Friday, July 17, 2009

A Prayer of Thomas Aquinas

One of the best things about our store is our used book department. With over 90,000 books we have customers spend hours just browsing the shelves. Occasionally, I run across a book that gets my attention and just begs to be opened. I stumbled onto this little book about a month ago called The Aquinas Prayer Book: The Prayers and Hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas. I enjoy reading Aquinas but never knew about this gem of a book. I thought I would share one of the prayers with you. The entries are in English and Latin. I'm sure you'll understand if I only provide the English translation. This one is titled "Before Study" and it notes that "St. Thomas frequently recited this before he dictated, wrote, or preached." I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Ineffable Creator,
Who, from the treasures of Your wisdom,
have established three hierarchies of angels,
have arrayed them in marvelous order
above the fiery heavens,
and have marshaled the regions
of the universe with such artful skill,

You are proclaimed
the true font of light and wisdom,
and the primal origin
raised high beyond all things.

Pour forth a ray of Your brightness
into the darkened places of my mind;
disperse from my soul
the twofold darkness
into which I was born:
sin and ignorance.

You make eloquent the tongues of infants.
Refine my speech
and pour forth upon my lips
the goodness of Your blessing.

Grant to me
keenness of mind,
capacity to remember,
skill in learning,
subtlety to interpret,
and eloquence in speech.

May You
guide the beginning of my work,
direct its progress,
and bring it to completion.

You Who are true God and true Man,
Who live and reign, world without end.



Paul said...

"Grant to me
keenness of mind,
capacity to remember,
skill in learning,
subtlety to interpret,
and eloquence in speech."

The older I get, the more I ask for and cherish the first two!

Thanks for sharing, Louis. Wish I had known and prayed this before starting seminary!

The BBH Church Relations Team said...


You focused on my favorite part of this prayer. Agreed, our older age has a way of setting our priorities doesn't it?