He who learns must suffer, and, even in our sleep, pain that we cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. - Aeschylus

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Praying with the Gospels: The Prodigal Son

Lord, please help me by Your grace, I who have demanded
an inheritance which is less than that you would give to me,
I who have squandered the blessings Your hands showered
upon me even while I was turning my back on Your home.

Please grant me one last gift from the bounty of Your love:
an understanding of how much I have lost by leaving your
household and how little I have gained by the pleasures of
the flesh which leave me always empty and wanting more.

The only gift I yet desire is to have a chance to say to You:
"Father, I have sinned against Your household in Heaven
and against You who have loved me deeply before I knew
You.  I am your servant, not worthy to be Heaven's son."

Brooklyn Museum - The Return of the Prodigal Son (Le retour de l'enfant prodigue) - James Tissot.jpg
By James Tissot - Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006, 00.159.185_PS1.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10904523

Note: The parable of the prodigal son from the Gospel has inspired not only many of us to return to God, but also many wonderful works of art, including many paintings and songs.

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