David Roberts, The Monastery of St. Catherine, lithograph, 1839
Station Four: Contrition
End our darkness with your light and turn our passions to your purpose. Help us, Lord, in this hour of turning, to make real in our lives the words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts.
-Preparatory Service for the Days of Awe,
Gates of Forgiveness
After wasting all his fortune, the hungry young man "came to himself." He was sorry. Contrition is two-fold grieving—partly for the selfishness you intend to give up but can't imagine how you can do without, and partly for the loss of the opportunities for good you've squandered. Once your grieving leans toward the second way, you are ready to move on to the next station, Confession.
Holy One, come to my aid.
Guide me, inspire me, instruct me, protect me, be with me as I go out and as I return. Amen
A Story about True Humility and False Righteousness
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.'
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'
I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted."