Friday, April 27, 2012

Mercy and grace

Before all else let us list sincere thanksgiving first on our prayer-card. On the second line we should put confession, and heartfelt contrition of soul. Then let us present our petition to the King of all.
John Klímakos, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 28: 7

Without having read John Klímakos, except in excerpts as presented here (from Aunt Melanie's blog, Repentance and Ascent), my (informal) prayer order matches his exactly. I rarely ‘read’ formal prayers, since my ‘read’ prayer is always the psalms of the day. But without a doubt and almost without exception, my talking to God starts with thanking Him for answering my requests, needs and even wants before, and oft without, my asking. 

Then I reflect on the fact that He is a good and loving God, and incidentally that without His grace I am sinfulness incarnate (but I do not dwell on that, since He knows me through and through, and there’s nothing I can do about my condition, except want His will to be done in me). 

As I wind down and begin to come in for a landing, I will think of those whose need I want to present to Him. He knows I am carrying these persons in the pocket of my heart because He sees the bulge in my chest. 

As I skid onto the run way of my earthly life, I have to thank Him again for granting me a safe landing. I could crash. He knows that I know that. He knows that I know that He knows I know. It, no He, is all mercy, and I am all naked need, and my only response can be thanksgiving. There is no other candle I can bring Him as offering, and no other flame to light it from, except His mercy

Yes, mercy, mercy, mercy. Mercy and grace.

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