An Evening Prayer

This prayer comes from my parish’s lenten penance service the other night. In its own way, it is a form of nightly examen. I might just try to adopt this as part of my routine.

I am not dust of the earth that has no father or mother. I am not like the beast of the field, that cannot love, and eat without giving You thanks. My God, you made me, my body is your temple, my flesh is the house of your Spirit. And I come to You this night as your child.

I thank You for this day, for whatever it as brought me of food and delight, of new things and old, of friendship and wisdom. I thank You for this day which I shall never live again. I have no regret at its passing, for all life is your gift, and whatever is good is not lost forever.

If I have misused this day, or offended your other children, my brothers and sisters in the human family, I ask pardon. If I have brought grief instead of comfort, if I have caused pain instead of easing it, if quarrels or discord or deceit instead of truthfulness have enetered my speech, I ask your pardon, and I seek forgiveness with my heart.

And if others have hurt me, help me to forget it. Do not let me sleep with anger. If I have not enjoyed your creation as I should have enjoyed it, I ask your pardon. If greed has kept me from sharing with my neighbor, I ask your help to be more generous.

O God of goodness and light! I am a creature of earth, and yet I am your child. Forgive me my forgotten sins, and my offenses this day. Help me to become the person your love has created. I praise You and bless You for all the good things which have happened to me. And these I give back to You, to share with me in eternal life.

O God, give me rest, and re-create my body. Give me strength to enjoy your creation, and to work for my daily bread and others’ needs. Give me a good night. Remember and bless those who have loved me and helped me, my family and my friends. I pray for all in trouble, all in pain, and all near death. Be their comfort, and in the end bring us home.

O Thou eternal and all holy One, O Thou radiant and beautiful One, O Thou powerful and gracious One.

Bless me this night, as I go to sleep. Wake me to new life. I surrender to your love.

— Fr. Joe Nolan