A Prayer for Scholars from Thomas Aquinas

Dear Friends and Family,

I’ve been working on my first chapter this past week and a half. Writing is a draining, but ultimately rewarding process for me. Today, while I was doing some grading, I came across a tweet from Matthew Moser (twitter, blog) which led me here and to a prayer from Thomas Aquinas. I will now try and pray this every time I sit down to write:

Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding.

Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance.

Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally.

Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm.

Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 



6 comments on “A Prayer for Scholars from Thomas Aquinas

  1. Colin says:

    Beautiful. Requisite and necessary, especially for all the remaining days this semester when I sit down to battle through the Summa.

  2. David, I’m so glad I read this. Just last night I was composing prose about my frustration and anger with the arrogant, hateful, and argumentative people I regularly encounter in the academy. A humble prayer, recognizing the extraordinary source of knowledge and wisdom, and the extraordinary barrier the HS must cross not only to draw us to knowledge and wisdom, but to the source. I’m going to begin using this in my life of devotion and obedience. For no matter what others do, I can only control me:) Thank you friend.

  3. Samantha says:

    This is really special. I’ve just printed out my own copy to hang above my desks (both my home desk and my office at school). It’s an amazing way to get one’s priorities straight when sitting down to write, and remind me why I do what I do: my life, music, and scholarship in God’s service for His glory. Thanks very much for sharing; I hadn’t come across this before.

    • Samantha,

      I used this prayer frequently when writing my first chapter and will be using it again more as a conference paper and the next two chapters come up in my writing docket. You’re absolutely right, it has the organising air about it that helps us see and understand this world and our work in the right light.

      I’m glad you’ve found it useful.


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