the pastoral prayer

Saint Aelred of Rievaulx

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




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VIII
PRAYER FOR SUBORDINATES

Hear me yet further, God most merciful,
for those for whom I am compelled and drawn to pray to Thee
both by my duty and by my heart’s love.
Remembering Thy kindness, I am bold;
for Thou, sweet Lord, knowest how much I love them,
how I yearn over them, and how my heart goes out to them.
Thou knowest, Lord,
I do not want to rule them harshly or self-assertively,
but to help them in charity, rather than command,
and to be subject to them in humility,
while being always one of them in sympathy.
Hear me, therefore, here me, O Lord my God,
and let Thine eyes be open on them day and night.
Spread Thou Thy wings, most loving Lord, and shield them;
stretch forth Thy holy right hand, Lord, and bless them;
and pour into their hearts Thy Holy Spirit,
that He may keep them in unity of spirit and the bond of peace,
chaste in their bodies, lowly in their minds.
May He be there to help them when they pray,
and fill them with the unction and the riches of Thy love.
May He renew their minds with sweet compunction,
enlighten their hearts with the light of Thy grace,
cheer them with hope, and humble them with fear,
and kind them with love.
May it be He Who prompts them to such prayers
as Thou wilt gladly hear.
May He, Thy same sweet Spirit, be in them,
when they make meditation;
so that, by Him enlightened, they may know Thee,
and ever cherish in their hearts the thought of Him;
so that in trouble they will call on Him,
and turn to Him in all perplexity.
May the same loving Comforter, when they are being tempted,
come swiftly to their aid;
and may He help their weakness in all the
                                                                straits and troubles of this life.
By the same Spirit make them, Lord, to be
alike within themselves, with one another, and towards myself,
peaceable and equable and kind,
obedient, serviceable, helpful to each other.
May they be fervent in spirit, rejoicing in hope,
enduring steadfastly
through poverty and fasting, toils and vigils, silence and repose.
Drive far from them, O Lord, the spirit
of pride and of vain glory,
of envy and of gloom,
of accidie and slander,
of distrust and despair,
of fornication and uncleanness,
of discord and presumption.
Be in their midst, according to Thy faithful promise;
and, since Thou knowest what each of them needs,
I pray Thee, strengthen what is weak in them,
spurn not their frailty, heal that which is diseased,
give joy for sorry, kindle what is lukewarm,
establish what is insecure in them, that each of them may know
he does not lack Thy grace in any of his trials and temptations.


Forward to PART NINE


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