Prayers

POETRY: The Rosary by Frances Caryll Houselander

November 15, 2017

In the doorway of a low grey house, built of stones as old as the Crusades, a woman of Bruges sits in the sunlight, among the flowers, saying her Rosary. She seems to be carved out of season walnut and polished smooth by the constant touch of the hand of God, and the beads that twine her crippled fingers are scarlet berries on the thorny twigs. The running rhythm and the repetition of the Paters and the Aves is like the rhythm that in nature moves through the seasons from seed to harvest with the unity and the pause and stress of music; like the bloodstream of Christ, that flows through the seasons from Advent to Easter in the Liturgy of the Church, the ebb and flow of the tide of love in the Mystical Body of Christ. II God has given His [...]

PRAYER: The Lord’s Prayer From New Zealand

October 30, 2017

From The New Zealand Prayer Book Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is Heaven: The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your Heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on Earth. With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever. [...]

PRAYER: An African Canticle

October 2, 2017

All you big things, bless the Lord Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Victoria The Rift Valley and the Serengeti Plain Fat baobabs and shady mango trees All eucalyptus and tamarind trees Bless the Lord Praise and extol him for ever and ever. All you tiny things, bless the Lord Busy black ants and hopping fleas Wriggling tadpoles and mosquito larvae Flying locusts and water drops Pollen dust and tsetse flies Millet seeds and dried dagaa Bless the Lord Praise and extol him for ever and ever. [...]

PRAYER: Celtic Blessing — Lord Of My Heart

September 25, 2017

Source unknown Lord of my heart, give me vision to inspire me, that, working or resting, I may always think of you. Lord of my heart, give me light to guide me, that, at home or abroad, I may always walk in your way. Lord of my heart, give me wisdom to direct me, that, thinking or acting, I may always discern right from wrong. Lord of my heart, give me courage to strengthen me, that, amongst friends or enemies, I may always proclaim your justice. Lord of my heart, give me trust to console me, that hungry or well-fed, I may always rely on your mercy. Lord of my heart, save me from empty praise, that I may always boast of you. Lord of my heart, save me from worldly wealth, that I may always look to the riches of Heaven. Lord of my heart, [...]

POETRY: Litany by Thomas Merton

September 22, 2017

All holy souls pray for us fellows, all Carmelites pray all Third Orders, all sodalities, all altar societies, all action groups, all inaction groups, all beat up shut in groups, all without money groups, pray for the rich Trappists cheese groups vice versa mutual help, amen, [...]

CHRISTIAN WISDOM: The Way From Here by Frederica Mathewes-Green

August 31, 2017

From: The Illuminated Heart Illumine our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind with the pure light of thy divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to the understanding of thy Gospel teachings, for thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God. (Prayer before the reading of the Gospel Liturgy of St. James, Fourth Century) This has been a very brief exposition of the spiritual path of the ancient church.  The good news is that this path has been preserved, and resources are available to those who would undertake it seriously today.  There are many excellent books, a few of which are listed in the bibliography.  But the primary need is for personal guidance from a spiritual father or mother.  This is because we [...]

CHRISTIAN WISDOM: Dealing With Others—The Larger Circle by Frederica Mathewes-Green

August 24, 2017

From: The Illuminated Heart Illumine our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind with the pure light of thy divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to the understanding of thy Gospel teachings, for thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God. (Prayer before the reading of the Gospel Liturgy of St. James, Fourth Century) In the smaller circle, that collection of people we encounter in our daily lives, the primary task is to grow in humility.  In the larger community there are opportunities to gain other virtues, for example compassion and generosity.  For early Christians, prayer and fasting were joined by a third spiritual discipline, that of almsgiving. “Our prayers and fastings are of less avail [...]

CHRISTIAN WISDOM: Dealing With Others—The Smaller Circle by Frederica Mathewes-Green

August 17, 2017

From: The Illuminated Heart Illumine our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind with the pure light of thy divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to the understanding of thy Gospel teachings, for thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God. (Prayer before the reading of the Gospel Liturgy of St. James, Fourth Century) Anna misses her brother, the monk Timothy, every day, but some days she envies him.  On days like today she would rather sleep on the ground and eat dry bread than go to dinner at her mother-in-law’s house. Irene is a beautiful woman, accomplished, musically talented, and intelligent.  Even her hair is perfect.  In her presence Anna feels like a country mouse.  In Irene’s house, [...]

CHRISTIAN WISDOM: The Jesus Prayer by Frederica Mathewes-Green

August 10, 2017

From: The Illuminated Heart Illumine our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind with the pure light of thy divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to the understanding of thy Gospel teachings, for thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God. (Prayer before the reading of the Gospel Liturgy of St. James, Fourth Century) Theodore keeps reading over a letter he and Anna received last year from Anna’s brother, Timothy, who joined a group of monks on Mr. Sinai a few years ago.  Timothy wrote that he was being taught to abide in prayer by repeating a short verse from scripture over and over, whenever his mind would otherwise be idle – or not idle, since we all know how the restless nous seeks trouble.  He [...]

PRAYER: The Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom

July 24, 2017

The Trisagion: Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy on us. The Cherubic Hymn: We who in a mystery represent the cherubim and sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-giving Trinity, let us now lay aside all Earthly cares, that we may receive the king of all, invisibly escorted by the hosts of angels.  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Before Communion: Let us pay attention: holy things for those who are holy. Only one is holy, only one is Lord. Jesus Christ, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. Before Receiving Communion: At your mystical supper, Son of God, today receive me as a partaker; I will not speak of the mystery to your enemies; I will not let my lips touch your body with a Judas-kiss; but like the thief I will [...]

PRAYER: The Liturgy Of Saint Basil The Great

July 17, 2017

O Lord, the helper of the helpless, the hope of those who are past hope, the savior of the tempest-tossed, the harbor of the voyagers, the physician of the sick; you know each soul and our prayer, each home and its need; become to each one of us what we most dearly require, receiving us all into your kingdom, making us children of light; and pour on us your peace and love, O Lord our God.  Amen. Complete and perfected, so far as in us lies, is the mystery of your redeeming work, Christ our God.  We have made the memorial of your death, we have seen the symbol of your resurrection, we have been filled with your unending life, we have tasted your inexhaustible joy, of which, we pray, you will count us worthy in the age to come, through the [...]

PRAYER: The Liturgy Of Saint James

July 10, 2017

From The Apostolic Constitutions Almighty God, whose glory the heavens are telling, the Earth his power, and the sea his might, and whose greatness all feeling and thinking creatures everywhere herald; to you belongs glory, honor, might, greatness, and magnificence now and for ever, to the ages of ages, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. O Lord our God, the bread from Heaven, the food of the whole universe, I have sinned against Heaven, and before you, and I am not worthy to receive your most holy mysteries.  But, in your compassion, grant me by your grace uncondemned to partake of your holy body and your precious blood, to remission of sins and life eternal.  Amen. Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and stand with fear and trembling, [...]

THE LORD’S PRAYER: Glory, by Evelyn Underhill

June 12, 2017

Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory.  The prayer in which is contained the whole movement of man’s interior life, the substance of his communion with God, is summed up in this delighted declaration of the independent perfection, the unspeakable transcendence of the Holy.  Before that reality, that majesty, that energy, that splendor, his own needs, his own significance, vanish.  Abba, Father.  It is true that the Infinite God is the Father of my soul, that I have a certain kinship with the Abiding, a privilege of cooperation.  Higher than my highest, He is yet nearer than my inmost part.  But in the last resort, I stand entranced and abased before the majesty, the otherness of that Infinite God. “He calleth the [...]

THE LORD’S PRAYER: Prevenience, by Evelyn Underhill

June 5, 2017

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  May that strange directive power of which from time-to-time we are conscious as the controlling factor of life have pity on our weakness and lead us out of confusion into peace. This abject confession of helplessness seems at first sight to be meant for the untried and bewildered neophyte, in whom the gifts of the Spirit have not yet had time to grow.  Actually, it is the culmination of the prayer which was given to the Church of God in the persons of her Apostles; those through whom the sanctification of human history was to be set going, the handful of men to whom we owe our Christian inheritance.  It is this picked band, these channels of the Spirit, already surrendered to the [...]

BLESSING: Blessing To Prepare For Pentecost, by Peter John Cameron

June 3, 2017

Word of God To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. (1 Corinthians 12:7) Blessing of the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit Before the Holy Spirit came, the humanity of Christ, to which human affection clung, needed to be taken away from before the eyes of the disciples.  We were not able to receive both Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and neither could we endure the presence of both. (Saint Augustine) Come, Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, finding us in a state of deformity, restores our original beauty and fills us with his grace, leaving no room for anything unworthy of his love. (Didymus of Alexandria) Come, Holy Spirit. The presence of the gift of the Holy Spirit is the fuller the greater a person’s [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Nine, Self Control, by Philip Bochanski

June 3, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come from thy bright heav’nly throne; come, take possession of our souls, and make them all thine own. Thou who art called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the living fire, sweet unction and true love. Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace, finger of God’s right hand; his promise, teaching little ones to speak and understand. O guide our minds with thy blest light, with love our hearts inflame; and with thy strength, which ne’er decays, confirm our mortal frame. Far from us drive our deadly foe; true peace unto us bring; and through all perils lead us safe beneath thy sacred wing. Through thee may we the Father [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Eight, Gentleness, by Philip Bochanski

June 2, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Hymn To Saint Philip This is the saint of gentleness and kindness, Cheerful in penance, and in precept winning; Patiently healing of their pride and blindness Souls that are sinning. This is the saint who, when the world allures us, Cries her false wares, and ope’s her magic coffers, Points to a better city, and secures us With richer offers. Love is his bond; he knows no other fetter, Asks not our all, but takes whate’er we spare him, Willing to draw us on from good to better, As we can bear him. When he comes near to teach us and to bless us, Prayer is so sweet that hours are but a minute; Mirth is so pure, though freely it possess us, Sin is not in it. Thus he conducts by holy paths and pleasant [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Seven, Faithfulness, by Philip Bochanski

June 1, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come from thy bright heav’nly throne; come, take possession of our souls, and make them all thine own. Thou who art called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the living fire, sweet unction and true love. Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace, finger of God’s right hand; his promise, teaching little ones to speak and understand. O guide our minds with thy blest light, with love our hearts inflame; and with thy strength, which ne’er decays, confirm our mortal frame. Far from us drive our deadly foe; true peace unto us bring; and through all perils lead us safe beneath thy sacred wing. Through thee may we the Father [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Six, Goodness, by Philip Bochanski

May 31, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, And in our souls take up your rest; Come with your grace and Heavenly aid To fill the hearts which you have made. O Comforter, to you we cry, O Heavenly gift of God Most High, O fount of life and fire of love, And sweet anointing from above. You in your sevenfold gifts are known; You, finger of God’s hand we own; You, promise of the Father, you Who do the tongue with power imbue. Kindle our senses from above, And make our hearts overflow with love; With patience firm and virtue high The weakness of our flesh supply. Far from us drive the foe we dread, And grant us your peace instead; So shall we not, with you for guide, Turn from [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Five, Kindness, by Philip Bochanski

May 30, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come from thy bright heav’nly throne; come, take possession of our souls, and make them all thine own. Thou who art called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the living fire, sweet unction and true love. Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace, finger of God’s right hand; his promise, teaching little ones to speak and understand. O guide our minds with thy blest light, with love our hearts inflame; and with thy strength, which ne’er decays, confirm our mortal frame. Far from us drive our deadly foe; true peace unto us bring; and through all perils lead us safe beneath thy sacred wing. Through thee may we the Father [...]

THE LORD’S PRAYER: Forgiveness, by Evelyn Underhill

May 29, 2017

It is part of the economy of mercy, the redemptive and transforming work of God, that the Divine Charity already present within the soul should overflow to make good its shortcomings and blot out its sins.  Were this not so, our situation would be hopeless; for we share by nature in the disorder of a fallen world, its implicit resistance to the demands of love.  So here we continue our filial and confident claim on that Charity; a claim which our situation, whether as children or as creatures, compels us to make.  Forgive us our trespasses – our voluntary share in the world’s sinfulness – as we forgive them that trespass against us.  Penitence is ever the fruit of adoring vision.  “The more holy I find God,” said [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Four, Patience, by Philip Bochanski

May 29, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, And in our souls take up your rest; Come with your grace and Heavenly aid To fill the hearts which you have made. O Comforter, to you we cry, O Heavenly gift of God Most High, O fount of life and fire of love, And sweet anointing from above. You in your sevenfold gifts are known; You, finger of God’s hand we own; You, promise of the Father, you Who do the tongue with power imbue. Kindle our senses from above, And make our hearts overflow with love; With patience firm and virtue high The weakness of our flesh supply. Far from us drive the foe we dread, And grant us your peace instead; So shall we not, with you for guide, Turn from [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Three, Peace, by Philip Bochanski

May 28, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Hymn To Saint Philip This is the saint of gentleness and kindness, Cheerful in penance, and in precept winning; Patiently healing of their pride and blindness Souls that are sinning. This is the saint who, when the world allures us, Cries her false wares, and ope’s her magic coffers, Points to a better city, and secures us With richer offers. Love is his bond; he knows no other fetter, Asks not our all, but takes whate’er we spare him, Willing to draw us on from good to better, As we can bear him. When he comes near to teach us and to bless us, Prayer is so sweet that hours are but a minute; Mirth is so pure, though freely it possess us, Sin is not in it. Thus he conducts by holy paths and [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day Two, Joy, by Philip Bochanski

May 27, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, And in our souls take up your rest; Come with your grace and Heavenly aid To fill the hearts which you have made. O Comforter, to you we cry, O Heavenly gift of God Most High, O fount of life and fire of love, And sweet anointing from above. You in your sevenfold gifts are known; You, finger of God’s hand we own; You, promise of the Father, you Who do the tongue with power imbue. Kindle our senses from above, And make our hearts overflow with love; With patience firm and virtue high The weakness of our flesh supply. Far from us drive the foe we dread, And grant us your peace instead; So shall we not, with you for guide, Turn from [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day One, Love, by Philip Bochanski

May 26, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come from thy bright heav’nly throne; come, take possession of our souls, and make them all thine own. Thou who art called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the living fire, sweet unction and true love. Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace, finger of God’s right hand; his promise, teaching little ones to speak and understand. O guide our minds with thy blest light, with love our hearts inflame; and with thy strength, which ne’er decays, confirm our mortal frame. Far from us drive our deadly foe; true peace unto us bring; and through all perils lead us safe beneath thy sacred wing. Through thee may we the Father [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Praying To The Holy Spirit, by Philip Bochanski

May 25, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit The Fruits of the Holy Spirit Gathered with his Apostles in the Upper Room, Jesus reminded them that he had chosen and appointed them to “go and bear fruit that will remain.” (John 15:16)  At that same Last Supper, he promised them that they would not be alone in accomplishing this mission: “I will ask the Father,” he said, “and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit.” (John 14:16-17)  The story of the early church related in the Acts of the Apostles shows just how Jesus kept his promise: the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles at Pentecost, and they went out to accomplish great things in the mission of evangelizing the world. Although we [...]

BLESSING: The Blessings Of God’s Seasons, by Helen Steiner Rice

May 23, 2017

From: A Collection of Blessings We know we must pass through the seasons God sends, Content in the knowledge that everything ends, And, oh, what a blessing to know there are reasons And to find that our souls must, too, have their seasons— Bounteous seasons and barren ones, too, Times for rejoicing and times to be blue— But meeting these seasons of dark desolation With the strength that is born of anticipation Comes from knowing that every season of sadness Will surely be followed by a springtime of [...]

THE LORD’S PRAYER: Food, by Evelyn Underhill

May 22, 2017

In the first part of the Lord’s Prayer, we are wholly concerned with God’s glory.  We pray with angelic spirits; creatures whose purposes are completely harmonized with the Creative Will.  In the second part, we turn from the Eternal Splendor to our Earthly limitations, and bring before God the burden, neediness, and sinfulness of our state.  Give us this day our daily bread.  With the proclamation of our utter dependence, the presentation before God of the simplest and most fundamental of our needs, we pass from adoration to petitions, and enter into the full paradox of Christian prayer: the unspeakable majesty and abiding perfection of the Infinite, and because of that majesty and that perfection, the importance of the [...]

BLESSING: A Blessing For The Senses, by John O’Donohue

May 22, 2017

From: Anam Cara May your body be blessed. May you realize that your body is a faithful and beautiful friend of your soul. And may you be peaceful and joyful and recognize that your senses are sacred thresholds. May you realize that holiness is mindful, gazing, feeling, hearing, and touching. May your senses gather you and bring you home. May your senses always enable you to celebrate the universe and the mystery and possibilities in your presence here. May the Eros of the Earth bless [...]

BLESSING: Unnameable God, by Joyce Rupp

May 19, 2017

From: Prayer Seeds Unnameable God, I feel you with me at every moment. You are my food, my drink, my sunlight, and the air I breath. (Psalm 16; Stephen Mitchell) with each refreshing rain each slant of sunshine each beam of moonlight each whisper of wind in every spiraling thought every turning of the heart every spoken and written word every action large and small you stead, you lead you encourage, you guide you embrace, you never let go one with my soul, one with my life one with me in the first breath one with me in the last you know me now you will know me always and forever I remember I [...]