March 01, 2008

A Wretch Like Me

At Mass tonight, I found myself singing the "wrong" words to "Amazing Grace", or at least words that no one else in the congregation was singing
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That sav’d a wretch like me!
In our "modern" hymnal, the second line was changed to "that saved and set me free". Now, I don't disagree with that - God's grace certainly does save us and set us free from sin - but I think we lose something in giving up that original wording.
I don't think anyone likes calling themselves a wretch. A wretch is "a miserable, unfortunate, or unhappy person."
But isn't that exactly what we are? If we know there is a God, and we do not yet see Him face to face, can we call ourselves truly happy? Compared to those in heaven, we are truly wretched. We are undeserving of salvation and undeserving of the happiness God offers us, yet He freely and lovingly does. That is amazing grace, and we shouldn't forget it.

wretch. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved March 01, 2008, from website:

Amazing Grace. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2002, from

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