Lord, have mercy on me, your beloved daughter, for I am a sinner.
This prayer takes on some adaptations along the way but it is based on today’s Gospel reading from Luke 18 about the penitent tax collector. I am heading off to church soon, aware that I am a sinner but it is easy to be like the righteous Pharisee who extols his religious behaviours and habits. Some days I can believe that I come stain-free and yet, in reality, I should be beating my breast, asking for God’s mercy.
In the reading from Sirach, we learn that “the prayer of the humble pierces the clouds and it will not rest until it reaches its goal.” The Most High will intervene and do justice without delay. Timothy writes that he has fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. God will rescue him from every evil. Even though all deserted him, God stood by. How many of us have been there? Perhaps friends have turned away, enemies mocked us, and we were left wondering what is next. Then suddenly it is our own hearts that are changed and we pray, acknowledging that we need Divine Intervention. In that humble moment, we learn anew and again that we are the beloved of God.
I personally may be slow to cast my eyes to the ground and beat my breast at times, but when I stand in that grace, I know there is nothing like it. God, be merciful to me, your beloved daughter, a sinner.