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Another prayer for self-knowledge.
Almighty Father of mercies! Father of Heaven,
oh look down with benignity on a child of sin,
thus lowly prostrate before Thee;
fervently beseeching Thy divine grace
to enable me to know myself;
for my heart is deceitful above all things,
and mine eyes are blind to its defects;
but Thou, oh Almighty Father,
Thou “searchest all hearts, and triest the reins,
that man may be tried according to his ways,
and according to the fruits of his doing;” (Jeremiah 17:10)
and deceitful though our hearts may be to ourselves,
they are known to Thee, oh God!
and hidden as they are from us,
their every failing, passing weakness,
their slender virtues, all are known to Thee,
and all are open to Thy just and awful inspection.
But if we know not our own hearts, oh God,
how are we to walk in thy paths?
how dare we approach
even to the footstool of Thy dazzling throne,
when our own sinful hearts are unknown to us?
Father of Mercy! King of Justice!
oh listen to my humble and earnest entreaty.
Oh, God of Israel!
let not my prayers be disregarded,
but grant them, if not for my sake,
for the sake of that great and holy Name
which is blessed above all things.
Oh pour Thy divine grace upon my soul,
that my heart may stand before me
in all its wickedness.
Discover to me, oh gracious God,
my own sinful heart,
and its weakness,
that I may guard against them;
that I may not fall in error through self-ignorance.
And discover to me, oh my Heavenly Father,
those talents Thou hast bestowed on me,
that I may walk in that path
for which they were designed.
Grant me Thy divine grace, oh blessed Lord God;
for without Thy divine illumination
all will be darkness,
where all should be light.
Make known to me
the depths and devices of my heart;
for without Thy divine aid and instruction,
oh my God, how dare I hope to know myself.
Oh hear me, my Heavenly Father!
hear me as I thus prostrate myself before Thee.
Oh listen to my earnest, beseeching prayer.
Let me not plead in vain, oh merciful God,
but bestow on me that divine light
which will illumine the darkness.
Oh hear me, Father of Mercy;
hear me, thou King of Justice,
whose dread hand is ever writing over our heads
a record of our words, thoughts, and actions.
Hear me, oh God of Israel,
and for the sake of the glorious Messiah
Thou hast promised unto Thy people,
oh grant my fervent and humble prayer.
Blessed be Thy great and holy name,
henceforth and for evermore! —
“Another prayer for self-knowledge” by Grace Aguilar was published posthumously by her mother Sarah Aguilar in Essays and Miscellanies (1853), in the section “Sacred Communings,” pp. 171-173. The prayer does not appear in the UK edition of Sacred Communings (1853).
“Another Prayer for Self-knowledge, by Grace Aguilar (ca. 1830s)” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
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Am Tage vor Neujahr auf dem Begräbnißplatz [№1] | On the day before the New Year in the burial ground [№1], a teḥinah by Yehoshua Heshil Miro (1829)