by Fr. Jonathan Atchley
Lo, today I began to list the things I was wont to do,
My failings, faults and sins;
And add them up into a script to pray away they’d go,
Turning losses into wins:
Let me not fall for idols false or fail your holy days,
Let me not dishonor your name or fail to sing your praise.
Let me not forget to avail my fellow man in need,
Let me not take advantage and feed my fallen greed.
Let me not disrespect parents whose allegiance I do owe,
Let me not pursue what is impure or discord I might sow.
On and on went my list until I began to see it lack
The positives I could pursue.
And then it occurred that I might pick up this slack
Adding the good I might do:
Lord let me knot your kindness into hearts,
Speaking of your peace that binds,
Let me knot your grace with fear into souls
So they escape Satan like lithe hinds.
Let me knot hope into words for others to repeat,
That glows your glory in lively minds.
And soon I saw my prayers increase a hundred-fold
As each became yet more complete.
For too often I pray with a sorrowful mind, forgetting
That prayer can also be upbeat.
Yes, faith teaches sorry I am and sorrier I’ll be
For all that I fail to do,
But also, ‘tis better that we focus now on our destiny:
Sharing the positives forever good and true.