Daily Prayer

A short piece for three voices inspired by Blessed John Henry Newman:

Click here for the sheet music; please let me know (via the About page) if you use it. And any feedback is much appreciated! Thanks.

The words are an adaptation of A Daily Prayer, a prayer by Blessed John Henry Newman.

Daily Prayer

May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest and peace at the last.


Music (C) James Walton 2017

If there’s any chance that God exists.

I am grateful for many things.

As a bare minimum, I am grateful for my existence. The chance of my existence seems extremely slim.

I am grateful for my children, for their wellbeing, for the fact that, right now, they are not in any sort of trouble, not ill, not struggling with their work too much, not desperate for attention, nor addicted to television. Sometimes when I contemplate the weight of gratitude I have for my children, I forget how to breathe.

I am grateful for my wife, a model of virtue, a delight to my my mind and my senses; God, I love that woman.

I am grateful for many things. But what can I do with this gratitude? At least three things.

  1. Honour my ancestors.
  2. Honour my descendents.
  3. Honour the Creator.

I used to struggle with the existence of God. I don’t anymore. Many of the people who were supposed to be responsible for my religious education and spiritual nourishment didn’t seem to take it very seriously, but that’s another story. Thankfully, things change. And besides…

If there’s any chance, any whatsoever, any small, minuscule smidgeon of a possibility that a Creator exists, then justice, and at least good manners, dictates that my gratitude belongs to Him. I must give God due worship. I mean, what’s lost in a quick prayer before meals and a trip to church once a week? What am I going to do instead? Oh, well, you know, just in case God doesn’t exist, I’m going to make the most of my extra hour a week by watching Netflix and playing online chess. Come on. Really. What if He does exist? Seriously? What if?

My suggestion, in case you’re still reading: Whatever else you think about God, as a bare minimum, offer Him your gratitude. Say a prayer. Say thank you. Drive your Grandma to church. She’ll like the company.

Erbarme dich, mein Gott

Erbarme dich, mein Gott,
um meiner Zähren willen!
Schaue hier, Herz und Auge
weint vor dir bitterlich.
Erbarme dich, mein Gott.

Have mercy, my God,
For the sake of my tears!
See here, heart and eye
Weep bitterly before you.
Have mercy, my God.