Evening_Prayer_(Anna_Ancher)

An Ardent Desire For The Beloved

O Lord, all that I long for is known to you, and my tears and sighs are not hidden from your sight. Lord, my soul longs for the bliss of eternity above all else. When I recall this blessed eternity and the celestial glory of heaven, my own actions seem burdensome to me. Whatever I perceive in earthly things strikes me with tedium and languor. The usual human consolations do not delight me at all. I can find no remedy for the aching longing of my heart, unless by being perfectly united with you, O God.

Thus it is you, my beloved Lord, who are the cause of my pain! You are the author of my languor and the unbearable heat of my love. You have wounded me with the hidden darts of desire, igniting my soul and penetrating the very depths of my heart. Shall you cruelly abandon me now to wallow in my affliction and to mourn with fervent, unfulfilled longing? Why do you flee from me so hastily into the remote and inaccessible regions of opaque darkness into which I am completely unable to follow? O God, my holy Love, do not disdain one who longs for you so desperately! Do not conceal yourself from the vision of one who loves you sincerely. Rather, grant mercy to the soul that seeks you, and come quickly! For without you, I can neither live nor even exist.

Lord, even if you wish to subject me to trial and to test me, do not hesitate to do so. Do to me whatever pleases your will! But do not withhold the sweetness of your grace and mercy.

Grant, O Lord, that I may find grace in your sight, and kindly deign to include me amongst the multitude of your chosen. Abandon me not to the darkness—let not the weight of sorrow crush me utterly. Rather, kindly extend your right hand so that I may be saved, and let the light of your mercy shine forth and fill my soul.

A prayer for detachment from all earthly things

Lord Jesus Christ, you alone are my hope and my refuge. You are my best solace in times of trouble and my trusted guide in times of perplexity and uncertainty. Therefore, today, I renounce all things in this passing world for the sake of your love. I earnestly aspire to fulfill this resolution to the honor and glory of your holy name. I shall henceforth prefer your love to all my other attachments, whether to friends, parents, relatives, or all those who are dear to my heart.

I renounce all earthly property, all castles, lands, mountains and valleys.

I renounce all the rivers and flowing streams, the fields and meadows, the verdant woods and towering forests.

I renounce all the beautiful buildings and majestic edifices raised up by human hands.

I renounce all instruments of music, all flutes, harps and lyres, and every melody known to mortals.

I renounce the rose, the orchid, the lotus, the lily, and every terrestrial flower, together with all their sweet and varied fragrances.

I renounce all jokes, feasts, festivities, conversations, discussions, rumors and gossip.

I renounce all riches, all cares, and all dignities.

O Lord, I renounce for the sake of your love everything that can tempt and bind my soul, everything that can distract it, and render it impure and divided. Yes, today I choose you, O God, as my protector! Govern and direct my life and provide for all of my needs. Console me in all sorrows and afflictions, and give me strength in my labors, together with the wisdom and fortitude to resist temptations. Let your grace assist me in everything I must do and undergo, for the sake of love of you and for the sake of the salvation of my soul.

O God, you are my true home, my refuge and my fortress.

You are my food, my drink, and my rest.

You are my beloved companion, my truest friend.

You are my brother and sister, my Father and patron.

You are the shepherd and guardian of my life.

To you, O Lord, I therefore commend all that I am and all that I have. For apart from you, there is no salvation. Without you, there is no life. “May your mercy come upon me, O Lord.” May your grace be my constant companion. May your vigilant eye keep watch over me day and night. May your all-powerful hand protect me from the foes and perils which threaten both from the right and from the left. Lead me along the right path, O Lord, into the celestial dwelling place of your infinite glory. There, let me praise and bless your holy name for ages unending. Amen.

This article is taken from a chapter in Humility and the Elevation of the Mind to God by Thomas à Kempis which is available from TAN Books.

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