Cardinal Newman’s Prayer for Humility before God

“O my God, holiness befits Your house, and yet You make Your home in my heart.  My Lord, My Savior, to me You come hidden under the semblance of earthly things, yet in that very flesh and blood which You took from Mary, You, who first inhabited Mary’s breast, do now come to me. My God, You see me; I cannot see myself.  Were I ever so good a judge about myself, ever so unbiased and with ever so correct a rule of judging, still, from my very nature, I cannot look at myself and view myself truly and wholly.

But You , as You come to me, contemplate me.  When I say, “Lord, I am not worthy,” You, whom I am addressing, alone understand in their fullness the words which I use.  You see how unworthy so great a sinner is, to receive the One Holy God, whom the seraphim adore with trembling.  You see not only the stains and scars of past sins, but also the mutilations, the deep cavities, and the chronic disorders they have left in my soul.  You see the innumerable living sins, though they be not mortal, lining in their power and presence, their guilt and their penalties which clothe me; You see all my bad habits, my insensitive attitudes, my wayward, lawless thoughts, my multitude of infirmities and miseries; yet You come.  You see most perfectly how little I really feel what I am now saying, yet You come.  O my God, left to myself should I not perish under the awful splendor and the consuming fire of Your Majesty? Enable me to bear You, lest I have to say with Peter: ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’ ”

You Raise Me Up

You Looked Down

You looked down
From Your Cross
To behold faithfulness.
There stood Your Mother.

You beheld her look of grief,
Her suffering Your pain.
You wed it
To Your Own,
Presenting all
Before Our Father’s holy throne.

© 2013 Joann Nelander