St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274

Today is the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest and most important theologians in the History of Christianity. His biography is available here. This is the prayer he reportedly said every day before an image of Christ:

GRANT me, O merciful God, to desire eagerly, to investigate prudently, to acknowledge sincerely, and to fulfill perfectly those things that are pleasing to Thee, for the praise and glory of Thy holy Name.

 

O my God, order my life, and grant that I may know what Thou wilt have me to do; and grant that I may fulfill it as is fitting and profitable to my soul.

 

Grant me, O Lord my God, the grace that I may not falter either in prosperity or adversity. May I not be unduly lifted up by the one, nor unduly cast down by the other. Let me neither rejoice nor grieve at anything, save what either leads to Thee or leads away from Thee. Let me not desire to please anyone nor fear to displease anyone save only Thee.

 

Let all things transitory seem vile in my eyes, and all things eternal be dear to me. Let me tire of that joy which is without Thee and to desire nothing that is outside Thee. Let me find joy in the labor that is for Thee; and let all repose that is without Thee be tiresome to me.

 

Grant me, my God, the grace to direct my heart towards Thee, and with a firm purpose of amendment, to grieve continually my failures, together with a firm purpose of amendment.

 

O Lord my God, make me obedient without complaining, poor without despondency, chaste without stain, patient without grumbling, humble without pretense, cheerful without dissipation, mature without undue heaviness, quick-minded without levity, fearful of Thee without abjectness, truthful without duplicity, devoted to good works without presumption, ready to correct my neighbor without arrogance, and to edify him by word and example without hypocrisy.

 

Grant me, Lord God, a watchful heart which shall be distracted from Thee by no vain thoughts; give me a generous heart which shall not be drawn downward by any unworthy affection; give me an upright heart which shall not be led astray by any perverse intention; give me a stout heart which shall not be crushed by any hardship; give me a free heart which shall not be enslaved by passion

 

Bestow upon me, O Lord my God, an understanding that knows Thee, diligence in seeking Thee, wisdom in finding Thee, conversation pleasing to Thee, perseverance in faithfully waiting for Thee, and confidence in embracing Thee in the end. Grant that I may be chastised here by penance, that I may make good use of Thy gifts in this life by Thy grace, and that I may partake of Thy joys in the glory of heaven: Who livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.

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