the pastoral prayer

Saint Aelred of Rievaulx

Translated by A Religious of C.S.M.V.
Edited by Matthew Dallman



These things, my Hope,
I need for my own sake.
But there are others that I need
not only for myself, but for the sake of those
to whom Thou bidst me be a power for good,
rather than merely a superior.
There was a wise king once, who asked
that wisdom might be given him to rule Thy people.
His prayer found favour in Thine eyes,
Thou hearkenedst thereto;
and at that time Thou hadst not met the cross,
nor shown Thy people that amazing love.
But now, sweet Lord, behold before Thy Face
Thing own peculiar people, whose eyes are ever on Thy cross,
and who themselves are signed with it.
Thou hast entrusted to Thy sinful servant
the task of ruling them.
My God, Thou knowest what a fool I am,
my weakness is not hidden from Thy sight.
Therefore, sweet Lord, I ask Thee not for gold,
I ask Thee not for silver, nor for jewels,
buy only that Thou wouldest give me wisdom,
that I may know to rule Thy people well.
O Fount of Wisdom, send her from Thy throne of might,
to be with me, to work with me,
to act in me, to speak in me,
to order all my thoughts, and words, and deeds, and plans
according to Thy will,
and to the glory of Thy Name,
to further their advance and my salvation.

Forward to PART SEVEN

© Akenside Press and Matthew C. Dallman, 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Akenside Press.