School is coming soon. When it does, share some of these prayers with your students. Have them create other prayers to help them and their classmates through the school year. These prayers are all included in Day by Day: The Notre Dame Prayerbook for Students.
Prayer Before Study
Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom, lofty origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your brilliance
penetrate into the darkness of my understanding
and take from me the double darkness in which I have been born,
an obscurity of both sin and ignorance.
Give me a sharp sense of 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;
through Christ our Lord.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
Open My Mind
you were once a student like me.
You studied God’s law, the history of your people
and a trade by which to earn a living.
You lived in a human family,
made steady progress in understanding
and yearned to discover your vocation in life.
Open my mind to the truth of things,
make me humble before the awesome mysteries of the universe,
make me proud to be a human being and a child of God
and give me courage to live my life in the light of your gospel.
Help me, God, to find a balance
between study and leisure.
When work must be done,
let me realize that I am here to learn
and cannot go to every party.
Let me also see that
life is more than books
and being a person comes before grades.
A snowball battle,
a walk around a lake
or a simple talk with a friend
will do wonders
when studies get me down.
Guide me along this balanced line.
Anything Can Be Accomplished
It’s never easy to be a student.
Every day brings more assignments until it seems
that the hard work will never end.
I know I’d rather watch TV or listen to music
many times when I sit down to study,
but please, Lord, help me to realize
that knowledge, like your love, can never be lost.
Help me never to underestimate myself as a student
because anything can be accomplished
with your guidance and love.
Let me be helpful and understanding
toward my fellow students,
and not judge them but radiate the same love
you show us through your lasting mercy.
Dear God, give me the strength to love others and to be loved.
Guide me through each day with your helping hand.
Give me the knowledge that you are already there,
Especially when I need you the most.
Give me the courage to live each moment as if the next will never come.
Show me how to be strong when I am feeling weak.
Give me the strength to live as you intended me to.
Prayer Before Examinations
it seems as though our lives
are one test after another,
weighing us in somebody’s balance.
Save us from taking the coming tests
too seriously or too lightly,
but grant that we may reflect
the best of the work we’ve done
and the best of the teaching we’ve received;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John W. Vannorsdall