A prayer of an Irish saint:

Help me to journey the familiar and into the unknown.
Give me the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with You.
Christ of the mysteries, I trust You to be stronger than each storm within me.
I will trust in the darkness and know that my times, even now, are in your hand.
Tune my spirit to the music of heaven, and somehow, make my obedience count for you.

Saint Brendan of Clonfert (c. 484 - c. 577, Irish contemplative)

How blessed are those who can confidently say: My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready! Having gathered the fruit of grace from the Lord’s coming, they will reap a harvest of salvation and glory from the second; for the first open up the way for the second.

Peter of Blois (13th century)

Lord, when I look upon mine own life it seems
Thou hast led me so carefully, so tenderly,
Thou canst have attended to no one else; but when I see how wonderfully
Thou hast led the world and art leading it, I am amazed that
Thou hast time to attend to such as I.

Thanksgiving Prayer, Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 (聖奧古斯丁的感恩禱告)

We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death washed out our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself… That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed.

C. S. Lewis

A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.

C. S. Lewis

Not only do we not know God except through Jesus Christ: we do not even know ourselves except through Jesus Christ.

Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662

Ash Wednesday Prayer*

Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, First Day of Lent, Ash Wednesday

*上週三是聖灰日(Ash Wednesday)。 許多傳統教會拿這一天來禁食。 聖灰日是大齋期(Lent)的開始,40天之後(主日不算)就是復活節。 聖灰日的意義: 1) 提醒我們人的必朽、死亡(mortality)。我們應該為罪懊悔,並尋求在神面前改變。 2) 引導我們進入基督的受難和復活。 進入齋戒期,我們可以有更多操練禁食(或減少肉食,享受)與禱告的機會。

Prayer before the Holy Communion

Almighty, everlasting God, I draw near to the sacrament of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I who am sick approach the physician of life. I who am unclean come to the fountain of mercy; blind, to the light of eternal brightness; poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore, I pray, that you will, in your endless mercy, heal my sickness, cleanse my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness. Then shall I dare to receive the bread of angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with reverence and humility, contrition and love, purity and faith, with the purpose and intention necessary for the good of my soul.

Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274

Christianity is the only world view able to attribute a positive meaning to suffering, all suffering. All the others are either techniques of escaping from suffering or techniques of reducing it as far as possible in the future. Christianity by no means loves suffering for its own sake, […] but Christianity does not stop at the frontier where man can do no more. […] Even suffering, particularly suffering, is a precious gift that the one suffering can hand on to others; it helps, it purifies, it atones, it communicates divine graces.

Hans Urs von Balthasar, in You Crown the Year with Your Goodness, pp. 30-31.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation, where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King

A New Year's Prayer:

Father, let me dedicate
All this year to thee,
In whatever worldly state
Thou wilt have me be:
Not from sorrow, pain or care,
Freedom dare I claim:
This alone shall be my prayer,
"Glorify thy name."

Lawrence Tuttiett, 1825-1897

Lord, preserve thy people. Maintain righteous government everywhere, so that all things may take place in an orderly way and peace may not be destroyed by revolution or secret enmity, nor the eternal good order be corrupted by debased living or disturbed by other offenses. Amen.

Martin Luther, 1483-1546

Almighty God, by whose mercy my life has been yet prolonged to another year, grant that thy mercy may not be in vain. Let not my years be multiplied to increase my guilt, but as age advances, let me become more pure in my thoughts, more regular in my desires, and more obedient to thy laws. Let not the cares of the world distract me, nor the evils of age overwhelm me. But continue and increase thy loving kindness towards me, and when thou shalt call me hence, receive me to everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Almighty God, the Giver of Wisdom, without whose help resolutions are vain, without whose blessing study is ineffectual, enable me, if it be Thy will, to attain such knowledge as may qualify me to direct the doubtful and instruct the ignorant, to prevent wrongs, and terminate contentions; and grant that I may use that knowledge which I shall attain, to Thy glory and my own salvation.

Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784

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