One of the hideous prideful rhetorical points that is wafting up like sewer gas from certain quarters is the notion that “God is a jerk” because “we don’t deserve this”. I am hard-pressed to think of a more grievously false and frankly Luciferian sentiment. You can hear the selfsame serpent that was in the Garden with Eve hissing out this bilge. Not only do we deserve it, it is a point of incomprehensible wonder and a testament to Our Lord’s loving patience and mercy that He waited as long as He did before “giving us up” (in the aggregate, post-Christian west sense). Beyond that, we now have incredible daily opportunities to advance in sanctity. We now live in a world in which walking down the street without a Masonic submission muzzle and smiling and saying “Hello!” to folks you pass is a massive work of fraternal charity. The only sense in which “we don’t deserve this” is in the sense of “I don’t deserve the favor and privilege of having been born when I was and now being able to live in these times as a daughter of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.”
Might I share and recommend two prayers that are part of my Lenten observance this year? If you have the good ol’ Baronius Press hand missal, which so many of us do, you can find these prayers on pages 92 and 95. These definitely fall under the category of “pray this over and over again until you get it.”
Prayer of St. Augustine (†430)
BEFORE Thine eyes, O Lord, we bring our sins, and we compare them with the stripes we have received.
If we examine the evil we have wrought, what we suffer is little, what we deserve is great.
What we have committed is very grievous, what we have suffered is very slight.
We feel the punishment of sin, yet withdraw not from the obstinacy of sinning.
Under Thy lash our inconstancy is visited, but our sinfulness is not changed.
Our suffering soul is tormented, but our neck is not bent.
Our life groans under sorrow, yet amends not in deed.
If Thou spare us, we correct not our ways: if Thou punish, we cannot endure it.
In time of correction we confess our wrongdoing: after Thy visitation we forget that we have wept.
If Thou stretchest forth Thy hand, we promise amendment; if Thou withholdest the sword, we keep not our promise.
If Thou strikest, we cry out for mercy; if Thou sparest, we again provoke Thee to strike
Here we are before Thee, O Lord, confessedly guilty; we know that unless Thou pardon we shall deservedly perish.
Grant then, O almighty Father, without our deserving it, the pardon we ask; Thou Who madest out of nothing those Who ask Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
V. Deal not with us, O Lord, according to our sins.
R. Neither reward us according to our iniquities.
Let us pray.—O God, Who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy suppliant people, and turn away the scourges of Thy wrath, which we deserve for our sins. Through Christ our Lord.
Petitions of St. Augustine
O LORD Jesus, let me know myself, let me know Thee,
And desire nothing else but Thee.
Let me hate myself and love Thee,
And do all things for the sake of Thee.
Let me humble myself, and exalt Thee,
And think of nothing else but Thee.
Let me die to myself, and live in Thee,
And accept whatever happens as coming from Thee.
Let me forsake myself and walk after Thee,
And ever desire to follow Thee.
Let me flee from myself, and turn to Thee,
That so I may deserve to be defended by Thee.
Let me fear for myself, let me fear Thee,
And be amongst those who are chosen by Thee.
Let me distrust myself, and trust in Thee,
And will to obey for the love of Thee.
Let me cleave to nothing but only to Thee,
And be poor for the sake of Thee.
Look upon me, that I may love Thee.
Call me, that I may see Thee
And for ever possess Thee. Amen.
As always, I hope this helps.