Behold, O my God, I am the man who went down to Jericho and fell among thieves; sorely have they wounded me and left me lying half-dead. Come, Lord, You faithful Helper, raise me up and heal me.
I have sinned heavily in my whole conduct, and done evil in Your sight; I have not exercised myself in the knowledge of You; I have been unthankful for Your many benefits, and have not praised Your name rightly. Often and in many ways have I abstained from uttering Your truths, and when You have stood and knocked at the door of my heart I have been slothful, and have not welcomed You as I ought. This body, which fades like a shadow, and shall be the food of worms, I have cherished too much; I have defiled my lips with unseemly words, and I have been negligent and careless about Your wholesome Word. I have not ever and always turned away my eyes from beholding vanity, nor kept my ears from listening to unprofitable things. Many a time my hands have not served my neighbor in his need, while my feet were swift to evil. Need I say more, my God? From the crown of my head to the sole of my feet there is no health in me.
Ah! my Lord Jesus, have You not died for me on the Cross, and redeemed me, my soul must have perished forever; but now I am a partaker, O merciful Lord, in Your great salvation. Do not reject me, my Savior, for I among those whom You have so dearly purchased with Your precious blood. Behold, I am a wandering sheep, seek me, You good Shepherd, and bear me home to Your fold, according to Your promise. You have promised, to be my Helper. I believe in You, Sweet Jesus. For it is written that whenever a poor sinner shall sigh unto You You will hearken unto him. Now see how humbly I mourn and acknowledge my sins, which are ever before me. In truth, I am not worthy to be called Your son, yet make me, my Savior, to hear joy and gladness, and not to turn Your face from me.
O You Son of the Living God, Only Begotten of Your Father before all worlds! Blessed are those who love You and desire naught else; blessed are those who daily remember You and keep Your ways unto their life’s end. O Holy Bread of Heaven, how rich and bounteous are You; how overflowing are Your gifts! For You exclude no man unless it be that he despises You and refuses to come to You. Is anyone young and small, let him come boldly to You and eat, and he will grow and increase; he will put away his childish mind, and walk in the paths of true wisdom. Is any yet weak, let him hasten to You and eat and he shall soon wax strong. Is any sick, he shall be relieved. Is any dead in sins, let him but hearken to You and he shall attain everlasting life. And though one be strong and full grown, yet will he perceive that he is still in need of many things, and in You will he find abundantly that whereby he may daily increase in them. None can live a moment without You, for it is You alone who give life to all creatures.
O God, the joy and consolation of my heart, my soul is glad in You, and my spirit has a desire for You; for all who turn away from You must pine forever. O You true and invisible Light which never can be quenched, behold me sitting like a poor blind man beside the way, and crying unto You, “ Jesus, You Son of David, have mercy upon me, open the eyes of my soul, that I may see You! Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner. You are my Help and my Confidence, oh lead me unto eternal salvation! Lord, You are my physician, heal me! I am naked, and suffer cold, O You rich Lord, cover me with the mantle of Your righteousness. My soul hungers in this desert. O Lord, the true Food, quicken my heart. My soul is thirsty. Lord, You are the true healing Spring, water and refresh my spirit with Your wholesome comfort. I have come into the deep mire, and my strength fails me; I am far out on the seas, and the floods threaten to swallow me up. I have cried till I am weary and hoarse, and the waters of death are coming into my very soul. Save me, O Lord, my Shield, my Deliverer, my Comfort, my Refuge, my Strength, my King and my God, for Your mercies’ sake. Amen
|St. Jerome 329-420 – A Father of the Latin Church, born in Dalmatia, died at Bethlehem. His Latin version of the Old Testament, from the original language, was the foundation of the Vulgate|