O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness, Who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving have shown us a remedy for sin, look graciously on this confession of our lowliness, that we, who are bowed down by our conscience, may always be lifted up by Your mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
author of every mercy and of all goodness – God is the master storyteller. Without compromising our free will in any way, He writes the story of our lives, incorporating His mercy and goodness into every line. Indeed, all God creates is good, and even when evil corrupts the good that God has made, God brings good out of the situation for those who love and trust Him. Even when we sin and then repent, God gives us the infinite good of His mercy, showering us in His forgiveness and love.
fasting, prayer and almsgiving – These are the three traditional activities of Lent. Fasting helps us let go of our attachments to the material world. Prayer helps us strengthen our bond with God, especially when we focus on praying to get Someone rather than something. Almsgiving spreads God's love, the love that we value in fasting and reach out for in prayer, to our neighbors.
a remedy for sin – Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving lead us to recognize, acknowledge, repent of, and seek forgiveness for our sins. We let go of sinful tendencies in fasting, seek God's mercy in prayer, and unselfishly recognize the needs of others in almsgiving.
look graciously on this confession of our lowliness – Humility is a simple recognition of reality. Before God, we are nothing. Without God, we can do nothing. We needs His grace at all times. If He stopped thinking of us for even a moment, we would cease to exist. We are fully dependent upon God.
we, who are bowed down by our conscience – We are sinful people, and we know it. If we truly examine our consciences, we will find that we have offended God very often in our thoughts, words, and deeds, in commission and omission. We must be aware of our sins and faults and failings not so that they can drag us into despair but so that we can bring them to God with repentant hearts.
may always be lifted up by Your mercy – God's mercy is always available to us when we come to Him with repentant hearts, humbly asking His forgiveness. He reaches down, lifts us up, and sets us back on the right path, the path that leads straight to Him.