Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A prayer...

...that I think will become a family favorite. My oldest son, Jonathan, discovered this prayer and laminated it so that we can use it daily. He was searching for a simple morning offering for the family.

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER (attributed to Pope Clement XI)

Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.
I trust in you: strengthen my trust.
I love you: let me love you more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.

I worship you as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
And call on you as my loving protector.

Guide me by your wisdom,
Correct me with your justice,
Comfort me with your mercy,
Protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
My words: to have you for their theme;
My actions: to reflect my love for you;
My sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.

I want to do what you ask of me:
In the way you ask,
For as long as you ask,
Because you ask it.

Lord, enlighten my understanding,
Strengthen my will,
Purify my heart,
and make me holy.

Help me to repent of my past sins
And to resist temptation in the future.
Help me to rise above my human weaknesses
And to grow stronger as a Christian.

Let me love you, my Lord and my God,
And see myself as I really am:
A pilgrim in this world,
A Christian called to respect and love
All whose lives I touch,
Those under my authority,
My friends and my enemies.

Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,
Greed by generosity,
Apathy by fervor.
Help me to forget myself
And reach out toward others.

Make me prudent in planning,
Courageous in taking risks.
Make me patient in suffering, unassuming in prosperity.

Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer,
Temperate in food and drink,
Diligent in my work,
Firm in my good intentions.

Let my conscience be clear,
My conduct without fault,
My speech blameless,
My life well-ordered.
Put me on guard against my human weaknesses.
Let me cherish your love for me,
Keep your law,
And come at last to your salvation.

Teach me to realize that this world is passing,
That my true future is the happiness of heaven,
That life on earth is short,
And the life to come eternal.

Help me to prepare for death
With a proper fear of judgment,
But a greater trust in your goodness.
Lead me safely through death
To the endless joy of heaven.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. Read more!

His Birthright...

"I think he thinks it's his birth right."; my husband announced to the living room as he stared out the window.

"Huh?" I replied as I read my email.

"Nathaniel, I think he thinks it is his birthright to return the rented vehicles with me. "

I joined his stare out the window and there in the rented car we had driven to Charlotte yesterday was 5 year old Nathaniel ensconced in one of our boaster seats that he apparently had managed to place in the car all by himself. Nevermind it was not yet 8 am, and the temperature below freezing. There he placidly sat, waiting for his father to come drive the vehicle back to the rental place. I could not tell if he had his coat on or not as just his fuzzy red head was showing from my vantage point. But I could tell he had placed the boaster in the front seat.

In just my short sleeves I went out to the car and opened the front door and explained to him that he would have to move to the back where he would be safer. With the larger goal of being allowed to drive to town with his Daddy in mind, he got out without a complaint and carefully dragged the boaster seat out of the car explaining. "Oh! I can do hit my helf!" Then he bumped his fingers on the door and decided maybe he could use a little help after all. I picked him up to place him in the boaster seat. His little fingers were freezing! And so was I by now!

Quickly I got him an extra sweater, his mittens and a blanket so that he could warm up while he waited for his Daddy who was gulping down a hot tea so that his little son would not have freeze any longer. We could have insisted he come in, but his silent determination and hard work to get ready all by himself just begged to be rewarded.

They drove off together minutes later, chatting and happy. They were gone before I could remind my husband of an errand I needed him to do in town.

Fourty five minutes later a white vehicle caught my eye as I sat typing on the computer and I looked expectantly out the window and was surprised to see the rental car back. I met them at the door. Nathaniel looked very pleased, and quite happy with a small gift in his hand for Emma who had not been able to come as the truck only fits one boaster and Hugo was looking far from pleased. I looked at him quizically as Nathaniel rambled on about his gift for Emma to whom he is Christmas Angel. Hugo explained tersely;
"I forgot the keys to the truck and then Nathaniel threw up on the way back to get them. "

To my look of horror at the rental, he replied;

"Not to worry - he threw up mostly in a bag and on the blanket, but someone will have to help him change."
I took Nathaniel upstairs and he proudly showed Emma her gift which he explained she had to share while I stripped his pants off, and helped him into a fresh pair.

By the time I was back downstairs the rental was gone and the boaster seat was on the front porch. Apparently, Hugo was not keen on granting Nathaniel his birthright a second time in one day. Not that I could blame him - however, he left before I could inform of the errand that must to be completed in town today. Some days are just like that. Read more!