Saint Augustine Prayers for Catechists, Teachers, and Students

St. Augustine of HippoThe following prayers of Saint Augustine are derived from a short piece of writing that was meant to instruct catechists about teaching. Although his intention was not to offer prayers for the use in catechesis, his hope was to inspire teachers to overcome their challenges and find inspiration in the love of God. The prayers below were formed directly from his words and derived from the a translation of On Catechising the Uninstructed, available at www.newadvent.org.

A Short Catechist’s Prayer from Saint Augustine

May God, into whose cognizance the “groaning of them that are bound enters,”
look upon our humility, and our labor, and forgive us all our sins.

(Prayer Derived from St. Augustine, On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed, no. 23)

Saint Augustine Prayer for Students

Beloved Father,
You sent your only Son, Jesus Christ, that we might learn how much you love us.
Kindle in us the love of he who was first loved;
For while we were still sojourning far apart,
Christ showed us a profound example of love.
Teach us to love our neighbors as ourselves.
We ask this in Jesus Christ our Lord, the manifestation of divine love.
Amen.

(Prayer Derived from St. Augustine, On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed, no. 8 )

Saint Augustine Prayer for Frustrated Teachers

Lord,
My students do not understand what I teach.
I have tried to articulate in speech what I understand in my mind,
But they do not apprehend what I mean.
But you have shown us an example that we should follow your footsteps.
You became a little child in the midst of us.
Invite me, in your great love, to humble myself in the form of a servant.
May the lessons with which I teach be derived from your great love.
Amen.

(Prayer Derived from St. Augustine, On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed, no. 15)

Saint Augustine Prayer for Students Who Are Offended

Dear Lord,
I have attempted to express the truth and the facts,
but in doing so I have offended my students.
If possible help me to set right these students by the use of the abundance of authorities and reasons.
Yet if I fail, help me take comfort in your example, in which you too were met with oppositions and misunderstanding.
Come into my heart and inspire me with charity;
Speak by us as we are able,
And help us to seek not our own glory, but yours.

(Prayer Derived from St. Augustine, On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed, no. 16)

Saint Augustine Prayer for a Teacher’s Mistake

I have wandered off from the truth of the facts themselves.
Help me keep a calmness of mind so as not to rush into still greater error.
Help me to set right the errors with which my students have accepted.
Through your great charity, let me set right the students in my care.
Amen.

(Prayer Derived from St. Augustine, On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed, no. 16)

A Teacher’s Prayer for an Often Repeated Lesson

Lord,
I have taught this so many times that I no longer have any sense of pleasure in it.
Strengthen the bond of love between me and my students so that I can find enjoyment in their enjoyment of the lesson that I see as ordinary.
Renew my cheerfulness in the newness of their experience of a lesson I now see as frigid, which is warmed by the stimulus of extraordinary hearing.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

(Prayer Derived from St. Augustine, On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed, no. 17)

Saint Augustine Prayer for Teaching Seniors

Lord,
With gapes and yawns, these students no longer commend their lessons.
Help me to refresh their minds by saying something seasoned with honest cheerfulness and adapted to what they know, find amazing, or find emotionally powerful.
Help me to banish from their minds any signs of weariness or anxiety that distracts them.
Renew in me a cheerfulness to teach,
And inspire me to teach teach with an unexpected and extraordinary strain, what they now see to be uninspiring.
Amen.

(Prayer Derived from St. Augustine, On the Catechizing of the Uninstructed, no. 19)

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About Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher and has worked in catechetical ministry for over ten years. He is the Digital Publishing Specialist at Ave Maria Press and the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator.

Comments

  1. Jared,

    Dude, these are awesome!!! My wife is homeschooling a classical cirriculum and these would be great to give her and also to teach our little ones. You are amazing!

    Dean

  2. Ada Mercurio says:

    These prayers are great.

    I have a prayer in Italian, that comes from St Augustine’s collection. It is called ‘Non piangere se mi vuoi bene’ translating (‘Don’t Cry if you Love Me’) I would like to have the prayer in English, is there one available?

    Kind regards Ada

    • Barbara says:

      Don´t cry if you love me
      If you knew the gift of God
      and what Heaven is.
      If you could hear the angels singing
      and see me among them…
      If, only for an instant, you could contemplate,
      just like me,
      the Beauty before which all beauties turn pale.
      Trust me.
      When the day, which god has stated and knows, arrives
      and your soul, which has been preceded by mine,
      enters this Heaven,
      That day you will see me again,
      you will feel that I still love you,
      that I have always loved you
      and you will find my heart
      with all its love purified.

      You will see me in transfiguration,
      in an ecstasy of happiness.
      No longer waiting for death,
      but walking with you
      and holding your hand along new paths of light and life.

      So, wipe your tears away
      and don´t cry, if you love me…

      Saint Augustine

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