let me hear your gentle voice, good Shepherd

Grabmal._Christus_als_guter_Hirte_03_cropped
Tomb showing Christ as the Good Shepherd, by Historien d’art, Wikimedia Commons

Father in Heaven!
Avert your gaze from me no longer,
let it once again shine upon me
   so that I may walk in your path,
   and not lose myself further and further away from you,
   where your voice can no longer reach me.
O, let your voice come unto me,
   be heard by me even though it overtake me
   with terror on the wrong path,
   where I love to be secluded and alone,
   as though sick and tarnished,
   far from communion with you and others.

O, my Lord Jesus Christ,
You came into the world in order to save those who were lost,
You who left the ninety nine sheep in order to look for the lost one,
   look for me in the path of my errors,
   where I hide myself from you and from others,
 O, good shepherd let me hear your gentle voice,
   let me know it, let me follow it!

O, Holy Spirit, come before me with inexpressible sight,
   pray for me as Abraham prayed for depraved 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, you who bore again those who are already dead,
   who grants youthfulness to the old,
   renew my heart and create in me a new heart,
 you who with motherly care protects everything
   in which there is still a spark of life.

O also preserve me and bind me ever more quickly to
   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 bond-servant now and in all eternity.

Søren Kierkegaard, 1813 – 1855, Danish philosopher and theologian

__________________

The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them,
and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

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