Category Archives: Prayers

Some Definite Service

A meditation by Blessed John Henry Newman

PORTRAIT OF ENGLISH CARDINAL JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

God knows me and calls me by my name.…
God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me
which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission—I never may know it in this life,
but I shall be told it in the next.

Somehow I am necessary for His purposes…
I have a part in this great work;
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection
between persons.
He has not created me for naught. I shall do good,
I shall do His work;
I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth
in my own place, while not intending it,
if I do but keep His commandments
and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him.
Whatever, wherever I am,
I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;
In perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;
If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be
necessary causes of some great end,
which is quite beyond us.
He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life,
He may shorten it;
He knows what He is about.
He may take away my friends,
He may throw me among strangers,
He may make me feel desolate,
make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—
still He knows what He is about.…
Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see—
I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used.

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The May Magnificat

our-lady-of-sorrows

Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “The May Magnificat “

May is Mary’s month, and I

Muse at that and wonder why:

Her feasts follow reason,

Dated due to season
Candlemas, Lady Day;

But the Lady Month, May,

Why fasten that upon her,

With a feasting in her honour?

 

Is it only it being brighter

Than the most are must delight her?

It is opportunest

And flowers finds soonest?

 

Ask of her, the mighty mother:

Her reply puts this other

Question: What is Spring?—

Growth in everything—

 

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,

Grass and green world all together;

Star-eyed strawberry-breasted

Throstle above her nested

 

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin

Forms and warms the life within;

And bird and blossom swell

In sod or sheath or shell.

 

Their magnifying of each its kind

With delight calls to mind

How she did in her stored

Magnify the Lord.

 

Well but there was more than this:

Spring’s universal bliss

Much, had much to say

To offering Mary May.

 

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple

Bloom lights the orchard-apple

And thicket and thorp are merry

With silver-surfèd cherry

 

And azuring-over greybell makes

Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes

And magic cuckoocall

Cap, clears, and clinches all—

 

This ecstasy all through mothering earth

Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth

To remember and exultation

In God who was her salvation.

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Prayer for the Heart of a Child

Here is a beautiful prayer I came across today by Leonce de Grandmaison, a French Jesuit who died in 1927:

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
preserve in me the heart of a child,
pure and transparent as a spring.
Obtain for me a simple heart
That does not brood over sorrows;
A heart generous in giving itself,
Quick to feel compassion;
A faithful, generous heart
that forgets no favor
and holds no grudge.
Give me a humble, gentle heart
Loving without asking any return;
A great indomitable heart
That no ingratitude can close,
No indifference can weary;
A heart tortured by its desire
for the glory of Jesus Christ:
Pierced by His love
With a wound that will heal
only in heaven.

Amen.

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