I love getting cards from my wife. Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, those “just because” days – she has this knack for finding that one card that puts into words exactly what her heart wants to say, exactly what I needed to hear.

Confession: When we first married I used to get a little frustrated that she didn’t buy blank cards and write something original. In fact, after receiving a beautiful card from her I was foolish enough to tell her that I’d rather have a blank card in which she wrote from her heart all she was feeling at the time. Beth – in her gracious and usual patience with me – explained that the cards she chose often said what was in her heart even better than she could say it herself.

Like I mentioned in the first paragraph, now I LOVE the cards she chooses to give to me. I receive them in the spirit she gives them; after pouring over dozens of cards, she chooses that one special card that voices her heart. It is a pre-printed card, but it is one that I can trust to be an accurate echo of her feelings.

In recent months I have begun praying the ancient prayers of various saints who lived centuries before me. Their recorded prayers are not only beautiful, I’ve found that they often put into words exactly what is taking place in my own heart at the moment. In fact, they express their love and praise to God in ways that I could never have penned or voiced on my own.

This morning was, again, one such prayer that I read from “Common Prayer – A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.” This is attributed to St. Patrick, a young man who devoted his life to establishing churches and monasteries for 30 years of his adult life. I encourage you to slowly read this “card” to God – a pre-printed prayer that just may resonate and put into words exactly what is on your heart.

Christ be with me,
Christ be before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

One more thing about the cards I receive from Beth: she also signs each one, adding a personal note. In addition to the card that eloquently speaks her heart, her signature and personal comment, well, they warm my heart and buckle my knees.

Read the “printed prayer” above – or go in search of an ancient prayer that best voices the tenor of your heart. Offer it to God.

And then add your own, unique signature.