Holy Monday Prayer

God of love,
My prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.

I know only
that I cannot have real strength
unless I rely on you.

I cannot feel protected
from my many weaknesses
until I turn to you
for forgiveness and your unalterable love.

Help me to share this
strength, protection and love with others.

(from One Prayer a Day for Lent)

On This Palm Sunday

On this day of great rejoicing,
Lord Jesus Christ,
when we welcome You as our King and Savior,
we also walk in the shadow
of Your cross.
Hosanna! we cry.
Blessed are You
who come in God’s name to save us.
Hosanna!
Strengthen our faith
on this Palm Sunday
so that when the time comes
to carry the cross
we might still call out to You
with heartfelt praise.
Give us the grace and the courage
to follow You this Holy Week
from death to resurrection,
from darkness to the fullness of light.
We need You, Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Hosanna! Amen.

Long Have I Loved You (A Birthday Prayer)

Long have I loved you,
But not nearly as much
As your great love deserves.
Each day I have left
Let me love and serve you
With more passion and zeal
Than the 22,645 (or so)
that have gone before.
Amen.

Help Me to Push Myself Aside

Dear God, I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon. The crescent is very beautiful and perhaps that is all one like I am should or could see; but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing.

I do not know you God because I am in the way. Please help me to push myself aside.

(from A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor; photo by NASA via everystockphoto.com)

Be Merciful to Me, a Fool

O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

No pity, Lord,
could change the heart
From red with wrong
to white as wool;
The rod must heal
the sin: but Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

'Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
‘Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

The ill-timed truth we might have kept–
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say–
Who knows how grandly it had rung!

Our faults no tenderness should ask.
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders — oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

(from a poem by Edward Rowland Sill)

A Poet's Prayer

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee,
And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me.  
(Robert Frost, "Cluster of Faith," from The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged; photo by StockSnap via pixabay.com)