This prayer seems appropriate as we approach Good Friday in the midst of a pandemic. It was composed by Marguerite Teilhard de Chardin, a former President of the Catholic Union of the Sick, and sister of the well-known writer, Pierre.
Lord, the day is drawing to a close, and, like all the other days, it leaves me with the impression of utter defeat. I have done nothing for You: neither have I said conscious prayers, nor performed works of charity, nor any work at all, work that is sacred for every Christian who understands its significance. I have not even been able to control that childish impatience and those foolish rancours which so often occupy the place that should be Yours in the “no man’s land” of my emotions. It is in vain that I promise You to do better. I shall be no different tomorrow, nor on the day that follows.
When I retrace the course of my life, I am overwhelmed by the same impression of inadequacy. I have sought You in prayer and in service of my neighbour, for we cannot separate You from our brothers any more than we can separate our body from our spirit. But in seeking You, do I not find myself? Do I not wish to satisfy myself ? Those works that I secretly termed good and saintly, dissolve in the light of approaching eternity, and I dare no longer lean on these supports that have lost their stability.
Even actual sufferings bring me no joy because I bear them so badly. Perhaps we are all like this: incapable of discerning anything but our own wretchedness and our own despairing cowardice before the light of the Beyond that waxes on our horizon.
But it may be, O Lord, that this impression of privation is part of a divine plan. It may be that in Your eyes, self-complacency is the most obnoxious of all fripperies, and that we must come before You naked so that You, You alone, may clothe us.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.
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