The Collect at Mass yesterday, the 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time – a Sunday where the readings had much to do with penitence and mercy, adverted to the gap there sometimes is between intention and performance:
O God, strength of those who hope in you,
graciously hear our pleas,
and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing,
grant us always the help of your grace,
that in following your commands
we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
The prayer also reminds of our powerlessness without the grace of God. Left alone we cannot even repent. When we do repent it is because already, and perhaps before we have begun to recognise it, we have been cooperating with the grace…
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