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

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Novena for Order, Day 9


Coming to the end of my novena, I'm struck by two ideas.

1. I really need to write down some kind of schedule. Not just think it in my head, not just make up a plan for the day each morning. I need to put some thought into what happens tomorrow, next week, next month.

2. Action. This is the word that's been impressed upon me during these nine days. I have to act. It would almost be better for me to be engaged in non-essential activity that has a purpose and an end, than to spend my time sitting around thinking about doing something important. I know that this is not everyone's particular problem. Some people might need to slow down, or to be more deliberate, or whatnot. I think that the more time I spend in some action with a definite end, the better for me. Otherwise I just while away my day drifting from idleness to idleness, to the detriment of my household and family and schooling.

Even the action of writing out my reflections on my lifestyle has really helped me to clarify what I need to be doing to bring more order to my life.

If you've been praying the novena with me, and have come to any conclusions about bringing order to your own life (whether or not the conclusions are relevant to anyone else's life), please share your thoughts. Not everyone's routine has to be the same; as I think about it, the problem with a lot of lifestyle systems is that they're just too cookie-cutter.

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


TS said...

I have to act...I know that this is not everyone's particular problem.

I was reading Michael Dubruiel's book on the cross the other day and he mentioned how Jesus had words for Martha - the active one - and an action for Mary - the contemplative one. Interesting.

Entropy said...

Agreed. I've found that just doing it is far better than thinking about doing it or planning how to do it or feeling sorry for myself that it has to be done again.

Of course, it's much harder to do than say but it helps to remember to do first things first. School must be done and so regardless of whether the house is messy, we plod on and then I don't have twice the guilt. That is, the guilt of a messy house and of skipping school to clean it and in the end, as punishment no doubt, none of it gets done anyway! If I spend time with my kids doing math and reading on the couch, my mood improves and they feel loved and we all can move on to clean up afterwards.

This novena has reminded me of my need for discipline, which is obvious from the fact that I didn't pray it *every* day and balked at first at how frightfully long it was!

BettyDuffy said...

I'm sorry to say that I didn't do this Novena with you, but by the end of it, having read your reflections, I WISH that I had done it-which is probably indication that a Novena for order (against that drifting idleness) is something I need.