Good day or bad, the end of the day is a time for taking stock of the day's events: celebrating the best, trying to learn from the worst, surrendering them all to God and preparing for sleep. Keep a copy of Last Thing at Night by your bedside, and it will help you end each day with a brief moment of reflection, thanks and praise. The material is arranged in six week-long sections. Based on the Church's Night Prayer (Compline) and following the ancient monastic tradition, each day opens with a prayer, a psalm, a Gospel reading and a reading from a saint or spiritual writer, and ends with a moment of silence, the Nunc Dimittis, a concluding prayer, a blessing and the Salve Regina. Many of the readings are taken from the works of Carmelite saints and writers such as Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese of Lisieux and Edith Stein, and have been chosen to help us meditate on the darkness of the world and how the light of Christ comes to fill it and dwell within it.
Rima Devereaux is a writer, editor and translator, and also a secular Carmelite.