The “poor man’s prayer” of Alphonse Desjardins

A prayer for the work of the caisse populaire and other similar works:

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I beg of You the special grace of Your divine light.

If I am making a mistake, enlighten me, and inspire in my a strong aversion, a great dislike for the idea that I would pursue and which is the aim of my work.

May I repel it with a sort of scorn, if it is Your good pleasure and make it disappear from my mind. If I should never think about it again from this moment I would be a thousand times happy.

Remove from my heart all false vanity, all impractical desire, all chimeras and foolish dreams.

If You wish that I persevere in this way, oh my God, fill my weakness with your strength; clear away the obstacles or give me the means to surmount them.

In this case as in the other give me the most perfect resignation to your holy will.

May your purpose be mine, may your desires be as commands to me.

Deign, oh Jesus, to direct, to inspire my activities toward whatsoever be the end of your eternal purposes; bring it about that I may find perfect harmony with your will in the hearts of those who follow me, but especially in the heart of my wife, the beloved companion of my life.

That she should always be my consolation and my help, whether you inspire me to the complete abandonment of these projects or to the thought of accomplishing them. Amen.

—Alphonse Desjardins, quoted in George Boyle, The Poor Man’s Prayer: The Story of Credit Union Beginnings (Harper & Brothers, 1951), pp. 203-204