Prayer that the Manicheans may be restored to their senses

O great is Your patience, Lord, full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy, and true; who makest Your sun to rise upon the good and the evil, and who sendest rain upon the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45); who willest not the death of the sinner, so much as that he return and live (Ezekiel 33:11); who reproving in parts, dost give place to repentance, that wickedness having been abandoned, they may believe in You, O Lord (Wisdom 12:2); who by Your patience dost lead to repentance, although many according to the hardness of their heart and their impenitent heart treasure up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath and of the revelation of Your righteous judgment, who will render to every man according to his works (Romans 2:4-6); who in the day when a man shall have turned from his iniquity to Your mercy and truth, will forget all his iniquities (Ezekiel 18:21); stand before us, grant unto us that through our ministry, by which You have been pleased to refute this execrable and too horrible error, as many have already been liberated, many also may be liberated, and whether through the sacrament of Your holy baptism, or through the sacrifice of a broken spirit and a contrite and humbled heart, in the sorrow of repentance, they may deserve to receive the remission of their sins and blasphemies, by which through ignorance they have offended You. For nothing is of any avail, save Your surpassing mercy and power, and the truth of Your baptism, and the keys of the kingdom of heaven in Your holy Church; so that we must not despair of men as long as by Your patience they live on this earth, who even knowing how great an evil it is to think or to say such things about You, are detained in that malign profession on account of the use or the attainment of temporal or earthly convenience, if rebuked by Your reproaches they in any way flee to Your ineffable goodness, and prefer to all the enticements of the carnal life, the heavenly and eternal life. – from De Actis cum Felice Manichæo, c. 404 (translated by Albert H. Newman)