Wednesday, December 28, 2011

St Alcuin: An Act of Penitence and Preparation

Draw near to me, O Lord and Saviour, that I may seek you with my whole heart; then I can ask for what I ought, and finally may adhere to the result of my prayers.  Liberate me from my past sins, protect me from the present ones that threaten me, and guard me against future sins.  Give me food and drink appropriate to the spirit of abstinence, the girdle of chastity, purity of heart, kindness and modesty; grant me spiritual joy and a perfect disdain of this world.

Enable me to guard against any occasion of scandal; grant me to love simplicity and purity, and always to seek after those things that make for peace.  Keep far from me hypocrisy: give me instead true humility, that I may make a full confession and a perfect amendment of my life.  Keep my tongue from the habit of swearing, from the clouds of deceit, and from the disease of detraction of others; also from addiction to gambling, and from the vanity of gossip and foolish talk.

Set a guard upon my mouth, and protect the doorway of my lips.  I beg you to permit me to obey the commands of those above me, and without delay to concur whole-heartedly with all that makes for obedience, compassion and peace.  Give me discretion in all things that I may distinguish between good and evil.  May I value what is good, and encourage others so that things may be better yet, recalling to the standards of your righteousness any who are moving away from you.

Stir up my torpor and prod my laziness; make me persevere strenuously in your commandments and praises.  Give me prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.  Bestow upon me a true faith, unquenchable hope, and perfect love.  Fill my heart with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and devotion, and of your holy fear.  Grant me, O Lord, the blessing of the dew of heaven, and the richness of earth; grant me the abundant water that flows from above and from below.

Give to my wretched soul the melting fire of your love, and make me extinguish utterly all desire for this world instead of you.  Enable my heart to be always humble and contrite before you.  May I become a living sacrifice in your presence through the fire of compunction.

1 comment:

Katie Mahoney said...

Camille, I appreciated all the readings that you posted for the advent season. The ancient art adds such a nice touch. This post by St. Alcuin is great! It's sure a compacted prayer to pray for oneself.
I recently started reading a book on St. Assisi's life. It's been a encouragement to me to become more like Christ, and seek him more.
I am looking forward SO much to seeing you again!