revealed to us through your servant Jesus. To you be the glory forever. Amen
And concerning the broken bread:
We give thanks to you, our Father, for the life and knowledge, which you have revealed to us through your servant Jesus. To you be the glory forever. Amen
As this broken bread was scattered upon the hills and, having been gathered together, became one, so may your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever. Amen
(But let no one eat or drink from your Eucharist, except those who have been baptized in the name of the Lord, for concerning this, the Lord has likewise said, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs.”)
Now after being filled, give thanks in this manner:
We give thanks to you, holy Father, for your holy name, which you have caused to dwell in our hearts and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which you have revealed to us through your servant Jesus. To you be the glory forever. Amen
You, almighty Master, created all things for your name’s sake. To all people, you have given both food and drink to enjoy, in order that they might give you thanks. But to us, you have freely given spiritual food and drink and eternal life through your servant Jesus.
Above all, we give you thanks because you are mighty. To you be the glory forever. Amen Remember your church, O Lord, to deliver her from all evil and to perfect her in your love and to gather her together as the holy one from the four winds into your kingdom which you have prepared for her. For yours is the power and the glory forever. Amen
May grace come, and may this world pass away. Hosanna to the son of David! If anyone is holy, let him come. If anyone is not, let him repent. Come, Lord! Amen.