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:
- Caring enough about yourself because you are a precious and valuable human being.
- 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.