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IV

A Prayer to Christ for my Enemies.212212   This is the 24th Prayer in Gerberon’s edition.

LORD Jesus Christ, Lord of all power and goodness, whom I pray to be gracious to my friends. Thou knowest what my heart desireth for mine enemies. For Thou, O God, who triest the very hearts and reins,213213   Ps. vii. 10. Thou knowest the secrets of my heart within me. For it is not hidden from Thee. If Thou hast sown in the soul of Thy servant what he may offer to Thee, and if that enemy214214   Matt. xiii. 28. and I have sown there likewise what is to be burned 131with fire,215215   Matt. xiii. 30. that also is before Thine eyes. Despise not, most gracious God, that which Thou hast sown, but cherish it and give it increase and bring it to perfection and preserve it for ever. For as I could begin no good thing without Thee, so can I neither finish it nor keep it in safety except by Thy help. Judge me not, O merciful God, according to that which displeaseth Thee in me, but take away what Thou hast not planted, and save my soul which Thou hast created. For I cannot amend myself without Thee, because if we be good it is Thou that dost make us and not we ourselves.216216   Ps. c. 2. Neither can my soul endure Thy judgment, if Thou wilt judge her according to her wickedness. Thou therefore, O Lord, who alone art mighty, whatsoever Thou makest me to desire for mine enemies, be that Thy gift unto them, and Thine answer to my prayer. And if I at any time ask for them anything which transgresseth the rule of love, whether through ignorance or through infirmity or through wickedness, neither do that to them, nor fulfil my petition therein. Thou who art the true Light,217217   John i. 9. enlighten their blindness. Thou who art supreme Truth, amend their error. Thou art the true Life, quicken their souls. For Thou hast said by Thy beloved Disciple, He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death.218218   1 John iii. 14. I pray therefore, O Lord, that Thou grant to 132them so much love of Thee and of their neighbour as Thou commandest us to have, lest they should have sin before Thee concerning their brother.

Forbid it, O good Lord, forbid it that I should be to my brethren an occasion of death, that I should be to them a stone of stumbling and rock of offence.219219   1 Pet. ii. 8. For it is enough and more than enough that I should be an offence unto myself; mine own sin is sufficient for me. Thy servant entreateth Thee for his fellow-servants that they should not on my account offend so great and good a Master, but be reconciled to Thee, and agree with me according to Thy will for Thy sake. This is the vengeance which my inmost heart desireth to ask of Thee upon my fellow-servants, mine enemies and fellow-sinners. This is the punishment which my soul asketh upon my fellow-servants and enemies, that they should love Thee and one another, according to Thy will and as is expedient for us, so that we may satisfy our common Master both as concerning ourselves and as concerning one another and serve our common Lord in unity by the teaching of charity to the common good. This vengeance I, Thy sinful servant, pray may be prepared against all those that wish me evil and do me evil. Do Thou prepare this also, most merciful Lord, against Thy sinful servant like wise.

Come then, O my good Creator and merciful 133Judge, and by Thy mercy which passeth all reckoning, forgive me all my debts as I in Thy presence forgive all my debtors.220220   Matt. vi. 12. And if not yet, because hitherto my spirit doth not so forgive perfectly according to Thy measure but willeth so to do and accomplisheth by Thy help what it can, doing violence to itself, this imperfect forgiveness I offer to Thee as it is, that Thou mayest be pleased perfectly to forgive me my sins and according to Thy power, be gracious unto my soul.

Hearken unto me, hearken unto me, O great and good Lord, with desire for the love of whom my soul is fain to feed herself, but cannot satisfy her hunger for Thee, to call upon whom my mouth findeth no name that sufficeth my heart. For there is no word that expresseth unto me that which by Thy grace my heart conceiveth concerning Thee. I have prayed, O Lord, as I could, but my will was greater than my power. Hearken unto me, hearken unto me, according to Thy power, who canst do whatsoever Thou dost will. I have prayed as one weak and sinful, hear me, O hear me, as one mighty and merciful; and grant unto my friends and unto mine enemies not only what I have prayed, but what Thou knowest to be expedient for each one, and agreeable to Thy will. Grant to all, both living and dead, the help of Thy mercy; and ever hear me not according to the desires of my heart or the 134requests of my lips, but as Thou knowest and wiliest that I ought to will and to ask, O Saviour of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

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