Let me be like the Calm Sea

photo from Pxhere
 
Lord, I saw the sea attacking the rocks, sombre and raging.
From afar the waves gained momentum.
High and proud, they leapt, jostling one another 
    to be the first to strike.
When the white foam drew back, leaving the rock clear,
    they gathered themselves together to rush forward again.
 
The other day I saw the sea, calm and serene.
The waves came from afar, creeping, not to draw attention.
Quietly holding hands, they slipped noiselessly
    and stretched at full length on the sand,
    to touch the shore with the tips of their beautiful soft fingers.
The sea gently caressed them,
    and they generously returned streams of light.
 
Lord, grant that I may avoid useless quarrels 
    that tire and wound without achieving results.
Keep me from these angry outbursts that draw attention
    but leave one uselessly weakened.
Keep me from wanting always to outstrip others in my conceit,
    crushing those in my way.
Wipe from my face the look of dark, dominating anger.
 
Rather, Lord, grant that I may live my days calmly and fully,
    as the sea slowly covers the whole shore.
Make me humble like the sea, as silently and gently, 
    it spreads out unnoticed.
May I wait for my brothers and match my pace to theirs,
    that I may move upward with them.
Grant me the triumphant perseverance of the waters.
May each of my retreats turn into an advance.
Give my face the light of clear waters.
Give my soul the whiteness of foam.
Illumine my life that it may sing like sunbeams
    on the surface of the sea.
But above all, Lord, may I not keep this light for myself,
    and may all those who come near me return home 
    eager to bathe in your eternal grace.
 
Michel Quoist,1918 – 1997, French Catholic priest and writer
 
_________________________
 
 
A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
    but a wise man quietly holds it back.

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Thank You for the trials

Photo by Dorothy Lin on Unsplash
 
Lord, I do not see many people who are happy.
I see more people who are vexed by troubles 
    and overcome with anguish at their difficulties. . . .
Sometimes, I too am derailed by trials. . . .
I am tempted to see trials as only negative 
    because I like to think that I’m in control. . . .
I am tempted to see trials as negative 
    because I tend to think that this life matters most. . . .
Remind me that there is a limit to my perspective and wisdom. . . .
I do not see all there is to see.
Remind me that Jesus suffered and He was completely innocent. . . .
If He suffered, I too may experience suffering.
Remind me that this world is temporary. . . .
I will not be satisfied in this life.
So I thank You today for the trials You have allowed in my life. . . .
I thank You for being my fortress and strength. . . .
    and for giving me perseverance. . . .
Thank You for what these trials are doing in me –
    developing maturity and completeness.
Amen.
 
Kurt Bjorklund, 1968- , American Minister and author of
Prayers for Today A Yearlong Journey of Devotional Prayer

_________________
 
 
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,
   because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance

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