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Blot out, O Lord, blot out the multitude of my sins - prayer ascribed to St Macarius.

'The multitude of my sins'
implies something other than a
gross and vulgar word
uttered here or there. Certainly something
other than something
for which someone might
put me in prison - rather
a continuity, something
happening all the time,
not being
what I was made to be -
αμαρτια - meaning
'missing the mark'.
Oh, of course I feel all right,
supported as I am by a vast
orthopaedic material, pillaged
from all over the world,
but this is not
the image of God.
The image of God
peers out from a cave,
eats like a bird and is
radiantly happy because
free of everything but
the presence of the Lord, and so
sees the multitude as something
other than itself and not
the necessary condition
of a reasonable life.
I see the multitude as my
permanent accompaniment.
It is a shell, protecting me
from all the gross and obvious
sins I see in the rough
corners of the world.
But here as I disappear
under the weight of my
disguise, all I can hear
is an inner voice, saying:
'Lord, let it not be
that if You blot out
the multitude of my sins,
You blot out me.'