Tuesday 4 April 2023

From the Litany of Confession: Waging War on Our Sins


Continuing the extracts from the Irish 'Litany of Confession', attributed in some manuscripts to Saint Ciaran, though most likely composed after the time of Clonmacnoise's founder. Yesterday we saw how the effects of our sins on us were described, today the Litany beseeches God to take action against them:

Propter nomen tuum Domine, propiciaberis peccato meo.
Many and vast are my sins in their mass, through my heart and round about it like a net or breast-plate;
O King, they cannot be numbered;
Despoil me of them, O God;
Break, smite and war against them;
Ravage, bend and wither them; 
Take away, repel, destroy them;
Arise, scatter, defeat them; 
See, repress, waste them;
Destroy, summon, starve them;
Prostrate, burn, mangle them;
Kill, slay and ruin them;
Torture, divide and purify them;
Tear, expel and raze them;
Remove, scatter and cleave them;
Subdue, exhaust and lay them low.
Heavy then and bitter is
The subdual and the piercing;
The bond and the fetter;
 The confusion and the maddening;
The disturbance and the raging;
which the multitude of my sins brings upon me.

Daphne D.C. Pochin Mould, The Celtic Saints: Our Heritage (Dublin, 1956) 116-117.

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