This beautiful, strikingly emotional prayer is so long that it might more fittingly be called a “meditation.” The source in which I found this prayer surprisingly gives no information about it other than the title, so I don’t know if it really is by St. Augustine–but I think that as such an important and holy figure in the Church (being Bishop of Hippo and all), he must have prayed something like this frequently. Many lines speak to me of what I ought to be praying for each day. Meditate and pray with me today for the virtues that you are working on. St. Augustine, ora pro nobis!
St. Augustine’s Prayer for All Virtues
My God and my Lord, grant that my heart aspire to thee; that, aspiring to thee, it seek thee; that seeking thee, it may find thee; that, having found thee, it may love thee; and that its love for thee may produce sorrow, and sorrow pardon for all my sins; and, being once pardoned, grant, oh grant that I may never offend thee more. Grant me sorrow, my Lord and my God, for having sinned against thee: grant me contrition and gift of tears; and grant me that charity thee and towards the poor which may avail to cover the multitude of my sins.
O divine Sovereign, quench within me, I beseech thee, every impure passion and inclination; and kindle in my soul the holy fire of thy love. Drive far from me the spirit of pride; and grant me the grace of holy humility. Restrain, dear Saviour, I beseech thee, every violent out-burst of anger, and endow me with patience and gentle forbearance. Remove all sullen moroseness and captiousness from my mind; and give me that confiding kindness of heart, which may lead me to have a good opinion of all.
Grant, oh grant me, I implore thee, my dear Lord and loving Father, an immoveable faith, a strong hope, and a lasting charity.
O Thou who art the guardian of my life, save me from lightness and vanity of disposition; from uncertainty of mind; from a dissipated heart; from gluttony and sensuality; from backbiting, from curiosity, and from covetousness: keep me from all vain glory; from all hypocrisy; from all treacherous flattery of others; from avarice, envy, and blasphemy. Oh cleanse my nature from worldly anxiety, idleness, sloth, presumption, hardness of heart, and obstinacy; appease the violence of my temper; make my judgment ever yield to the dictates of reason; and my heart open to receive thy holy inspirations. Check the unruly freedom of my speech; let me never oppress the poor, never use violence towards the weak, nor calumniate even the wicked. Let me never neglect the salvation of those who are dependent upon me. Remove from my manner all bitterness and rudeness towards my servants: make me ever remember that their souls were the equals of mine when we came into this world, and that we shall be again equal after we shall have fulfilled our different parts in this fleeting life. Let my friends never have cause to complain of my untruthfulness; and may none ever perceive arrogance in my conduct towards them.
Thus, O my God I beseech thee by thy tender love for us; by the merits of thy beloved Son, I thus implore thee to enable me to fulfill all the corporal and spiritual works of mercy which thou mayest demand of me. Let me comfort the sorrowful, instruct the ignorant, relieve the poor, visit and cheer the suffering and those who are sick at heart: may I willingly forgive injuries, bear wrongs patiently, love those who hate, and do good to those who injure me. Let me not despise any one, but respect all; imitate the good, and avoid the wicked. Let me love virtue as much as I abhor vice.
O my Lord, may thy grace uphold me in sorrow, and restrain me in joy; may it teach it me to despise the fleeting interests of this life; and in all things, and above all things, may it prompt me fervently to aspire to the everlasting bliss of heaven, through Jesus my Lord and Saviour, who, with thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth for ever. Amen.
From The Catholic Hours, or, The Family Prayer Book, T. Jones, Catholic Publisher, 1840