Today we’re praying with St. Columba (521 – 597), Irish abbot and missionary. His Feast Day is coming up on June 9.
Be thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a Guiding star above me,
Be thou a smooth path below me,
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me,
Today, tonight and for ever.
A prayer from St. Augustine of Hippo:
Great are you, O Lord, and greatly to be praised. Great is your power; your wisdom is infinite. All people, as part of your creation, desire to praise you; all people, who carry the signs of mortality and sin, desire to praise you still. You provoke us toward that delight, for you have created us for yourself, and our hearts cannot be quieted until they find rest in you. . . . You will I seek , O Lord, calling upon you; you will I call, believing in you.
This week’s prayer is from John Wesley (1703-1791), Anglican minister and founder of the Methodist movement.
O Lord, take full possession of my heart, raise there your throne,
and command there as you do in heaven.
Being created by you, let me live for you;
being created for you, let me always act for your glory;
being redeemed by you, let me give to you what is yours;
and let my spirit cling to you alone, for your name’s sake.
May 16 is the Feast Day of Brendan the Navigator, a 6th century Irish saint. This week’s prayer is said to be uttered by Saint Brendan before he set off on an adventurous and perilous journey.
Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home?
Shall I turn my back on my native land, and turn my face towards the sea?
Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy, without silver, without a horse, without fame, without honour?
Shall I throw myself wholly upon you, without sword and shield, without food and drink, without a bed to lie on?
Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under your yoke?
Shall I pour out my heart to you, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness, tears streaming down my cheeks?
Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach, a record of my final prayer in my native land?
Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict?
Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean?
O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?
O Christ, will you help me on the wild waves?
The English mystic Julian of Norwich (1342 – c. 1416) is remembered on May 8 in the Anglican, Episcopalian, and Lutheran churches and on May 13 in the Catholic Church.
This week, let’s pray a beautiful prayer attributed to her.
In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss.
In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving.
You are our mother, brother, and Savior.
In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvelous and plenteous grace.
You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us.
You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.
Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well. Amen.
April 29 is the Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), a mystic, reformer, and adviser to popes. This week, we’re praying one of her beautiful prayers.
O Holy Spirit, come into my heart;
by your power draw it to yourself, God,
and give me charity with fear.
Guard me, Christ, from every evil thought,
and so warm and enflame me again
with your most gentle love
that every suffering may seem light to me.
My holy Father and my gentle Lord,
help me in my every need.
Christ love! Christ love!
This week’s prayer is from St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033 – 1109), a Benedictine monk, abbot, philosopher, and theologian. St. Anselm’s Feast Day is this Wednesday, April 21.
O my God, teach my heart where and how to seek You,
where and how to find You.
You are my God and You are my all and I have never seen You.
You have made me and remade me,
You have bestowed on me all the good things I possess,
Still I do not know You.
I have not yet done that for which I was made.
Teach me to seek You.
I cannot seek You unless You teach me
or find You unless You show Yourself to me.
Let me seek You in my desire,
let me desire You in my seeking.
Let me find You by loving You,
let me love You when I find You.
This week we’re praying a beautiful Native American prayer. I find it to be especially meaningful in the Easter season, when we celebrate the earth’s renewal and all things being restored by Christ.
The world before me is restored in beauty.
The world behind me is restored in beauty.
The world below me is restored in beauty.
The world above me is restored in beauty.
All things around me are restored in beauty.
My voice is restored in beauty.
It is finished in beauty. Amen.
A prayer for Holy Week from Caryll Houselander (1901-1954), an English Catholic mystic, poet, and author:
By Your heaviness and fear
comfort the oppressed
and those who are afraid.
By Your loneliness,
facing the Passion
while the Apostles slept,
comfort those who face evil alone
while the world sleeps.
By Your persistent prayer,
in anguish of anticipation,
who shrink from the unknown.
By Your humility,
taking the comfort of angels,
give us grace to help
and to be helped by one another,
and in one another
to comfort You, Jesus Christ.
This week, we’re praying a prayer written by contemporary author Rachel Marie Stone. It looks ahead to the washing of the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper.
You sent your Son into the world,
And before his hour had come,
He washed his disciples’ feet.
You had given all things into his hands.
He had come from you, and was going to you,
And what did he do?
He knelt down on the floor,
And washed his friends’ feet.
He was their teacher and their Lord,
Yet he washed their feet.
Lord God, help us learn from his example;
Help us to do as he has done for us.
The world will know we are his disciples
If we love one another.
Strengthen our hands and our wills for love
And for service.
Keep before our eyes the image of your Son,
Who, being God, became a Servant for our sake.
All glory be to him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever.