Here are a few lines from the great ‘Pastoral Prayer’ of St Aelred. They may be prayed for any you know in authority, especially in the Church: ‘Thou knowest my heart, Lord; Thou knowest my will is that whatever Thou hast given Thy servant should be devoted wholly to their service, and spent for them in its entirety; and I myself, moreover, would be freely spent for them. … Teach me, therefore, sweet Lord, how to restrain the restless, comfort the discouraged, and support the weak. Teach me to suit myself to everyone according to his nature, character, and disposition, according to his power of understanding, or his lack of it, as time and place require, in each case, as Thou wouldst have me do. And, since the weakness of my flesh — or it may be my lack of courage and my heart’s corruption — prevent my edifying them by labours of watching and fasting, I beg Thy bounteous mercy that they may be edified by my humility and charity, my patience and my pity. May my words and teaching build them up, and may they always be assisted by my prayers’.

May St Aelred pray for all who bear the burden of authority in the Church, and may God bless you in all you undertake for Him this day.