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A Prayer of St. Augustine (430 A.D.)

Before Thine eyes, O Lord, we bring our sins and we compare them with the stripes we have received

If we examine the evil we have wrought, what we suffer is little, what we deserve is great

What we have committed is very grievous, what we have suffered is slight

We feel the punishment of sin, yet withdraw not from the obstinacy of sinning

Under Thy lash our inconstancy is visited, but our sinfulness is not changed

Our suffering soul is tormented, but our neck is not bent

Our life groans under sorrow , yet amends not in deed

If Thou spares us, we correct not our ways; if Thou punish we cannot endure it

In time of correction we confess our wrong-doing; after Thy visitation we forget that we have wept