Refuge and Peace

O God,
full of compassion,
I commit and commend myself to you,
in whom I am, and live, and know.
Be the Goal of my pilgrimage,
and my Rest by the way.
Let my soul take refuge
from the crowding turmoil of worldly thoughts
beneath the shadow of your wings.
Let my heart,
this sea of restless waves,
find peace in you, O God.
You bountifully give all good gifts.
Give those who are weary refreshing food.
Gather our distracted thoughts and powers into harmony again.
Set the prisoner free.
See, he stands at your door and knocks.
Open it to him,
that he may enter with a free step,
and be quickened by you.
For you are the Well-spring of Life,
the Light of eternal Brightness,
where the just live who love you.
Let it be to me according to your word. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, Fourth Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For Light

O God our Father,
you invite us to pray,
and you grant what we ask,
when we ask according to your will.
Hear me as I tremble in this darkness,
and stretch forth your hand to me.
Shine your light before me.
Recall me from my wanderings.
With you as my Guide,
restore me to myself and to you;
through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For Obedience and Love

O Lord,
you command me to ask,
grant that I may receive what you give.
You have told me to seek,
let me be happy in finding.
You have bidden me to knock,
I pray, open for me.
Graciously direct and govern all my thoughts and actions,
that, for the future,
I may serve you
and entirely devote myself to obeying you.
Accept me,
and draw me to yourself,
that I may henceforth be yours
by obedience and love,
since I am already yours,
as your creature.
Yours, O Lord,
you live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For a Safe Voyage

Blessed are all your saints, my God and King,
who have travelled over the tempestuous sea of mortality,
and have at last made the desired port of peace and happiness.
Be gracious to us who are still in our dangerous voyage.
Remember and help us in our distress,
and remember those who are exposed
to the rough storms of troubles and temptations.
Strengthen our weakness,
that we may fight valiantly in this spiritual war.
Help us fight against our own negligence and cowardice,
and defend us from the treachery of our unfaithful hearts.
We are very frail,
and unable to carry out any virtuous and gallant undertaking.
Grant, O Lord, that we may bring our vessel safe to shore,
to our desired haven. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For Mercy and Grace

O God, our true Life,
in whom and by whom all things live,
you command us to seek you,
and you are ready to be found.
You command us to knock,
and open when we do so.
To know you is life,
to serve you is freedom,
to enjoy you is a kingdom,
to praise you is the joy and happiness of the soul.
I praise, bless, and adore you,
I worship you, I glorify you, I give thanks to you for your great glory.
I humbly ask you to remain with me,
to reign in me,
to make my heart your holy temple,
a fit habitation for your Divine majesty.
Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible,
preserve the work of your own hands,
your people who trust in your mercy alone for safety and protection.
Guard me with the power of your grace,
here and in all places,
now and at all times, forevermore. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For More Love

Most merciful God,
descend into my soul,
which you prepared for your reception
by the desire you breathed into it.
Before ever I cried to you,
you, most Merciful,
you called and sought me,
that I might find you,
and finding you, love you.
Even so I sought and found you, Lord,
and desire to love you.
Increase my desire,
and grant me what I ask.
See, I love you, but too little.
Strengthen my love.
When my spirit aspires to you,
and meditates on your unspeakable goodness,
the burden of the flesh becomes less heavy,
the tumult of thought is stilled,
the weight of mortality is less oppressive.
Then my soul would find wings,
and my spirit rise in tireless flight
upwards to your glorious throne,
and there be filled with the refreshing solace
that belongs to the citizens of heaven. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For Perfect Light

O holy and unspeakable,
wonderful and mighty God,
your power and wisdom have no end.
Before you all powers tremble,
at your glance the heavens and the earth flee away.
You are Love,
you are my Father,
and I will love and worship you forever and ever!

You have shown pity on me,
and a ray from your light has shone on mine inward eye.
Guide me into the perfect light,
that it may illumine me wholly,
and that all darkness may flee away.
Let the holy flame of your love
burn in my heart that it be made pure,
and I may see you, O God.
It is the pure in heart who see you.
You have set me free.
You have drawn me to you.
Therefore forsake me not,
but keep me always in your grace.
Guide me, rule me, and perfect me for your kingdom. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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Perfect Love

Grant me, even me, my dearest Lord,
to know you, and love you, and rejoice in you.
And, if I cannot do these perfectly in this life,
let me at least advance to higher degrees every day,
until I can come to do them in perfection.
Let the knowledge of you increase in me here,
that it may be full hereafter.
Let the love of you grow every day more and more here,
that it may be perfect hereafter;
that my joy may be full in you.
I know, O God, that you are a God of truth,
O make good your gracious promises to me,
that my joy may be full;
to your honor and glory,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For Mercy

Come, O Lord,
with much mercy down into my soul,
and take possession and dwell there.
A lowly dwelling, I confess,
for so glorious a Majesty,
but you yourself are preparing it to receive you
by the holy and fervent desires you inspire.
Enter then, and adorn,
and make it what you would inhabit,
since it is the work of your hands.
Give me your own self,
for without you,
even though you should give me all that you have ever made,
my desires could not be satisfied.
Let my soul always seek you,
and let me persist in seeking,
until I have found you,
and am in full possession of you. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For Perseverance

I know, O Lord,
and with all humility acknowledge myself
altogether unworthy of your love.
But I am sure you are altogether worthy of mine.
I am not good enough to serve you,
but you have a right to the best service I can pay.
Impart to me some of that excellence,
that will supply my own lack of worth.
Help me to cease from sin against your will,
that I may render you service according to my duty.
Enable me so to guard and govern myself,
to begin and finish my course,
that when the race of life is run,
I may sleep in peace and rest in you.
Be with me to the end,
that my sleep may be rest indeed,
my rest perfect security,
and that security, a blessed eternity. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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