Kyrie Eleison

Read the other chapter here.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak.[i]

And now, O Lord Almighty, the soul in anguish and the troubled spirit crieth to Thee; hear, O Lord, and have mercy, for Thou art a merciful God; and have pity on us; for we have sinned before Thee.[ii]

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to Thee all the day, Give joy to the soul of Thy servant, for to Thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul.[iii]

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak.” O God of might and power, Thou art so great and omnipotent that we feel we cannot appeal to Thee in any way more forcibly than by calling Thy attention to our weakness. We know that all that is noble in man is but a faint reflection of Thy perfection, and we know that few things appeal to a noble-minded, noble-hearted man as strongly as weakness, which looks to him for help and support. So, my God. Confidently do I plead: “Have mercy on me, for I am weak.” We know Thou art a God of compassion. Who could read the history of Agar and not be touched at the thought of the goodness of so great a God in interesting Himself in the needs and sorrows of a poor weak creature of earth? Was it, my God, that when she was cast forth with her son, Thou didst see, in future ages, a far different Mother and Son sent forth also from their home and country by the jealousy of a fellow-creature, and so Thy heart went forth to Agar, and Thou didst hearken to the voice of Ismael for the sake of the divine Child Jesus and his Mother? Or was it rather that, seeing their anguish, Thy compassion made Thee determine that when the “Word was made flesh,” He should pass through a like sorrow, so that none of Thy creatures who might find themselves exiles, houseless, homeless and in want, could feel that they were suffering that in which their Creator, being a stranger, could not compassionate with them? David says that Thou dost look forth from heaven to see if any of Thy people need Thee. O my God, I need Thee and need Thee much; I am weak, and like Agar thirst for the waters of life. My soul thirsts for Thee, the strong, living God. It is true my weakness is all my own. I have squandered the graces that should have made me strong, but as the father of the prodigal did not reproach his son when he saw his forlorn condition, and his frame broken down by famine, so I also know that Thou wilt not reproach me, for Thou art compassionate and merciful and wilt have mercy on me, for I am weak.

Lord, have mercy on us.


[i] Ps. 6:3.

[ii] Bar. 3:1, 2.

[iii] Ps.  85:3, 4.