Famille Corpet Fr. - Corpet family En. French version

The Icon Painter's Prayer, before Starting Work

Lord, help me to use the time you offer me to work, without wasting time.

Teach me to learn from previous mistakes, without falling into the scruple which corrodes. Teach me to conceive the plan with serenity, to imagine the work without being sad if it turns out differently. Teach how me to link haste and slowness, serenity and enthusiasm, zeal and peace.

Help me at the beginning of the work, where I am the weakest. Help me in the heart of the work to hold tight the wire of the attention. And in particular, plug yourself the gaps of my work: Lord, insert a grace of You to speak to others in every work of my hands, and let my defects speak to me.

Keep me in the hope of perfection, without which I would lose my heart. Keep me in the humility of perfection, without what I would lose myself in pride. Purify my sight, because when I make mistakes, I am not sure it is bad, and when I do well, I am not sure it is well done.

Lord, never let me forget that any knowledge is useless, except where work is, and that any work is empty, except where love is, and that any love is hollow which does not bind me to myself and with the others and You: Lord, teach me to pray with my hands, my arms and all my abilities.

Remind me that the work of my hands belongs to you and that its my duty to return it to you while giving it; that if I do my work for profit, I will rot in autumn like a forgotten fruit; that if I make it to please the others, I will fade at the evening like the flower of grass; but if I do it for the love of the good, I will remain in the good; and the time to work well and to your glory is right now:
Amen.

I made a translation of this prayer from French. July 2005, it was kindly improved by Jonathan Hayward, who found it by random, and who mailed me "L'anglais etait bien fait, suffisament bien que je ne me suis pas rendu compte que c'etait traduit a l'anglais (au moins pas a faute des fautes de traduction), mais j'ai trouve quelques petites choses a ameliorer". Thank you Jonathan!

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