I was very touched by the prayer below of repentance and surrender from the July 9 meditation in this month’s issue of The Word Among Us magazine. As Catholic men, we are blessed to able to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In addition, as beloved sons we can also go directly to our heavenly Father and repent of our sins and surrender our lives to him. Try using the prayer below (or a similar one in your own words) on a regular basis and see what happens. As you do this, I believe you will experience in a deeper way the great love and mercy of your heavenly Father.
Take with you words, and return to the Lord. (Hosea 14:3)
Father, what kind of offering can I make as I return to you? I’ll bring you the secrets of my heart: the things I dare not admit to anyone else. I’ll bring you the anger that has spilled from me and stained the people I love. I’ll bring you the lies that have steamed out of me and the lust that has boiled inside me. I’ll bring you the bitterness, the judgments, and the grudges that cloud my sight and numb my heart.
Forgive me, Father, for insisting on being independent from you. It hasn’t freed me at all. Instead, it has made me dependent on other people and things: my own strength and wits, flatterers and slanderers, alcohol and food.
Forgive me for taking the gifts you have blessed me with and using them for my own ends, at my own convenience. I’m sorry for all the hours, days, and months that I have spent serving myself more than I serve you. I’m sorry for bowing to the things I have acquired while overlooking the needs of your children around me.
You have called me, Lord, and so I come. Forgive my guilt, and release me from shame. I am sorry that I exchanged the garments of salvation and robes of righteousness for the rags of self-righteousness and self-centeredness. Clothe me once again in your mercy! Forgive my disobedience! Heal my defection from you, and restore me to the position of a beloved child in your house. Thank you for overlooking my sins so that I may repent. I believe that you will have mercy on me because you can do anything.
Thank you, Father, for hearing me and accepting my offering. Thank you for consuming it in the blazing fire of your love. Thank you that, in exchange for the dark secrets of my heart, you give me the brightness of your loving and merciful heart. I know I can trust in your love for me. I believe that it is greater than my love for myself. Soften my heart, Father, so that I can receive what you want to plant in me today: love and gentleness, purity and faithfulness.
“Father, as I return to you, I take with me these words of repentance and surrender. I know you will hear and answer me!”
(Maurice Blumberg was the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), and is currently a Trustee. He is also the Director of Partner Relations for Partners in Evangelism, (http://www2.wau.org/partners/), a Ministry to the Military and Prisoners for The Word Among Us. Maurice can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
[Many thanks to The Word Among Us (http://www.wau.org/) for allowing me to use this daily meditation from the July issue of their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.]