On the Prayer of Our Lord in the Garden.
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.
On the Prayer of Our Lord in the Garden.
Imagine that you behold your Saviour in prayer on the Mount of Olives. His sacred countenance wears the ashy hues of death, the cold sweat of agony bedews His brow, His hands are convulsively clasped together, His eyes are raised in earnest, painfully earnest entreaty to Heaven, and His pale lips move in fervent supplication. Meditate upon the prayer He utters.
1st. Consider that it is in the most complete abandonment that our Lord prays. It is night, dark night. Jesus is quite alone; His disciples are asleep, His loving Mother is not there, and His heavenly Father, the last refuge of the desolate Saviour, turns a deaf ear to His petition. Nay more, the divine nature of our Lord, which till then had been His unfailing support, now withdraws itself to such an extent that His human soul, thrown in upon itself, is immersed in an ocean of sorrow, anguish and dismay. Now in this state of supreme desolation, of complete dereliction He has recourse to prayer. Learn hence, my soul, what it behooves you to do in seasons, in hours of utter loneliness, of aridity; when you are in that condition of utmost misery when one is deserted by man and apparently forsaken by God. You must pray, continue to pray, even under such circumstances of difficulty as those of our Lord on Mount Olivet. A prayer of this nature is well pleasing to God, oftentimes more acceptable to His ear than a Te Deum of thanksgiving in your happier days. He listens with satisfaction if amid your direst distress and desolation you pray in the words of the Imitation: “Father, always to be honored, the hour is come that Thy servant should be outwardly oppressed. Lord, I am not worthy of Thy consolation and therefore justly dost Thou deal with me when Thou leavest me poor and wretched.” Be assured, my soul, that a prayer such as this is carried up on high by the angels of God in their golden censers.
2d. Consider that our Lord prays perseveringly and patiently. Already He has twice besought His heavenly Father, besought Him more fervently, more earnestly than any man upon earth ever did. Yet His Father does not listen to His petition. Jesus does not grow faint; He perseveres in His supplication, praying a third time; and when again His prayer is not heard, He does not murmur, He does not regret the prayers which have proved useless; no, He calmly and resignedly adds: “Not My will, but Thine be done.” (St. Luke xxii. 42.) What a useful lesson you may here learn from our Lord’s example. If He, God’s beloved Son, must ask three times for the fulfilment of His prayer, and does so without a trace of annoyance or impatience, why are you so despondent if your prayers are not immediately granted, why are you so wanting in patience and steadfastness? Can it be expected that God should hear you, a sinner, rather than His own only-be gotten Son? Wherefore pray more fervently, more perseveringly than heretofore, and you will soon have less reason to complain that your petitions are unheeded.
3d. Consider that our Lord’s prayer is not granted by His heavenly Father. O great and wondrous mystery! Never did a prayer so perfect, so powerful ascend to Heaven; never was it uttered by the lips of one dearer and more precious to the heart of the Most High, and that prayer is the very one God does not grant. What is the reason of this? Because otherwise you, sinner, would have been lost. How incomprehensible is the love of God! For the sake of a miserable sinner He will not hear the petition of His own Son; for the sake of a guilty criminal He turns a deaf ear to the pathetic entreaties of the most holy of the dwellers upon earth. With such a proof of charity before your eyes, can you any longer doubt that God, who for your sake would not grant our Lord’s prayer, has your greater good in view when He, as is sometimes the case, refuses to listen to your supplication? From this day forth cease to complain when this happens; nay, rather do more, imitate your dear Lord, and sometimes on Thursdays, for instance, when we recall the agony in the garden give up of your own free will the fulfilment of some desire which you have much at heart for the conversion of sinners or for the souls in purgatory.
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.
March Devotion: St. Joseph
Virtue to practice: Mortification
Litany of St. Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Splendour of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful Defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most pure, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most couragious, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of all who labor, pray for us.
Glory of family life, pray for us.
Preserver of virgins, pray for us.
Mainstay of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house,
R. And ruler of all His possessions.
Let us Pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph
(This prayer was said to be founded in the 50 A.D. In the 1500′s it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. According to oral tradition, whoever reads this prayer, hears it, or carries it, will not fall into the hands of the enemy, nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.)
O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me from thy Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O St. Joseph I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thy arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.
Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope St. Pius X
O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.
Good St. Joseph protect us, protect the holy Church.
O good and kind St. Joseph guide us in the way of perfection.
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