On thy personal sins
Recall and go over each and every one of thy sins both mortal and
venial, o my soul. See the depths of thy sin and
its frequency. Yea, from the dawn of reason down to this day, whether by outward senses or inward faculties their number cannot
be counted, nor their malice estimated. Thou hast sinned by thine eyes; gazing closely, unrestrainedly, and wantonly upon
shows, fooleries, plays, women and their vanities, even on holy days and at divine service. Thine ears have been opened to
lewd songs, backbiting words and the like. Thou hast offended by taste in eating and drinking; in many ways hast thou offended
by touch. Likewise thou hast sinned with thine interior faculties, especially in thine intellect and by thy will. In many
grievous ways hast thou sinned with thy tongue–swearing rashly or falsely; by detraction; in lying, cursing or threatening;
by sowing discord. Lastly by making known secrets. And so on, of every member of thy body.
Look and see, how thou art
guilty under each head of the seven deadly sins. Pride hath reigned in thy heart and shown itself in thy speech, thy gait,
thy vesture; in self-praise and in putting thyself forward; and by a desire of honour and of the foremost places. Through
pride hast thou decked thyself out with over much care and wastefully. And so mayest thou think of each of thy mortal sins.
Turn over in mind and see how badly thou hast kept God's commandments and the Church's; yea rather, how shamefully thou hast
broken them. What hath been the scandal thou hast given to others and how many times? Day by day the good thou shouldst perform
hath gone undone: and what thou hast done for God's service or to fulfil thy duties hath been done right neglectfully.
how sin hath filled thee through and through. How badly thou hast done thy duty in correcting thy brother. How evilly and
perversely thou hast used thy gifts and drawn aside others into sin by comforting and praising them, by not stopping or chiding
them. Often thou hast shriven thee with little care and (as thou mayest fear) approached holy communion unworthily. Daily,
yes, hourly thou walkest before God boldly and without reverence. See how often thou sinnest in thought and desire; how often
thou dost not bear thyself manfully in temptation or resist it quickly enough. There are vain conversations: putting human
respect in place of God's fear: eating and drinking choicely out of hours, and greedily: bursts of laughter and such like
vanities. Thy prayers have been without devotion, thy time wasted, thou hast not kept in mind God's patience with thee.
Return to Index