Be born in us, Incarnate Love! Take our flesh and blood and give us your humanity, take our eyes and give us your vision, take our minds and give us your pure thought, take our feet and set them in your path, take our hands and fold them in your prayer, take our hearts and give us your will to love.
Thee, God, I came from, to thee I go. All day long I like fountain flow from thy hand out, swayed about, mote-like in thy mighty glow. What I know of thee I bless, as acknowledging thy stress on my being and as seeing something of thy holiness. Once I turned from thee and hid, bound on what thou hadst forbid; sow the wind I would; I sinned; I repent of what I did. Bad as I am, but yet thy child, Father, be thou reconciled. Spare thou me, since I see with thy might that thou art mild. I have life before me still and thy purpose to fulfill; Yea, a debt to pay thee yet: Help me, sir, and so I will. But thou bidst, and just thou art, me shew mercy from my heart towards my brother, every other man my male and counterpart.
-Gerard Manley Hopkins
Keep us, O God, from pettiness; let us be large in thought, in word, in deed. Let us be done with fault finding, and leave off self seeking. May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face--without self pity and without prejudice. May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous. Let us take time for all things: Make us to grow calm, serene, gentle. Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straightforward and unafraid. Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences; that in the big things of life we are at one. And may we strive to touch and to know the great, common human heart of us all, and, O Lord God, let us forget not to be kind.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
O burning Mountain, O chosen Sun, O full Moon, O fathomless Well, O unreachable Height, O Clarity beyond measure, O Wisdom without ground, O Mercy without hindrance, O Strength without resistance, O Crown of all glory, the lowest of thy creatures sings thy praise.
-Mechthild of Magdeburg
O my God, most blessed Trinity, I desire to love you and to make you loved, to labor for the glory of holy Church. I desire to accomplish your will perfectly and to attain to the degree of glory which you have prepared for me in your kingdom. In a word I desire to be a saint, but I know how helpless I am and I implore you, O my God, to be yourself my sanctity.
O will of the Omnipotent God, You are my delight. You are my joy. Whatever the hand of my Lord holds out to me I will accept with gladness, submission and love. Your holy will is my repose; In it is contained all my sanctity, and all my eternal salvation, for doing God's will is the greatest glory...Do with me as You will, Lord. I place no obstacles, I make no reservations. For You are my whole delight and the love of my soul, and to You, in turn, I pour out the confidences of my heart.
God made us a family. We need one another. We love one another. We forgive one another. We work together. We play together. We worship together. Together we use God's word. Together we grow in Christ. Together we love all humankind. Together we serve our God. Together we hope for heaven. These are our hopes and ideals. Help us to attain them, O God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We seem to give them back to you, O God, who gave them to us. Yet as you did not lose them in living, so we do not lose them by their return. For life is eternal and love is immortal, and death is only the horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. Lift us up, O strong Son of God, that we may see further; cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly; draw us closer to yourself that we may know ourselves to be nearer to our loved ones who are with you. And while you prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that where you are we may be also for evermore. Amen.
O almighty, eternal God, look upon the face of your Christ, and for love of him, who is the eternal high priest, have pity on your priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the bishop's hands. Keep them close to you, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation....O Jesus, keep all priests close to Your heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity.
O Queen of Carmel, Mother of God's dear Son, resplendent model of grace, serene star above life's ocean--guide our way with tranquility, saying to us: Rejoice, my children, listen to Jesus, offer yourselves with confidence--love knows no other way, than the unshielded heart, that finds joy in the total gift.
(In commemoration of the 750th anniversary of the reception of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel 1251-2001.)