We begin each lent begging for "the blessing of forgiveness". God longs for us to return to him with our whole heart. For without such repentance we remain tormented by the question, "Where is our God?" God has not cast us out of his presence; rather, he desires us to "become the righteousness of God". The father "who is hidden" waits for us to pray, "A clean heart create for me, O God." Then the way that we reach out to reality to become one with it will reveal God's saving Presence in every circumstance. "The joy of our salvation" begins today.
MAGNIFICAT, March 2011, Vol. 12. No 13, page 123. CLICK HERE to subscribe.
Psalm 51For the leader. A psalm of David,
when Nathan the prophet came to him after his affair with Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness;
in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.
Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me.
For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.
Against you alone have I sinned;
I have done such evil in your sight
That you are just in your sentence,
blameless when you condemn.
True, I was born guilty, a sinner,
even as my mother conceived me.
Still, you insist on sincerity of heart;
in my inmost being teach me wisdom.
Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure;
wash me, make me whiter than snow.
Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Turn away your face from my sins;
blot out all my guilt.
A clean heart create for me, God;
renew in me a steadfast spirit.
Do not drive me from your presence,
nor take from me your holy spirit.
Restore my joy in your salvation;
sustain in me a willing spirit.
I will teach the wicked your ways,
that sinners may return to you.
Rescue me from death, God, my saving God,
that my tongue may praise your healing power.
Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise.
For you do not desire sacrifice;
a burnt offering you would not accept.
My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit;
God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.
Make Zion prosper in your good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifice,
burnt offerings and holocausts;
then bullocks will be offered on your altar.
Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever.