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Poems, Prayers, and Short Meditations

Two Prayers: St. Ignatius Loyola

i.
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
all I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours –
do with it what you will. Give me
only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me.

ii.
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve –
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to fear the wounds,
to toil and not to ask for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,

except to know, my God,
I do your will.

Meditation and two Poems: Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

i.
God's utterance of God within God is God the Word,
God's utterance outside of God is this world.
This world then is word, expression, news of God.
Therefore its end, purpose, purport, meaning is God,
and its life or work to name and praise God...
The world and humanity, each after its own manner
should give God being in return
for the being God has given it.
Notes on the Principle and Foundation (1882)

ii.
God's Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shock foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

iii.
Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.