Imperfect Contrition

Giver of life, Lover of souls,
you who pour mercy into each hell
of our making, grant me the grace
to forgive those you’ve already
forgiven. Accept, if you will, my grudging
concession that you love even me,
despite my rather more fixed
opinion that you, of all people,
should keep higher standards.

Teach me to tell my mistakes
from my sins, to learn from the former
while mourning the latter. Free me
from the misbegotten search
for a better past, that I might live
in the now of your creation,
groaning as it is, as am I,
who remembers your odd affection
for the flawed, counter, fraught:
the many you rescue, not in spite of,
but through our self-rendered wounds.

Coal Mine Canyon
Serenity Prayer 2.0