"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, March 31, 2014

For Ordering A Life Wisely

A prayer from Saint Thomas Aquinas, via the great Hillsdale Dialogues series on Hugh Hewitt

Oh, merciful God, grant that I may desire ardently, search prudently, recognize truly, and bring to perfection, bring to perfect completion whatever is pleasing to You for the praise and glory of Your name. Put my life in good order, oh, my God. Grant that I may know what you require me to do. Bestow upon me the power to accomplish Your will as is necessary and fitting for the salvation of my soul. Grant to me, oh Lord, my God, that I may not falter in times of prosperity or adversity so that I may not be exalted in the former, nor dejected in the latter. May I not rejoice in anything unless it leads me to You. May I not be saddened by anything unless it turns me from You. May I desire to please no one, nor fear to displease anyone but You. May all transitory things, oh Lord, be worthless to me. And may all things eternal be ever cherished by me. May any joy without You be burdensome for me, and may I not desire anything else besides You. May all work, oh Lord, delight me when done for Your sake, and may all repose not centered in You be ever wearisome for me. Grant unto me, my God, that I may direct my hear to You, and that in my failures, I may ever feel remorse for my sins and never lose the resolve to change. Oh Lord, my God, make me submissive without protest, poor without discouragement, chaste without regret, patient without complaint, humble without posturing, cheerful without frivolity, mature without gloom, and quick-witted without flippancy. Oh Lord, my God, let me fear You without losing hope, be truthful without guile, do good works without presumption, rebuke my neighbor without haughtiness and without hypocrisy, strengthen him by word and example. Give to me, oh Lord God, a watchful heart, which no capricious thought can lure away from You. Give to me a noble heart, which no unworthy desire can debase. Give to me a resolute heart which no intention can divert. Give to me a stalwart heart which no tribulation can overcome. Give to me a temperate heart which no violent passion can slave. Give to me, oh Lord, my God, understanding of You, diligence in seeking You, wisdom in finding You, discourse ever pleasing to You, perseverance in waiting for You, and confidence in finally embracing You. Grant that with Your hardships, I may be burdened in reparation here that Your benefits, I may use in gratitude upon the way, that in Your joys I may delight by glorifying You in the kingdom of Heaven, You who live and reign, God, world without end. Amen.

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