You Should be Ashamed of Yourself

I have nothing against self-esteem if you like that kind of thing, but there’s nothing to get you out of bed in the morning like a solid guilt trip.

The liturgical season the Chaldean Church is in right now is all about repentance (and that’s a good name for it if you ask me, rather than the remarkably lame “Summer”), and the act of repentance (turning back to God) requires two moods to overlap simultaneously:

  1. Caring enough about yourself because you are a precious and valuable human being.
  2. Realizing you’re a living joke and a garbage person.

Without both of these together there’s no repentance. If there’s only the first, you’re a narcissist (called a “Karen” today). If there’s only the second, you need a hug and some better friends. But with both, and some of God’s grace, you can get some of that sweet repentance action.

Anyway here’s a hymn from the tradition that will help you be ashamed of yourself:

* O soul that aged in wickedness,

        awake, be new through penitence!

* With pain and tears, take medicine

        and bandage up your fallen face.

* Cry out and lay out all your sins,

        that the Kind One may pity you.

* Because you loved passing beauty,

        yours is destroyed, daughter of Light.

* You ruined your body’s temple,

        through weakness, you made it a slave.

* O wretched one, til when will you

        take comfort in such passing things?

* Quake and be frightened of that fire

        that you enkindle with your deeds.

* So many sins have drowned your head

        like water, from the time of youth.

* You drown in the sea of despair,

        because you dismissed penitence.

* O you who are slave to desire,

        remember those who came before.

* How long will your Judge be patient,

        while you keep drowning in your sins?

* Do not forget that awful day

        when your secrets will be revealed.

* Who will make an excuse for you?

        There, each one will defend himself.

* Sufferings will pour out like soldiers,

        will ruin you, and will move on.

* Good Hope who dawned upon our lives,

        pity the soul that forgets you!

* I am your sheep, but I was trapped

        by the devil in wickedness.

* Come, Lord, find me – seek what is yours,

        for I wasted your inheritance.

* You bore the cross for all sinners:

        I am of them – remember me!

* The devil has robbed me from you,

        strike him and take me from his hands.

* O Lover of Mankind, love me,

        for I have no hope beside you.

* Glory to you, O Son of God,

        who is so patient with sinners.

* Thanksgiving to you from the lost,

        whom you have found and saved from death.

* All glory to your Father, ours,

        and to the Spirit, Paraclete.

* Let us all lift up praise to you,

        forever and ever, amen.

2 thoughts on “You Should be Ashamed of Yourself

  1. Thank you for sharing the hymn. I especially like the line,
    “The devil has robbed me from you,
    strike him and take me from his hands.”

    That’s what my soul feels like sometimes.

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