Today’s Collect is, to my mind, one of the most beautiful of the whole liturgical year. What are “those things of which our conscience is afraid”? They have to do I think, with the bitter relics left behind by our sins, even when these sins have been forgiven. Long after a sin has been washed away in the pure water of sacramental absolution, the ghost of that sin lingers to haunt us and to taunt us with shameful memories, with fits of anxiety and remorse. The Collect we pray today makes us ask God to put away “those things of which our conscience is afraid,” the things that paralyze us in prayer, the things that prevent us from being bold and confident in prayer.
Almighty and everlasting God,
who in the abundance of your fatherly love exceed all that we desire or deserve,
pour out your mercy upon us,
putting away those things of which our conscience is afraid,
and bestowing those which we are not worthy to ask.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and