...but not yet.

Domine, da mihi sanctitiam, sed noli modo.
Lord, grant me holiness, but not yet.

In his Confessions, St. Augustine prayed, "da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo;" in English, "give me chastity and continence, but not yet."  (Confessions 8.7.17). He's recounting his adolescent understanding that he was on the wrong path, and knew that he needed God's help to do what he knew was right... but, not right now: later.

Do you hear yourself making that kind of prayer often? I know I do! It can be pretty easy to recognize that we aren't necessarily getting everything quite right, but asking God for the help we need to make better choices? That tends to be more difficult.

Lord, grant me holiness, but not yet. Every day--goodness, many times a day--we have a choice: am I going to add those last three words to my prayer? Or will I ask for the grace to do what He wants me to, right now, today? In this moment full of muddy kids and laundry baskets, sticky fingerprints and piles of schoolbooks, Lord, help me to say yes, now instead of not yet.

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