We are, says the collect, not we shall be, punished for
our offences: the world by boredom and fear of war, the Church by impotence
and self-reproach, and we by separation from the life of God. Punished,
says the collect, and justly punished; for if we are separated from God,
is it not that we have cut ourselves off, by laziness in praying, and faithlessness
in obeying? But, says the collect, we may yet pray with confidence
to be relieved of punishment by God's mercy through Jesus Christ.
Our punishment lasts no longer than our will to live without God.
We throw ourselves into Christís sacrifice, we are offered, presented by
him to God along with his own flesh and blood; for we are his flesh and
blood, he does not disown us.