Before Thine eyes, O Lord, we bring our sins, and 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 sufferred is slight.
We feel the punishment of sin, yet withdraw not from the obstinancy 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 spare us, we correct not our ways; if Thou punish, we cannot endure it.
In time of correction we confess our wrongdoing; after Thy visitation we forget that we have wept.
If Thou stretchest forth Thy hand, we promise amendment; if Thou witholdest the sword, we keep not our promise.
If Thou strikest, we cry out for mercy; if Thou sparest, we again provoke Thee to strike.

From a prayer by Saint Augustine

read Abbott Joseph's reflection on this prayer