The Dark Ages. I hate that label. It makes people conjure images of barbarians, poverty, disease, and rampant ignorance. I’m sure those things existed then, as they do now. But a label like that hides the fact that there were still some amazing people doing amazing things. There was light in the “dark ages.”
And one of those lights was the poet, writer, and theologian Alcuin of York. He is usually considered one of the brightest minds of his day and the leading scholar at Charlemagne’s court. Yesterday marked the anniversary of his death (May 19, 804). So today’s prayer comes from him.
Give me, O Lord, I beseech thee,
firm faith, unwavering hope, perfect charity.
Pour into my heart
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and spiritual strength,
the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness,
and the Spirit of thy holy fear.
Light eternal, shine in my heart.
Power eternal, deliver me from evil.
Wisdom eternal, scatter the darkness of my ignorance.
Might eternal, pity me.
Grant that I may ever seek thy face
with all my heart and soul and strength;
and, in thine infinite mercy,
bring me at last to thy holy presence
where I shall behold thy glory
and possess thy promised joys.