Theology of the Heart: Teachings of the Saints
PRAYERS BY ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO
TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Breathe in me, O Holy
Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
LATE HAVE I LOVED YOU
Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I
Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being,
were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.
Prayer for Self Knowledge
Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know You, and desire
nothing save only You.
Let me hate myself and love You.
Let me do everything for the sake of You.
Let me humble myself and exalt You.
Let me think of nothing except You.
Let me die to myself and live in You.
Let me accept whatever happens as from You.
Let me banish self and follow You, and ever desire to follow You.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in You,
That I may deserve to be defended by You.
Let me fear for myself.
Let me fear You, and let me be among those who are chosen by You.
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in You.
Let me be willing to obey for the sake of You.
Let me cling to nothing save only to You,
And let me be poor because of You.
Look upon me, that I may love You.
Call me that I may see You, and for ever enjoy You. Amen.
Act of Hope
For your mercies' sake, O Lord my God, tell me what you are
to me. Say to my soul: "I am your salvation." So speak that I may hear,
O Lord; my heart is listening; open it that it may hear you, and say to
my soul: "I am your salvation." After hearing this word, may I come in
haste to take hold of you. Hide not your face from me. Let me see your
face even if I die, lest I die with longing to see it. The house of my
soul is too small to receive you; let it be enlarged by you. It is all
in ruins; do you repair it. There are thing in it - I confess and I know
- that must offend your sight. But who shall cleanse it? Or to what
others besides you shall I cry out? From my secret sins cleanse me, O
Lord, and from those of others spare your servant. Amen.
Act of Petition
Give me yourself, O my
God, give yourself to me. Behold I love you, and if my love is too
weak a thing, grant me to love you more strongly. I cannot measure
my love to know how much it falls short of being sufficient, but let
my soul hasten to your embrace and never be turned away until it is
hidden in the secret shelter of your presence. This only do I know,
that it is not good for me when you are not with me, when you are
only outside me. I want you in my very self. All the plenty in the
world which is not my God is utter want. Amen.
Prayer for the Sick
Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep
tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your
sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest your weary ones. Bless your dying
ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones. Shield
your joyous ones. And for all your love's sake. Amen.
Prayer of Trust in God's Heavenly Promise
My God, let me know and love you, so that I may find my
happiness in you. Since I cannot fully achieve this on earth, help
me to improve daily until I may do so to the full Enable me to know
you ever more on earth, so that I may know you perfectly in heaven.
Enable me to love you ever more on earth, so that I may love you
perfectly in heave. In that way my joy may be great on earth, and
perfect with you in heaven. O God of truth, grant me the happiness
of heaven so that my joy may be full in accord with your promise. In
the meantime let my mind dwell on that happiness, my tongue speak of
it, my heart pine for it, my mouth pronounce it, my soul hunger for
it, my flesh thirst for it, and my entire being desire it until I
enter through death in the joy of my Lord forever. Amen.
Prayer for the Indwelling of the Spirit
Holy Spirit, powerful Consoler, sacred Bond of the Father and
the Son, Hope of the afflicted, descend into my heart and establish in
it your loving dominion. Enkindle in my tepid soul the fire of your Love
so that I may be wholly subject to you. We believe that when you dwell
in us, you also prepare a dwelling for the Father and the Son. Deign,
therefore, to come to me, Consoler of abandoned souls, and Protector of
the needy. Help the afflicted, strengthen the weak, and support the
wavering. Come and purify me. Let no evil desire take possession of me.
You love the humble and resist the proud. Come to me, glory of the
living, and hope of the dying. Lead me by your grace that I may always
be pleasing to you. Amen.
Prayer to Seek God Continually
O Lord my God, I
believe in you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Insofar as I can,
insofar as you have given me the power, I have sought you. I became
weary and I labored. O Lord my God, my sole hope, help me to
believe and never to cease seeking you. Grant that I may always and
ardently seek out your countenance. Give me the strength to seek
you, for you help me to find you and you have more and more given me
the hope of finding you. Here I am before you with my firmness and
my infirmity. Preserve the first and heal the second. Here I am
before you with my strength and my ignorance. Where you have opened
the door to me, welcome me at the entrance; where you have closed
the door to me, open to my cry; enable me to remember you, to
understand you, and to love you. Amen.
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