Return Our Nation to Thy Truth and Grace

O Sapientia, O Wisdom who hast issued out of the mouth of the Highest, and reachest in Thy Providence from the beginning to the end of all things, and disposest all things in sweetness and in strength, it was by Thy unmerited grace, we acknowledge it, O Lord, that this country of ours was so many centuries ago brought into the true fold, and gifted with the knowledge of Thy Truth and the grace of Thy Sacraments. Alas! how things have changed since then! The people was small then and of little account; now it stands highest among the nations of the earth. Then it was obscure and poor—now it has amazing wealth and pre-eminent power; but then it was great in Thy sight, and now on the contrary it is little, for it has lost Thee. O my God, what doth it profit, though we gain the whole world and lose our own souls? or what exchange shall we give for our souls? Wilt Thou forget, O Lord, {181} what by Thy grace we once were, before we turned from Thee? Wilt Thou not listen to all our Saints and Martyrs who are now reigning with Thee and are ever interceding for us? O, look not upon our haughtiness and pride; look not upon our contempt of truths invisible; look not upon our impurity; but look upon Thy own merits; look upon the wounds in Thy hands; look upon Thy past mercies towards us; and, in spite of our wilfulness, subdue our hearts to Thee, O Saviour of men, and renew Thy work in the midst of the years, in the amidst of the years re-establish Thou it. {182}