A Prayer and a Song as This Year Comes to an End

Nikolay Dubovskoy Naberezhnaya Nevy vecherom 1898

Good Lord,
it is the evening of the year…

Only a few days left in this old year
which seemed so new,
not-so-long ago…

Where has the old year gone, Lord?
How did it go?
And how did I go with you, Lord,
these past twelve months?

I remember the times
we walked and talked as one,
you and I…

And I remember the times
when I forgot, somehow,
that you were always by my side…

I remember the times when you took delight
in my words and my work,
and I remember the times I ignored and forgot you
while still 
you loved and forgave me…

Nothing I have done, Lord, 
merits all you have given me:
your love is grace and pure gift…

In return I offer so little
and I have so little to offer…

But there comes a new year, Lord,
and with it my zealous resolve
to become more worthy
of all you so freely give me!

In this new year, Lord,
make strong my resolve to be faithful,
make deep my trust in your presence
and make sure my hope in your promise,
for without your help
I will fail…

Lord, you offer me only
what is true and pure,
good and just, strong and graced…

In this new year, help me to recognize
what is false, cheap and sham…

Help me to settle for nothing less
than what comes from your heart and hand…

Nourish me, Lord:
give me a hunger for what is genuine,
a thirst for what is holy,
a wisdom for discerning your gifts…

It is the evening of the old year, Lord…

Shake from my heart what has no place there
and wake my heart
to the gift of your grace
at the dawn of a new year…

Amen.

[Father Austin Fleming is a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston whom I’ve known since August of 1979 when we met at Notre Dame. His blog is on my blogroll on the right side of the page.  Please check it out:  http://concordpastor.blogspot.com]

[ART: Neva Embankment in the evening. 1898. Nikolay Nikanorovich Dubovskoy  The image  is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.  Wikimedia Commons]

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
This entry was posted in Prayer, Songs and Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Prayer and a Song as This Year Comes to an End

  1. Thank you, I’m especially touched by the following that says what I wish I could have said:

    “Shake from my heart what has no place there
    and wake my heart
    to the gift of your grace
    at the dawn of a new year…”

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