May I be the friend You want me to be

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May I be an enemy to no one 
    and the friend of what abides eternally.
May I never quarrel with those nearest me,
    and be reconciled quickly if I should.
May I never plot evil against others,
    and if anyone plots evil against me,
  may I escape unharmed 
    and without the need to hurt anyone else.
May I love, seek, and attain only what is good.
May I desire happiness for all
    and harbor envy for none.
May I never find joy 
    in the misfortune of one who has wronged me.
May I never wait for the rebuke of others,
    but always rebuke myself and make reparation.
May I gain no victory 
    that harms me or my opponent.
May I reconcile friends 
    who are mad at each other.
May I, insofar as I can, give all necessary help
    to my friends and to all who are in need.
May I never fail a friend in trouble.
May I be able to soften the pain of the grief stricken
    and give them comforting words.
May I respect myself.
May I always maintain control of my emotions.
May I habituate myself to be gentle,
     and never angry with others because of circumstances.
May I never discuss the wicked or what they have done,
    but know good people and follow in their footsteps.
 
Eusebius of Caesarea, c. 260- c.340, Christian historian and bishop
 
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Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
    sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

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unite me with Yourself

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If only I possessed grace, good Jesus, to be utterly at one with you!
Amidst all the variety of worldly things around me, Lord,
    the only thing I crave is unity with you.
You are all my soul needs.
Unite, dear friend of my heart, this unique little soul of mine
    to your perfect goodness.
You are all mine; when shall I be yours?
Lord Jesus. my beloved, be the magnet of my heart;
    clasp, press, unite me forever to your sacred heart.
You have made me for yourself;
    make me one with you.
Absorb this tiny drop of life 
    into the ocean of goodness from whence it came.
 
Francis of Sales, 1567 – 1622, Counter-Reformation Bishop of Geneva
 
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But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

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a sign of your goodness

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Father, I’m a man of my time and situation,
Around me, the signs and symbols of man’s fear, hatred, alienation;
a bomb exploding in a market square;
. . . faces on TV twisted in mocking confrontation.
It’s not that we haven’t tried, Father,
to find ways to peace and reconciliation
but always too little, too late;
the forces of opposition were too great . . . 
I am perplexed, angry, hopeless, sick, I want to turn
my back, wash my hands, save myself, my family, get out.
But every time I turn to go
there stands in my way a cross . . .
 
Lord, make me a child of hope, reborn from apathy,
cynicism, and despair, ready to work for that new man
you have made possible by walking the way of the cross yourself.
I do have hope grounded on your victory over powers
of evil, death itself, focused on your kingdom,
breaking on us now as light out of deep darkness.
And I do see signs of hope immediately around me.
I see a wider sign:
I see a sign – flower growing on a bombed-out site.
The sign – an empty cross.  The burden, Lord, is yours.
Lord, I am a prisoner of hope! There is life before death.
 
Prayer from Northern Ireland
 
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Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
    just as my mother did.
Give me a sign of your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
    for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

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