The Prayer of Manasseh
Ascription of Praise

O Lord Almighty,
God of our ancestors,
of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob
and of their righteous offspring;
you who made heaven and earth
with all their order;
who shackled the sea by your word of
command, who confined the deep
and sealed it with your terrible
and glorious name;
at whom all things shudder,
and tremble before your power,
for your glorious splendor cannot be borne,
and the wrath of your threat to
sinners is unendurable;
yet immeasurable and unsearchable
is your promised mercy,
for you are the Lord Most High,
of great compassion, long-suffering,
  and very merciful,
and you relent at human suffering.
O Lord, according to your great goodness
you have promised repentance
  and forgiveness
to those who have sinned against you,
and in the multitude of your mercies
you have appointed repentance for sinners,
so that they may be saved.[a]
Therefore you, O Lord,
  God of the righteous,
have not appointed repentance for the
righteous,
for Abraham and Isaac and Jacob,
who did not sin against you,
but you have appointed
repentance for me, who am a sinner.

Confession of Sins
For the sins I have committed are more in
number than the sand of the sea;
my transgressions are multiplied, O Lord,
they are multiplied!
I am not worthy to look up and see the
height of heaven
because of the multitude of my iniquities.
I am weighted down with many an iron fetter,
so that I am rejected [b] because of my sins,
and I have no relief;
for I have provoked your wrath
and have done what is evil in your sight,
setting up abominations and multiplying offenses.

Supplication for Pardon
And now I bend the knee of my heart,
imploring you for your kindness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned,
and I acknowledge my transgressions.
I earnestly implore you,
forgive me, O Lord, forgive me!
Do not destroy me with my transgressions!
Do not be angry with me forever or
store up evil for me;
do not condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God
of those who repent,
and in me you will manifest your goodness;
for, unworthy as I am, you will save me
according to your great mercy,
and I will praise you continually all
the days of my life.
For all the host of heaven sings your praise,
and yours is the glory forever. Amen.
[a] Other ancient authorities lack O Lord, according . . . be saved
[b] Other ancient authorities read so that I cannot lift up my head


The Road Ahead
by: Thomas Merton

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think
that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this,
you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always
though I may seem to be
lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.
Amen

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2001