Robert Morneau is Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, the author of several books, a spiritual director, and a popular speaker. He notes at the outset the important role this prayer from Markings by Dag Hammarskjold (1905 - 1961) has been to him:
Give me a pure heart that I may see Thee,
a humble heart that I may hear Thee,
a heart of love that I may serve Thee,
a heart of faith that I may abide in Thee.
To purity, humility, love, and faith, Morneau adds seven more qualities which he sees as providing holiness in our lives courage, joy, praise, gratitude, kindness, hospitality and hope. He divides the eleven chapters into seven-day segments and provides reflections and actions for each quality. The result is a fine mix of personal comments, poetry, and thought-piece quotations. What we liked best is his emphasis on spiritual practices. Here is a sampler of some of them:
• "Light a candle and spend fifteen minutes gazing into its flame. Ask God to enlighten you to understand what it is that you are seeking and why."
• "Ask God to anoint every word and action with the oil of grace. Try to experience everything, every word and deed, in the light of God's presence."
• "Pause for fifteen to thirty seconds before writing a letter, making a phone call, opening a door for an encounter, and ask that what is said or done might take on the quality of pure, transparent honesty."
• "Call someone today or send a note telling that person how beautiful he or she is."
• "Take time to assess the degree of joy you put into this day's tasks."
• "Reflect on your own history. At what times in your life has hope opened your soul to fresh possibilities? Name two people who have been agents of hope to you."