A Confessional Prayer

This was previously posted in 2010, but it feels appropriate to post it again:

What among your creation is like you, O God? What in your creation can be compared to you? Shall we point to the tallest peaks in order to match your majesty? Yet your majesty towers over them. Shall we look to the furthest galaxies and the vast expanse of space to find something as big as you? Yet you contain it all within your hands.

All is contingent upon you, O God. A dove does not fly, a drop of rain does not fall, a wave does not churn, an atom does not move without your constant reflection upon their being. Were you to ever turn your gaze from your creation it would disappear. Nothing in your creation can ever compare to you for you are infinitely above it.

I confess that you are not weak. Your piercing gaze tames the untamable lion. When the storm rages and the seas refuse to cease and yield their might to no one, they are calmed by your whisper. What man can bring down the planets or the various galaxies? What man can ever hope to travel light years, to traverse billions of miles within a human lifetime, to visit these distance lands? And yet with your mere word they came into existence. You are above your creation and control your creation.

You are not limited to any space. We do not need to climb a mountain to find you or travel to a distant land to seek your wisdom. You are eternally present in all your creation, though your creation remains distinct from you and is not in you. For as the Psalmist says, if I should make my bed in the deepest valley, you shall be there. I cannot escape the presence of my God for my God is beyond all of creation.

You are ignorant of nothing O Lord! Nothing escapes your knowledge; you are infinitely wise, so much so that you know what could have happened even if it has not happened. What is man’s knowledge compared to you, O God? We are but foolish children in your presence, but this still does not display our knowledge to yours. We are ants to you, but an ant’s knowledge is closer to a man’s knowledge than a man’s knowledge is to you. You are far above us, O God. You know the placement of every electron in the universe and you know where they will be located tomorrow, the next day, or the day after. Nothing escapes your knowledge or foreknowledge.

I know that you are not evil and are held to no standard but your own. In all that you do, O Lord, you are good. It is in your goodness that you chose to create and it is your goodness that prevented you from eradicating your creation when we turned against you. No evil is to be found in you and no judge can condemn you, for you are the standard of good. We know what is good because you are good.

In all, you are love, but a love that we humans cannot fathom. Who would dare to put your love into words? This is why you did not sent a poet to sing of your love, a philosopher to explain in intricate detail how you love us, or a skilled rhetorician to sooth us with the knowledge of your love. Instead, you sent your Son to die on our behalf so that you might display your love, but even so we shall never comprehend your love.

Who are we to you O God? We are but infinitely small and insignificant rats who rebel against your glory!  Have mercy upon us, O Lord! But in your love for us, you have stayed your perfect judgment – for no judge is as just as you, you give to all what they deserve and require due penance from those who should pay – in your love you created us.

What is greater than you, O God? There is nothing greater than you. When you created, something other than you existed and imperfection existed. Only you are truly perfect; we met your standard of goodness, for we were as perfect as a created being can be. The creation of us was a sacrifice, to have to deal with that which is lesser than yourself, but you chose to do it anyway! When men see the darkness of this life they curse you for the gift you have given them! Job cursed the day he was born, but did not take into consideration that his mere existence was an act of love on your behalf. O Holy God, have mercy upon us sinners!

What was before us? What was before you spoke into the black void of nothingness? You existed in perfect harmony with yourself, in three persons sharing in one essence. Father, Son, and Spirit existing in perfect harmony and love.

I know that you are Trinity, O God, for how could you love if you were anything else? If you were one person, how could you love when no one else existed? I confess through your example and through your words that the greatest love is sacrificial, for only one who loves would lay down his life for his friends. But if you were one person then to whom did you sacrifice? To whom did you give your love?

In this we know that there were three; the Father loved the Son and both loved the Spirit. For you are perfect in your love and perfect love shares. The love between Father and Son would have been selfish and so, in your nature, you loved the Spirit as well. O Holy Trinity, forgive me for being so inadequate in my language about you. Please have mercy upon me on the Day of Judgment if I have offended you with my simple words!

You have revealed to us that the Father has eternally begotten the Son, not in the carnal begetting that we experience, but in a begetting we cannot understand. But I confess that you did this without changing and that the Word had no beginning. Lord, you are begotten, but not created. Just as the rays of the sun are begotten from the sun, but co-exist with the age of the sun so too is the Word to the Father, begotten by the Father, but co-eternal with Him.

And what of your most Holy Spirit? We praise you Spirit, for you are God and proceed from the Father. You have revealed that your procession did not begin within time, but that you are co-equal with the Father. Just as the heat from the sun’s rays proceed from the sun, but co-exist with the age of the sun, so too do you proceed from the Father, but co-exist with him.

Who am I to even understand this much about you, O Lord? How have I, a sinful man, been found worthy of your grace for you to allow me to understand this portion about you? May my mind never seek to go beyond what you have revealed. Who am I to understand the mysteries of you, O God? Should I ever attempt to understand you who are unbegotten and begotten, who proceeds and causes the procession? Shall I ever attempt to define you, you who escape all definition? May it never be Lord! May you strip me of my rationality should I ever say that I comprehend you! May you block my path and eradicate me from all existence should I ever attempt to go beyond what you have revealed!

Who is man that he might elevate himself over you? Who am I that I might take pride in my knowledge when you are the giver of that knowledge? What can I claim on my own behalf? That I can turn a page and read the words on it? You can move a mountain with no effort. Nothing is hidden from you and you know all things; I confess that I know nothing unless revealed to me, so what pride am I to take in that?

May I ever take refuge in you O Lord. May I have an eternal vigil in your presence. I am not worthy to know who you are, but you have allowed me to know. O glorious God, I worship you and thank you for who you are. Have mercy upon me, a sinner.