For the Grace to Live For Christ Alone
Saint Thomas More (Composed while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, 1534)
Give me the grace, good Lord -
To set the world at naught, to set my mind firmly upon Thee, and not to hang upon the words of men's mouths;
To be content to be solitary; not to long for worldly pleasure; litle by little, utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all the business thereof;
Not to long to hear of any earthly things, but that the hearing of world and rid my mind of all the business thereof;
Not to long to hear of any earthly things, but that the hearing of worldy fancies may be to me displeasing;
Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help; to lean unto the comfort of God; busily to labor to love Him;
To know my own vileness and wretchedness; to humble myself under the mighty hand of God; to bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity.
Gladly to bear my purgatory here; to be joyful in tribulations; to walk the narrow way that leadeth to life.
To have the last thing in remembrance; to have ever before my eye my death that is ever at hand; to make death no stranger to me; to foresee and consider the everlasting fire of hell; to pray for the pardon before the judge come.
To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me; for His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.
To buy the time again that I have lost.
To abstain from vain Conversations; to shun foolish mirth and gladness; to cut off unnecessary recreations.
Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life, and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.
To think of my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.
These minds are more to be desired of every man, than all the treasure of all the princes and kings, Christian and not, were it gathered and laid together upon all one heap.