Monday, January 8, 2018

An Old Prayer for a New Year

At the beginning of a New Year, our thoughts often go to New Year's resolutions, working out AGAIN, eating better, giving up our unhealthy habits and ways, and maybe even becoming a better person.

But let us take pause and dig a bit deeper. This is Thomas Aquinas and I think that his 13th century prayer is totally relevant for today...

Painting by Sandro Botticelli 1481-2
Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart,
which no selfish desires may drag downwards;
Give us an unconquered heart,
which no troubles can wear out;
Give us an upright heart,
which no unworthy ambitions may tempt aside.

Give us also, O Lord our God,
understanding to know you,
perseverance to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.




When I first found this, I immediately felt its importance and felt its impact.  But it took me awhile to sit with it and ponder and allow the full weight of it to sink in. 

Here is my paraphrase...
Give me, O Lord, a heart that is loyal and does not waiver,
Help me not to think only of myself lest I become selfish and self-serving;
Give me a heart that's strong and resilient,
Help me to not be weighed down by the difficulties that come my way;
Give me a decent and honest heart,
Help me to not be led astray down inconsequential and meaningless paths.

Give me also, O Lord my God,
Understanding to know the real You,
Persistence to look for you at all times and in all situations,
Wisdom to know when I've found You,
And a faith that holds on to You through Jesus Christ our Lord.



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