Monastic orders grew in influence in the Middle Ages, with many nobles joining their ranks. One such nobleman was Bernard de Clairvaux. Some might criticize some elements of his life and teaching, but there is also much to learn from him. This is a prayer to God that is very honest and humble, recognizing the need for the Spirit’s transforming power.
O God, my heart is a vain heart, a wandering and unstable heart when it is led by its own judgment and lacking divine counsel, and it cannot subsist in itself. When it seeks other ways, it finds nothing, but remains miserable in its labor, and empty of peace. It does not agree with itself, it dissents from itself, it alters resolutions, changes its judgment, frames new thoughts, pulls down the old, and builds them up again. It wants and does not want, and never remains in the same state.
Come, Holy Spirit, and bring from heaven a ray of your light! Come, Father of the poor, giver of gifts, light of the world, blessed Comforter, dear guest of the soul, and its sweetest refreshment! Our rest in labor, our coolness in heat, our comfort in affliction! O most blessed Spirit, fill full the hearts of your faithful people! Without your influence, there is nothing in us which is not weakness and guilt. Oh, cleanse those who are filthy. Refresh those who are dried up. Heal those who are wounded. Bend those who are stubborn. Cherish in your heart those who are cold. Guide those who are wandering. Grant your servants, who put their trust in you, the merit of your righteousness. Give them final salvation. Grant them eternal joy!
O Lord, hear our prayer, and let our cry come to you. Amen.
Throughout This Day: Take time to describe the state of your own heart to God, inviting him to renew and transform you through the Spirit. Rejoice in the eternal perfection you will experience at the resurrection!
Bernard of Clairvaux
A Collection of Prayers
Photo Credit: Thea Hdc on Unsplash