Here’s another of my favorite prayers – this one from St. Thomas Aquinas. A great philosopher and university professor of the 13th century, he had an unusual philosophical method – when stumped he would sometimes go over to the church and pray for awhile before the altar.

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, amen.

[The prior installment in this series-of-two is a prayer from Harry Truman.]