O Kind Creator, Bow Thine Ear
O Kind Creator, bow thine ear
to mark the cry, to know the tear
before thy throne of mercy spent
in this thy holy fast of Lent.
Our hearts are open, Lord, to thee:
thou knowest our infirmity;
pour out on all who seek thy face
abundance of thy pardoning grace.
Our sins are many, this we know;
spare us, good Lord, thy mercy show;
and for the honor of thy name
our fainting souls to life reclaim.
Give us the self-control that springs
from discipline of outward things,
that fasting inward secretly
the soul may purely dwell with thee.
We pray thee, Holy Trinity,
one God, unchanging Unity,
that we from this our abstinence
may reap the fruits of penitence.
Words: attributed to Gregory the Great, sixth century;
trans. Thomas Alexander Lacey, 1906
Labels: 6th c., gregory the great