Working Papers or "Veniam Pro Laudo Peto"
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Guided into contemplative prayer with Herrick and Hopkins

Monday, July 04, 2005
Some times prayers flow from my heart and peaceful silence enters my soul easily. The are also times when I need a little boost of inspiration from a prayer or meditation written by someone else. I finished reading a great book not to long ago about the life of St. Gemma Galgani who I have a great devotion to thanks to one of my sisters in Carmel introducing her to me. Though her prayer life was much more advanced than mine she also used some vocal prayer or meditation sometimes to place herself in the proper frame of mind- so to speak. As I have been given the grace from God to grow in contemplative prayer I find times when my mind is filled with worldly concerns and I need something to help me focus- sometimes I don't need anything and it just comes but other times it is a struggle. The Divine Office greatly helps both ground my worldly mind while elevating my soul as I prepare to enter into His Presence. There are times when I rush through the Office I must confess but still the prayers and readings help me to focus. There are days when it is a struggle to pray the Holy Rosary will compleate abandonment and other days when it takes a couple hours to finish because I am caught up in the meditation on a mystery. In fact, there are times when I will go back and keep going over the mystery well past the 10 Hail Mary's because Our Lord and Our Lady are directing my heart and I need to listen and try to grasp what I am being taught. Early this morning during my Holy Hour of Adoration was one of those times when it was initially a bit of a struggle. I had just finished the Office of Readings for today and for some reason turned to the back few pages of the Office (Vol. III for those of you who may want to look it up) and there is the section of poetry. One of my favorite poets Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ had several poems in this volume. One of the poems which helped me to break out of the 'little mind' and begin raising my soul in contemplation was one by anouther favorite poet of mine Robert Herrick. I thought since the poem helped me that I would include it below and maybe it can help someone else. Early this evening I hope to drive across the metro and visit Our Lord at a parish which has a monstrance which was especially blessed by our beloved future Saint, Martyr and Doctor of the Church John Paul the Great.
Omnia Pro Iesu Per Mariam!

by Robert Herrick

IN the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When I lie within my bed,
Sick in heart and sick in head,
And with doubts discomforted,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the house doth sigh and weep,
And the world is drown'd in sleep,
Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the artless doctor sees
No one hope, but on his fees,
And his skill runs on the lees,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When his potion and his pill
Has, or none, or little skill,
Meet for nothing, but to kill ;
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the passing bell doth toll,
And the furies in a shoal
Come to fright a parting soul,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the tapers now burn blue,
And the comforters are few,
And that number more than true,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the priest his last hath prayed,
And I nod to what is said,
'Cause my speech is now decayed,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When, God knows, I'm toss'd about,
Either with despair, or doubt ;
Yet before the glass be out,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the tempter me pursu'th
With the sins of all my youth,
And half damns me with untruth,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the flames and hellish cries
Fright mine ears, and fright mine eyes,
And all terrors me surprise,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the judgment is reveal'd,
And that open'd which was seal'd,
When to Thee I have appeal'd,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

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