Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
and blameless when you pass judgement.
You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
A Prayer: End with a formal prayer, such as the Lord's Prayer/Our Father
He set himself to know himself,
To look back over the long years,
Up to the now of his life,
And ask himself where was his sin.
That he had sinned,
There was no question;
Felt the malice of his life,
"I have sinned
In thought, in word and in deed."
Remembering was inescapable.
And he was amazed, uttered a silent cry of wonder,
Astonished, that the Holy One
Should allow him to stumble and survive
Patrick Purnell SJ
At the end of your prayer you can look back and ask:
Does it have something to say to you?
How does it make you feel?
Take time to pray with today's reading;
or you may like to ponder on the poem.