WEEKLY PRAYER: A Meditation for All Saints Day

A Prayer Meditation for All Saints Day by Safiyah Fosua:

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We give you thanks, O God, for all the saints who ever worshiped you
Whether in brush arbors or cathedrals,
Weathered wooden churches or crumbling cement meeting houses
Where your name was lifted and adored.

We give you thanks, O God, for hands lifted in praise:
Manicured hands and hands stained with grease or soil,
Strong hands and those gnarled with age
Holy hands
Used as wave offerings across the land.

We thank you, God, for hardworking saints;
Whether hard-hatted or steel-booted,
Head ragged or aproned,
Blue-collared or three-piece-suited
They left their mark on the earth for you, for us, for our children to come.

Thank you, God, for the tremendous sacrifices made by those who have gone before us.
Bless the memories of your saints, God.
May we learn how to walk wisely from their examples of faith, dedication, worship, and love.

(Source)

WEEKLY PRAYER: ST. AUGUSTINE

Today’s prayer comes from St. Augustine of Hippo:

Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of your brightness.

Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of your wisdom.
All our desire is known unto you,
therefore perfect what you have begun,
and what your spirit has awakened us
to ask in prayer.

We seek your face,
turn your face unto us and show us your glory.
Then shall our longing be satisified,
and our peace shall be perfect.

WEEKLY PRAYER: St. Teresa of Avila

This week’s prayer is more of a meditation or a loving admonition. It comes from St. Teresa of Ávila (1515 – 1582), Carmelite nun and mystic, whose Feast Day is today (October 15).

 

Teresa of Avila

*****

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing upset you.
Everything changes.
God alone is unchanging.
With patience all things are possible.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone is enough.

(Source)

 

WEEKLY PRAYER

A prayer before writing or studying from St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274):

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Ineffable Creator,
Who, from the treasures of Your wisdom,
have established three hierarchies of angels,
have arrayed them in marvelous order
above the fiery heavens
and have marshaled the regions
of the universe with such artful skill,

You are proclaimed
the true font of light and wisdom,
and the primal origin
raised high above all things.

Pour forth a ray of Your brightness
into the darkened places of my mind;
disperse from my soul
the twofold darkness
into which I was born:
sin and ignorance.

(Source)

 

WEEKLY PRAYER: FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Our prayer this week is The Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi (1181 – 1226). Francis’s Feast Day is October 4.

Francis’s hymn celebrates all of God’s creation. In Franciscan theology, contemplation and worship frequently begin with the goodness of the material world before delving inward, on the path of the spirit.

 

Giovanni_Bellini_-_Saint_Francis_in_the_Desert_-_Google_Art_Project

 

Most high, all powerful, sweet Lord,
yours is the praise, the glory, and the honor
and every blessing.

Be praised, my Lord,
for all your creatures,
and first for brother sun,
who makes the day bright and luminous.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,
he is the image of you, Most High.

Be praised, my Lord,
for sister moon and the stars,
in the sky you have made them brilliant and precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, for brother wind,
and for the air both cloudy and serene and every kind of weather,
through which you give nourishment to your creatures.

Be praised, my Lord, for sister water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Be praised, my Lord, for brother fire,
through whom you illuminate the night.
And he is beautiful, and joyous, and robust, and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, for our sister, mother earth,
who nourishes us and watches over us,
and brings forth various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, for those who forgive through Your love,
and bear sickness and tribulation;
blessed are those who endure in peace,
for they will be crowned by you, Most High.

Be praised, my Lord, for our sister, bodily death,
from whom no living thing can escape.

Blessed are those whom she finds doing your holy will,
for the second death cannot harm them.

Praise and bless my Lord,
and give thanks to Him and serve Him with great humility.

(Source)

WEEKLY PRAYER

Today’s prayer is adapted from a passage in Walter Hilton’s spiritual treatise, The Scale of Perfection. Hilton (ca. 1340 – 1396) was an English Augustinian canon and mystic. Hilton is not a saint, but the Episcopal Church (USA) honors him this week, on September 28.

*****

Lord, thou art in me and shalt never be lost out of me,
but I am not near thee till I have found thee.
Nowhere need I run to seek thee,
but within me where already thou art.
Thou art the treasure hidden within me:
draw me therefore to thee that I may find thee
and serve and possess thee forever.

(Source)

Weekly Prayer: Hildegard of Bingen

Today is the Feast Day of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), the “singing nun.” Hildegard was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, and mystic who left us many beautiful words. Today, we’re praying one of her songs of praise.

You’re the Word of our Father,
the light of the first sunrise,
God’s omnipotent thought.
Before anything was made,
You saw it,
You designed it, and
You tucked Your all-seeing nature in the middle of Your sinew,
like a spinning wheel
with no beginning and no end,
still encircling everything.

Amen.

Source

WEEKLY PRAYER

A prayer from St. Gertrude the Great (1256 – ca. 1302), a German Benedictine nun, mystic, and theologian:

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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
Help me—
in every need,
with all my heart
and a thirsty soul—
to reach for You,
and in You who are sweet and happy
may I find my rest.

With my whole spirit and self,
let me desire You,
for You’re the only One who holds true happiness.
In Your priceless blood, Lord of mercy, write
Your wounds in my heart.
Help me read there both Your pain and love.
May the memory of Your wounds
forever remain in my heart’s secret places,
kindling compassion in me.

Help me focus solely on You,
who are the sweetness of my heart.

(Source)

WEEKLY PRAYER

The Contemplative Writer is back with weekly prayer each Tuesday. These prayers are drawn from the annals of church history–contemplatives, mystics, and other women and men of faith who enrich us with their conversations with God.

When I pray one of these prayers, I feel part of the great cloud of witnesses that makes up the church eternal. This year, I’ve made an effort to coordinate our weekly prayers with the major Feast Days of the year. I hope you’ll join us each Tuesday.

All-Saints

This week’s prayer comes to us from St. Gregory the Great (ca. 540 – 604), Pope, Doctor of the Church, and Church Father. St. Gregory’s Feast Day is today (September 3).

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O Good Jesu, Word of the Father and brightness of his glory, whom angels desire to behold: teach me to do thy will that, guided by thy spirit, I may come to that blessed city of everlasting day, where are all one in heart and mind, where there is safety and eternal peace, happiness and delight, where thou livest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

(Source)

WEEKLY PRAYER

A prayer from Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897):

Yes, my Beloved, this is how my life will be consumed . . . I have no other means of showing you my love than by throwing flowers, that is, of not allowing one little sacrifice to escape, not one look, not one word, but by profiting from all the smallest things and doing them out of love . . . I want to suffer for love and even to rejoice for love so that in this way I will throw flowers before your throne. I shall not come upon one without unpetalling it for you . . . Then while I am throwing my flowers, I shall sing (for could one cry when doing such a joyous thing?). I will sing, even when I have to gather my flowers in the midst of thorns, and my song will be all the more melodious when the thorns are longest.

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