The Miserere

Every week, in the Liturgy of Lauds for Friday, we pray Psalm 50, the Miserere, the pentitential Psalm, that is so much beloved, sung and meditated upon. It is a hymn raised to the merciful God by the repentant sinner...

First of all, the Psalmist enters the dark region of sin to bring into it the light of human repentance and divine forgiveness.

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Then he goes on to exalt the gift of divine grace, that transforms and renews the repentant sinner's spirit and heart: this is a place of light, full of hope and confidence.

(John Paul II General Audience Wednesday 8 May 2002)

Psalm 51

(Greek numbering: Psalm 50)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.

Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

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