November 30, 2009

November The Thirtieth

O LORD, grant all who contend for the faith, never to injure it by clamor and impatience; but, speaking Thy precious truth in love, so to present it that it may be loved, and that men may see in it Thy goodness and beauty - Amen.


November 29, 2009

November The Twenty-Ninth

HEAR our prayers, O Lord, and consider our desires. Give unto us true humility, a meek and quiet spirit, a loving and a friendly, a holy and a useful manner of life; bearing the burdens of our neighbors, denying ourselves, and studying to benefit others, and to please Thee in all things. Grant us to be righteous in performing promises, loving to our relatives, careful of our charges; to be gentle and easy to be entreated, slow to anger, and readily prepared for every good work - Amen.

-- JEREMY TAYLOR (1613-1667)

November The Twenty-Eighth

No glimpse of light can we see
On our future path;
But our hands are in Thy strong hand;
And Thou canst see.

Therefore, fearless and unafraid,
We will march through the darkness,
Upheld and guarded and led by Thy love,
Well knowing that every step of the way
Shall prove Thee more faithful and tender,
More wholly enough for all that we need.

O Father,
Our hearts and our lives, with deep and secret delight,
We render to Thee;
And forward we press, on our great adventure
Of this day Thou hast given,
To discover still wider and fairer realms
Of Thy great love,
And to labor for Thee.


November 27, 2009

November The Twenty-Seventh

POUR into our hearts the spirit of unselfishness, so that, when our cup overflows, we may seek to share our happiness with our brethren. O Thou God of Love, who makest Thy sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendest rain on the just and the unjust, grant that we may become more and more Thy true children, by receiving into our souls more of Thine own spirit of ungrudging and unwearying kindness; which we ask in the name of Jesus Christ - Amen.


November 26, 2009

November The Twenty-Sixth

GOD of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, we beseech Thee; turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Thy honor and glory - Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2009

November The Twenty-Fifth

LOOK upon us and hear us, O Lord our God; and assist those endeavors to please Thee which Thou Thyself has granted to us; as Thou hast given the first act of will, so give the completion of the work; grant that we may be able to finish what Thou hast granted us to wish to begin - Amen.


November 24, 2009

November The Twenty-Fourth

O MOST merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly; for Thine own sake - Amen.


November 23, 2009

November The Twenty-Third

O MERCIFUL Father, grant me such self-control in my imagination and my memory that my last waking thoughts may strengthen and ennoble my soul. So renew me inwardly and outwardly that I may be vigorous with spiritual purpose, and may awake with a morning face and a morning heart - Amen.

-- L.H.M. SOULSBY (prayer) Photo in London, December 1946, Life magazine archives

November 22, 2009

November The Twenty-First

WATCH Thou, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Thine angels charge over those who sleep. Tend Thy sick ones, O Lord; rest Thy weary ones; bless Thy dying ones; soothe Thy suffering ones; pity Thine afflicted ones; shield Thy joyous ones; and all for Thy love's sake - Amen.


November The Twenty-Second

O GOD, who are the Fountain of Truth and the Giver of spiritual knowledge, who leadest us from year to year in unchanging love - we bless Thee that, when by sight we could not gaze upon Thy glory, by faith we can know Thee, and lay hold on that Truth which giveth light to the soul. Especially do we thank Thee for Him in whom the true light shineth on every man that cometh into the world. And we ask from the treasures of Thy gace for a more childlike trust, a more faithful spirit, a more loyal will. May our obedience open to us all spiritual knowledge. May the truth of our own lives lead us into communion with Thy Spirit of Truth. May we be transformed into the likeness of Christ, and so renew Thine image on the earth, and hasten the coming of that kingdom of truth and liberty and love - Amen.


November The Twentieth

O GOD, we, who are bound together in the tender ties of love, pray Thee for a day of unclouded love. May no passing irritation rob us of our joy in one another. Forgive us if we have often been keen to see the human failings, and slow to feel the preciousness of those who are still the dearest comfort of our life. May there be no sharp words that wound and scar, and no rift that may grow into estrangement. Suffer us not to grieve those whom Thou hast sent to us as the sweet ministers of love. May our eyes not be so holden by selfishness that we know Thine angels only when they spread their wings to return to Thee - Amen.


November The Ninteenth

O GOD, animate us to cheerfulness. May we have a joyful sense of our blessings, learn to look on the bright circumstances of our lot, and maintain a perpetual contentedness under Thy allotments. Fortify our minds against disappointment and calamity. Preserve us from despondency, from yielding to dejection. Teach us that no evil is intolerable but a guilty conscience; and that nothing can hurt us, if, with true loyalty of affection, we keep Thy commandments, and take refuge in Thee - Amen.


November 18, 2009

November The Eighteenth

OH, give me light to see, a heart to close with, and power to do Thy will, O God - Amen.

-- THOMAS WILSON (1663-1755) Photo by Thomas D. Macavoy, of blacked out Washington Monument, with only one light, taken in 1942

November 17, 2009

November The Seventeenth


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, --
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river swallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Photo taken in 1943 by Alfred Eisenstaedt, Life magazine archives

November The Sixteenth

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we pray Thee to reveal to us the beauty of Thy perfect will, the gladness of Thy service, the power of Thy presence in our hearts - Amen.


November 15, 2009

November The Fifteenth

I BESEECH Thee, my most gracious God, preserve me from the cares of this life, lest I should be too much entangled therein; also from the many necessities of the body, lest I should be ensnared by pleasure; and from whatsoever is an obstacle to the soul, lest, being broken with troubles, I should be overthrown. Give me strength to resist, patience to endure, and constancy to persevere - Amen.


November The Fourteenth

O LORD of life, and Lord of love! love us into life, and give us life to love Thee. Grant us life enough to put life into all things, that when we travel o'er this part of our life, and it seems but dust and barrenness, we may be of those who hope in Thee. Touch this barrenness, till all things bloom. Touch those of us whose life is barrener than it need be -- lacking knowledge and beauty, filled with petty interest and foolish cares. Lord, forgive us that our life is so poor, and grant us the thoughts of God, that we may be enabled for the time to come to make this very desert blossom as the rose. Grant that in us, short-lived, vexed with cares, hungry, thirsty, dying, the Spirit of God may so come and so dwell, that the beauty of the Lord may be upon us, and the work of our hands be established: through Jesus Christ (G-d, Krishna, the Holy Spirit, the Goddess, Buddha, Allah) our Lord - Amen.

-- GEORGE DAWSON (author added other deities)

November The Thirteenth

O LORD, this is all my desire -- to walk along the path of life that Thou hast appointed me ... . Let not the cares or duties of this life press on me too heavily; but lighten my burden, that I may follow Thy way in quietness, filled with thankfulness for Thy mercy, and rendering acceptable service unto Thee - Amen.

-- excerpted from MARIA HARE'S prayer

November 12, 2009

November The Twelfth

ETERNAL God, Fountain of all love, trusting in Thy love I come before Thee, to speak to Thee, to ask Thee for Thy love. Thou knowest all I would ask Thee if I dared; Thou knowest how I would love Thee if I could; Thou knowest all I would hope of Thee, if mine own unworthiness did not keep me back. Yet Thou givest me the longing, Thou wilt give what I long for, even Thyself, whom I long for. Thou preparest the heart. Prepare my heart, O loving God, that I may long for Thee more, adore Thee more humbly, ask at least, with all the desires of my heart, all which Thou art ready to give me, which Thou hast prepared for me, if I love Thee. Make me to love Thee through all Thy love for me, through Thine own love in me - Amen.

Carl Milles Fountain of Faith. Life magazine archives. Photo by Hank Walker.

November 11, 2009

November The Eleventh

LORD! when I am in sorrow I think on Thee. Listen to the cry of my heart, and my sorrowful complaint. Yet, O Father, I would not prescribe to come. I will willingly tarry for the hour which Thou Thyself hast appointed for my relief. Meanwhile, strengthen me by Thy Holy Spirit; strengthen my faith, my hope, my trust; give me patience and resolution to bear my trouble; and let me at last behold the time when Thou wilt make me glad with Thy grace. Ah, my Father! never yet hast Thou forsaken Thy children; forsake not me. Ever dost Thou give gladness unto the sorrowful; O give it now unto me. Always dost Thou relieve the wretched; relieve me too, when and where and how Thou wilt. Unto Thy wisdom, love and goodness I leave it utterly - Amen.

-- J.F. STARK (1680-1756) Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington, Virginia - 1943

November 10, 2009

November The Tenth

O GOD, who hast put me into Thy beautiful world, sparing me thus far its sorrow and pain, grant that I may remember this Thy great goodness with thanksgiving. Take from me all false security in mine own strength, and daily increase my reliance upon Thee. Through me bring the gift of Thy joy to all who are near me, especially the burdened and oppressed; and, when the darkness overtakes me, keep me mindful of the brightness in which I now walk, that in the blackness of the world's night as in the glory of the morning, I may abide in Thine everlasting light; through Jesus Christ our Lord - Amen.

David Smith's daughter, Joy, practicing her ballet. Wyncote, PA, U.S. Taken 1938 by photographer Hansel Mieth.

November 9, 2009

November The Ninth

LOOK upon us, O Lord, and let all the darkness of our souls vanish before the beams of Thy brightness. Fill us with holy love, and open to us the treasures of Thy wisdom. All our desire is known unto Thee, therefore perfect what Thou hast begun, and what Thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer. We seek Thy face, turn Thy face unto us and show us Thy glory. Then shall our longing be satisfied, and our peace shall be perfect - Amen.

-- ST. AUGUSTINE (354-430) Eclipse Of Sun, at Sioux Falls, S.D. Taken in 1954 by photographer J R Eyerman. Life magazine archives.

November 8, 2009

November The Eighth

"THIS is my child, he said. . . . Then he wrapped him in the blanket and carried him to the fire.
"The boy sat tottering. The man watched him that he not topple into the flames. He kicked holes in the sand for the boy's hips and shoulders where he would sleep and he sat holding him while he tousled his hair before the fire to dry it. All of this like some ancient anointing. So be it. Evoke the forms. Where you've nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them."

-- by Cormac McCarthy, from "The Road," copyright 2006

November the Seventh

O GOD, our heavenly Father, we Thy children come now to Thy feet with our supplications. We cannot live without Thy blessing. Life is too hard for us and duty is too large. We get discouraged, and our feeble hands hang down. We come to Thee with our weakness, asking Thee for strength. Help us always to be of good cheer. Let us not be disheartened by difficulties. Let us never doubt Thy love or any of Thy promises. Give us grace to be encouragers of others, never discouragers. Let us not go about with sadness or fear among men, but may be be a benediction to every one we meet, always making life easier, never harder, for those who come within our influence. Help us to be as Christ to others, that they may see something of His love in our lives and learn to love Him in us. We beseech Thee to hear us, to receive our prayer, and to forgive our sins, for Jesus Christ's sake - Amen.

Iraqi POWs (held by US 1st Armored Division, 1st Brigade) dotting desert sand, sitting listlessly, as quartet perform Islamic prayers, bowing & raising hands in supplication, among many enemy soldiers taken by US-led allies in Gulf War ground campaign, inside Iraq. Photo taken February 25, 1991, by photographer Win Mcnamee. Life magazine archives.

November 6, 2009

November The Sixth

Thank You. The most basic prayer of all and the most needed. It keeps us humble as we realize how lucky and blessed we are.
-- the blog author

November 5, 2009

November The Fifth

THANK heaven for little girls,
for little girls get bigger every day!

Thank heaven for little girls
they grow up in the most delightful way!

Those little eyes so helpless and appealing
one day will flash and send you crashin' thru the ceilin'

Thank heaven for little girls
thank heaven for them all,
no matter where no matter who
for without them, what would little boys do?

Thank heaven... thank heaven...
Thank heaven for little girls!

Thank heaven for my little girl who had another birthday today and has gone over a week without cigarettes!

-- by the blog author

November 4, 2009

November The Fourth

BLESS us all with a sense of humor, friends and love.
That's all we can ask for and more than some of us get.
Love you all, wherever you are. Hope you are safe, warm, well fed and with someone you care about.

-- by the blog author

November 3, 2009

November The Third

O ETERNAL God, sanctify my body and soul, my thoughts and my intentions, my words and actions, that whatsoever I shall think, or speak, or do, may be by me designed for the glorification of Thy Name, and, by Thy blessing, it may be effective and successful in the work of God, according as it can be capable. Lord, turn my necessities into virtue, the works of nature into orderly, regular, temperate; and let no pride or self-seeking, no covetousness or revenge, no little ends and low imaginations, pollute my spirit, and unhallow any of my words and actions; but let my body be a servant of my spirit, and both body and spirit servants of Jesus; that, doing all things for Thy glory here, I may be partaker of Thy glory hereafter, through Jesus Christ, our Lord - Amen.

-- JEREMY TAYLOR (1613-1667)

November 2, 2009

November The Second

LOVING beings, a small child is very ill.
You love all children.
Bring healing to this child who is not well.
Help her doctors decide on the best treatment.
Stay by her side and comfort her - sooth her fevered brow - and
Give her parents the strength to wait through this stressful time.
We would hold your loving hands and recall your soothing words
Of faith, hope and love.
Keep us ever mindful of Your loving presence and
Bless us with Your powerful healing and comfort us also.
Thank you for hearing our prayer!

-- By the blog author on behalf of the parents of a very ill child. Statue of mother with sick child 2nd-8th century AD.
Found in Mexico. Photo taken in 1965 by Ralph Morse.

November 1, 2009

November The First

O SOURCE of Life and Strength; many of Thy mercies do we plainly see, and we believe in a boundless store behind. No morning stars that sing together can have deeper call than we for grateful joy. Thou hast given us a life of high vocation, and Thine own breathing in our hearts interprets for us its sacred opportunities. Thou hast cheered the way with many dear affections and glimpses of solemn beauty and everlasting truth. Not a cloud of sorrow, but Thou hast touched with glory; not a dusty atmosphere of care, but Thy light shines through! And, lest our spirits should fail before Thine unattainable perfections, Thou hast set us in the train of Thy saints who have learned to take up the cross of sacrifice. Let the time past suffice to have wrought our own will, and now make us consecrate to Thine - Amen.