Anselm of Canterbury (1033 - 1109) may be best known as a philosopher, but his writing was for the purpose of stirring up the mind to admire and love God. In the tradition of the Benedictine monks, he encouraged the meditative reading that started with words and ended in prayer. On the day when we remember Jesus' supper with his friends, here is a prayer of Anslem's to stir up our minds...
I pray that I may so know you and love you that I may rejoice in you.
And if I may not do so fully in this life,
let me go steadily on to the day when I come to that fullness.
Let the knowledge of you increase in me here,
and let it there come to its fullness.
Let your love grow in me here,
and there let it be fulfilled,
So that here my joy may be in a great hope,
and there in full reality.
You have commanded, or rather advised us,
to ask by your Son,
and you have promised that we shall receive,
‘that our joy may be full.’
That which you counsel through our ‘wonderful counselor’
is what I am asking for, Lord.
Let me receive that which you promised thorough your truth,
‘ that my joy may be full.’
God of truth,
I ask that I may receive,
so that my joy may be full.
Meanwhile, let my mind meditate on it,
let my tongue speak of it,
let my heart love it,
let my mouth preach it,
let my soul hunger for it,
my flesh thirst for it,
and my whole being desire it,
until I enter into the joy of my Lord, who is God, one and triune, blessed forever.
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