Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Universal Prayer

The following prayer is attributed to Pope Clement XI.  The prayer acts as an excellent guide for us as we strive to live a life centered around our Lord, working toward our heavenly goal.  Through this prayer we present ourselves to God and beg Him for His assistance to obtain an increase in virtue and to order our days in the manner He wills, keeping Him ever before our thoughts.  As St. Paul writes in Thessalonians, "Pray without ceasing."  St. Alphonsus de Liguori comments on this verse in How to Pray at All Times, writing,
"Now, you are not required to apply your mind so constantly to prayer as to forget your ordinary work and recreation.  'Praying always,' means that, without neglecting your  ordinary occupations, you treat God as you treat the friends who love you and whom you love.  God is ever near you, even within you... . 
Never, then, forget His sweet presence, as do the greater part of men.  Speak to Him as often as you can, for He does not grow weary of this nor disdain it, as do the lords of the earth.  If you love Him, you will not be at a loss what to say to Him.  Tell Him all that occurs to you about yourself and your affairs, as you would tell it to a dear friend.  Do not look upon Him as a haughty monarch who will converse only with the great and on great matters.  He, your God, is pleased to lower Himself to you, and to hear you communicate to Him your smallest and most ordinary concerns.  He loves you as much--He has as much care for you--as if He had no one else to think of but you.  He is as completely devoted to your interests as though the only end of His providence was to help you, of His almighty power to aid you, of His mercy and goodness to take pity on you, to do you good and to win by His kindness your confidence and love.  Manifest to Him, then, freely your whole state of mind and pray to Him to enlighten you that you may perfectly accomplish His holy will.  Let all your desires and aims be directed to learn His good pleasure and to do what is agreeable to His divine Heart...."  

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A Universal Prayer 
for all Things Necessary to Salvation

+  O my God, I believe in Thee; do Thou strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee; do Thou secure them. I love Thee; teach me to love Thee daily more and more. I am sorry that I have offended Thee; do Thou increase my sorrow.
+  I adore Thee as my first beginning; I aspire after Thee as my last end. I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor; I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector.
+  Vouchsafe, O my God! to conduct me by Thy wisdom, restrain me by Thy justice, to comfort me by Thy mercy, to defend me by Thy power.
+  To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings; that henceforward I may think of Thee, speak of Thee, refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint.
+  Lord, I desire that in all things Thy will may be done because it is Thy will, and in the manner that Thou willest.
+  I beg of Thee to enlighten my understanding, to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul.
+  Give me strength, O my God! to expiate my offenses, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, and to acquire the virtues proper for my state of life.
+  Fill my heart with tender affection for Thy goodness, hatred of my faults, love of my neighbor, and contempt of the world.
+  May Thy grace help me to be submissive to my superiors, condescending to my inferiors, faithful to my friends, and charitable to my enemies.
+  Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification, avarice by alms-deeds, anger by meekness, and tepidity by devotion.
+   O my God! make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in dangers, patient in affliction, and humble in prosperity.
+  Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers, temperate at my meals, diligent in my employments, and constant in my good resolutions.
+  Let my conscience be ever upright and pure, my exterior modest, my conversation edifying, and my comportment regular.
+  Assist me that I may continually labor to overcome nature, to correspond with Thy grace, to keep Thy commandments, and to work out my salvation.
+  Make me realize, O my God! the nothingness of this world, the greatness of Heaven, the shortness of time, and the length of eternity.
+  Grant that I may prepare for death; that I may fear Thy judgments, and in the end obtain Heaven; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
--composed by Pope Clement XI

God bless!

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