What to do When struggling with Sin

Michel Quoist wrote one of the most compelling poems in the form of a sinner’s prayer, it is one of the most powerful gripping prayers from his book entitled ‘PRAYERS’

Any one struggling with sin in secret can identify and relate to this prayer.

A Sinner’s Prayer

I’ve fallen Lord. Once more I’ll never succeed. I’m so ashamed, I don’t dare look at You.

And yet, I struggled Lord, for I knew You were right near me, bending over me, and watching. But temptation blew like a hurricane and instead of looking to You I turned my head away—I stepped aside while You stood silent and sorrowful, like a spurned fiancé who watches his loved one being carried away by the enemy.

When the wind died down as suddenly as it had arisen — When the lightning ceased after proudly streaking the darkness — All of a sudden I found myself alone, ashamed, disgusted with my sin in my hands.

This sin that I selected the way a customer makes his purchase…

This sin that I’ve paid for and cannot return for the storekeeper is no longer there…

This tasteless sin… This odourless sin… This sin that sickens me—

This sin I wanted but I want no more.

This sin that I’ve imagined, and sought, and played with, and fondled for a very long time… This sin I’ve finally embraced while turning coldly away from You.

My arms outstretched; my eyes and heart are irresistibly drawn… This sin that I’ve grasped and consumed with gluttony.

It’s mine now. It possess me as a spider web holds captive a gnat. It’s mine. It sticks in me. It floats in my veins. It fills my heart. It’s slipped in everywhere Lord, as darkness slips into the forest at dusk, and fills all the patches of light. I can’t get rid of it Lord. I run the way one tries to lose a stray dog, but it catches up with me. And then it bounds joyfully against my legs.

Everyone must notice that I’m so ashamed that I feel like crawling to avoid being seen. I’m ashamed of being seen by my friends. I’m ashamed of being seen by You, Lord! You love me, and I forgot You. I forgot You because I was thinking of myself, and one cannot think of several persons at once. One must choose, and I chose.

And Your voice, Your look, and Your love hurt me, Lord. They weigh me down. They weigh me down more than my sin. Lord, don’t look at me like that. I’m naked. I’m dirty. I’m down. I’m shattered. I’ve no strength left. I make no more promises. I can only lie here before You.

Then God answers: Child… come on. Look up. Isn’t it mainly your vanity that was wounded? If you love Me, you’d be sad… but not that sad. You would trust Me. Do you think there is a limit to My love? Do you think that for a moment I stopped loving you. Ask My forgiveness. Get up quickly and I will give it. It’s not falling in the mud that’s the worst. It’s just staying there and wallowing there.

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