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Catholic Spiritual Direction

His Grace for My Sin – A Prayer of St Augustine

March 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Lent, Prayer, Prayers of Saints, Seasonal Meditations

His Grace for My Sin – A Prayer of St Augustine

“What fault committed by man has not been expiated by the Son of God made man? What pride can be so immeasurably inflated, that it could not be brought down by such humility? Truly, O my God, if we were to weigh both the offenses committed by sinners, and the grace of God the Redeemer, we would find that the difference equaled not only the distance between east and west, but the distance between hell and the highest heaven. O wonderful Creator of light, by the terrible sorrows of Your Son, pardon my sins! Grant, O God, that His goodness may overcome my wickedness, that His meekness may atone for my perversity, that His mildness may dominate my irascibility. May His humility make amends for my pride; His patience, for my impatience; His benignity, for my harshness; His obedience, for my disobedience; His tranquility, for my anxiety, His sweetness, for my bitterness; may His charity blot out my cruelty!”

St Augustine

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Beyond his “contagious” love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN’s National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN’s Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • donnamariebray

    thank you so much for posting this! a very blessed Lent to you!

  • Jessie Beard

    This brings to mind another combo – the difference between self-love and Holy Love.
    S L – Is motivated towards self-advantage in thought word and deed
    H L – Is motivated in every thought, word and action by love of God, and neighbor as self.
    S L – Sees only other’s faults, not his own. Considers himself on the right path – perhaps even humble and virtuous.
    H L – Imitates Divine Mercy as best he can. Is compassionate and forgiving.
    S L – Is quick to anger and stands vigil over his own rights, making certain they are not transgressed.
    H L – Is patient. Takes note of others’ needs and concerns.
    S L -Hangs on to his own opinions refusing to surrender to another viewpoint
    H L – Offers his own opinions but listens to others and lends them equal merit with his own.
    S L Takes pride in his own achievements. May even take pride in his spiritual progress.
    H L – Realizes all things proceed from God; that without God he is capable of no good thing. All good comes from grace.
    S L – Sees himself and the world as the be-all/end-all. His only pleasure is thus achieved through the world.
    H L – Takes joy in storing up heavenly treasure: in growing closer to God and deeper in holiness. Knows the difference between earthly pleasures and spiritual joy.
    S L -Uses the goods of the world to satisfy self.
    H L – Uses the goods of the world to satisfy quest for holiness.
    S L – Objects to every cross. Sees trials as a curse. Resents others’ good fortune.
    H L – Surrenders to the cross through love as Jesus did. Sees crosses as a grace to be used to convert others.
    S L – Prays only for himself and his own needs.
    H L – Prays for all in need
    S L – Cannot accept God’s Will. Becomes bitter over trials.
    H L – Accepts God’s will with a loving heart even when difficult.
    Taken from Lessons on the Virtues -Archangel Gabriel Enterprises, Inc

    • Cathy

      I can not thank you enough for this! I know that self love is very bad, and Holy Love is the way we were meant to live. I at this point need this broken down and spelled out, and this is wonderful. I look at myself while reading this and realize I have a lot more work to do, which is so perfect for Lent. May He bless you now and always!!

      • Jessie Beard

        I guss that is the difference between us and God. We will always have a lot of work to do. The strange thing about humility is that once a person decides that he has arrived and has no need of more humility to work at, well, that is when he is not humble and Satan sneeks in.

    • Guest

      Jessie Beard, your response to this Post is fantastic!!!!! God bless you

  • http://rcspiritualdirection.com/ Mike

    Wonderful post.

  • Guest

    What an inspiring and Spirit-filled Prayer especially during this Lenten Season. Praise be God

  • Maddie

    Hello! I am so glad that many people love to read your website. I love it very much. It is very useful to many people. Thanks!

    Maddie O’Brien

  • Mmanos

    Wow, very powerful!

  • Trelc

    How can I make all of this happen?

    • http://www.spiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

      Dear Friend – give me more words. I am not sure what you are asking.

  • LizEst

    In which writings does this appear? Is it in Augustine’s “Confessions?” If so, would you please give me the citation? Thank you.

  • faithful123

    the article does give one a good starting point for examination of conscience. It’s very good. I would like to note the holy love virtues of a person would take a lifetime to ‘perfect’ — as human beings with that weakness in us called concupiescence; we all fall into some self love here and there throughout life. This is the reason of ‘hard feelings’ amongst family and friends or co-workers.

    Self love is part of all of us to one degree or another…wouldn’t you say? The
    problem is ‘the degree’ of self love. Sometimes, we do have to look out for
    self. We do have to take care of our needs first (or there is nothing left to give away for the next day; correct?)

    All that aside…it is very good and definitely we should always strive for that perfect holiness of which other than…we will not see the kingdom of God.

    • faithful123

      actually…I guess we should love self to the same degree of loving neighbor. As in: We love the Lord our God with whole heart mind and strength and love neighbor AS we love ourselves. It’s the priority, God is first (common good as in the prayer put here by Jessie- all our actions
      honor God’s ways; when we honor His way first (which is good for the
      sake of good) That love naturally flows…ie effects neighbors life; since
      we aren’t seeking our own advantage (selfish) and if that Love for God
      action benefits neighbor it is going to ‘bounce off’ neighbor and come
      right back to ‘us’ – nothing we give away is gone; it comes right back.
      “bread cast upon waters comes back 100 fold” “what you sow, so
      that will you reap” Unselfish love is Holy Love…Holy Love is Agape
      Love. And well…it’s a ONE-ISH way… we discover. Not ‘us and them’
      just ONE in GOD. (one GOD world) Father…may they be one as you
      and I are one. Just one PERFECT ‘in union with Him’ world… WOW
      so simple yet so hard (weakness of human nature the culprit ie
      concupiesence)

  • Grandmarose20

    Thank you for posting this prayer. It is a new prayer to me but one I will treasure. How deeply it speaks of my daily path with our Lord. Certainly it speaks of my failures and His ability to overcome them and guide my way.

  • Trelc

    I am talking about St. Augustine’s prayer. What can I do to make His humility make amends for my pride? In fact how can I get rid of my pride. I have looked and looked for a definition for humility but never found one that I can understand, can you help?

  • Krys

    Many many thanks for this! Isn’t it great (understatement of the year!) the way God gives us what we need spiritually at exactly the right moment – and I sure was in need of this beautiful prayer.

  • http://twitter.com/hamilte3 hamilte3

    I found this by searching for the word “unselfish”. I think I found the answer to my question as to how I can become unselfish: God’s grace.

    • http://www.spiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

      Amen – we find it by working to fight our selfish tendencies and by actively seeking to give ourselves away. Then, by His grace, He empowers us to actually make progress in love.

    • LizEst

      …and, it was grace that led you to this answer.

      Welcome hamilte3! God bless you!