Friday, April 19, 2013

Aquinas's Prayer Before to Study


   How should we pray? When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, Jesus gave them an example - The Lord's Prayer. In John 17 we are able to read what is frequently called the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus. We find, in the letters of Paul, many examples of how Pastors and church leaders ought to pray for their churches. We learn to pray by observing the prayers of others. In light of this I simply want to share one prayer that has been a constant source of encouragement to me in my studies. This prayer can be found on a number of websites around the internet, however, I have rarely found the full version of it. So, I decided that I would put it here on my blog. I hope that it will be an encouragement for others.

Aquinas’s Prayer Before Study*

Ineffable Creator,
   Who, from the treasures of Your wisdom,
          Have established three hierarchies of angles,
          Have arrayed them in marvelous order
                   Above the fiery heavens,
          And have marshaled the regions
                        Of the universe with such artful skill,

You are proclaimed
         The true font of light and wisdom,
         And the primal origin
                Raised high beyond all things.

Pour forth a ray of Your brightness
           Into the darkened places of my mind;
    Disperse from my soul
         The twofold darkness
               Into which I was born:
                    Sin and ignorance.

You make eloquent the tongues of infants.
          Refine my speech
          And pour forth upon my lips
                The goodness of Your blessing.

Grant to me
          Keenness of mind,
          Capacity to remember,
          Skill in learning,
          Subtlety to interpret,
          And eloquence in speech.

May You
          Guide the beginning of my work,
          Direct its progress,
          And bring it to completion.

You Who are true God and true Man,
           Who live and reign, world without end.

Amen.


*Prayer quoted from The Aquinas Prayer Book: The Prayers and Hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas, trans. and ed. Robert Anderson and Johann Moser (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2000), 41-44.