For the Attainment of Heaven

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Dr. Warren Kinghorn, a Duke University psychiatrist and theologian, spoke recently with the Duke Clergy Health Initiative about a Christian view of flourishing, advocating for the care of both body AND soul.  As part of that talk, he shared the following prayer from St. Thomas Aquinas:

For the Attainment of Heaven

God of all consolation,
You Who see nothing in us
but what You have given us,
I invoke Your help:
after this life has run its course,
grant me
Knowledge of You, the first Truth,
and enjoyment of Your divine majesty.

O most bountiful Rewarder, endow my body
with beauty of splendor,
with swift responsiveness to all commands,
with complete subservience to the spirit,
and with freedom from all vulnerability.

Add to these
an abundance of Your riches,
a river of delights,
a flood of other goods

So that I may enjoy
Your solace above me,
a delightful garden beneath my feet,
the glorification of body and soul within me,
and the sweet companionship
of men and angels around me.

With You, most merciful Father,
may my mind attain
the enlightenment of wisdom,
my desire what is truly desirable,
and my courage the praise of triumph.

There, with You, is
refuge from all dangers,
multiple of dwelling places,
and harmony of wills.

There, with You, resides
the cheerfulness of spring,
the brilliance of summer,
the fruitfulness of autumn,
and the gentle repose of winter.

Give me O Lord my God,
that life without death
and that joy without sorrow
where there is
the greatest freedom,
unconfined security,
secure tranquility,
delightful happiness,
happy eternity,
eternal blessedness,
and the vision of truth,
and praise O God.

Amen.

– Katie Huffman

(Photo by Flickr user sgs_1019, via Creative Commons)

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