Prayer For Comfort in Adversity and True Peace of Conscience
O KINDEST FATHER, God of all hope and comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3), grant to me life-giving comfort and true peace of conscience in all the difficulties of life. My heart is full of anxieties, but Your comforts are able to delight my soul (Psalm 94:19). All the comfort of the world is empty and futile. In You alone is strength and support for my soul. All sorts of misfortunes weigh heavy on me, but Your encouragement and comfort lighten the burden. Nothing in all creation can bring me down and sadden me so much that You cannot gladden me by Your Spirit of joy (Psalm 51:12). No adversities can so surround and capture me that my heart cannot be freed by Your grace. The heat of various afflictions harasses me, but the taste of Your sweetness brings me cool consolation. The tears stream from my eyes, but Your gracious hand wipes them away (Revelation 7:17). Just as You allowed Stephen, the first martyr, to see Your gracious face even as he was being stoned (Acts 7:56), so also You allow me, wretch that I am, the full enjoyment of Your comfort though I am surrounded by misfortune. Just as You sent a consoling angel to Your Son in the most bitter agony of death (Luke 22:43), so also You send me Your sustaining Spirit in my struggle. Without Your strength, I would break under the weight of the cross. Without Your help, I would be destroyed by the attack of numerous adversities.
Extinguish in me the love of the world and created things so the misfortunes of the world and the changeableness of created things will bring me no bitterness. Those who in their hearts cling to the world and created things will never be able to partake of true and undisturbed peace. All earthly things are subject to the continual variations of change. Those who do not cling with undue love to the things of this present life will not be tormented by overwhelming anxiety when these things are lost. Please, O God, cast out the love and desire of the world so that as You filled the widow's jar through the prophet Elijah, the soul forsaken of earthly comfort may be filled with the oil of joy (2 Kings 4:3; Psalm 45:7). All earthly things may be thrown into disorder, changed, and rolled back and forth, but You are the immovable rock and most solid stone of my soul. Can a beggarly and weak "thing" disturb the peace of the soul that I possess, that is sure and immovable in You (Psalm 73:25)? Can the waves of the world, even of its most turbulent seas, overthrow the rock of my heart (Psalm 18:2; 19;14), which I have firm in You, the highest and unchangeable good? Surely Your peace surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). That same peace also will overcome every attack of misfortune. I beg You with humble sighs for that inner peace.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Prayer for Comfort in Adversity
Johann Gerhard, Meditations on Divine Mercy, pp. 121-122: