Beautiful Classic Prayers Centuries Old (March 2024)

Susan’s Thursday morning note March 28, 2024
Classic Beautiful Prayers

Good morning!  My angel of dawn shivers as she peers through the opening through my curtains. I offer her coffee as she smiles. Faithfully entering my scene of life handing me another day.  Stillness finally overtaking the winds.  One little bird singing her heart out appearing as a black dot on the limb as she wakes early enough to watch the orange sky appear.

Another morning. Another gift of time. Who will we meet today?  Who will we smile at?  Whose eyes will we look into? Whose eyes will we picture from the past looking at us across the room giving us their strength in our minds? Unknown hours ahead. 

Every morning lean thine arms awhile 
upon the window-sill of heaven and gaze upon thy Lord, 
then, with the vision in thine heart, 
turn strong to meet thy day.
                               Thomas Blake

A book sits beside me with letters typed into sentences making paragraphs sharing prayers from centuries ago to give us all perspective this morning. A Time to Pray: 365 Classic Prayers to Help you Through the Year.  The prayers are divided into time periods which include the Celts, Medieval Christians, Poets, Saints & Mystics, Hymn Writers.  I hope you find the same encouragement and beauty from these as I have.  Keeping once again the eternal perspective when reading these prayers which are centuries old.


May I be no man’s enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. 
May I never quarrel with those nearest me: 
   and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. 
May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. 
May I wish for all men’s happiness and envy none. 
May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. 
When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, 
   but always rebuke myself until I make amends. 
May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. 
May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. 
May I, to the extent of my power, give all needful help to my friends
 and all who are in want. May I never fail a friend who is in danger.  
When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words    
   to soften their pain. 
May I respect myself. 
May I always keep tame that which rages within me. 
May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people    
   because of circumstances. 
May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done,    
   but know good men and follow in their footsteps.                                                                 
                                                                                     Eusebius, 3rd Century


As the rain hides the stars, as the autumn mist hides the hills,    
as the clouds veil the blue of the sky,    
so the dark happenings of my lot hide the shining of thy face from me.  
Yet, if I may hold thy hand in the darkness, it is enough.    
Since I know that, though I may stumble in my going,    
thou dost not fall.                                                                  
                                                        Anonymous, Celtic Prayer


Lord, how much juice you can squeeze from a single grape. 
How much water you can draw from a single well. 
How great a fire you can kindle from a tiny spark. 
How great a tree you can grow from a tiny seed.   
My soul is so dry that by itself it cannot pray; 
   Yet you can squeeze from it the juice of a thousand prayers. 
My soul is so parched that by itself it cannot love; 
   Yet you can draw from it boundless love for you and for my neighbor.
My soul is so cold that by itself it has no joy; 
   Yet you can light the fire of heavenly joy within me.   
My soul is so feeble that by itself it has no faith; 
   yet by your power my faith grows to a great height. 
Thank you for prayer, for love, for joy, for faith; 
Let me always be prayerful, loving, joyful, faithful.                                                             
                                                                   Guigo the Carthusian, 12th Century  

O sweet and loving God, 
When I stay asleep too long, 
Oblivious to all your many blessings, 
Then, please, wake me up, 
And sing to me your joyful song. 
It is a song without noise or notes.
It is a song of love beyond words, 
Of faith beyond the power of human telling. 
I can hear it in my soul 
When you awaken me to your presence.                                                            
                                                                 Mechthild of Magdeburg, c. 1210-80


Thank you for letting me enter your Thursday again.  We all are holding a small hourglass in our hands today.  Only one grain can pass through at a time.  Will we take the time to notice the sand? The look of a child.  The smile of a friend.  The connection of a writer.  The encouragement of our own souls.  Will we have moments worthy of inscription in stone tonight where we noticed. Where we looked to the heavens. The strength that no one could understand awaits our glimpse. Life.  Beautiful life. Our gift of today. Susan


Latin for this week:

Prex Precis – request, entreaty, prayer

Votum – prayer, wish, desire, promise to God

Precor – to pray, beg, entreat, invoke

Ora pro nobis – Pray for us.


Our Father (The Lord’s Prayer) Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen

Pater noster Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum; adveniat regnum tuum; fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris; et ne nos inducas in tentationem Sed libera nos a malo.   Amen