Prayer for Transformation of the Past
O LOVE unspeakable and full of glory, whose majesty is not to destroy, but to save, save me from myself.
My past relentlessly pursues me. Days that I thought dead live over again; deeds that I deemed buried meet me on the way; be You my rearward, O my God.
Fill up that which my life has left behind, undo that which my life has done amiss. Repair the places I have wasted, bind the hearts I have wounded, dry the eyes I have flooded. Make the evil I have done to work for good, so that I myself would not know it. Overrule the acts I did in malice; weave them into Your divine mosaic, that my very wrath may be made to praise You.
Take up my yesterdays into Your own golden light, and transfigure them there, that I may learn with joyful surprise how even against my will I was laboring together with You; so shall my former self find me no more. Amen.
Meditation: Atonement for past sins is every man’s duty.
If the past has already been to you one of wasted opportunities and neglected responsibilities, though it is too late to undo, let us feel that it is not too late to do with redoubled energy what yet remains to be done.
To shake off the lethargy of spiritual indifference, to renounce all unmanly and ignoble selfishness, to respond to the call of duty, to begin a life of earnest, active beneficence, to crowd our days with deeds, and, God helping us, in what remains of life to be as good and to do as much good as we can – for this at least it is not too late.
The harvest indeed is past, the summer is over and gone! Gone are the sweet days of innocence, gone the vernal time of youthful ardor, gone the sunny harvest hours of manhood’s effort and activity! But, oh, still happy you are, if when the sands of life are running out, in that supreme moment when earth and earthly things shall be passing forever from your sight, you can look back on this last period of your earthly probation with the blessed consciousness that, that at least has not been given in vain.
And may God forbid that when the last comes to the last, as we lie waiting the inevitable summons, it should be with the terrible conviction that for all the higher purposes of existence, for all the ends for which God has given us our life, our life has been a failure, a failure for which there is now no place of repentance. — John Caird