God, I want the rest of today to be a good day. I want to accomplish all the things that I need to do, because I’m leaving on Friday, and won’t be home for two weeks. I have a hundred things to do, and I can’t even begin to remember them all (let alone do them) without Your help. Help me. Bring to my mind all the necessary tasks, so that I don’t become distracted with the unnecessary chatter of many things. Help me to keep You in mind always, so that my every task may bring You glory.
I want to bring honor to Your Holy Name, Jesus. This laundry, this packing, this tidying, this cleaning. I want all of this to bring honor to You, Who are all good and deserving of all my love.
Dearest Mother, you who kept the home at Nazareth, show me those things that will be most helpful. Give your Son a tug on His sleeve to bend His ear to my plea. Point me in the right direction and let my eyes rest on the needful things.
Spirit of God, rest on me. Inspire me to right action, for the sake of His name.
O Guardian Angel, you who are closest to me here, turn me away from every time-wasting activity. Help keep me focused.
Saint Martha, keep me grounded in the tasks before me, and Saint Mary, keep me always mindful of the Most Important Thing.
Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas for Order
O merciful God, grant that I may desire ardently, search prudently, recognize truly, and bring to perfect completion whatever is pleasing to You for the praise and glory of Your name.
Put my life in good order, O my God.
Grant that I may know what You require me to do.
Bestow upon me the power to accomplish your will, as is necessary and fitting for the salvation of my soul.
Grant to me, O Lord my God, that I may not falter in times
of prosperity or adversity, so that I may not be exalted in the former, nor dejected in the latter.
May I not rejoice in anything unless it leads me to You; may I not be saddened by anything unless it turns me from You.
May I desire to please no one, nor fear to displease anyone, but You.
May all transitory things, O Lord, be worthless to me and may all things eternal be ever cherished by me.
May any joy without You be burdensome for me and may I not desire anything else besides You.
May all work, O Lord delight me when done for Your sake, and may all repose not centered in You be ever wearisome for me.
Grant unto me, my God, that I may direct my heart to You and that in my failures I may ever feel remorse for my sins and never lose the resolve to change.
O Lord my God, make me submissive without protest, poor without discouragement, chaste without regret, patient without complaint, humble without posturing, cheerful without frivolity, mature without gloom, and quick-witted without flippancy.
O Lord my God, let me fear You without losing hope, be truthful without guile, do good works without presumption, rebuke my neighbor without haughtiness, and — without hypocrisy — strengthen him by word and example.
Give to me, O Lord God, a watchful heart, which no capricious thought can lure away from You.
Give to me, a noble heart, which no unworthy desire can debase.
Give to me a resolute heart, which no evil intention can divert.
Give to me a stalwart heart, which no tribulation can overcome.
Give to me a temperate heart, which no violent passion can enslave.
Give to me, O Lord my God, understanding of You, diligence in seeking You, wisdom in finding You, discourse ever pleasing to You, perseverance in waiting for You, and confidence in finally embracing You.
Grant that with Your hardships I may be burdened in reparation here, that Your benefits I may use in gratitude upon the way, that in Your joys I may delight by glorifying You in the Kingdom of Heaven.
You Who live and reign, God, world without end.
(translation by Robert Anderson and Johann Moser)
I got this particular translation of this prayer from my friend Rebecca, who first blogged it as a helpful beginning-of-school-novena here. There is a lovely version that uses more traditional wording here.
Illustration credit: Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839-1924), Washerwomen or Women Washing Clothes by a Stream, oil on canvas, 33×26 inches, public collection (though I can find nothing about where it is actually located, and I do have things to do today), circa 1898 (though this work is undated). More info here and here.