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

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Novena for Order 2020: Day 4

In just about every confession I've made in the past year, my parish priest has advised me to be more intentional: about my prayer life, about the way I spend my time. And he's right, I know he's right. Darwin and I are both pragmatists of the first water: we can't stand make-work solutions or just-in-case redundancies or one-step-too-many processes. We resist setting schedules because we don't like our time to be dictated by arbitrary checklists. And yet, by not doing so, we lose time and effectiveness, and some things we really value get lost or put off until very late. 

We also both really need outside accountability to do tedious things, or things that are mostly for ourselves. That's one reason why serially posting fiction, or the confines of NaNoWriMo, has been one of our most productive ways of keeping writing on track. The combined pressures of external accountability and deadline make us work.

But without building the internal habit of obedience, we'll never make much progress in keeping to a self-imposed schedule. Obedience always has to be to some external source, but virtue comes from acquiescing internally to the oversight of someone else, first God and then others.

***
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.

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.

translation by Robert Anderson and Johann Moser
from The Aquinas Prayer Book