By: Sister Timothy Marie, O.C.D.

Each culture has its treasure trove of beloved saints and well-loved prayers. And, being of Irish descent myself, allow me to ring in the New Year of 2020 with a traditional, Irish prayer. I think you may have already heard it, perhaps through song even, for it has found its way out of Ireland and into the hearts of many people from a plethora of cultures.

It is the prayer of living in the presence of God.  As Carmelites, this is our vocation, to prepare ourselves and those with whom we live and work, for union with God, the kind of union of which the saints write, the kind of union which is the reason why we were created by God in the first place, the divine union through prayer.

I propose that this would be a marvelous New Year’s resolution: to live in the presence of God. And at the end of this little blog is the name of one book that can help you come to this profound experience.

An Irish Prayer (by St. Patrick himself)
for beginning a new year (or a new day!)
in the Presence of God

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me and before me.
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in hearts of all who know me.
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger,
Christ in quiet and in roar.

Love, blessed Trinity of three,
Bound in unity
Who guides my journey.
I will arise with strength of heaven
Trusting in Your light
To guide my journey
Shine before me
Lead me home.

Power to guide me, might to hold me,
Wisdom teach me, watching o’er me.
Ear to hear me, hand to guard me,
Love to conquer every fear.

Happy and blessed New Year to all!

Wishing God’s choicest graces and blessings upon you and yours in this new year of 2020,

Book Recommendation:
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection OCD

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