Tag Archives: prayers

Prayers of the Psalms

Psa. 17:1    Hear me,  LORD, my plea is just;   listen to my cry.   Hear  my prayer—   it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2  Let my vindication  come from you;   may your eyes see what is right.
3  Though you probe my heart,    though you examine me at night and test me,   you will find that I have planned no evil;    my mouth has not transgressed.
4  Though people tried to bribe me,   I have kept myself from the ways of the violent   through what your lips have commanded.
5  My steps have held to your paths;    my feet have not stumbled.
6  I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;    turn your ear to me  and hear my prayer.
7  Show me the wonders of your great love,    you who save by your right hand    those who take refuge  in you from their foes.
8  Keep me  as the apple of your eye;    hide me  in the shadow of your wings
9  from the wicked who are out to destroy me,   from my mortal enemies who surround me.

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Prayers of the Psalms

Psa. 6:1    LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger    or discipline me in your wrath.
2  Have mercy on me,  LORD, for I am faint;    heal me,  LORD, for my bones are in agony.
3  My soul is in deep anguish.    How long,  LORD, how long?
4  Turn,  LORD, and deliver me;   save me because of your unfailing love.

Prayers from the Psalms

Psalm 3

3  But you, LORD, are a shield  around me,   my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4  I call out to the LORD,    and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5  I lie down and sleep;    I wake again,  because the LORD sustains me.
6  I will not fear  though tens of thousands   assail me on every side.
7  Arise,  LORD!   Deliver me,  my God!  Strike  all my enemies on the jaw;   break the teeth  of the wicked.
8  From the LORD comes deliverance.    May your blessing  be on your people.

Prayers of the Saints: St. John of the Cross

Living Flame of Love

1. O living flame of love
that tenderly wounds my soul
in its deepest center! Since
now you are not oppressive,
now perfect me! if it be your will:
tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!
::
2. O sweet burn-healing
O delightful wound!
o gentle hand! O delicate touch
that tastes of eternal life
and pays every debt!
In killing you changed death to life.
::
3.  O lamps of fire!
in whose splendors
the deep caverns of feeling,
once obscure and blind,
now give forth, so rarely, so exquisitely,
both warmth and light to their Beloved.
::
4.  How gently and lovingly you wake in my heart,
where in secret you dwell alone;
and in your sweet breathing,
filled with good and glory,
how tenderly you swell my heart with love.

 

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About St. John of the Cross:

Take yourself back, before the landmark wars of the 20th century, back beyond the industries of the 19th and the revolutions of the 18th.  Take yourself into Spain, just decades after Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  And head straight to the heart of the country, just hours north of Madrid. There on the upper levels a medieval Spanish fort, you will find a frail monk wasting away in a cobbled jail cell.  The room is small, plastered with his scattered notes. They are scribbles from his heart.  They are seeds of his great work written on scraps of paper which were smuggled in by sympathetic guards.  There, in the damp quarters, we find one of the world’s great Spiritual Masters, St. John of the Cross.  He is penning The Spiritual Canticle  insights of intimacy with the Father.  His work still illuminates believers today, young and old.

John of the Cross is remembered for four main works.  I will introduce them in their own time: Living Flame of Love first, The Ascent to Mt. Carmel in chapter three, The Dark Night of the Soul in chapter four, and the Spiritual Canticle in chapter five.

John wrote the The Living Flame of Love, nearer to the end of his life.  In it he dwells upon union with God, as his main theme. The spiritual life is like a burning log.  We are the wood. He is the flame. John draws his image from an ancient observation.  When you light a log on fire, the log slowly becomes the fire.  It leaves only ashes of impurity on the forest floor.  And as it transforms, it “grows much more and becomes more completely enkindled, until it gives out sparks of fire and flame.”[1]  The whole Living Flame is about this observation.  He talks about it first in the Ascent:

 “It must be known that God dwells and is present substantially in every soul, even in that of the greatest sinner in the world.  And this kind of union is ever at play between God and all the creatures. In this union He is preserving their life; so that if union of this kind were to fail them, they would at once become annihilated and would cease to be.  And so, when we speak of union with God, we speak not of this substantial union, which is continually at play.  We speak of the union and transformation of the soul with God, which is not being at play continuously, but only when there exists that likeness that comes from love.  We shall call this the union of likeness, even as that other union is called substantial or essential.”[2]

John is picking upon the great biblical tradition that spans from Leviticus to Matthew. Our spiritual life is about being changed from un-likeness to likeness, from being un-holy to holy, from being imperfect to perfect.  Genesis to Revelation is about a God who is recreating his unique world into a land of likeness.


[1] Living Flame of Love Prologue.

[2] John of the Cross, Ascent Book 2 Chapter 5.

Prayers of the Saints: Ignatius of Loyola

 

Take My All

Take, LORD, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will.

You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to Your Divine will.

You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to your Divine will.

Give me only Your love and Your grace.  With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.

Amen

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Prayers of the Saints: St. Teresa of Avila

 

May I Serve Your Desires

May you through your providence, Lord, provide the necessary means by which my soul may serve you at Your pleasure rather than at its own.  Don’t punish me by giving me what I want or desire if Your love, which lives in me always, doesn’t desire it.  May this “I” die, and may another live in me greater than I and better for me than I, so that I may serve Him.  May He live and give me life.  May He reign and may I be captive, for my soul doesn’t want any other liberty.  How will he be free who is a stranger to the Most High?  What greater or more miserable captivity than for a soul to be loosed from the hand of its Creator?  Happy are those who with  the strong fetters and chains of the kindnesses of the  mercy of God find themselves prisoners and deprived of the power to break loose.

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Prayers of the Saints: Thomas Merton

 

Lord, I Do Not See the Road Ahead of Me

My Lord God,

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 I will 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.

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