precious-1199183_1920O Splendid Majesty,
Most noble Trinity, One God.

Dear Lord,
Let us face you,
And plead humility
To ask the daylight questions prompted by
The dusk.

How should we live in
This ample life
And not love luxury?
How can we not be ravished by possessions
which delight?

How do we consume,
Without inflated pride,
The cars, the food, the wine,
The pleasures of Caesar’s world.

How do we resist?
The charms which we experience,
Which gratify all of our wants
In substance and in atmosphere.

We know we must give something of ourselves
We must give something which we own:
Our furs, our jewels, our homes filled with devices
All beyond the hopes and dreams of ancient kings.

We are troubled,
Kneeling before your cross,
Unable to decide
How much of ourselves
Is here with you,
And how much is left behind
With some lovely
Treasured object.

O God, in honesty
We cannot deny
Our strong desire
To stay just as we are.

Deliver us by your great love,
From bringing to you
Innocent and glad
Our empty offerings. Amen.

* This prayer is modified version of a prayer title ‘Of Luxury’ published in Spilled Milk: Litanies for Living by Kay Smallzried, 1964.