Sunday, 3 June 2007

A prayer for the virtues

by Thomas Aquinas

O Almighty and all-knowing God,
without beginning or end,
who art the giver, preserver, and rewarder of all virtue:

Grant me to stand firm on the solid foundation of faith,
be protected by the invincible shield of hope,
and be adorned by the nuptial garment of charity;

Grant me by justice to obey thee,
by prudence to resist the crafts of the Devil,
by temperance to hold to moderation,
by fortitude to bear adversity with patience;

Grant that the goods that I have I may share liberally
with those who have not,
and the good that I do not have I may seek with humility
from those who have;

Grant that I may truly recognise the guilt of the evil I have done,
and bear with equanimity the punishments I have deserved;
that I may never lust after the goods of my neighbour,
but always give thanks to thee for all thy good gifts...

Plant in me, O Lord, all thy virtues,
that in divine matters I might be devout,
in human affairs wise,
and in the proper needs of the flesh onerous to no one...

And grant that I may never rush to do things hastily,
nor balk to do things demanding,
so that I neither yearn for things too soon,
nor desert things before they are finished.
Amen.

See also John Hughes’ recent discussion of this prayer.

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