Sunday, March 9, 2014

A thoughtful prayer from Thomas Aquinas

A beautiful prayer for your Sunday from Thomas Aquinas, who said, "If then you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because He Himself is the way."
There are places in this prayer that are, as my son would say, 'full stop' moments, meaning I can't move beyond them but repeat them over and over--"May I not rejoice in anything unless it leads me to you; may I not be saddened by anything unless it turns me from you." Whoa, these are strong words. Can I say them? Dare I? What kind of heart can say such words? What will strike you, I wonder. It's full and deep and strong. And I do have the courage to pray it...only because HE prays it in me.
And what I pray as we begin to read it together is that it may it tug on your spirit as it tugs on mine.

For Ordering a Life WiselyO merciful God, grant that I may desire ardently, search prudently, recognize truly, and bring to perfect completion whatever is pleasing to You for the praise and glory of Your name.Put my life in good order, O my God.Grant that I may know what You require me to do.Bestow upon me the power to accomplish Your will, as is necessary and fitting for the salvation of my soul.Grant to me, O Lord my God, that I may not falter in times of prosperity or adversity, so that I may not be exalted in the former, nor dejected in the latter.May I not rejoice in anything unless it leads me to You; may I not be saddened by anything unless it turns me from You.May I desire to please no one, nor fear to displease anyone, but You.May all transitory things, O Lord, be worthless to me and may all things eternal be ever cherished by me.May any joy without You be burdensome for me and may I not desire anything else besides You.May all work, O Lord, delight me when done for Your sake and may all repose not centered in You be ever wearisome for me.Grant unto me, my God, that I may direct my heart to You and that in my failures I may ever feel remorse for my sins and never lose the resolve to change.O Lord my God, make me submissive without protest, poor without discouragement, chaste without regret, patient without complaint, humble without posturing, cheerful without frivolity, mature without gloom, and quick-witted without flippancy.O Lord my God, let me fear You without losing hope, be truthful without guile, do good works without presumption, rebuke my neighbor without haughtiness, and—without hypocrisy—strengthen him by word and example.Give to me, O Lord God, a watchful heart, which no capricious thought can lure away from You.Give to me a noble heart, which no unworthy desire can debase.Give to me a resolute heart, which no evil intention can divert.Give to me a stalwart heart, which no tribulation can overcome.Give to me a temperate heart, which no violent passion can enslave.Give to me, O Lord my God, understanding of You, diligence in seeking You, wisdom in finding You, discourse ever pleasing to You, perseverance in waiting for You, and confidence in finally embracing You.Grant that with Your hardships I may be burdened in reparation here, that Your benefits I may use in gratitude upon the way, that in Your joys I may delight by glorifying You in the Kingdom of Heaven.You Who live and reign, God, world without end.Amen.
----Thomas Aquinas, 13th C scholar

1 comment:

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Whoa! Quite a prayer indeed. I learned a long time ago to be careful what I prayed for, or to be careful of what words I sang or spoke. If I couldn't fully embrace or mean what I was saying, then it would be best not to say it. God takes us at our word, just as we take Him at His Word. If we say to Him, "All to Jesus, I surrender, All to Him I freely give..." we need to be ready to surrender it all. I've discovered in my life that God took me seriously, but always with love and mercy and kindness.
Thanks for sharing this today.