Chapter 112

How we should Declare our Needs to Christ, and Ask his Grace

THE DISCIPLE. Most dear and loving Lord, whom I now desire to receive with all devotion. You know my weakness and my many needs, the countless sins and vices that afflict me, and how often I am discouraged, tempted, troubled, and defiled. I come to You for healing; I beg You to comfort and relieve me. I make my prayer to Him who knows all things, (Ps 119:2) to whom my inmost thoughts lie unconcealed, and who alone can perfectly comfort and aid me. You know the graces I most need, and how lacking I am in all virtues.

See, Lord, I stand before You naked and poor, begging for grace and imploring mercy. Appease the hunger of this, Your beggar; warm my coldness by the fire of Your love, and lighten my blindness by the light of Your presence. Turn for me all worldly things into bitterness, all grievous and harmful things into patience, and cause me to despise and put out of mind all base and material things. Raise my heart to You in Heaven, and let me no longer be a wanderer on the face of the earth. Be my sole delight henceforward and for ever, for You alone are my food and drink, my love and my joy, my delight and my supreme good.

Oh, that You would set me wholly afire by Your presence, and change me into Yourself, that I might be made one spirit with You (I Cor. 6:17) by the grace of inward vision, and by the fusion of ardent love. Do not send me away hungry and thirsty, but deal with me in Your mercy, as You have dealt so marvellously with Your Saints. How wonderful it would be, were I wholly on fire with You and dead to self, for You, 0 Lord, are the Fire unquenchable (Lev. 6:13) that burns for ever ; You are the Love that purifies the heart and lights the mind.

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