For my children, Lord, I intercede,
And begin with words of thanks:
You have entrusted to my care
Three such radiant masterpieces
That I stand astonished at Your grace.
The lines and forms of their young lives
Are work of the Master’s hand alone;
But You have seen fit to give to me,
And to my wife, and to themselves,
The painstaking work of creation-love:
To bring out the color and the zeal
That lies behind Your artistry.
Let me be, O Lord, a faithful student
Of your thrice-holy Fatherhood,
Of love that waters and brings forth
Fragrant fields of Virtue’s bloom.
Let not my stubborn self-absorption,
Nor the limits of my patience,
Nor the weariness of long-worked days
Ever make them doubt my love for them,
And Your love through mine.
Lord, give my children courage
To bless their broken world,
To become deep wells of character
In an age that oft prefers
The flashy to sublime.
May they hold the ancient way
In reverence and with grace,
Unbowed to idols of this world,
The dazzled, licentious freedom
Of the rampant, untamed self.
But when sin does engulf them, Lord,
May they rise above the flood,
Up-borne on the abiding strength
Of Your unconquered clemency.
May their trespass be, at end of day,
A step on the journey that makes them whole
And brings more glory unto Thee.
When pain invades their lives
And suffering o’erwhelms,
May they find a bright-lit way
In the darkened vale of Your cross,
Which drank down every drop of pain
And shattered the cup of suffering
Against the adamantine wall
Of all-surpassing grace.
Make of my children, O Master,
All that You made them to be,
And may they find within Your love
The place appointed for their lives:
The setting for their radiance,
Through all eternity.