(Thomas à Kempis, 1380-1471)
Grant me, O Lord,
to know what is worth knowing,
to love what is worth loving,
to praise what delights you most,
to value what is precious in your sight,
to hate what is offensive to you.
Do not let me judge by what I see,
nor pass sentence according to what I hear,
but to judge rightly between things that differ,
and above all to search out
and to do what pleases you,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Furthering the Kingdom
(Joseph Bernadin, 1928-1996)
O God, by the power of your Holy Spirit,
set our hearts on fire with a new love for Christ:
that we may work with others to shape the world more nearly to his will.
That we may labour and long for the unity for which he prayed.
That we may be stirred to pray and work
for the furtherance of your Kingdom.
And may this be acknowledged with joy to the ends of the earth.
We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Instrument of your Peace
(Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226)
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith,
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light,
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek,
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
A Steadfast Heart
(Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274)
Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart,
which no unworthy affection may drag downwards,
give me an unconquered heart,
which no tribulation can wear out;
give me an upright heart,
which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.
Bestow on me also, O Lord my God,
understanding to know you,
diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you,
and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
St Columban’s Prayer (559-615)
My dearest Lord, be a bright flame before me,
a guiding star above me,
a smooth path beneath me,
a kindly shepherd behind me,
today and for ever more. Amen.
Dedication to God
(Ignatius Loyola, 1491-1556)
Teach us, Lord,
to serve you as you deserve to be served,
to give and not count the cost,
to fight and not heed the wounds,
to toil and not seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for any reward
save that of knowing that we do your holy will. Amen.
God’s whole Self
(Julian of Norwich, c. 1342-1416)
God, of your goodness,
give me yourself;
for you are sufficient for me.
I cannot properly ask anything less,
to be worthy of you.
If I were to ask less,
I should always be in want.
In you alone do I have all. Amen.
The Fragrance of Christ
(John Henry Newman, 1801-1890)
Lord, help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go.
Let me preach you without preaching,
not by words but by my example,
by the catching force,
the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love
my heart bears to you. Amen.
Prayer for a Meeting
(Søren Kierkegaard, 1813-1855)
Holy spirit, you make alive;
bless also this our gathering,
the speaker and the hearer;
fresh from the heart it shall come,
by your aid, let it also go to the heart. Amen.
(Helder Camara, 1909-1998)
Lord, isn’t your creation wasteful?
Fruits never equal the seedlings’ abundance.
Springs scatter water.
The sun gives out enormous life.
May your bounty teach me greatness of heart.
May your magnificence stop me being mean.
Seeing you a prodigal and open-handed giver,
let me give unstintingly like a king’s son, like God’s own. Amen.
The Work of Peace
(Alan Paton, 1903-1988)
Give us courage, O Lord,
to stand up and be counted,
to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves,
to stand up for ourselves when it is needful for us to do so.
Let us fear nothing more than we fear you.
Let us love nothing more than we love you,
for thus we shall fear nothing also.
Let us have no other God before you,
whether nation or party or state or church.
Let us seek no other peace but the peace which is yours,
and make us its instruments,
opeing our eyes and our ears and our hearts,
so that we should know always what work of peace
we may do for you. Amen.
Prayer for Reconciliation
(Mother Teresa, 1910-1997 & Brother Roger, 1915-2005)
O God, the Father of all,
you ask every one of us to spread
love where the poor are humiliated,
joy where the church is brought low,
and reconciliation where people are divided
father against son, mother against daughter
husband against wife,
believers against those who cannot believe,
Christians against their unloved fellow Christians.
You open this way for us,
so that the wounded body of Jesus Christ,
your church, may be leaven of communion
for the poor of the earth
and in the whole human family. Amen.
(Brother Roger of Taizé, 1915-2005)
O Christ, you take upon yourself all our burdens,
so that, freed of all that weighs us down,
we can constantly begin anew to walk, with lightened step,
from worrying towards trusting, from the shadows towards
the clear flowing waters, from our own will towards the vision
of the coming Kingdom.
Then we know, though we hardly dared hope so,
that you offer to make every human being
a reflection of your face. Amen.
Following God’s Will
(Thomas Merton, 1915-1968)
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think
that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.
Openess to God’s Presence
God most loving, as this day unfolds
keep my eyes, ears and heart wide open
for your coming into my life:
in the sounds about me,
in all that I see,
in the touching and the tasting,
in all that draws me to others,
in all that brings people to me,
in moments of calm,
in the rush and the bustle,
in all you give me,
in all I gave you. Amen.
Into Your hands, Lord – this solitude.
Into Your hands, Lord – this emptiness.
Into Your hands, Lord – this loneliness.
Into Your hands, Lord – this all.
Into Your hands, Lord – this grief.
Into Your hands, Lord – this sleeping fear.
Into Your hands, Lord – what is left,
what is left of me. Amen.
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