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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Novena for Order 2017, Day 1

The school year is getting ready to begin, so it's time for a novena.

I've prayed a Novena for Order on and off since 2009. I love the prayer for ordering a life wisely by Thomas Aquinas, and I'll post it here and link back to it each day. This year, I'm going to post excerpts from Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751). Say the prayer with me, or read the excerpt, or use the posts as a reminder for your own devotion, but pray with me.

(Chapter 2, 12) The marvels of God's activity which delight us when we read about them only serve to make us bored with the small happenings around us. Yet it is these trivialities, as we consider them, which would do marvels for us if only we did not despise them. We are so stupid! We are astonished by and glorify God's activities when we read about them, yet when he wishes to continue writing about them on our hearts we become restive and prevent him from doing so by our curiosity to see what he is doing in and around us. Forgive me, divine Love, for I am setting down here those faults which are mine, and I cannot yet understand how to let you act freely on me. I have not yet myself been cast in the mold designed for me. I have visited all your studios and admired all your creations, but I have not yet become abandoned enough to accept the strokes of your brush. Yet I have found in you a beloved master, a teacher, a father and a most dear friend. I will be your disciple and go to no other school that yours. Like the prodigal son, I will come home hungry for your bread. I will abandon all ideas and books about spiritual matters and have nothing to do with them unless they work together with your will. All I want to do is love you and devote myself to the duties of each moment, and so allow you to act on me as you wish.

I cannot yet understand how to let you act freely on me. This is my meditation for the day.

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
from The Aquinas Prayer Book


Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I'm so glad that I happened to check your blog tonight. I desperately need to pray the Novena for Order again.

Lizzie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lizzie said...

(with full sentences this time...can you tell I need this novena?!) How strange - if only I'd looked a few days ago as this Novena had come to mind on the day you started it! I've been staying offline more than usual this summer so have only just seen it today. Your blog introduced this novena to me a few years ago and I first prayed it in 2012. It was such a powerful, blessed novena to pray. I will join in the remaining days as I need this for the new school year ahead! God bless and congratulations on the safe arrival of your lovely son!