our small and tarnished love


Lord, we thank Thee for all the love that has been given to us,
   for the love of family and friends,
   and above all for Your love poured out upon us
      every moment of our lives in steadfast glory.
Forgive our unworthiness.
Forgive the many times we have disappointed those who love us,
   have failed them, wearied them, saddened them.
Failing them we have failed You,
   and hurting them we have wounded our Saviour
   who for love’s sake died for us.
Lord, have mercy on us, and forgive.

You do not fail those who love You.
You do not change nor vary.
Teach us Your own constancy in love,
   Your humility, selflessness and generosity.
Look in pity on our small and tarnished loving,
   protect, foster and strengthen it,
   that it may be less unworthy to be offered to You and to Your children.
O Light of the world, teach us how to love.

Elizabeth Goudge, 1900-1984, English novelist


Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

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