Lord, we thank you for the gift of confession,
for having taken away all our sins by your death.
When you did this, you showed us how total
nakedness before the Father,
how standing ready before him, doing his will,
remaining where he has placed us
all belong to the essence of true confession.
And now, as we come to the end of this year,
we are conscious of having often done wrong.
We have neglected so many things that, in keeping with your will,
we ought to have attacked with gusto.
We have not paid enough attention to your voice,
we have not truly lived for you alone.
For we should have sought you
in all things,
we should have relished the year's joys
as coming from you,
we ought to have taken on ourselves its sufferings
as willed or permitted by you,
we ought to have followed every path
you opened to us.
And yet there is no need
to look back dolefully on this year,
for like every year it was a year of your grace.
A year in which you helped us,
ceaselessly encouraged us,
and showered us with joys and an endless number of good gifts.
And if we have not discovered you in all things
and have failed so often to meet your expectations,
today your grace permits us
to have the refuse cleared away from us.
You cleanse, you mend,
you make all things new in us
and together with us.
And you do all this by the power of your Cross.
You suffered this Cross on Good Friday,
and, in spite of our denial,
you made so many feasts of redemption come after it
on the strength of your Resurrection.
And the absolution you give us
is a perfect one:
you give us the gift of a new purity,
in union with the Father in your common
Holy Spirit, in the eternal purity of the Trinity.
And so we do not have to keep building
on an imperfect and unstable basis
but have the grace of a new beginning on the foundation
of your own perfection, which you communicate to us.
We have the grace to join in your work of construction,
to walk, to hope, to labor at your side.
This is how confession shines into our daily life,
this is the effect of absolution.
It irradiates and causes that joy
which sprang first from your Cross
and throughout all the days of the past year
was enough to show us plainly your task.
Therefore, we thai you for having done everything for us
exactly as we needed,
we thank the Father, who let you become man for our sake,
we thank the Holy Spirit,
whose constant effort has been
to realize your mission in our existence. Amen.
- Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers,