Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Novena for Order, Day 1

I've been feeling lately the lack of order in my life, from the stresses of homeschooling to the stresses of a messy house. How unordered am I? I'd meant to start this novena on Friday, but couldn't find time to get around to it.

I'm praying St. Thomas Aquinas' Prayer for Ordering a Life Wisely, found in The Aquinas Prayer Book from Sophia Institute Press. It's well worth having; the Prayer for the Forgiveness of Sins is perfect while waiting in line for confession.

For Ordering a Life Wisely

St. Thomas Aquinas

O merciful God, grant that I may
desire ardently,
search prudently,
recognize truly,
and bring to perfect completion
whatever is pleasing to You
for the praise and glory of Your name.

Put my life in good order, O 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, O 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, O 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, O 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 heart to You
and that in my failures
I may ever feel remorse for my sins
and never lose the resolve to change.

O 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.

O 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, O 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 evil 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 enslave.

Give to me, O 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.

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.


translation by Robert Anderson and Johann Moser


Rick Lugari said...

Okay kiddo, you're going about this problem all wrong. I love Saint Thomas and almost every word we have record of his I find edifying, but while he packs a lot into few words, he still could be a little long winded. Instead of starting with a prayer of his, start with a personal short prayer to him. We are one in Christ with the saints and yet a big family. Think of yourself as the baby of the family and the saints as your older siblings. Like all large families, the older children adore the baby and will do anything for him/her even though the baby is an ungrateful spoiled brat. So, as the baby, you have the upper hand in this relationship. Here's how to use it:

Hey, Thomas! Give me a hand here, would ya? If you do a good job, maybe I'll say your novena.

Presto! Help is on the way. In less time than to read some dork's blog comment you said a prayer. And with that, my hunch is your prayer has already been answered. If your life has enough order in it to read something from that Lugari guy, it's ordered enough to say a novena.

In the next prayer lesson I'll explain how to argue with the saints and refuse all those "but this is better for you" graces and hold out for the favors you really want.

mrsdarwin said...

Well, I'm working up from praying, "Tony, Tony, look around; something's lost and can't be found."

Rick Lugari said...

Good girl! St. Anthony has been a big help to us in that regard, but still, he knows finding things is his job. I expect him to keep track of things so I don't have to look at the dust bunnies and discarded Pop-Tarts under the couch anymore. So when he gets distracted by Baby Jesus pulling his nose or something and screws up, I just look upward and say, "Yo, Anthony, what gives?" Then within a few minutes he puts Baby Jesus down and puts my things within reach. But really, he's an all around pretty good guy.

entropy said...

The first thing I thought was, "Wow, that's really long..."

Not great as far as spiritual maturity goes but while I'm there, I do love this line:
and quick-witted without flippancy.

Wish I would have thought it was ok to pray for this before.

Jen said...

What a beautifully long prayer! I am so greatly in need of saying such a prayer, but wondering if Mr. Lugari's tactics might work . . . especially since I started the "impossible" novena that started on the Feast of the Annunciation & goes until Christmas! Oh, and I say the "Tony, Tony . . ." prayer at least once a day!