Psalm 51 was one of the Scripture readings at last night's Ash Wednesday service.
In the last 6 weeks or so I have been so aware of my transgressions. There was a time when I prayed that God would show me what it meant to be sorry for my sins. I knew I felt guilty about them but when people would talk about how Christ took their sin upon himself on the cross I just could not comprehend how they 'got it'. How they could be overwhelmed with the Truth of it. I would think - oh they're just over emotional and don't comprehend it at all, it just sounds good. It's not that I 'get it' now. I think I see a sliver of it now and again though.
Since becoming Catholic the last week of December and receiving the sacraments I have become aware of my sinfulness. It has not been a bad thing. I am not beating myself up over it. I am just so aware that I am guilty of it all. That on my own I cannot stand before God without acknowledging that He is God and I am not. Along with this has been the reality of His mercy towards me. And how much I am loved by Him. Psalm 51 encompasses all these realities. It will be my lenten prayer.
Psalm 51 (from The Message Version)
Generous in love - God, give grace!
Huge in mercy - wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I've been;
my sins are staring me down.
You're the One I've violated, and you've seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I've been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you're after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean,
scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot tapping songs
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don't look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don't throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Brin me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I'll let loose with your praise.
Going through the motions doesn't please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I leared God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don't for a moment escape God's notice.
Make Zion the place you delight in,
repair Jerusalem's broken-down walls.
Then you'll get real worship from us,
acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
they can heave on your altar!