A Beautiful Prayer

Dear Lord,

Help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of yours.

Shine through me,
and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with
may feel your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only you, Oh Lord.

Stay with me, then I shall begin to shine as you do;
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The Light, oh Lord, will be all from you; none of it will be mine;
it will be you shining on others through me

Let me thus praise you in the way you love best,
by shining on those around me.

Let me preach you without preaching,
not by words but by my example,
by the catching force,
the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you. Amen.

– Cardinal John Newman


This prayer was e-mailed to me by Fr. Frans De Ridder, a priest I’ve known all my life, but who has only in recent years emerged to be my counselor and spiritual guide.

I went to see him two years ago when I was very heavy of heart due to problems in my family. He let me cry, listened, promised to pray for my family, and introduced me to a new form of prayer – meditation. I still remember him describing it to me “Don’t speak. Don’t even need to think. Just sit still and be in the presence of God…”

My heart wasn’t near quiet enough for me to be tempted to try meditation then. It’s still a fledgling practice for me now, but I’m grateful to Fr Frans for giving me my first resource on meditative prayer.

Today he sent me this prayer in response to an update that I recently sent him about my own journey in the past few months (personal, work, everything) and the happy news about the joyful change in my family. *grin*

I think it is a very beautiful prayer, and one that expresses the sentiments that I wish to express now in my prayer life.

He must increase and I diminish. – John 3:30

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