This week is focused on the book of Job. If you would like a brief commentary on how to read Job, you can find it here.
By sufferings only can we know
The nature of the life we live;
The temper of our souls they show,
How true, how pure, the love we give.
To leave my love in doubt would be
No less disgrace than misery!
I welcome, then, with heart sincere,
The cross my Saviour bids me take;
No load, no trial, is severe,
That’s borne or suffered for his sake:
And thus my sorrow shall proclaim
A love that’s worthy of the name.
– Madame Guyon
I come before your sight, O Lord,
as one accused with my conscience as witness.
I pray, not daring to ask what I am not worthy to receive.
But Lord, you know everything
that drives us to confess to you;
what we are ashamed of,
and the sins we were not afraid to commit.
With these words we yield to you our hearts and minds,
and commend to you what we say,
but not what we have done.
Spare us, O Lord, and forgive the sins we confess.
Have mercy on those who call to you.
And because my senses are weak
in comprehending your mysteries,
grant, Lord, the things we do not ask
because of the hardness of our hearts,
and grant us pardon;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Book of Cerne
May the guiding hands of God be on my shoulders,
may the presence of the Holy Spirit be on my head,
may the sign of Christ be on my forehead,
may the voice of the Holy Spirit be in my ears,
may the smell of the Holy Spirit be in my nose,
may the sight of the company of heaven be in my eyes,
may the speech of the company of heaven be in my mouth,
may the work of the church of God be in my hands,
may the serving of God and my neighbor be in my feet,
may God make my heart his home,
and may I belong to God, my Father, completely.
– Lorica of St. Fursa
Inspire us to read your Scriptures
And to meditate upon them day and night.
We beg you to give us real understanding of what we need,
That we in turn may put its precepts into practice.
Yet we know that understanding and good intentions are worthless,
Unless rooted in your graceful love.
So we ask that the words of Scriptures
May also be not just signs on a page,
But channels of grace into our hearts.
Trinity in unity, preserve me.
Unity in Trinity, have mercy on me.
preserve me from all dangers
which overwhelm me
like the waves of the sea,
so that neither mortality
nor the vanity of the world
may sweep me away this year.
And I also ask,
send the high, mighty hosts of heaven,
that they not abandon me
to be destroyed by enemies,
but defend me now
with their strong shields
and that the heavenly army
advance before me:
cherubim and seraphim by the thousands,
and archangels Michael and Gabriel, likewise,
I ask, send these living thrones,
principalities and powers and angels,
so that I may be strong,
defended against the flood of strong enemies
in the next battle.
– Lorica of Gildas
whose terror scares away the foul throngs,
make with me a strong covenant.
God the unconquerable guardian,
defend me on every side by your power.
Free all my limbs,
with your safe shield protecting each,
so that the fallen demons cannot attack
against my sides or pierce me with their darts.
I pray, Lord Jesus Christ, be my sure armor.
Cover me, therefore, O God, with your strong breastplate.
Cover me all in all with my five senses,
so that, from my soles to the top of the head,
in no member, without within, may I be sick;
that, from my body, life be not cast out
by plague, fever, weakness, suffering,
Until, with the gift of old age from God,
departing from the flesh, be free from stain,
and be able to fly to the heights,
and, by the mercy of God, be borne in joy
to the heavenly cool retreats of his kingdom.
– Lorica of Gildas
We have heard it with our ears, O God;
our ancestors have told us
what you did in their days,
in days long ago.
Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
Why do you hide your face
and forget our misery and oppression?
We are brought down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up and help us;
rescue us because of your unfailing love.