I want to share with you the following prayer, based on Oratio S. Thomae Aquinatis ante studium, which Thomas Aquinas would pray before studying, writing, or preaching. We prayed it responsively before class with Dr. Piotr Malysz at Beeson Divinity School, where the Spring 2016 semester begins tomorrow.
“O God, Creator of all that is,
From the treasures of Your wisdom,
You have arrayed the universe with marvelous order,
And now govern with skill and might.
You are the true fount of light and wisdom.
Pour forth a ray of Your brightness
Into the darkened places of our minds;
Disperse from our souls the twofold darkness into which we were born:
Sin and ignorance.
Grant to each of us:
Deftness of hand,
Keenness of mind,
Skill in learning,
Subtlety to interpret,
And eloquence in speech.
And since you have given us the privilege to share in the loving, healing, reconciling mission of Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, in this age and wherever we are,
May your Spirit make us wise;
May your Spirit guide us;
May your Spirit renew us;
May your Spirit strengthen us.
So that we will be
Strong in faith,
Discerning in proclamation,
Courageous in witness,
Persistent in good deeds.
May You guide the beginning of our work,
Direct its progress,
And bring it to completion.
You who bring all that is good to its proper end,
Now prosper the work of our hands.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,