Ps. 51 (BCP)
Lately, my heart has become polluted. Just as our air has been polluted by car exhaust and factory smoke, so has my heart been deceived by the temptation of immediate gratification. It has been hypnotized by the popular song. It has been seduced by advertisements.
And I have been dumping wastes on my heart: resentment; self pity; and a rapacious ego.
We have learned, of late, how difficult it is to clean the pollution caused by the dumping of industrial wastes. And I know how hard it is to clean ego-wastes from my heart. For humans it is impossible, but all things are possible through God.
So I pray that God create a new, clean heart in me. And I consider two thoughts which comfort me in this process. We have heard that faith without works is barren. I now believe there is a corollary: works without faith is death.
And that faith is that it is not I who act, but Our Lord who acts through me. With thanks to God, “Whose power, working is us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.”
Originally published in October 1986 Pilgrim