August 31, 2009

August The Thirty-First

ETERNAL and ever-blessed God, who art the Father of the spirits of all flesh, whose mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, and whose strength is perfected in our weakness, have mercy upon us, we beseech Thee. Thou who kowest the things that are in Heaven and in earth, the secrets of our hearts are not hid from Thee, nor the sins that have escaped our notice; yet Thou despisest not the sighing of the contrite, nor the tears of such as are penitent. Look in mercy upon us, who are burdened with the sense of our transgressions; and release us from the bondage of our sings. Deliver us, we pray Thee, from blindness of mind and hardness of heart, from fretfulness, anxiety, and care, from all passion and prejudice; and grant that we may henceforward live peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty, through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.


August 30, 2009

August The Thirtieth

MAY Thy most holy will be done by me and by all pilgrims here below, in the perfect performance of Thy precepts, and all Thy good pleasure, as readily and constantly all the days and moments of our life on earth, as it is done by the blessed. Out of the boundless treasury of Thy mercy pardon us all the sins we have committed in thought, word, deed, or by omission, against Thee and against our neighbors, as we forgive all their offences. Mercifully preserve and deliver us from all evils both of body and soul, present and to come, so far as they may hold us back in the attainment of perfection; that so we may, without hindrance, more perfectly love and glorify Thee in time, more blessedly hereafter in eternity. May what I ask be done, as Thou wilt, when Thou wilt, how Thou wilt, through Thy tender mercy - Amen.


August 29, 2009

August The Twenty-Ninth

Sailing On Away

AS I take leave of friends
And of this place I have called home
I ask that none forget me -
Or, at least, not immediately.

Remember me for the good things I have done,
But don't forget the wrongs I have committed
Because they alone
Have made me human - and compassionate.

Remember me at the setting of the sun
When the wind dies down before the golden globe
Drops into
The sea.

Speak to me sometimes
When the air is calm
And your voice will carry through time
To reach my straining ears.

I will rest within the earth
At peace at last.
There is no more straining
Against a body grown too frail and weak.

Remember me at my strongest.
Remember me at my kindest.
Remember me - I guess that's all.
Remember me.

-- by the blog author
A sailboat on a lake. Taken July 15, 1887, by photographer Wallace G. Levison.

August 28, 2009

August The Twenty-Eighth

O LORD, my God, Light of the blind and Strength of the weak; yea, also, Light of those that see, and Strength of the strong; hearken unto my soul, and hear it crying out of the depths.
O Lord, help us to turn and seek Thee; for Thou hast not forsaken Thy creatures as we have forsaken Thee, our Creator.
Let us turn and seek Thee, for we know Thou art here in our hearts, when we confess to Thee, when we cast ourselves upon Thee, and weep in Thy bosom, after all our rugged ways; and Thou dost gently wipe away our tears, and we weep the more for joy; because Thou, Lord, who madest us, dost remake and comfort us.
Hear, Lord, my prayer, and grant that I may most entirely love Thee, and do Thou rescue me, O Lord, from every temptation, even unto the end - Amen.

-- ST. AUGUSTINE (354-430)
Life magazine photo archive

August 27, 2009

August The Twenty-Seventh

GRANT us, O Lord, to pass this day in gladness and peace, without stumbling and without stain; that, reaching the eventide victorious over all temptation, we may praise Thee, the eternal God, who art blessed, and dost govern all things, world without end - Amen.


August 26, 2009

August The Twenty-Sixth

O LORD, the Author and Persuader of peace, love, and good-will, soften our hard and steely hearts, warm our icy and frozen hearts, that we may wish well to one another, and may be the true disciples of Jesus Christ. And give us grace even now to begin to show forth that heavenly life, wherein there is no disagreement nor hatred, but peace and love on all hands, one towards another - Amen.


August 25, 2009

August The Twenty-Fifth

BY that forgiving tenderness, O Lord, wherewith Thou didst ever wait for me; by that tender love wherewith, whenever I wandered, Thou watchedst over me; by Thine infinite love, wherewith Thou willest that I should love Thee eternally; give me love like Thine, that I may forgive, compassionate, love like Thee - Amen.


August 24, 2009

August The Twenty-Fourth

O GOD, who art to be found by those who truly seek Thee, known by those who love Thee, seen by those whose heart is pure; Thy Spirit possesses all things, speaks in the holy dawn, calls in the quiet even, broods on the deep, and dwells in the heart of man.
Forgive us if we, made to commune with Thee, whose lives were ordered to walk with Thee, have grown insensible to Thy presence, have rested in the things that appear, grown careless of the eternal and the holy. Send now some word of Thine to make a highway to our hearts, and Thyself draw near. Shut us in, gathered here, in with Thyself, alone, until every heart burns and each spirit moves toward Thee. May the Spirit of Jesus come upon us and make us at home with Thee - Amen.


August 23, 2009

August The Twenty-Third

ALMIGHTY God, who hast planted the day-star in the heavens, and, scattering the night, dost restore morning to the world; fill us, we beseech Thee, with Thy mercy, so that, Thou being our Enlightener, all the darkness of our sins may be dispersed, through our Lord Jesus Christ - Amen.


August 22, 2009

August The Twenty-Second

O GOD, the God of all goodness and all grace, who art worthy of a greater love than we can either give or understand; fill my heart, I beseech Thee, with such love towards Thee as may cast out all sloth and fear, that nothing may seem too hard for me to do or to suffer in obedience to Thee; and grant that, by thus loving, I may become daily more like unto Thee; and finally obtain the crown of life, which Thou hast promised to those that love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.


August 21, 2009

August The Twenty-First

BLESS us wherever we are. Whatever we are doing keep us safe.
Bring together all cultures for peaceful purposes.

August 20, 2009

August The Twentieth

ALLOW me to cultivate the trait of understanding
And step in another's shoes
And comprehend their feelings of fear and loss and loneliness.

Allow me to be a friend and a listener
Who values the bravery of a person who would tell me their
Fears, hopes and dreams.

Allow me to understand why someone
Speaks more sharply than necessary
And asks for some things that are not possible.

Allow me to use my powers of reasoning
To ask the right questions
And give truthful, yet reassuring, answers.

Allow me to polish my skills
And use them for a richer, fuller life.

-- by the blog author
Teacher Sally Elizabeth "Miss Lizzie" Richardson talking with her teacher who is 75 years old. Location, Sheldon, Ill. Taken in February 1947 by photographer Bernard Hoffman. From Life magazine archives.

August 19, 2009

August The Nineteenth

O LORD, grant to us so to love Thee with all our heart, with all our mind, and all our soul, and our neighbor for Thy sake, that the grace of charity and brotherly love may dwell in us, and all envy, harshness, and ill-will may die in us; and all our hearts with feelings of love, kindness and compassion, so that, by constantly rejoicing in the happiness and good success of others, by sympathizing with them in their sorrows, and putting away all harsh judgments and envious thoughts, we may follow Thee, who art Thyself the true and perfect Love - Amen.


Maude Callen clinic, South Carolina, 1951; photograph by W. Eugene Smith; Life magazine archive.

August 18, 2009

August The Eighteenth

LORD, We thank Thee for Thine inward voice,
Which ever and again calleth us away from the clamor and dusty strife of this life
Into the cool, quiet groves of eternity.

We thank Thee that close around us,
Ever pressing in upon our dim brains,
Is Thine eternal world, full of peace and joy.

We thank Thee that a hundred times a day
We may take refuge therein,
Feel Thy cool fingers soothing our fevered foreheads,
Look steadily into Thy quiet eyes,
Drink in unto our souls from that gaze
The strength and peace of eternity - Amen.


Photograph by Gordon Parks, Life magazine archives, 1953

August 17, 2009

August The Seventeenth

O FATHER, this day may bring some hard task to our life, or some hard trial to our love. We may grow weary, or sad, or hopeless in our lot. But, Father, our whole life until now has been one great proof of Thy care. Bread has come for our body, thoughts to our mind, love to our heart, and all from Thee. So help us, we implore Thee, while we still stand on this side of all that the day may bring, to resolve that we will trust Thee this day to shine into any gloom of the mind, to stand by us in any trial of our love, and to give us rest in Thy good time as we need. May this day be full of a power that shall bring us near to Thee, and make us more like Thee; and, O God, may we so trust Thee this day, that, when the day is done, our trust shall be firmer than ever. Then, when our lat day comes, and our work is dine, may we trust Thee in death and forever, in the spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.

Lancashire cotton mill worker, mother with her child, on her way to food shopping queue after a hard day's work as they pass "EXTRA EFFORT NOW MEANS BETTER LIVING SOONER" billboard. Location: Lancashire, United Kingdom, taken Apriil 1947 by photographer Nat Farbman. Life magazine archive.

August 16, 2009

August The Sixteenth

O THOU most holy and ever-loving God, we thank Thee once more for the quiet rest of the night that has gone by, for the new promise that has come with this fresh morning, and for the hope of this day. While we have slept, the world in which we live has swept on in its awful space, great fires have burned under us, great waters have been all about us, and great storms above us; but Thou hast held them back by Thy strong hand, and we have rested under the shadow of Thy love. The bird sat on the spray out in the darkness, the flower nestled in the grass, we lay down in our home, and all slept in the arms of God. The bird will trust Thee this day to give its morsel of meat, and the flower will trust Thee for its fresh raiment; so may we trust Thee this day for all the needs of the body, the soul, and the spirit. Give us this day our daily bread - Amen.


August 15, 2009

August the Fifteenth

Life's Journey

IT'S been said that life's a journey,
with many paths untold.
Each path begins when we are young
and ends when we are old.

So, let me join you on your pathway.
Let me listen to your fears.
Let me laugh when there is laughter,
and cry when there are tears.

And if the pathway narrows,
or is difficult to climb.
Just wrap your arms around me,
and place your hands in mine.

And when we reach the pathway's end,
we'll gaze upon the view.
While I recount the times I've spent,
with cherished friends like you.

-- by John Fenimore

August 14, 2009

August The Fourteenth

O THOU, whose name is Love, who never turnest away from the cry of Thy needy children, give ear to my prayer this morning. Make this a day of blessing to me, and make me a blessing to others. Keep all evil away from me. Preserve me from outward transgression and from secret sin. Help me to control risings of anger or sullenness. If I meet with unkindness or ill-treatment, give me that charity which suffereth long and beareth all things. Make me kind and gentle toward all, loving even those who love me not. Let me live this day as if it were to be my last. O my God, show me the path that Thou wouldest have me to follow. May I take no step that is not ordered by Thee, and go nowhere except Thou, Lord, go with me - Amen.


Life magazine archives, taken August 1959 by photographer Paul Schutzer.

August 13, 2009

August The Thirteenth

BLESS me, bless you.
Bless us all for what we do -
To keep the world turning
To keep the home fires burning.
Bless me, bless you,
For all we do.

Love life, love joy
Bless the girl and bless the boy.
Give us treasured thoughts to keep,
Give us lots of restful sleep.
Prepare us for the day tomorrow
Help us bear our hurts and sorrow.

Bless me, bless you
Bless the good we hope to do.

-- by the blog author

August 12, 2009

August The Twelfth

O LORD, our hiding place, grant us wisdom, we pray Thee, to seek no hiding place out of Thee in life or in death. Now hide us in Thine own presence from the provoking of all men, and keep us from the strife of tongues. Make us meek, humble, patient, and teach us to seek peace and ensure it - Amen.


The narrow steps and granite boulders at the Acropolis; Bantus used the fissure in the boulder as a hiding place when they were fighting the Matabele. Life magazine image, taken in Rhodesia, 1947, photographer, Nat Farbman.

August 11, 2009

August The Eleventh

IN the evening, and morning, and at noonday we praise Thee, we bless Thee, we thank Thee, and pray Thee, Master of all, to direct our prayer as incense before thee; and let not our hearts turn away to words or thoughts of wickedness, but rescue us from all things that hunt our souls; for to Thee, Lord, our eyes look up, and our hope is in Thee - Amen.


Vespers in church in Boston, Mass., 1944

August 10, 2009

August The Tenth

O SOVEREIGN and Almighty Lord, bless all Thy people, and all Thy flock. Give Thy peace, Thy help, Thy love unto us Thy servants, the sheep of Thy fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in Thy divine and boundless love - Amen.

-- LITURGY OF ST. MARK (175-254?)

Flock of sheep under an olive tree in Italy. Life magazine archive photo, taken in 1947 by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.

August 9, 2009

August the Ninth

LET all Thy works praise Thee, O Lord, and Thy servants rejoice in thanking Thee. True is Thy word, which counts us worthy of pity, and faithful Thy help for our heart's trust to rest upon. O God, Thy strength is made perfect in those who have not cared for themselves, but so9ught the eternal; then Thou bringest forth truth to victory. Make known to me Thy ways, O God, and let me walk in Thy truth. Go on, O God, victoriously and open me the gate of hope, out of darkness into light. Since Thou hast not taken me away in the midst of my day, but upholden my soul in life, suffer not my feet to slip. Grant me a work of Thy love to do, and prosper it in my hands. Let me not die until I have fulfilled Thy will; and let me enter with joy into rest - Amen.

Life magazine archive photo: Ukranian women harvesting wheat

August The Eighth

BLESSED art Thou, O Lord our God, the God of our fathers, who turnest the shadow of death into the morning; who hast lightened mine eyes, that I sleep not in death. O lord, blot out as a night-mist mine iniquities. Scatter my sins as a morning cloud. Grant that I may become a child of the light, and of the day. Vouchsafe to keep me this day without sin. Uphold me when I am falling, and life me up when I am down. Preserve this day from any evil of mine, and me from the evils of the day. Let this day add some knowledge, or good deed, to yesterday. Oh, let me hear Thy loving-kindness in the morning, for in Thee is my trust. Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth Thee, for Thou art my God. Let Thy loving Spirit lead me forth into the land of righteousness - Amen.

-- LANCELOT ANDREWES (1555-1626)

Battle Of The Bulge: Mist and fog-shrouded countryside of the northern Ardennes Forest; conditions which helped German troops and hampered aid to Allied soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive of WWII.
In Ardennes, Belgium; taken Dec. 20, 1944, by photographer George Silk.

August 7, 2009

August The Seventh

LET Thy love so warm our souls, O Lord, that we may gladly surrender ourselves with all we are and have unto Thee. Let Thy love fall as fire from heaven upon the altar of our hearts; teach us to guard it heedfully by continual devotion and quietness of mind, and to cherish with anxious care every spark of its holy flame with which Thy good Spirit would quicken us, so that neither height, nor depth, things present nor things to come, may ever separate us therefrom. Strengthen Thou our souls; awaken us from the deathly sleep which holds us captive; animate our cold hearts with Thy warmth and tenderness, that we may no more live as in a dream, but walk before Thee as pilgrims in earnest to reach their home. And grant us all at last to meet with Thy holy saints before Thy throne, and there rejoice in Thy love for ever and ever - Amen.


August 6, 2009

August The Sixth

Hay for the Horses

HE had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the
sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
- The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds -
'I'm sixty-eight,' he said,
'I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done.'

-- by Gary Snyder

August 5, 2009

August The Fifth

O GOD our heavenly Father, who hast commanded us to love one another as Thy children, and hast ordained the highest friendship in the bond of Thy Spirit, we beseech Thee to maintain and preserve us always in the same bond, to Thy glory, and our mutual comfort, with all those to whom we are bound by any special tie, either of nature or of choice; that we may be perfected together in that love which is from above, and which never faileth when all other things shall fail. Send down the dew of Thy heavenly grace upon us, that we may have joy in each other that passeth not away; and, having lived together in love here, according to Thy commandment, may live for ever together with them, being made one in Thee, in Thy glorious kingdom hereafter, through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.

Sen. Robert Kennedy sprawled semiconscious in his own blood on floor after being shot by Sirhan Sirhan while busboy Juan Romero tries to comfort him, in kitchen at the Ambassador Hotel. Location: Los Angeles, Calif., June 5, 1968. Photographer: Bill Eppridge; Life magazine archives.

August 4, 2009

August The Fourth

EVERLASTING Father, I beseech Thee to enable me to love Thee with all my heart and soul and strength and mind, and my neighbor as myself. Help me to be meek and lowly in heart. Sweeten my temper, and dispose me to be kind and helpful to all men. Make me kind in thought, gentle in speech, generous in action - Amen.

August 3, 2009

August The Third

MOULD us, great God, into forms of beauty and usefulness by the wheel of Providence and by the touch of Thy hand. Fulfill Thine ideal, and conform us to the image of Thy Son. In Thy great house may we stand as vessels meet for Thy use. We are little better than common earthenware, but may we be cleansed, and purified, and filled with Thy heavenly treasure. Dip us deep into the River of Life, and give refreshment by us to many parched and weary hearts - Amen.


The Yangtse River passing through the Wushan, or "Magic Mountain," Gorge in Szechwan Province, China. Photo taken March 1946 by Dmitri Kessel. Life magazine archives.

August 2, 2009

August The Second

BLESSED are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

-- Gospel of St. Matthew
Boat on the Sea of Galilee, Life magazine archives

August 1, 2009

August The First

O LORD, Faithful Creator, give us grace, we entreat Thee, in well doing and with full assurance of faith, to commit the keeping of our souls to Thee, and rest in Thy promises. And help us that we may always speak the truth; and, though it be to our own hindrance, keep faith one with another - Amen.