A BIRTHDAY PRAYER
O God, I thank You for giving me another year of life.
I thank You for all the people who have remembered me today, and who have sent me cards and letters, good wishes and presents.
I thank You for everything which I have been abled by You to do and to be in the past year.
I thank You for all the experiences of the past year;
For times of success which will always be happy memories;
For times of failure which reminded me of my own weakness and of my need of You;
For times of joy when the sun was shining;
For times of sorrow which drove me to You.
For the hours I have wasted;
For the chances I failed to take;
For the opportunities I missed in the past year.
Forgive me for not making of life all that I might have made of it and could have made of it; and help me in the days which lie ahead to make this the best year yet, and in it to bring credit to myself, happiness to my loved ones, and joy to You.
This I ask for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
– From Prayers for Special Occasions, Fr William Barclay
ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE
And Jesus said to his disciples, “Suppose one of you should go to a friend’s house at midnight and say, ‘Friend, let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine who is on a trip has just come to my house and I don’t have any food for him!’. And suppose your friend should answer from inside, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’
“Well, what then? I tell you that even if he will not get up and give you the bread because you are his friend, yet he will get up and give you everything you need because you are not ashamed to keep on asking.
“And so I say to you: Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For those who ask will receive, and those who seek will find and the door will be opened to anyone who knocks.
“Would any of you who are fathers give your son a snake when he asks for fish? Or would you give him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
– The Gospel of Luke, 11:5-13
(Good News Bible)
RIGHT WITH GOD
“Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.”
– Paul’s Letter to the Romans 5: 1-5
(Good News Bible)
REFLECTIONS ON GRATITUDE
“Then Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks to God and passed them out to the people.” (John 6:11)
“No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)
“Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7)
“Don’t be weary in prayer, keep at it. Watch for God’s answers and remember to be thankful when they come.” (Colossians 4:2)
“Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me.'” (John: 11:41)
“Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and forever, praising your greatness from generation to generation.” (Psalm 79:13)
“And to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at evensong.” (1 Chronicles 23:30)
“We are praying that you will be … always thankful to the Father who has made us fit to share all the wonderful things that belong to those who live in the kingdom of light.” (Paul writing to the church – Colossians 1: 11,12)
“Thank the Lord for all the glorious things he does; proclaim them to the nations.” (Psalm 105:1)
“The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice to give praise and thanks to the Lord.” (II Chronicles 5:13)
“Always give thanks to our God and father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)
“I will give you thanks in the great assembly: among throngs of people I will praise you.” (Psalm 26:18)
“Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.” (Colossians 2:7)
15 July 2013
IN THE VALLEY OF THE ELWY
“I REMEMBER a house where all were good
To me, God knows, deserving no such thing:
Comforting smell breathed at very entering,
Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood.
That cordial air made those kind people a hood
All over, as a bevy of eggs the mothering wing
Will, or mild nights the new morsels of spring:
Why, it seemed of course; seemed of right it should.
Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales,
All the air things wear that build this world of Wales;
Only the inmate does not correspond:
God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales,
Complete thy creature dear O where it fails,
Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.”
– Gerald Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889
“All through today O God, help me to be –
Quick to praise and slow to criticize
quick to forgive and slow to condemn
quick to share and slow to refuse to give.
Grant me all through today –
Complete control over my temper
that I may be slow to anger;
Complete control over my tongue
that I may speak no hasty word.
So grant that all through today I may help everyone and hurt no one, so that I may find true joy in living. Through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.”
– Professor William Barclay, Prayers for the Plain Man.
“God of the Ages we praise and thank you. From generation to generation You have been our refuge and strength. You give your gifts of grace for every time, place and season as we strive within the family to walk in Your ways and remain close to one another and to You. We pray that our homes may be schools of Faith, where we come to know and to love You. Teach us the Sanctity of human love. Show us the value of family life and help us to respect all life. May the young find in the family strong support for their humanity so that they may grow in truth and love. May the elderly experience respect, support, love and care within the family circle. We give thanks for Grandparents and we pray for them. We give thanks for they connect us with our heritage and our roots through the mists of time. We give thanks for their Christian memory which inspires and enlightens us. We give thanks for the example of their faith, for the witness of their lives, for the constancy of their love, for the support of their prayers.
Bless all Grandparents and keep them in Your care. Bless them with peace, health and healing. Reward them for their faith and fidelity, for their work and goodness, for their love and thoughtfulness, for their gifts and prayers. Give them a long and happy life together. May old age come to them in the company of family and friends. And when life is over, unite them again, where parting will be no more, in the Kingdom of Your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
– Composed by the late Msgr Joseph Quinn, 1st National Grandparents’ Pilgrimage, 2007, Our Lady’s Shrine, Knock, County Mayo, Ireland
“Do not scrutinise so closely whether you are doing much or little, ill or well, so long as what you do is not sinful and that you are heartily seeking to do everything for God. Try as far as you can to do everything well, but when it is done, do not think about it. Try, rather, to think of what is to be done next.
Go on simply in the Lord’s way, and do not torment yourself. We ought to hate our faults, but with a quiet, calm hatred; not pettishly and anxiously.”
– St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
DAVID’S SONG OF VICTORY (part)
“The waves of death were all around me;
the waves of destruction rolled over me.
The danger of death was
and the grave set its trap for me.
In my trouble I called to the Lord;
I called to my God for help.
In his temple he heard my voice;
he listened to my cry for help.”
– 2 Samuel 22:5-7
He tests with every Station
lessons that hurt and wound
and yet he lets them
bite us with illness and destruction
betrayal and deceit
around our helplessness
in fits, like old-man spit
a life crumbling
apart, to fulfil a story
of a man and a cross.
And then you die.
27 July 2010