MMO: December 1

Image: George Mendoza

With the first Sunday of Advent 
a "new year of grace" begins on the church calendar:
Happy New Year!

Good morning, good God!

In this year of grace ahead, Lord, 
I want to offer you more of my heart
than I have in the past...

I want to offer you the pieces of my heart
I'm least inclined to let go;
the parts of my heart I try to hide 
from others, from you, from myself;
the hurting places in my heart
that shy away from even a healing touch...

I offer you the corners of my heart
where I've let some weeds grow wild:
help me weed out anything
that fails to nourish and give me life...

I offer you the closets of my heart,
stuffed with old grudges and resentments:
Lord, help me discard anything
that fails to help me grow...

I offer you boxes of wasted time,
cartons of foolishness and bags of misspent effort 
cluttering my heart:
help me clear out the trash of my mistakes
and give me a new beginning...

And I offer you the cellar of my heart, Lord,
where a locked trunk of hurt and anger
aches to be opened:
with the key of your healing grace 
open me to the peace I seek...

I offer you my heart's hopes and dreams, Lord,
for this new year of grace:
my pledge to pray more regularly;
my desire to grow in faith;
my need to rely on your wisdom and word;
my promise to ask you for help each day;
my word that I'll forgive those who offend me
and be more generous to those in need...

I offer you this new year of grace, Lord,
and ask for the strength and resolve I need
to live it as someone worthy of the name Christian...

I offer you the new year ahead, Lord
- one day at a time -
and I pray for the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference...

I offer you all of my heart, Lord,
and pray you give me a new year of grace 
to grow in faith, to deepen my hope
and give myself to love...


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