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THE NINTH CHAPTER.

A Prayer to the Son for Pardon, and the grace of Self-denial.

O Most merciful Jesus, I beseech Thee by Thy bitter sorrow and anxious grief, when Thou wert made sorrowful even unto death at the inward contemplation of the bitter Passion and shameful death which were so close at hand, so that the strain within Thee made Thee tremble outwardly, and sweat blood and water—by that exceeding great anguish of Thy Soul, when prostrate on Thy Face, Thou didst pray so earnestly to Thy Father, and with simple created love and true resignation, didst struggle with the fear of death, not heeding the horrors of Thy lower powers, but submitting and subjecting Thyself with the created love of Thy Humanity, to the uncreated love of Thy most high Godhead, wert made obedient with Thy full consent to Thy Father, even unto the death of the cross;—by the struggle 82and mighty effort of that contest, by the intolerable pain of Thy Soul and Body, by the sweat of blood itself which broke forth from all Thy members, and flowed down in great drops upon the ground;—by all this sorrow and grief, I beseech Thee, O tender Jesus, to pour into me true contrition for my sins, and to soften my heart of stone to compunction, and to inflame it to devotion, and to give to my eyes rivers of tears, so that night and day I may weep for having wronged and insulted Thee, and for the numberless sins whereby I have offended Thee, O Lord my God!

Deal not with me, I implore Thee, according to my demerits, but according to Thine infinite mercy; neither enter into judgment with Thy servant, but set, I beseech Thee, this bitter Passion of Thine between Thy judgment and my wretched soul with its sins. And whatever mine iniquities deserve, let Thy bitter Death forgive, and Thy precious Blood wash away for ever. Grant, O most gracious God, that I may deny my own will, and make myself of no reputation, and submit myself and all creatures to Thee, my Lord and Maker, for Thy sake, and that I may feel also that I am the vilest and most unworthy of all Thy creatures; that thus I may be resigned in will, and as free from 83all choice, as if never I had any will of mine own at all.

O Jesus Christ, most strong and unconquerable Lion, Who hast overcome the world and its prince, do Thou so strengthen, I beseech Thee, my weakness, that I may utterly overcome my sensuality and unmortified rebel nature, and every inordinate affection towards all things in this world beneath Thyself; and that I may put a yoke upon myself, and perfectly and wholly turn away from all that can stain my heart, or come between Thy love and me; in a word, that I may love Thee, my Lord, as purely and as fervently as it is possible for a perishable creature to love. Make, also, my heart so just, and right, and pure, and place it so close to Thy Heart, that between me and Thee there may be found nothing distorted, nothing unjust, nothing unlike Thee; so that in all my conversation, and in all my works, I may seek for nothing, desire nothing, look for nothing, or intend nothing, except to please Thee, honour Thee, perform whatever is Thy will, and love Thee with my whole heart; and that in this I may ever spend my whole being, in order, in some poor little way, at least, to repay Thy love.

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