Forgive me my sins

I’ve been doing an interesting little experiment lately.

I try changing the prayers from talking about us/we/our to instead talk about I/me/my. It’s just an experiment, to help me see how it feels.

There’s a fascinating result: It feels like I’m taking more ownership and accountability for my relationship with God, Jesus, and Mary.

Here’s a great example:

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

I try changing that to:

Forgive me my trespasses, as I forgive those who trespass against me.

In the first case, there’s a bit of a feeling that I can hide out in the crowd. As long as somebody is generous in forgiving, I get a free pass because God now forgives all of us.

But you know that’s not how it works. We’re each accountable for our own behaviors.

When I talk specifically about my own personal requests and my own personal behavior, it feels like I have to actually do something about it. Now. That guy who was rude to me in the store – did I forgive him? Not really. When I got to church, I dutifully asked God to forgive my sins when in fact I hadn’t been generous at all.

I have to get to work!

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