The Lord’s Prayer: Fourth Request.

St. Rose of Viterbo, ora pro nobis.

The Lord’s Prayer: Fourth Request.

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.

The Lord’s Prayer: Fourth Request.

Give us this day our daily bread—our supersubstantial bread.—St. Matt. VI.

I. Prelude.

Let us first adore the infinite goodness of Jesus, Who teaches us to ask of God all that is necessary both for body and soul

II. Prelude.

Give us grace to understand how blessed we are in having Thee, O God, for our Father; to Whose paternal goodness we may have recourse in all our temporal and spiritual wants.

I. Point.

We should ask God for all we need.

As there are in us two lives—the one of the body, the other of the soul—our Saviour by these words: Give us this day our daily bread, shews us that we should pray to our Heavenly Father to give us all that is necessary for the preservation of the one and the other. Our souls stand in need of spiritual food, so that they may increase in holiness; and have strength to proceed in the way of virtue. This nourishment is the Word of God, dispensed to us in pious exhortations, the reading of good books, meditation and prayer. The Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is, in particular, that Celestial Bread which we ask of God for the support and sanctification of our souls, for the assuring of the resurrection of our bodies, and the eternal life of both. Let us examine what our relish—what our desire is, for these different forms of daily—of supersubstantial bread? If we have a taste and longing for it, we may take this for a good sign. But if we, on the contrary, care little whether we receive spiritual food or no, it is because we are seeking to satisfy our hunger with that which is not bread, but husks of worldliness and vanity. O Jesus! give us to hunger after the Living Bread which came down from Heaven—even Thyself.

II. Point.

We are to pray not only for the soul, but also for the body.

The Heavenly Father forbids His children to be disquieted about the future; but He desires that they daily ask Him for the temporal things of which they have need for the preservation of life. By the Mouth of His Divine Son, He teaches us humbly to make known our wants: Give us this day our daily bread: not riches—not those things which render life pleasant—still less luxuries and superfluities, but that which is absolutely necessary for our subsistence, to meet our daily necessities, without any superabundance. Again we are only taught to ask for to-day: of to-morrow we are not sure—why then be troubled about it? It is on account of the weakness of our faith, that over-anxiety arises about what may be in the future: we forget too quickly that benefits already received are a pledge of others in store for us. How good God has been to us!—shall we not trust Him again? He says by His prophet: Can a woman forget her infant? and if she should forget, yet will I not forget Thee. Let us then praise Him for His goodness, have recourse to it with confidence; understanding at the same time that it is doing Him an injury to distrust His love and His paternal care. If sometimes He seem to refuse us some temporal favour that we ask, it is always an effect of His wisdom—to spare us an occasion of falling—to afford us opportunities of meriting a higher degree of glory—to teach us what to do in order to second the designs of His Providence. Penetrate our minds, O God, with the consoling truth, that Thou knowest our actual needs better than we know them ourselves; and can and will supply them. The Manna in the desert never failed His chosen people.

Colloquy.

O Lord! all expect of Thee that Thou give them food in season: When Thou givest to them they shall gather up: When Thou openest Thy Hand they shall all be filled with good. Yes! from Thee I expect to receive all things needful. I ask for nothing superfluous: give me only the necessaries of life—spiritual and temporal—so that I may be strengthened to serve Thee in body and soul. Most ardently do I desire, O Lord, to be fed continually at Thy Holy Table; to partake of the Celestial Manna which shall preserve me to life everlasting.

Resolution.

To ask for things spiritual with fervour and perseverance: for things temporal, with truthfulness and resignation.

Thought for the Day.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Prayer.

Our Father, and Hail Mary.

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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September Devotion: The Holy Cross

Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer

O Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.

An indulgence of 500 days (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957).


Prayer to Saint Joseph Calasanctius, Confessor.

Saint Joseph Calasanctius, protector of youth, great servant of Our Lord, who didst work such marvels in their behalf; thou who, having made thyself a mirror for them of burning charity, of unwearied patience, of deep humility, of angelic purity and of every other heroic virtue, by a holy example, by words full of the Spirit of God, didst inspire them to flee dangerous occasions, to hate sin, to detest vicious courses, and to love piety and devotion, and thus didst guide countless souls to Heaven; thou who didst obtain for them the visible benediction of the Child Jesus and His holy Mother, obtain the like for us, thy humble and devoted servants; obtain for us a lasting hatred for sin, victory in the midst of temptation, and help in time of danger, so that, by living in the perfect observance of the law of God, we may attain to eternal salvation. Amen.

An indulgence of 300 days.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this prayer is said with devotion every day for a month (Leo XIII, Audience, October 19, 1897; S. P. Ap., April 12, 1932 and June 12, 1949.).


A Mother’s Prayer to St. Augustine for her Children.

O God, Who enlightened St. Augustine by Thy grace, and inflamed him with Thy love in the midst of the darkness and miseries of a life of sin, have mercy likewise on my poor soul and upon those of my children and relatives! Pardon our ingratitude, our disobedience, our want of reverence, our indifference, finally, all the offenses of which we have ever been guilty against Thy Holy Name. We acknowledge that there is in this world no pain or punishment so severe as that which we deserve; therefore, full of dread of what is in store for us, we invoke the intercession of Thy holy servant Augustine, so inflamed with love of Thee!

O holy penitent Augustine, seraph of divine love, unspeakable miracle of Divine Mercy, obtain for us from God a true, perfect, and heartfelt sorrow for our sins, a devout and constant love of God, a love that triumphs over all difficulties, temptations, and tribulations, a wise and unremitting fervor in the observances of the divine Commandments and the fulfillment of our duties! Assist us especially in the training of our children. Behold to how many dangers their virtue and innocence are exposed in the world! See how numerous are the snares and deceits prepared for the ruin of their souls by the flesh, and through the words and example of evil and worldly-minded men! If they do not receive extraordinary help, how can they withstand such allurements? O great St. Augustine, take them under your protection! To our efforts in their behalf, join your intercession for them with God.

Exert all your influence and, with the compassion of your loving heart, intercede with the Most Holy Trinity for them. Permit not that our children, sanctified in the waters of Baptism, should through mortal sin be banished from the presence of God and suffer eternal punishment. Preserve them from the greatest of all evils here below, namely, that of denying the love of Jesus Christ, through affection to some creature or the fear of some misfortune. No, O great St. Augustine! Rather let them and us, their parents, die in the grace of God, than live to offend Him mortally! This favor we implore through your intercession, O holy son of a sainted mother, you who gladly receive and graciously hear the prayers of a mother! I confidently hope that you have already heard my petitions, and that you will obtain for me a favorable answer from God! Amen.


Prayer of Pope St. Pius X

O most sweet Jesus! Who didst come into the world to give to all souls the life of Thy grace, and Who, to preserve and foster it in them, hast willed to become the daily remedy of their infirmity and their food for each day, we humbly beseech Thee through Thy Sacred Heart, burning with love for us, to pour out Thy Divine Spirit upon all souls, in order that those who, unhappily, are in mortal sin may be converted to Thee and recover the life of grace which they have lost, and that those who by Thy help are already living in this Divine life, may, when it is possible for them, approach Thy Holy Table every day; so that daily receiving in Holy Communion the antidote of their daily venial sins, and daily nourishing in themselves the life of Thy grace, thus ever purifying their souls more and more, they may at last arrive at the possession of the life of eternal happiness. Amen.

Written by Pope St. Pius X and indulgenced on the 30th of May, 1905.


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