Susan's Thursday morning note April 20, 2023 A Night Prayer by Erasmus (1469-1536). Nighttime Psalms. Celtic Night Prayer
Good morning. All my little bird friends are tucked into places I can only imagine this morning. I don’t think they’ve had time to make their nests yet. Where in the world are they all sleeping? What do they think of when they listen to rain? Do they find the same comfort we do? Do they pull out their little miniature books and read in their cozy hideouts? I love picturing these little friends as human. Thinking as we do. Thanking their creator for the dark skies hoping there will be rain. Our gift from our angel on today. The hope of tulips. The promise of tulips. Of spring. Not only hope, but knowing the birds will sing, the flowers will make their debut. Our stage awaits this curtain call expectantly. Spring. Rains. Birds. Joy. Our heavenly gifts regardless of what our day may bring. Our angel of dawn carrying an umbrella. She peers again into our windows handing us her gift. A day of life.
I read a beautiful prayer this week written over 600 years ago by a philosopher from the Netherlands. Following this evening prayer are quotes by Erasmus and verses from the Psalms on the night hours.
A Night Prayer by Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536) Lord Jesus Christ, you are the gentle moon and joyful stars, and watch over the darkest night. You are the source of all rest, reconciling the whole universe to the Father. You are the source of all rest, calming troubled hearts, and bringing sleep to weary bodies. You are the sweetness that fills our minds with quiet joy, and can turn the worst nightmares into dreams of heaven. May I dream of your sweetness, rest in your arms, be at one with your Father, and be comforted in the knowledge that you always watch over me. Now what else is the whole life of mortals, but a sort of comedy in which the various actors, disguised by various costumes and masks, walk on and play each ones part until the manager walks them off the stage? When I have a little money, I buy books and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes. Your library is your paradise. Before you sleep, read something that is exquisite, and worth remembering. Read first the best books. The important thing for you is not how much you know, but the quality of what you know. By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade. Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.
Following are psalms that give reference to night hours and peace that is offered to us as the night passes ending with an evening Celtic prayer. Psalms 3:5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. Psalms 4:4 When you are in your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Psalms 16:7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. Psalms 42:8 By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me. Psalms 121 I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber. The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from harm. He will watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.
A Celtic Evening Prayer I lay my head to rest and in doing so lay at your feet the faces I have seen the voices I have heard the words I have spoken the hands I have shaken the service I have given the joys I have shared the sorrows revealed I lay them at your feet and in doing so lay my head to rest
Thank you for letting me enter your Thursday morning. Tonight we have these psalms and prayers to see in our minds as we close our eyes. Peace. Rest. Another gift from God. Silence to pray in the night. Have a beautiful day. The birds are beginning to sing. To give us the prayers through their voices that they heard in their nests during the night. The songs handed to them from their morning angels. Susan
Latin for this week: Canticum graduum levavi oculos meos in montes - I will lift up my eyes to the hills Imminente Luna carpe noctem – By the light of the moon, seize the night. prex precis – request, entreaty, prayer Votumi – prayer, wish, desire, promise to God in nocte consilium – advice comes over night requiescat – rest nox noctis - night O Mater Luna, Regina nocias, adiuvo me nunc – O Mother Moon, Queen of the night, help me now Vale habeque somnia suaves! - Good night and sweet dreams!