Thursday, March 05, 2009

A lenten prayer

A friend of mine recently sent me some gifts that he had meant to send for my tenth anniversary of ordination last May.  The package, all wrapped up, ended up in a closet with some things on top of it, and there, "out of sight and out of mind", it remained until he recently was doing some cleaning and found it.  Thank God he wasn't sending me a puppy.

One of the gifts was a book, My God, My Glory, which is a collection of prayers written by Eric Milner-White, who was Dean of York from 1941-1963.  It is a collection of prayers he had written for different feast days and seasons in the Christian year.  Here's a sampling:

Lord, bless to me this Lent.

Lord, let me fast most truly and profitably,
by feeding in prayer on thy Spirit:
reveal me to myself
in the light of thy holiness.

Suffer me never to think
that I have knowledge enough to need no teaching,
wisdom enough to need no correction,
talents enough to need no grace,
goodness enough to need no progress,
humility enough to need no repentance,
devotion enough to need no quickening,
strength enough without thy Spirit;
left, standing still, I fall back for evermore.

Shew me the desires that should be disciplined,
and sloths to be slain.
Shew me the omissions to be made up
and the habits to be mended.
And behind these, weaken, humble, and annihilate in me
self-will, self-righteousness, self-satisfaction,
self-sufficiency, self-assertion, vainglory.

May my whole effort be to return to thee;
O make it serious and sincere
persevering and fruitful in result,
by the help of thy Holy Spirit
and to they glory,
my Lord and my God.

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