September 30, 2009

September The Twenty-Sixth

WE beseech Thee, Lord and Master, to be our help and succor. Save those who are in tribulation; have mercy on the lonely; lift up the fallen; show Thyself unto the needy; heal the ungodly; convert the wanderers of Thy people; feed the hungry; raise up the weak; comfort the faint-hearted. Let all the peoples know that Thou art God alone, and Jesus Christ is Thy Son, and we are Thy people and the sheep of Thy pasture; for the sake of Christ Jesus - Amen.

-- ST. CLEMENT OF ROME (c. A.D. 96)
Buchenwald Concentration Camp, where German citizens are forced to watch bodies on trucks leave the area. Photo taken in 1945 by Margaret Bourke-White.

September The Twenty-Fifth


I LIFT my heart to Thee and pray
Thy will, not mine, be done this day ---
And let Thy will direct, and lead,
Thy bounty answer every need.
I am not anxious, for I know
Thy light the perfect way will show.
Thy understanding fills my mind,
To make me tolerant and kind;
Thy love and wisdom grow in me
Till only good, in all, I see.
And as upon thy strength I lean,
Comes Thy fulfillment, joy serene;
Thy will of service, growth and health,
Contentment, freedom, and the wealth
Of spiritual blessings rare,
That those that follow Thee may share;
And as day closes, I grow still
To thank Thee, Father, for Thy will.


September The Twenty-Fourth

QUEST for the Young Witch, Autumn

I searched for autumn everywhere!
On the misty river road, along the smoky ridge,
Among the bright redhaws, under a bridge
Where startled mallards rose in the copper-colored air.

Hot as a hound I ran among the corn
Where pumpkins lay in orange-red profusion.
Her tracks ran here, ran there; in confusion
I plunged after her into a thicket of thorn.

I heard her mockery in the yellow noon.
Bewitched, I shouted her name at echoing rocks.
Beneath lemon-colored maples and maples red as a fox
I sought her, in valleys haunted by the moon.

I said: She is nothing --- wind in the empty husk.
She is dead. She never lived. She is evaporated water.
Then, on my own street, I saw her (or her daughter)
Carying a Jack-o'-lantern in the bonfire dusk.


September 29, 2009

September The Twenty-Third

O LORD, we beseech Thee to deliver us from fear of the unknown future, from fear of failure, from fear of poverty, from fear of bereavement, from fear of loneliness, from fear of sickness and pain, from fear of old age, and from fear of death; and fill our hearts with cheerful courage, and loving trust in Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.


September The Twenty-Second

O GOD, who art the Author of love, and the Lover of pure peace and affection, let all who are terrified by fears, afflicted by poverty, harassed by tribulation, worn down by illness, be set free by Thine indulgent tenderness, raised up by amendment of life, and cherished by Thy daily compassion, through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.


September 28, 2009

September The Twenty-First

O GOD, since Thou art Love, and he that loveth not Thee and his brethren knoweth Thee not, and abideth in death, deliver us from injustice, envy, hatred, and malice; give us grace to pardon all who have offended us, and to bear with one another, even as Thou, Lord, dost bear with us, in Thy patience and great loving kindness - Amen.

Refugees from Pakistan make heir way toward India for a haven after the nation was split in two, divided by religious hatred. Taken in 1947 by photographer Margaret Bourke-White.

September The Twentieth

O LORD God, Holy Father, be Thou blessed both now and for evermore, because as Thou wilt, so is it done, and what Thou doest is good. My soul is sorrowful, sometimes, even unto tears; sometimes also my spirit is disquieted, by reason of impending sufferings. I long after the joy of Thy peace; the peace of Thy children I earnestly crave. If Thou give peace, if Thou pour into me holy joy, the soul of Thy servant shall be full of melody, and shall become devout in Thy praise. Make me a dutiful and humble disciple (as Thou art wont to be kind), that I may be ever ready to go, if Thou dost but beckon to me. Thou knowest what is expedient for my spiritual progress, and how greatly tribulation serves to scour off the rust of sins; do with me according to Thy desired good pleasure - Amen.


September The Nineteenth

HEAVENLY Master, who dost knock at the door of every heart, waiting to enter with Thy spirit of forgiveness, strengthen us, we pray Thee, to remove every rankling feeling of injury, every trace of resentment, and with whole hearts to forgive as we would be forgiven. And for Thy loving kindness and tender mercy toward us we will give Thee thanks forever - Amen.

September The Eighteenth

O THOU, who hast made us for Thyself, so that our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, we give thanks for everything that calls us Home. May no cloud of ignorance come between us and Thee; but grant that with clear minds we may know Thy will concerning us, and with true hearts perform the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.


September 24, 2009

September The Seventeenth

O GOD, who remainest the same though all else fades, who changes not with our changing moods, who leavest us not when we leave Thee, we thank Thee that, when we lose faith in Thee, soon or late we come to faith in something that leads us back again with firmer trust and more security. Even if we wander into the far country we take ourselves with us; ourselves who are set towards Thee as rivers to the sea. If we turn to foolishness, our hearts grow faint and weary, our path is set with thorns, the night overtakes us, and we find we have strayed from light and life.
Grant us clearer vision of the light which shows no shade of turning, that we stray not in folly away; incline our hearts to love the truth alone, so that we miss Thee not at last; give us to realize of what spirit we are, so that we cleave ever to Thee, who alone canst give us rest and joy - Amen.


September 23, 2009

September The Sixteenth

WE give Thee thanks, Almighty God, for the bread of the body that perisheth, and we beseech Thee to give us that bread by which man's higher life is fed, that we, laying hold of the life that never dies, may thereby be fitted for the troubles and burdens of this life, and look forward with joy to the higher and better life. So may we live, in constant childlike trust in Thee, as to believe, though we behold it not, that the end of all things is divine, and to catch the music to which this world is set by Thee. Lead Thou us from the lower life to the better life, that little things may lose their power to vex us, and, in the midst of the troubles of this life, we may have the peace of God that passeth all understanding. Of Thy loving-kindness and tender mercy hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.


September 22, 2009

September The Fifteenth

O GOD, the Protector of all that trust in Thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, increase and multiply upon us Thy mercy; that, Thou being our Ruler and Guide, we may so pass through things temporal that we finally lose not the things eternal. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake our Lord - Amen.

-- GREGORIAN, A.D. 590; B.C.P.

September The Fourteenth

OUR Father, in whose presence is fullness of joy, we pray Thee to make us happy every hour of the day in the joy of Thy presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.


September The Thirteenth

ALMIGHTY God, at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore, we pray Thee to make our religion one of joy and brightness. Dispel from our minds all doubt, gloom and depression, and may we rejoice because we are Thy redeemed and forgiven children. Grant that day by day our lips may be singing Thy praises, and our hearts be gladdened in holy anticipation of the life that knows no ending; through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.

September 20, 2009

September The Twelfth

O GOD, our true Life, in whom and by whom all things live, Thou commandest us to seek Thee, and are ready to be found; Thou biddest us knock, and openest when we do so. To know Thee is life, to serve Thee is freedom, to enjoy Thee is a kingdom, to praise Thee is the joy and happiness of the soul. I praise, and bless, and adore Thee, I worship Thee, I glorify Thee, I give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory. I humbly beseech Thee to abide with me, to reign in me, to make this heart of mine a holy temple, a fit habitation for Thy Divine majesty. O Thou Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible! keep, I beseech Thee, the work of thine own hands, who trusts in Thy mercy alone for safety and protection. Guard me with the power of Thy grace, here and in all places, now and at all times, forevermore - Amen.

-- ST. AUGUSTINE (354-430)

September 11, 2009

September The Eleventh

Wherever we were, whatever we were doing,
We felt the fear, the ache, the hurt, the loss.
We could taste the dust in our mouths,
And our lungs filled with a choking settle of mortality.
Looking back, we never knew we were so strong.
We never knew we were so united.
Today we celebrate those remembrances - feeling united
Against an evil we couldn't imagine.
This is not a god's way.
This is not a shepherd's way.
This is mistaken ideology.
We mourn those lost September 11, 2001.

-- by the blog author

September 10, 2009

September The Tenth

THOU, O my God, art ever new, though Thou art the most ancient. Thou alone art the food for eternity. I am to live for ever; not for a time -- and I have no power over my being; I must live on, with intellect and consciousness for ever, in spite of myself.
Without Thee eternity would be another name for eternal misery. In Thee alone have I that which can stay me up for ever; Thou alone art the food of my soul. Thou alone art inexhaustible, and ever offerest to me something new to know, something new to love. And so on for eternity I shall ever be a little child beginning to be taught the rudiments of Thy infinite Divine nature.
For Thou art Thyself the seat and centre of all good, and the only substance in this universe of shadows, and the heaven in which blessed spirits live and rejoice - Amen.

Nature in New York, 1961, photo by Andreas Feininger, Life magazine archive

September 9, 2009

September The Ninth

O LORD, Thou Fountain of goodness, whose tender mercies are over all Thy works, and who hast compassion on them that fear Thee, even as a father pitieth his children; amid the many changes and sorrows of this earthly life, grant us a patient resignation to Thy will, and contentment under all the rulings of Thy Providence - Amen.

Photo from Life magazine archives, Paul Schutzer, 1962, Rome, Italy - St. Peters Square

September 8, 2009

September The Eighth

WARM my cold heart, Lord, I beseech Thee. Take away all that hinders me from giving myself to Thee. Mould me according to Thine own image. Give me grace to obey Thee in all things, and ever to follow Thy gracious leading. Make me this day to be kind to my fellow-men, to be gentle and unselfish, careful to hurt no one by word or deed, but anxious to do good to all, and to make others happy. O Lord, forgive the sins of my temper. Pardon all my hasty words and unchristian thoughts. Make me watchful, that I offend not with my tongue. Give me a meek and loving spirit, which is in Thy sigh of great price. I would not live unto myself, but unto Thee. Keep me from sin this day, and all that may offend Thee; for Jesus Christ's sake - Amen.

Photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt of his own eye, Life magazine archive, taken in 1954.

September 6, 2009

September The Sixth

PRAISED be Thou, O God, Almighty Ruler, who dost make the day bright with Thy sunshine, and the night with the beams of heavenly fires! Listen now to our prayers, and forgive us both our conscious and unconscious transgressions. Clothe us with the armour of righteousness; shield us with Thy truth; watch over us with Thy power; save us from all calamity; and give us grace to pass all the days of our life, blameless, holy, peaceful, free from sin, terror, and offence. For with Thee is mercy and plenteous redemption, our Lord and God, and to Thee we bring our thanks and praise - Amen.


September 5, 2009

September The Fifth


OH, on an early morning I think I shall live forever!
I am wrapped in my joyful flesh,
As the grass is wrapped in its clouds of green.

Rising from a bed, where I dreamt
Of long rides past castles and hot coals,
The sun lies happily on my knees;
I have suffered and survived the night,
Bathed in dark water, like any blade of grass.

The strong leaves of the box-elder tree,
Plunging in the wind, call us to disappear
Into the wilds of the universe,
Where we shall sit at the foot of a plant,
And live forever, like the dust.

Poetry Of The Psalms: Red poppies growing in a grassy field in Greece. Taken in 1964 by photographer Paul Schutzer. Life magazine archives.

September 4, 2009

September The Fourth

O LORD, who art as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, who beholdest Thy weak creatures, weary of labor, weary of pleasure, weary of hope deferred, weary of self, in Thine abundant compassion and unutterable tenderness, bring us, we pray Thee, unto Thy rest - Amen.

The "Creation Rock" dwarfs the audience during a concert directed by Igor Stravinsky at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. Taken July 1948 by photographer John Florea.

September 3, 2009

September The Third

GRANT unto us, Almighty God, by Thy good Spirit, that we, feeling towards Thee as children, and filled full of trust, and hope, and faith, may remain so fixed, that, in the dark, we may trust where we cannot see, and hope where all seems doubtful, ever looking onto Thee as our Father that doeth all things well, our Father that ordereth all. Thus may we, knowing that all things are in Thy hands, abide Thy time, patiently doing the work Thou hast given us to do - Amen.

Mother and child by Pai Reynolds, Life magazine archive.

September 2, 2009

September The Second

TAKE this Thy happy child to-night
Strong Father and Friend.

IT is time for sleep,
And Thy child comes again to Thy knee,
Sure of a perfect welcome,
Sure of forgiveness for failure,
Sure of a sweet, deep sleep,
Safe held in Thy care.

Take this Thy happy child to-night,
Strong Father and Friend.

Jean L. Wood checking up on sleeping child. Taken April 1948 by photographer Martha Holmes. Life magazine archives.

September 1, 2009

September The First

PROTECT us all from hating each other and
Grant us guidance to do our best.
Lead us to other places where hateful messages
Are not tolerated.
Open our mind to lessons in peace and justice and tolerance.

-- by the blog author
Evelyn Uberti listening to Father Leonard Feeney preach his fanatical message of hate. Location, Boston, Mass., US. Photo taken September 1952 by Lisa Larsen.