Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Saint's Prayer

As recorded in Adrienne von Speyer's Book of All Saints, a prayer during the time of illness, toward the end of her life by Blessed Angela of Foligno:

My Lord, through the days of sickness through which you lead me, show me that my time is coming near to its end. That it will enter into your time, that the time that belongs to me will cease to be mine in order to become wholly yours.  Lord, you know I have little patience.  I am not happy to be sick.  Even though I have contemplated your suffering for the whole of my life, I have not learned to love it.  And yet, precisely because I do not understand it and cannot bear it, I beg you to allow me to suffer as much as you think is good, to lay upon me as many days of sickness as you see fit.  Do not let my groaning become bitter, but also do not pay attention to it; do not be put off by it.  Show me the full measure of what it is you have laid aside for me. Lord, I do not know how near the hour of death is, how much lamenting I will yet make others listen to.  But now, because there is still time, I thank you for all the graces you have directed to me, for everything you have given to me, and I beg you, perhaps for the last time, in earnest for forgiveness for everything I have done only with reluctance.  I will try, Lord, in this final time, to contemplate the suffering of all those who have suffered for you; but I know that my suffering will seem small compared to the suffering of your saints and martyrs.  And how small indeed when I compare it simply with your own!  Grant, Lord, that this contemplation of the suffering of your friends might become fruitful for all those who, like me, are tired of suffering.  Bless my sisters; bless this whole cloister, the whole Order, the entire Church.  And may you keep your blessing over me until the end.  Amen.   

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