I began a blog a few days ago on praying The Litany of Penitence during Lent. I shared some thoughts on the first half of this litany. I would like to give you the second half with a few further comments.

The prayer begins with an acknowledgment of God’s holiness and mercy and leads to confession. It then begins a list of things for which we confess to God and the “whole communion of saints” the following sins:

My intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and my dishonesty in daily

life and work,

I confess to you, Lord.

My negligence in prayer and worship, and my failure to commend the faith that is

in me,

I confess to you, Lord.

Accept my repentance, Lord, for the wrongs I have done: for my blindness to

human need and suffering, and my indifference to injustice and cruelty,

Accept my repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward my neighbors, and for

my prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from me,

Accept my repentance, Lord.

For my waste and pollution of your creation, and my lack of concern for those

who come after us,

Accept my repentance, Lord.

Restore me, good Lord, and let your anger depart from me,

Favorably hear me for your mercy is great.

Accomplish in me and all of your church the work of your salvation,

That I may show forth your glory in the world.

By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord,

Bring me with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.

As I have prayed this prayer during Lent I have noted specific areas where my own love of worldly goods and comforts is obviously intemperate. It is not wrong to love the creation or the things that we have been given to live our lives in this world, including our creature comforts. It is wrong to love them intemperately. This has been at the heart of my own personal judgment during the Lenten season. I can call these things "blessings," and they are, but I must not allow them to cloud my vision, unduly impact my sound judgment, or take away my affections for the Lord himself.

My negligence in prayer and worship is often a private negligence, when like so many I am sure, I am just “too busy.” This is such a lame excuse if there ever was one. And I do not look for opportunities to commend the faith as I once did when my zeal was more obvious. It is a matter of making this a priority of my heart and soul in my view.

“Blindness to human need and suffering” is so easy to miss, at least for me. I am a writer who thinks about these kinds of things almost every day and then I write about them but often I stay at a very safe distance from the suffering all around me. I pray God will help me honestly face this sin in these weeks.

And while I have do have deep doubts about “global warming theories” I have no doubt at all that we waste and pollute the creation with careless ease. I need to be concerned even while I question the junk science interpretations that abound on every hand. We can have a healthy disagreement about mechanisms and scientific conclusions in this debate but we should not disagree about the way we treat the creation when we treat it so badly!

My only hope, in life and in death, is God’s salvation. This is accomplished through the resurrection of Jesus alone. Thankfully the litany ends on such a note of real hope, reminding us all that Easter draws near and because it does there is genuine hope for all of us who trust in him.

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  1. Nick Morgan March 7, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Thank you for these two posts on Lent as a season of Penitence. I know that observing Lent as part of my own return to the Catholic Tradition have been very beneficial to me spiritually in my walk with Christ. God bless you brother!

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