A Prayer Before Study

The importance of prayer in studying and tutoring has been mentioned frequently in these posts. Although this is by no means the last word on the topic, I hope that the following prayer of a master pray-er will help all of us prepare for a serene Fall 2014 Finals Week:


The “Ante Studium” (“Before Study”) of St. Thomas Aquinas*

Ineffable Creator,

Who, from the treasures of Your Wisdom,

have established three hierarchies of angels,

have arrayed them in marvelous order

above the fiery heaven,

and have marshaled the regions

of the universe with such artful skill,

 You are proclaimed

the true font of light and wisdom,

and the primal origin

raised high beyond all things.

 Pour forth a ray of Your brightness

into the darkened places of my mind;

disperse from my soul

the twofold darkness

into which I was born:

sin and ignorance.

 You make eloquent the tongues of infants.

Refine my speech

and pour forth upon my lips

the gooness of Your blessing.

 Grant to me

keenness of mind,

capacity to remember,

skill in learning,

subtlety to interpret,

and eloquence in speech.

 May You

guide the beginning of my work,

direct its progress,

and bring it to completion.

 You Who are true God and true Man,

Who live and reign, world without end.



*The Aquinas Prayer Book: The Prayers and Hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas, translated and edited by Robert Anderson and Johann Moser, (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2000), 40-43. The editors note that “St. Thomas frequently recited this before he dictated, wrote, or preached.” For Latinophones, the original follows:

Ante Studium (Quam frequenter dicebat antequam dictaret, scriberet, aut prædicaret.)

Creator ineffabilis, qui de thesauris sapientiæ tuæ tres Angelorum hierarchias designasti, et eas super cælum empyreum miro ordine collocasti, atque universi partes elegantissime disposuisti, tu inquam qui verus fons luminis et sapientiæ diceris atque supereminens principium infundere digneris super intellectus mei tenebras tuæ radium claritatis, duplices in quibus natus sum a me removens tenebras, peccatum scilicet et ignorantiam. Tu qui linguas infantium facis disertas, linguam meam erudias atque in labiis meis gratiam tuæ benedictionis infundas. Da mihi intelligendi acumen, retinendi capacitatem, addiscendi modum et facilitate, interpretandi subtilitatem, loquendi gratiam copiosam. Ingressum instruas, progressum dirigas, egressum compleas. Tu qui es verus Deus et homo, qui vivis et regnas in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.



Laura Brown (MA, ’14)
Director of Student Service Center
Alumni Association Member
Email: lbrown@holyapostles.edu
Mobile: (331) 431-3930