OPEN my heart, O Lord, to Your law and teach me to
walk in the way of Your commandments.
Let me understand Your will. Let me remember Your
blessings -- all of them and each single one of them
-- with great reverence and care so that henceforth I
may return worthy thanks for them. I know that I am
unable to give due thanks for even the least of Your
gifts. I am unworthy of the benefits You have given
me, and when I consider Your generosity my spirit
faints away before its greatness. All that we have of
soul and body, whatever we possess interiorly or
exteriorly, by nature or by grace, are Your gifts and
they proclaim Your goodness and mercy from which we
have received all good things.
If one receives more and another less, yet all are
Yours and without You nothing can be received. He who
receives greater things cannot glory in his own merit
or consider himself above others or behave insolently
toward those who receive less. He who attributes less
to himself and is the more humble and devout in
returning thanks is indeed the greater and the
better, while he who considers himself lower than all
men and judges himself to be the least worthy, is the
more fit to receive the greater blessing.
the other hand, who has received fewer gifts should
not be sad or impatient or envious of the richer man.
Instead he should turn his mind to You and offer You
the greatest praise because You give so bountifully,
so freely and willingly, without regard to persons.
All things come from You; therefore, You are to be
praised in all things. You know what is good for each
of us; and why one should receive less and another
more is not for us to judge, but for You Who have
marked every man's merits.
Therefore, O Lord God, I consider it a great blessing
not to have many things which human judgment holds
praiseworthy and glorious, for one who realizes his
own poverty and vileness should not be sad or
downcast at it, but rather consoled and happy because
You, O God, have chosen the poor, the humble, and the
despised in this world to be Your friends and
servants. The truth of this is witnessed by Your
Apostles, whom You made princes over all the world.
Yet they lived in this world without complaining, so
humble and simple, so free from malice and deceit,
that they were happy even to suffer reproach for Your
name and to embrace with great affection that which
the world abhors.
A man who loves You and recognizes Your benefits,
therefore, should be gladdened by nothing so much as
by Your will, by the good pleasure of Your eternal
decree. With this he should be so contented and
consoled that he would wish to be the least as others
wish to be the greatest; that he would be as peaceful
and satisfied in the last place as in the first, and
as willing to be despised, unknown and forgotten, as
to be honored by others and to have more fame than
they. He should prefer Your will and the love of Your
honor to all else, and it should comfort him more
than all the benefits which have been, or will be,