Summer Songs

A Summer Prayer

The summer day is filled with sounds of life.
I add my voice to them with a song of gratitude and love.
The earth is traveling on a threefold mystical journey, as it whirls in the dance of day and night and makes its annual pilgrimage around the source of its life, the sun, and moves outward into boundless space. I too am traveling this day on my pilgrim’s path. I pause to remember who I am and how I can respond to you, my God.
I want to walk in the way that heals and restores my body and freshens my soul.
Help me to see your presence in all of life.


Slow me down, God.
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting.
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of
the singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations —
of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog,
to read a few lines from a good book.
Remind me each day of the fable of the hare and the tortoise,
that I may know that the race is not always to the swift —
that there is more to life than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward into the branches of the towering oak
and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well.
Slow me down, God, and inspire me to send my roots deep
into the soil of life’s enduring values,
that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.

Richard Cushing

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