VII. The Excellence of the Various Parts of the Rosary – The “Our Father” – continued.

VII. The Excellence of the Various Parts of the Rosary – The “Our Father” – continued.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

VII. The Excellence of the Various Parts of the Rosary – The “Our Father” – continued.

In our earthly pilgrimage to heaven we require divine assistance in order to live our corporal and spiritual life according to the divine Will. For this reason Christ instructs us to pray in the fourth petition: “Give us this day our daily bread.” That means: Give us, O God, what we stand in need of for body and soul that we may live according to Thy holy will.

We depend upon God in all things. He is our Creator and also our Preserver. We could not live a single moment without His aid. As we are composed of body and soul our wants are twofold, we have requirements for the body and others for the soul. We stand in need of food, shelter and clothing for body. All, rich and poor alike, must petition God for these, for each one stands in God’s hand. God can cast the rich man down like Job, and free the poor man from all want. The word bread includes all necessities of life. “Give me neither beggary nor riches: give me only the necessaries of life” (Prov. xxx, 8).

That we are told to pray for our daily bread should remind us that we must not be too solicitous for the morrow. He who gives unto us to-day will also provide for us to-morrow if we humbly ask Him. We say: Our bread, because it is our duty to earn it in an honorable manner by industry and labor. “He who toils not, shall not eat.” We say also our bread, and not my bread, because we wish the poor who can not help themselves to have it as well as we ourselves, and we must share it with them as much as our means allow.

As our body requires nourishment, so does our soul. The food of the soul is the word of God, and the Bread of Life that came down from heaven. We must partake of this Bread of the soul by hearing the word of God, by reading and meditation, and by receiving the Sacraments.

Thus has Jesus in the four first petitions taught and commanded us to ask for everything that is necessary for the attainment of our last end. In the three remaining petitions He instructs us to pray for protection against all things which are obstacles to the attainment of that end.

In these three petitions we ask that everything may be averted that would hinder us from attaining our true goal, our salvation and the glorification of God.

This obstacle, however, is sin and its evil consequences and these three petitions have reference to sin and its evil consequences. We, like all men, are sinners, and in our sins we can not worship God properly, nor can we attain our salvation if God does not show mercy to us. For this reason we humbly implore God in the fifth petition: “Forgive us our trespasses.” In these words we implore God to grant unto us and to our fellow men a sincerely contrite heart and to graciously forgive us our sins and the punishment due for them. As a condition of forgiveness, however, God exacts from us that we forgive those who have offended us, as fully as we desire that God forgive us. Therefore, we add: “As we forgive those who trespass against us.”

In the sixth petition we implore God that He would graciously preserve us from falling into sin. “Lead us not into temptation.” With these words we urge God that He should keep from us temptation to sin, or, if through temptation He desires to try us, that He grant us abundant graces to conquer it. Temptations do not come from God, but from our own nature, from Satan and from the world. God permits them in His wisdom to try our love for Him, to preserve us in humility, and to strengthen us, to animate our zeal for virtue and to increase our merits. God will assist us in temptation if we are exposed to it without any fault of ours.

Those, however, who court the danger will perish in it. They can not expect divine assistance who wilfully seek temptation and sin.

The seventh and last petition is “But deliver us from evil.” After asking God not to lead us into temptation we urge Him to preserve us from evil of soul and body. We confidently trust God to guide us according to His wisdom and mercy, and to deliver us from everything which is an obstacle to our salvation, even if in our own shortsightedness we may think it good and desirable.

We conclude the “Lord’s Prayer” with the little word “Amen,” which is equivalent to “So be it.” With this single word we confirm all our petitions. It means: “O God grant us these things for which we have just prayed.”

Truly this prayer, taught us by Our Lord, is of high dignity and importance. It is not alone a prayer, but a sermon as well. It is a prayer which comprises in itself all other prayers. It is a prayer of praise, of thanksgiving and supplication. It is, therefore, appropriate for all occasions. Are you discouraged and faint-hearted, go and say the “Our Father.” The thought that you have an all-merciful Father in heaven will lift you up, inspire you with confidence and comfort you. Do self-love and pride strive for the mastery within you, go and say, “Hallowed be Thy name.” Is anger and malice in your heart, say, “Forgive us our trespasses at we forgive those who trespass against us.” If impatience is your fault say, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” When beset by temptation invoke God: “Lead us not into temptation,” and in trial and adversity beseech God: “Deliver us from evil.”

O that this holy and sublime prayer would be properly understood and appreciated. What blessings it would produce everywhere. May then our contemplation contribute with the blessing of God toward our own love of this wonderful prayer and greater devotion in its recital.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.


Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

ANTIPHON.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

PRAYER TO S. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL.

Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

THE ANGEL GUARDIAN.
PRAYER
.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.
Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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