Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lenten Prayers - Avarice

The schedule keeps pushing us faster and faster in this spring time. So demanding are the urgent and needed things, that it becomes difficult to pay attention to important things. Life is like that - seducing us with its relentless push onward to thinking that doing is the same as being. But it is not. And that is why Lent is important. It forces a deliberate slow down, if only for a few moments, to consider where we have been, where we are, and more importantly, who we are. In our journey through the seven deadly temptations we have come to what might well be the besetting sin of Western civilization - avarice, the commanding desire for more and more, coupled with the dissatisfaction with enough. And so, we pray.

O God, Who is all that I will ever need, forgive me for living as if that were not so.

Forgive me for the covetousness which simply wants what someone else has. Forgive me for the greed which wants more of it than anyone else has. Forgive me for the avarice which, having it all, still wants more - permanently unsatisfied. Forgive me for the selfishness at the root of them all. How empty a universe filled with nothing but me. Forgive me the grasping grip of anxious hunger, seeking satisfaction in what is not You. Forgive me for the craziness that leads me to believe that having more will make me happy - and that more yet will make me happier still. How deadly is such algebra. Forgive me for such surrender to the spirit of this age.

O Lord, please loosen the grip of my icy heart on what is not mine so that I can live generously, freely, not defined or limited by what I cling to. Show me the freedom of owning nothing and enjoying everything - and especially the everything that is at hand. Help me learn that You are my source, You are my life, You are my all in all, You are my sufficiency, You are my adequacy, You are enough. Teach me enough. Let me be content with that. Enable me to be courageously, fearlessly generous - open hand and open heart.

O Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Son of God. Have mercy on me, a sinner.


  1. What a blessing to come across your blogs via Facebook, Bill. Now I'm set up to receive them on my RSS news reader, so I won't miss the remainder of them. I must admit, I had to look up the meaning of avarice... and certainly now see the connection between that desire for wealth and the temptation to hurry on a road toward meaninglessness. Your post made me think about the potential connection between the addiction to hurriedness and the quest for material wealth... the connection between the feeling of not having enough and the feeling of not moving fast enough... Thank you for this opportunity to reflect and pray.

  2. Glad to have you plug in!
    I think you are exactly right - the mad quest for more infects everything - time, possessions, relationships . . . until we have no capacity for anything.