O God,
my heart is a vain heart,
a wandering and unstable heart
when it is led by its own judgment
and lacking divine counsel,
and it cannot subsist in itself.
When it seeks other ways,
it finds nothing,
but remains miserable in its labor,
and empty of peace.
It does not agree with itself,
it dissents from itself,
it alters resolutions,
changes its judgment,
frames new thoughts,
pulls down the old,
and builds them up again.
It wants and does not want,
and never remains in the same state.

Come, Holy Spirit,
and bring from heaven a ray of your light!
Come, Father of the poor,
giver of gifts,
light of the world,
blessed Comforter,
dear guest of the soul,
and its sweetest refreshment!
Our rest in labor,
our coolness in heat,
our comfort in affliction!
O most blessed Spirit,
fill full the hearts of your faithful people!
Without your influence, there is nothing in us
which is not weakness and guilt.
Oh, cleanse those who are filthy.
Refresh those who are dried up.
Heal those who are wounded.
Bend those who are stubborn.
Cherish in your heart those who are cold.
Guide those who are wandering.
Grant your servants,
who put their trust in you,
the merit of your righteousness.
Give them final salvation.
Grant them eternal joy!

O Lord, hear our prayer,
and let our cry come to you. Amen.

Source: Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th Century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.



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Lutheran pastor and musician serving St. Stephen's in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

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