28 March 2017

Eric Milner-White: Lord, bless to me this Lent


Laetare Sunday is now done and dusted, the Simnel Cake consumed, and the rose-coloured vestments tucked away till next Advent. Yet for some it feels as if this Lent is not quite what it should be. A friend wrote, "I feel somehow I got off on the wrong foot this Lent."

It is never too late to consecrate anew your Lenten journey at this very moment for what is left of the Season. To that end I share a well-known prayer of Eric Milner-White (1884-1963) that appeared in the 1967 edition of My God, My Glory:

LORD, bless to me this Lent.

Lord, let me fast most truly and profitably,
by feeding in prayer on thy Spirit:
reveal me to myself
in the light of thy holiness.

Suffer me never to think
that I have knowledge enough to need no teaching,
wisdom enough to need no correction,
talents enough to need no grace,
goodness enough to need no progress,
humility enough to need no repentance,
devotion enough to need no quickening,
strength sufficient without thy Spirit;
lest, standing still, I fall back for evermore.

Shew me the desires that should be disciplined,
and sloths to be slain.
Shew me the omissions to be made up
and the habits to be mended.
And behind these, weaken, humble, and annihilate in me
self-will, self-righteousness, self-satisfaction,
self-sufficiency, self-assertion, vainglory.

May my whole effort be to return to thee;
O make it serious and sincere
persevering and fruitful in result,
by the help of thy Holy Spirit
and to thy glory,
my Lord and my GOD.

The Very Reverend Dr  Eric Milner-White 
My God, My Glory
SPCK: London