I Am Frightened
Saint Anselm of Canterbury (ca. 1033-l109)
I am frightened of living, Lord. My whole life seems sinful and sterile. Any fruits I bear are either false or rotten. Nothing I do seems pleasing to you. I am a barren tree that deserves to be chopped down, cut up and burnt. I bear only the sharp and bitter thorns of sin. If only those thorns could prick me into repentance. Inside me my conscience bums. I dare not show myself, yet I have nowhere to hide. What will happen to me? Who will protect me from your wrath? Where can I find safety? Lord, you are my judge in whose hands I tremble. Yet you also are the one who can save me. Though I fear you, I trust you. Though I want to flee you, I flee towards you. Jesus, Jesus, deal with me according to your love. Jesus, Jesus, forget the sin by which I have provoked you, and see only the misery which invokes you. Most kind Lord, confirm in me all that belongs to you, and cast away all that is alien to you.