Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The prayer of saints

Thursday is the feast of Thomas More and John Fisher. I will probably be posting in honor to their memory over the next few days, starting with this prayer. This prayer was written in Thomas More's own hand in the margins of his liturgy of the hours book. Although the spelling is a bit different than we are used to, I think his meaning is quite understandable.

Gyve me thy grace good God
To sette the worlde at naught;
To sett my mynde faste upon The, and not to hange
uppon the blaste of mennys mowthis;
To be content to be solitary;
Not to long for worldly company;
Little and little to utterly caste off the worlde, and
ridde my minde of all bysynes there ;
Not to long to here eny worldly thyngis, but that
the heving of worldly fantesyes may be to me displeasant.
Gladly to be thinking of God
Pituously to call for His helpe ;
To lene unto the comfort of God;
Bysyly to labor to love Him ;
To knowe myn owne vilite and wretchednesse.
To humble and meken myself under the mighty hand of God :
To bewayle my synnes passed ;
For the purgyng of them patiently to suffer adversity.
Gladly to bere my purgatory here ;
To be joyful of tribulacions;
To walke the narrow way that leadeth to life ;To bere the crosse with Christ;To have the last things in remembrance;To have ever afore myn yie my death that ys ever at hand.
To make deth no stranger to me.To foresee and consider the everlasting lyre of hell.
To pray for pardon before the judge come;
To have continually in mynde the passyone Christ suffered for me;
For hys benefits uncessauntly to give him thankys.
To by the time again that I have loste.
To abstain from vague confabulacyons.
To eschew light, foolish myrthe and galnessel
Recreations not necessary to cut off;
Of worldly substance, frendys, libertie, life and all to sett the loss at right nowght for the wynning of Christ.
To thinke my moste enemys mye beste frendys, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done hym so much goode with their love and favour, as they did hym with their malice and hatred.

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