There is a song in the musical Godspell that I just love. Chances are, you know it and love it too. It’s called “Day-by-Day.”
So simple, so profound, so wonderful.
O dear God,
Three things I pray,
To see thee more clearly,
To love you more dearly,
To follow thee more nearly,
Day by day.
While it sounds like Biblical language, this prayer-in-three-parts isn’t in the Bible. I’ve done a little bit of research and found that it was inspired by the prayer of Saint Richard of Chichester who wrote it this way:
May I know you more clearly;
Love you more dearly;
And follow you more nearly.
April 3, officially, is the feast of Saint Richard.
While I don’t know much about the traditional ways in which Saint Richard is celebrated, I do think a fitting tribute to him would be for each of us to pray some version of his prayer.
(Really, you can do so regardless of your individual conceptualization of the divine. The prayer works if you use the word God as a placeholder for your highest notions of ethics or if you believe in an active, external deity.)
We can all benefit from “seeing” or “knowing” God more clearly; from loving God more dearly; and “following” God more nearly.
A happy Saint Richard’s Day to all of us.