We often suffer under our own condemnation: a harsh and unforgiving demand for perfection.
We must show compassion to ourselves as well as to others.
Blessed Jesus, you traveled into Hell itself
to save those who were without hope.
You destroyed the barrier
that kept them in the terrible darkness.
Do as much, O Lord, for me.
Forgive me my little faith.
In times like these it is quite petite:
a slender thing, a windswept reed,
trembling in awful fear.
Hear my quiet groaning,
my yearning sorrow,
my weary tears —
the many human weaknesses
I spend endless hours attempting to deny.
Yes, Lord, I sometimes stumble,
I often struggle,
and I’ve been known to fall.
I’ve been short-tempered and demanding —
and as for forgiveness....
I’m afraid that’s in short supply.
Sadly, O Friend of my heart,
the one I forgive least of all
I adhere to a Zero Tolerance Policy
toward my mistakes,
I grieve any effort
that falls short of perfection.
What that means, Source of Healing Love,
is that I set for myself
an impossible goal;
I’m trying to compete
with the angels themselves:
insisting on an unachievable ideal.
O Kind and Generous Protector;
from my harshest critic
and fiercest judge.
Help me to give the gift
of love and compassion
to one who needs it greatly:
teach me to show true Christian friendship