DRAW NEAR TO ME, O GOD
Father in Heaven! Avert Thy countenance from me no longer, let it once again shine upon me so that I may walk in Thy path, and not lose myself further and further away from Thee, where Thy voice can no longer reach me. O, let Thy voice come unto me, be heard by me even though it overtake me with terror on the wrong path, where I live secluded and alone, as though sick and besmirched, far from communion with Thee and humankind. Thou, my Lord Jesus Christ, Thou who camest into the world in order to save those who were lost, Thou who didst leave the ninety and nine sheep in order to look for the lost one, look Thou for me in the path of my errors, where I hide myself from Thee and from humankind. Thou the Good Shepherd let me hear Thy gentle voice, let me know it, let me follow it! Thou Holy Spirit, come before me with inexpressible sighs, pray for me as Abraham prayed for Sodom, if there be only one pure thought, only one better feeling in me, that the time of trial may be prolonged for the barren tree, O Holy Spirit, Thou who dost bear again those who are already dead, who dost give renewed youth and strength, renew my heart and create in me a new heart -- Thou who with motherly care dost protect everything in which there is still a spark of life! O also preserve me bound ever faster to Thee my Savior, my Redeemer, that I may not, when cured, forget, like the nine lepers, to return to Him who has given me life, in whom alone blessedness is found: bless my action and my thought, so that it may be known that I am His serf now and in all eternity!
THINE INFINITE WISDOM
O my God, how often have I not rejoiced, given thanks, been unspeakably grateful in discovering how wondrously events have been ordered…that I would do something and only later I would fully understand that the course of events was significant and just. But at times I also have had to say with overflowing joy: "My God, Thy wisdom disposes – in making use of my stupidity." I do not fail to act with considered judgment, but I still do some stupid or imprudent things, and I am at the point of losing courage, thinking that now even everything is lost, and then afterward I understand that exactly this stupidity Thou hast turned into infinite wisdom. Infinite love!
THERE IS SO MUCH TO DRAG US BACK
O Lord Jesus Christ, there is so much to drag us back: empty pursuit, trivial pleasures, unworthy cares. There is so much to frighten us away: a pride too cowardly to submit to being helped, cowardly apprehensiveness which evades danger to its own destruction, anguish for sin which shuns holy cleansing as disease shuns medicine. But Thou art stronger than these, so draw Thou us now more strongly to Thee. We call Thee our Savior and Redeemer, since Thou didst come to earth to redeem us – to redeem us from the servitude under which we were bound or had bound ourselves, to save the lost! This is Thy work, which Thou didst complete, and which Thou wilt continue to complete until the end of the world...for since Thou Thyself hast said it, therefore Thou wilt do it – lifted up from the earth Thou wilt draw all unto Thee. Draw me, O Lord Jesus Christ!
Alleluia! Strong Son of God!
Soren A. Kierkegaard, cf. Perry D. LeFevre, The Prayers of Kierkegaard, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963.