Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

God Grant Me Greater Discipline



(Latin version of Matthew 5:6 from the Book of Kells, c. 800 AD - "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." This image is in the public domain.)


God, grant me greater discipline—

My Father disciplines those He loves,

So Thou, my Lord, oh, disciple me!



Fashion my eyes to see what is

Instead of what simply pleases me;

Let me see brokenness and grace,

And understanding-passing peace;

Let me see Thy Passion manifest

In every place Thou leadest me.



Fashion my lips to speak for Thee,

Rather than parrot this world’s ways;

Blessings and orisons fair,

Spoken forth unselfishly,

And everywhere accompanied

By Psalter’s flowing liturgy.




Fashion my heart to beat with Thine,

All unencumbered by vain hopes;

Turn it, turn it, gracious Lord,

Out from itself and unto Thee.



Fashion my body in temperance’s path,

Unweighed by sloth and gluttony;

But turned to Thee, and all aflame

In prayer and fasting: incarnate love;

That I may be, ever and always,

All intemperate for Thee.



Fashion my hands and feet to be

The instruments of Thy clemency;

Let not weariness weigh them,

Nor vain ardors move them,

Unless they are solely moved for Thee.



Fashion my mind toward pilgrimage,

To aim itself all unto Thee;

Departing neither right nor left,

But everywhere, everywhere,

And at all times,

Seeking to follow none but Thee.



These, O Lord, are my desires,

Spoken when my true self can speak;

They cannot be crafted by any means

Save by virtue’s toilsome peace:

Discipline, discipline, and Spirit’s grace;

So Thou, my Lord, oh, disciple me!

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