Original prayer in the margins of a book of hours (c. 1534)
Give me the grace, Good Lord
To set the world at naught.
To set the mind firmly on You
and not to hang upon the words of men's mouths.
To be content to be solitary.
Not to long for worldly pleasures.
Little by little utterly to cast off the world
and rid my mind of all its business.
Not to long to hear of earthly things,
but that the hearing of worldly fancies
may be displeasing to me.
Gladly to be thinking of God,
piteously to call for His help.
To lean into 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 leads to life.
To have the last thing in remembrance.
To have ever before my eyes 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 pardon before the judge comes.
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 my worst enemies my best friends.