Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Pieta Novena

It has long been a custom in the Church to say this Lent Novena on 30 consecutive days. It is also recommended as well for all Fridays of the year.

Ever glorious and blessed Mary, Queen of Virgins, Mother of Mercy, through that sword of sorrow which pierced thy tender heart whilst thy only Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, suffered death and ignominy on the Cross; through that filial tenderness and pure love He hast for thee, while from His Cross He recommended thee to the care and protection of His beloved disciple, Saint John, take pity, I beseech thee, on my poverty and need; have compassion on my anxieties and cares; assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries. Thou art the Mother of Mercies, the only refuge of the needy and the orphan, of the desolate and afflicted.

Cast therefore an eye of pity on this sorrowful child of Eve, and hear my prayer; for since, in just punishment of my sins, I find myself surrounded by a multitude of evils, and oppressed with much anguish of spirit, where can I fly for more secure shelter, O loving Mother of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, than under the wings of thy maternal protection? Listen, therefore, I beseech thee, with an air of pity and compassion, to my humble and earnest request.

I ask it through the infinite mercy of thy dear Son: through that love and humility with which He embraced our human nature, when through thine own obedience to the Divine Will, thou didst consent to become His Mother, and Whom after nine months, you didst bring forth from thy chaste womb, to visit this world, and bless it with His presence. I ask it, through the anguish of mind of thy beloved Son, our dear Savior, on Mount Olivet, when He besought His Eternal Father, to remove from Him, if possible, the bitter chalice of His future passion. I ask it, through the three-fold repetition of His prayers in the Garden, from whence afterwards in sorrow thou didst accompany Him to the scene of His death and sufferings.

In ask it, through the laceration of His sinless flesh, caused by the cords and whips with which He was bound and scourged, when stripped of His seamless garments, for which His executioners afterwards cast lots. I ask it, through the scoffs and ignominies by which He was insulted; the false accusations and unjust sentence by which He was condemned to death, and which He bore with enduring patience. I ask it, through His bitter tears and bloody sweat; His silence and resignation; His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it, through the Blood which trickled from His royal and Sacred Head, when struck with the scepter of a reed, and pierced with His Crown of Thorns. I ask it, through the excruciating torments He suffered, when His hands and feet were fastened with nails to the tree of the Cross. I ask it, through His unbearable thirst, and bitter potion of vinegar and gall. I ask it, through His dereliction on the Cross, when He exclaimed: My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me? I ask it, through His Mercy extended to the good thief, and through His recommending His precious Soul and spirit into the hands of His Eternal Father, before He expired, saying: "It is finished." I ask it, through the Blood mixed with water, which issued from His Sacred Side when pierced with a lance from whence a flood of grace and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it, through His immaculate life, bitter passion and ignominious death on the Cross, at which even nature itself was thrown into convulsions by the bursting of rocks, rending of the veil of the temple, the earthquake and darkness, of the sun and the moon. I ask it, through His glorious victory over death, when He arose again to life on the Third day, and through the joy which His appearance for forty days, gaveth thee, His Blessed Mother, His Apostles, and the rest of His disciples; when in thy and their presence, He miraculously ascended into Heaven.

I ask it, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, infused into the hearts of His disciples; when He descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues, and by which they were inspired with zeal for the conversion of the world, when they went to preach the Gospel. I ask it, through the glorious appearance of thy Son, at the last day, when He shall come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire. I ask it, through the compassion He bore in this life, and the wonderful joy thou didst feel at thine Assumption into Heaven, where thou doth eternally contemplate His Divine perfection.

O glorious and ever Blessed Virgin, comfort the heart of thy suppliant, by obtaining for me . . .
Here mention or reflect on your request.

And as I believe that my Divine Savior honors thee as His beloved Mother, to whom He refuses nothing contrary to His honor, so let me soon experience thy powerful intercession. Wherefore, O most Blessed Virgin, beside my present petition, and whatever else I may stand in need of, obtain for me also of thy dear Son, our Lord and our God, a lively faith, firm hope, perfect charity, true contrition of heart and genuine tears of compunction, sincere confession, satisfaction and deliverance from sin, love of God and my neighbor, a correct attitude to the world, patience to suffer insults, even death itself, for love of thy Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Obtain likewise for me, O Holy Mother of God, perseverance in good works, the carrying out of my good resolutions, mortification of my self-will, a holy life, and, at my last moments, a strong and sincere repentance, with such presence of mind, as will enable me to receive the last Sacrament of the Church worthily, so as to die in God's friendship and favor.

Lastly, I beseech thee, for the Souls of my parents, brethren, relatives and benefactors, both living and dead, life everlasting, from the only giver of every good and perfect gift, the Lord God Almighty: to Whom be all power, now and forever. Amen.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Daily prayer for our Priests

Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for Priests

Remember, O most loving Heart of Jesus,
that they for whom I pray
are those for whom You prayed so earnestly
the night before Your death.
These are they to whom You look to continue
with You in Your sorrows when others forsake You,
who share Your griefs and have inherited your persecutions,
according to Your word:
That the servant is not greater than his Lord.

Remember, O Heart of Jesus,
that they are the objects of the world's hatred
and satan's deadliest snares.
Keep them then, O Jesus,
in the safe citadel of Your Sacred Heart
and there let them be sanctified in truth.
May they be one with You and one among themselves,
and grant that multitudes
may be brought through their word
to believe in You and love You.Amen.

The Necessity of an Ordered Prayer Life for Every Catholic Soul

In this treacherous world we live in, the enemy has but one mission and that is the damnation of souls. It seems, when we look around, that there is little hope. However, we need only look at the Crucifix to see that there is great hope for those who love and fear God. We need only to persevere in faith and to carry our Cross next to that of Christ. Our greatest weapon in this battle is prayer. We must never cease to pray, and we must continually place all of our hope and trust in God, that we may one day be united to Him for all eternity.

In this treacherous and Godless world we live in, we may well wonder how it is possible to maintain a prayer life and to seek to live in unity with Christ, while corruption and immorality run rampant in all corners. We see pictures and hear stories of long ago when priests were recognizable in their cassocks, nuns in full habit were aiding souls in hospitals and schools, confession lines were long and satisfied by the presence of good, holy priests thirsting to bring countless souls to God.

It seems now, though, that we are left alone to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. We can search far and wide for spiritual direction, yet scarcely find one priest or high up hierarchical  leaders who still holds the true Faith. Rather, the world is saturated with liberalism and modernism. The only thing that seems to be intolerable in this world is traditional Catholicism. It seems, also, that we are left to books and a sort of “do it yourself” program to developing a prayer life.

Our faith will be tried and tested over and over again, but we must always remember that Our Lord, Jesus Christ is always with us. The more we are able to empty ourselves of the world and its vanities and false securities, the more room we have leave in our souls to be occupied by this Divine Guest. We must equip ourselves, then, for combat. This we are able to do by prayer. As Our Lord bade Peter, James and John in the Garden of Gethsemane, we must watch and pray, lest we become prey to the enemy.

Though prayer can sometimes be difficult and extremely trying, truly nothing is simpler than prayer itself. God, who is all knowing, is well aware of the struggles a soul undergoes in striving towards union with Him. He knows the soul’s disposition, and He knows the frailty of human nature. He does not require that our prayer be perfect and that we never have distractions; rather, it is our will that He asks be turned over to Him, and this is where a true life of prayer begins. “The principal petition which we ought to make to God is that of union of our wills with His, and the final cause of prayer lies in desiring only God. Union with God consists in conforming our will to His.” (St. Francis de Sales)

St. Francis de Sales tells us that there are three things necessary to praying well: to be little by humility, to have great hope, and to be conformed to Jesus Christ crucified. First, in order to pray well, we must acknowledge that we are very poor, and we must humble ourselves greatly, becoming fully aware of our nothingness. David admonishes us that the lower we plunge ourselves into the contemplation of our nothingness, the more easily will our prayer rise up to heaven.( Psalm 130:1-2, Sirah 35:21)

Hope is also a necessary condition to praying well. Hope is pleasant, since it promises that we shall one day possess what we long for. It is also bitter, because we are not now enjoying what we love. It is necessary, then, that hope be placed upon charity, lest it become no longer hope but, rather, presumption. If we want our prayer to reach heaven, it must be founded upon love.

Finally, in order to pray well, we must conform ourselves to Christ crucified. While hanging from the Cross, our Savior offered His prayers to the Father for us. We must, then, remain at the foot of the Cross and never depart from there, so that we may be saturated with the Blood which flows from it. We should, at the very minimum, be bathed in this Blood at our first prayer in the morning, placing ourselves at the foot of the Cross and offering our every thought, word, and action to our crucified Savior. We must ask Him to aid us in keeping before our minds the awareness of His Passion, and that we carry our Cross each day next to Him, that we may be conformed to His likeness.

Prayer for the Preservation of Faith

Our Lord and Savior

O my Redeemer, will that terrible moment ever come, when but few Christians will be found animated with a spirit of faith? that moment when, provoked to indignation, Thou wilt remove from us thy protection? The vices, the evil habits of our children, have perhaps irrevocably moved thy justice this very day to vengeance!

O Thou who art the author and finisher of our faith, we conjure Thee, in the bitterness of our hearts, humbled and contrite, not to permit the beautiful light of faith to be extinguished in us.

Be mindful of thy mercies of old, cast a compassionate regard upon that vine which Thou hast planted with thy right hand, which was bedewed with the sweat of the Apostles, watered with the precious blood of thousands upon thousands of martyrs and the tears of so many generous penitents, and made fruitful by the prayers of so many confessors and innocent virgins.

O divine Mediator, have regard for those zealous souls who incessantly raise their hearts to Thee and pray for the maintenance of that most precious treasure, the true Faith. Suspend, O must just God, the decree of our reprobation, turn away thine eyes from our sins, and fix them on the adorable blood, shed upon the Cross as the price of salvation, and daily pleading for it, on our behalf, upon our altars.

Oh, preserve us in the true Catholic Roman Faith. Infirmities afflict us, annoyances wear us away, misfortunes oppress us: but preserve to us thy holy faith ; for, endowed with this precious gift, we shall willingly bear every sorrow, and nothing can affect our happiness. On the other hand, without this supreme treasure of the faith, our misfortunes will be unspeakable and immense.

O good Jesus, author of our faith, keep it pure; keep us safe within the bark of Peter, faithful and obedient to his successor, thy True Vicar here on earth, that so the unity of holy Church may be preserved, holiness fostered, the Holy See kept free and protected, and the universal Church extended, to the advantage of souls.

O Jesus, author of our faith, humble and convert the enemies of thy Church ; bestow on all Kings and Christian Princes, and on all the faithful, peace and true unity; strengthen and maintain all in thy holy service, to the end that we may live by Thee and die in Thee.
Ah! my Jesus, author of our faith, in Thee I would live, and in Thee would I die. Amen.

(Indulgence 300 days--Leo XIII.)

Let us always remember the Poor Souls

Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen

Prayer for the Conversion of Scandinavia

300 Days, once a day. (See Instructions.) 54 Leo XIII, April 18, 1885.

O good Jesus , prostrate at Thy feet, we humbly implore Thee, by thy most Sacred Wounds and by the Precious Blood which Thou didst shed for the salvation of the whole world, that Thou wouldst deign to cast a look of pity on the peoples of Scandinavia, seduced from the Faith for so many centuries, and plunged in the darkness of heresy, separated from thy Church, deprived of the participation of the adorable Sacrament of thy Body and Blood, and of the other sacraments instituted by Thee, as the refuge of souls in life and in death.

Remember, O Redeemer of the world, that for these souls too Thou didst suffer bitter death, with the loss of all thy blood. Bring back, O good Shepherd, these wandering sheep ofthine to the one fold and to the healthy pastures of thy Church, so that they may form with us one flock , tended by Thee, and by thy Vicar on earth, the supreme Pontiff, whom, in the person of the Apostle St Peter, Thou didst commission to feed thy sheep and thy lambs. Graciously hear, O good Jesus, the prayers which we offer Thee with the most lively trust in the love of thy Sacred Heart, and to thy most Holy Name be praise, glory, and honor, world without end. Amen.

The Raccolta ( Collection of Indulgenced Prayers and Good Works )


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