Letter to the Editor

To acquire the virtues

Monday, December 11, 2017

Dear Editor,

Back in the Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas composed a prayer to help him cultivate a power that would protect him from the onslaughts of the deadly sin of lust, (otherwise known today as "sexual harassment," "pornography," such "euphemisms," which avoid using the rancid term of "sinful lust," thus opening the door to the destruction of the divine that exists in the human person, leaving only the "animal part" of the "rational animal", letting loose what only is the worst kind of beast, the "human beast.". The prayer of St. Thomas is titled "To Acquire Virtues," and thus he prayed for protection against, "Pride," "Avarice," "Lust," "Anger," "Gluttony," "Envy," and "Sloth.":

To Acquire the Virtues

O God, all-powerful and all-knowing, without beginning and without end,
You who are the source, the sustainer, and the rewarder of all virtues,

Grant that I may abide on the firm ground of faith,
Be sheltered by an impregnable shield of hope,
And be adorned with the bridal garment of charity.

Grant that I may, through justice, be subject to You,
Through Prudence, avoid the beguilements of the devil,
Through temperance, exercise restraint,
Through fortitude, endure adversity with patience.

Grant that, whatever good things that I have,
I may share generously with those who have not
And that, whatever good things I do not have,
I may request humbly from those who do.

Grant that I may judge rightly the evil of the wrongs I have done
And bear calmly the punishments I have brought upon myself,

And that I may never envy my neighbor's possessions
And ever give thanks for your good things.
Grant that I may always observe modesty
In the way I dress, the way I walk, and the posture I use,
Restrain my tongue from frivolous talk,
Prevent my feet from leading me astray,,
Keep my eyes from wandering glances,
Shelter my ears from rumors,
Lower my gaze in humility,
Lift my mind to thoughts of heaven,
Contemn all that will pass away,
And love You only.

Grant that I may subdue my flesh
And cleanse my conscience,
Honor the saints and praise You worthily,
Advance in goodness
And end a life of good works with a holy death.
Plant deep in me, Lord, all the virtues,
That I might be devout in divine matters
And discerning in human affairs,
And burdensome to no one
In fulfilling my own bodily needs.

Grant to me, Lord,
fervent contrition,
pure confession,
and complete reparation.

Order me inwardly through a good life
That I might do what is right and what will be
Meritorious for me, and a good example for others.

Grant that I may
never crave to do things impulsively,
nor disdain to do what is burdensome,

Lest I begin things before I should
Or abandon them before finishing.


James G. McHale

McCook, Neb.

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