Tag Archives: Sign of the Cross

X. The Excellence of the Rosary in Regard to its Form – continued.

X. The Excellence of the Rosary in Regard to its Form – 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.

X. The Excellence of the Rosary in Regard to its Form – continued.

In saying the Rosary we combine vocal prayer with meditation upon the Sacred Mysteries. Where there is time for it a longer meditation is very beneficial and of great spiritual advantage. But if time is lacking, or when the Rosary is said in common with others, one should at least at every decade briefly put the mystery before the mind. Pondering upon the mysteries whilst saying the prayers is ordinarily requisite to gain the indulgences attached to the Rosary.

The Rosary in its union of vocal prayer and meditation is a perfect prayer. The parts of the Rosary so appropriately succeed one another as to form a beautiful chain of prayers. We begin the prayers of the Rosary with the sign of the Cross, with which the Church commences all her prayers. This sign reminds us of the Most Holy Trinity in whose Name we were baptized, and to whom we belong absolutely, through creation, redemption, and sanctification. By making the sign of the Cross we place ourselves vividly in the presence of God, to whom we are praying, and awaken within us acts of faith, reverence, love, and confidence. Through the sign of the Cross there are dedicated to God in prayer the thoughts of the mind, the words of our lips, and the sentiments and feelings of the heart. Most assuredly the devout signing ourselves with the Cross is an excellent introduction and preparation for prayer.

Then follows most appropriately the Apostle’s Creed. It declares more fully that which the sign of the Cross indicates. The twelve articles of the Creed contain that which we must firmly believe if we would be saved.

The Creed most properly opens the Rosary because it is the basis of our faith. The Joyful Rosary expounds the article of faith: “Conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.” The Sorrowful Rosary is a commemoration of the article: “Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.” The glorious is founded upon the article: “Rose again from the dead, ascended into Heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God.” Thus the entire Rosary is in truth a prayer of faith, and draws from the faith its force and efficacy.

After the Creed follows “Glory be to the Father,” which is repeated at every decade of the Rosary as it is also said in the ecclesiastical “hours” after every Psalm. To give glory to God is our chief duty, it must be our intention in all our words and works. To give glory to God must also be our principal intention in saying the Rosary. As we repeat this doxology at the end of each decade, we should again raise up our mind and heart to God with fresh sentiments of faith, love, and confidence. This preserves us from distraction and gives new zeal to our prayers.

After the first “Glory be to God” we say one Our Father and three Hail Marys for the increase of the three divine virtues. The three divine virtues are the foundation of the right disposition which we must have, in order truly and worthily to honor God. St. Augustine says: “God is to be glorified through faith, hope, and charity. They are the corner-stone of the Christian life.” And the Apostle says: “The just man liveth by faith” (Heb. x, 38), meaning that man lays the foundation for his justification through faith, receives the life of justification from faith, perseveres in this just life through faith, perfects this life through the light and the power of faith whence hope and charity proceed.

To promote this kind of life is the aim of the devotion of the Rosary. The more pious and virtuous we become, the more we glorify God and assure our temporal and eternal happiness.

These prayers are the introduction and preparation to the prayer of the Rosary, which combines meditation of the Mysteries with the recital of the Our Fathers and Hail Marys. The Rosary is a prayer indeed for the glory of God and for honoring and invoking Mary the Mother of God. The Mysteries of the Rosary contain that which God has done in order to glorify Himself and to redeem, sanctify, and save mankind. At the same time these mysteries from the lives of Jesus and Mary are fraught with touching examples for our own lives. In the devout contemplation of these mysteries, and in the application of the same to our own religious moral life, lie the gist of the prayers of the Rosary and the chief fruits which we should draw from this saving devotion.

Certain critics of the Rosary cannot understand why the Hail Mary is so frequently repeated. But in the repetition lies the strength of the prayer, for holy perseverance is expressed by this repetition. The psalmist in the one hundredth and thirty-fifth Psalm repeats twenty-six times the words: “For his mercy endureth forever.” And the heavenly hosts proclaim their “Thrice Holy” for ever and ever.

We are perfectly right, therefore, in declaring that the Rosary is a thoroughly practical prayer, corresponding exactly to the necessities and peculiarities of our minds and hearts.

We might challenge the world to name a more beautiful, a more excellent prayer. The Church therefore numbers the Rosary amongst her most efficacious prayers, and she has endowed it richly with indulgences to induce the faithful to say it frequently.

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.

_______________________________________________

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.

Copyright © 2013 – 2015. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.