Lead, kindly light

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,–
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene,–one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on:
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish days, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long thy power hath blessed me, sure it still
Will lead me on;
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

John Henry Newman
Here is a lovely adaptation by Audrey Assad:

Distracted prayer

Early last fall I was speaking with my spiritual director about my experience of the prayer for the last long while.  I told him that I felt that all I did was fight distraction after distraction.  He replied by describing Cardinal John Henry Newman’s response when asked how long he had prayed: “About a minute . . . and it took me an hour to get there.”   Don’t you love it?

And from Dom Columba Marmion: “It is above all on days of weariness, sickness, impatience, temptation, spiritual dryness, and trials, curing hours of sometimes terrible anguish which press upon the soul, that holy abandonment is most pleasing to God.”