Ante Studium – A Prayer by St. Thomas that We Would Use Today

St. Thomas Aquinas was said to have frequently utilized this prayer (presented below in English and Latin) before speaking, studying, and teaching. We would do well to put the supplication to use in similar situations that involve these three activities.

A Prayer Before Study

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.

Amen.

Ante Studium

Creator ineffabilis,
qui de thesauris sapientiae tuae
tres Angelorum hierarchias designasti,
et eas super caelum empyreum
miro ordine collocasti,
atque universi partes elegantissime disposuisti,

tu inquam qui
verus fons
luminis et sapientiae diceris
ac supereminens principium

infundere digneris
super intellectus mei tenebras
tuae radium claritatis,
duplices in quibus natus sum
a me removens tenebras,
peccatum scilicet et ignorantiam.

Tu, qui linguas infantium facis disertas,
linguam meam erudias
atque in labiis meis gratiam
tuae benedictionis infundas.

Da mihi
intelligendi acumen,
retinendi capacitatem,
addiscendi modum et facilitatem,
interpretandi subtilitatem,
loquendi gratiam copiosam.

Ingressum instruas,
progressum dirigas,
egressum compleas.

Tu, qui es verus Deus et homo,
qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum.

Amen.

 

“For every century in the life of the Church, there have been places of persecution. In many instances, the persecution has included terrible, physical violence and even martyrdom. Rather than the world evolving into a more and more mellow environment, the persecution has actually accelerated. In the twentieth century, more Christians were martyred than in the previous nineteen centuries put together! Hopes that the world would mature and come to a more civilized and gracious demeanor have certainly not been realized. Increasingly, as the realities of Christendom have faded into a memory, there have been a number of forces assaulting Christians: Secularism, Radical Islam, and Paganism.”

Much, much more here. Must read material!

Henri Nouwen – Out of Solitude, Conclusion

Nouwen was an extraordinarily gifted spiritual writer. Here’s a passage from his Out of Solitude, Conclusion that provides some very powerful reasoning for prayer by means of withdrawal to the lonely place.

(Mark 1:35) ” ‘In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.  When Simon and his companions found him, Jesus said: “Let us go—to the neighboring country towns, so that I can preach there too, because that is why I came.”

The words which Jesus spoke in these neighboring country towns were born in the intimacy with the Father. They were words of comfort and of condemnation, words of hope and of warning, words of unity and of division. He dared to speak these challenging words because he did not seek his own glory: “If I were to seek my own glory,” he says, “that would be no glory at all; my glory is conferred by the Father, by the one of whom you say, ‘He is our God,’ although you do not know him” (John 8:54). Within a few years Jesus’ words brought about his rejection and death. But the one who had spoken to him in the lonely place raised him up as a sign of hope and new life.

When you are able to create a lonely place in the middle of your actions and concerns, your successes and failures slowly can lose some of their power over you. For then your love for this world can merge with a compassionate understanding of its illusions. The your serious engagement can merge with an unmasking smile. Then your concern for others can be motivated more by their needs than your own. In short: then you can care. Let us therefore live our lives to the fullest but let us not forget to once in a while get up long before dawn to leave the house and go to a lonely place.”

AMEN!

A Lenten Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

H/T: Fr. Paul Jagoe

Thursday Lent 5:

O Lord, my God,
I am not worthy that You should come into my soul,
but I am glad that You have come to me
because in Your loving kindness
You desire to dwell in me.
You ask me to open the door of my soul,
which You alone have created,
so that You may enter into it
with Your loving kindness
and dispel the darkness of my mind.
I believe that You will do this
for You did not turn away Mary Magdalene
when she approached You in tears.
Neither did you withhold forgiveness from the tax collector
who repented of his sins
or from the good thief
who asked to be received into Your kingdom.
Indeed, You numbered as Your friends
all who came to You with repentant hearts.
O God, You alone are blessed always,
now, and forever. Amen.
~Prayer of St. John Chrysostom c. 400 A.D.~

More of Why I am a Christian Who Happens to be Anglican

“Reformation Anglicanism is not a historical fetish.  Rather, we see in the English Reformation and the 39 Articles of Religion a clear, vibrant, and costly articulation of the saving power of the Gospel as proclaimed by our Lord Jesus and set forth in the Holy Scriptures.  In this time of global Anglican turmoil, Reformation Anglicanism acts as an anchor rooting us within faithful, historic, Gospel-centered Christianity.  It is the Gospel-centrality that exalts the glory of God, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit that we cherish above all else.  Reformation Anglicanism is simply a gracious reminder that Anglicans who cherish such things do not need to look beyond their own tradition to be resourced for mission both now and in the future.”

The preceding quote is from here.

Many who know yours truly wonder how in the world I could say with any true commitment and even coherence that I am an evangelical, reformed, apostolic, confessional, and yes, ecumenical, Anglo-catholic Christian practitioner. The Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas has produced this very apropos description of Restoration Anglicanism that seems to capture the description of the path many are trying to tread (including me).

I really don’t need to add anything  to this article on Reformation Anglicanism that would shed any further light to how I’m, by the grace of God, being an effective Christian person in, but not of, the world in the 21st century.

Well, now what do you think of a Christian whose disposition requires six adjectival modifiers?

A Study in How to Be the Church Jesus Is Building and How Not

You may or may not know that your blog host here spent 33 years in the Episcopal Church (TEC). From the Episcopal Church I have numerous fond and transforming remembrances of many of Christ’s bondservants I came to know and love and by whom I was influenced, most often in positive and sometimes profound ways.

From 2003 to 2009 (the latter year being my time of departure), TEC willfully took a path oriented to relativism, proclamation of different gospels (see II Corinthians 11:3-4 and Galatians 1:6-9, for example ), abandonment or specious reworking of vast sections of Holy Scripture (an unbiblical hermeneutic resulting), evisceration of the mission of the church to go and make disciples, and a whole host of other actions that demonstrate the truth of Richard Niebuhr’s critique of the so-called liberal gospel: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

My breaking point came slowly and after much prayer and not a little separation anxiety. Thanks be to God for PEARUSA!

I must note that I know a good number of parishioners and clergy still in TEC who by grace have maintained their Christian orthodoxy and witness despite the increasingly negative  and pernicious actions and influences of the relativist revisionists in positions of power within TEC and its governing structures.

When thinking upon the dominical declaration (ref. Matthew 16:13-19) of the Chief Architect, Foundation, and Bridegroom of the ecclesia,  οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, I will build my church, it makes me blanch to apprehend how far afield TEC has walked away.

With that sad picture in view, I share a link to a timely article that ought to warn us all about making untenable compromises when it comes to matters  concerning the faith once delivered to the saints.

Hie thee hence, praying before during and after reading.

Grace, mercy, and peace be multiplied to you and yours this Advent season,

Michael+