The Lord’s Prayer: Its Comprehensiveness.

The Lord’s Prayer: Its Comprehensiveness.

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: Its Comprehensiveness.

Your Father knoweth what is needful for you before you ask. . . . . Let your petitions be made known to God.—St. Matt. VI. . . . . PHIL. IV.

I. Prelude.

Let us once again call to mind the comprehensiveness of the sublime Prayer Jesus taught His disciples, when they asked Him to teach them how to pray.

II. Prelude.

O Jesus, through Whom we approach the Father, make, we beseech Thee, our prayers to be ever acceptable in His sight.

I. Point.

How much is contained in the Lord’s Prayer.

So short—so simple—and yet exhaustive! The Lord’s Prayer sums up all our needs both for soul and body.—We find that the three first petitions relate to the advancing of God’s glory, and the last four to the procuring of our salvation; and what more can we desire of Him? Its perfect realisation forms a compendium of Jesus’ Mission on earth; and of our own also, as the extension of His. If we are, as it were, putting the Lord’s Prayer into daily practice, we shall be able to say with our Divine Master at our life’s end: Father! I have glorified Thee on the earth—I have finished the work Thou gavest me to do. We appeal to God for His help to enable us to sanctify His holy Name—to promote the coming of His Kingdom—to do His Will most perfectly; all which was done by His Well-Beloved Son. . . . . Jesus declares Himself to be the Living Bread which came down from Heaven: on this supersubstantial Bread do we not daily feed, either by actual or spiritual Communion? God has given us His Son—how hath He not also with Him, given us all things! We act in union with our Lord when we practise charity in its highest form—loving to forgive. By prayer, by good example, by patient endurance of suffering, we lessen the power of evil in the world: as we ask to be delivered from it ourselves, God by our instrumentality, weakens and destroys the work of His enemies: He is giving the increase to our labours, and permitting us to be His coadjutors. . . . . If we make our examen sometimes on the different parts of the prayer, Jesus in His Wisdom has taught us, we shall be greatly helped to see in which points we are deficient with regard to our primary duties of serving God, and of working out our salvation.

II. Point.

How we acknowledge the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation of the Son of Mary, in our more ordinary prayers.

Our petitions may be sometimes selfish in their aim—we may find it difficult to shape them aright—they may be very imperfect in many ways—but if we use this perfect model of prayer, which as a most precious legacy our Divine Master has left us, at the very outset all idea of selfishness is expunged—one does not pray for one’s self alone.—We can never be wrong in letting our petitions be made known to God through the medium of this perfect prayer; and they surely please God who make frequent use of it: bringing their desires into accordance with its spirit. We shew our gratitude and confidence towards Jesus by the reverent and constant repetition of it; and also by adding those Heaven-dictated words, which have in all ages proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the earth, the joyous Mystery of His Incarnation. What more significant of our firm belief in this dogma than the renewal of the act of faith, and love, and adoration, inspired by the Holy Ghost, and taught us by the Angel Gabriel: Hail Mary! full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb—Jesus! . . . . conceived by the Holy Ghost, to Whom we also hereby pay our homage. What more complete acknowledgment of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, in union with that of the Incarnation, can exist, than that expressed by the linking together of the Paternoster and Ave Maria? Holy Church has united them indissolubly, and her faithful children love to have it so. We tum to the Immaculate Mother of Jesus—our Lord God—who interests herself in the obtaining of our petitions: in a true spirit of humility, impressed with a sense of our unworthiness, we should ask her to intercede for us; not only at the moment in which we now pray, but also at the hour of our death. Do we appreciate these perfect prayers, and rightly use them? They are a treasure involving responsibility, as every real treasure must infallibly do: upon this we do well to meditate, and examine ourselves.

Colloquy.

May I henceforth hold in higher reverence the “Our Father and Hail Mary!” O Jesus, help me to repeat Thy words of prayer with greater confidence and recollectedness. O Holy Ghost, Spouse of the Blessed Mother of our Lord! inspire me with a truer devotion towards the Mystery of the Incarnation, which should indeed be the constant theme of my acts of praise and adoration. Oh, that my life might be a perpetual prayer, each deed an act of loving gratitude. On Thy intercession do I rely, O Blessed Virgin Mary, now, and at the hour of my death.

Resolution.

To live nearer to God in the true spirit of prayer.

Thought for the Day.

The continual prayer of a just man availeth much.

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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