Tag Archives: how to pray



+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

[50 days Indulgence; 100 days if made with holy water.]

Place yourself in the presence of God, and humbly adore Him.

Blessed be the holy and undivided Trinity, now and forever. Amen.

I adore thee, O my Saviour Jesus Christ, and I give thee thanks for having, by thy sufferings and Death upon the Cross, redeemed the world. O thou, Who didst suffer so much for love of me, grant me mercy!

O my God, I adore thee with the most profound respect, and I love thee with all my heart, because thou hast created me, and done unto me all manner of good, and because thou art in thyself infinitely good and infinitely amiable. I adore and love thy infinite perfections, and beg of thee the grace to participate in them.

I am thine, O my God! because thou hast made me what I am. Grant that I may be wholly thine, and that having nothing in view but to love thee, I may do nothing that would be capable, not only of separating me eternally from thee, but of depriving me, even for the least moment, of thy holy love.

I cheerfully accept all the pain and misery which thou wouldst have me suffer in this life, because such is thy good pleasure, and because this cheerful acceptance will procure for me an eternal happiness; and as I would fain please thee in all my conduct, grant, O my God, that I may love all thou lovest, and hate all that displeases thee. It is thy desire, O good Jesus, that I love thee. Since, then, to merit thy holy love, it is necessary to lead a life conformable to that which thou didst lead while here on earth, grant me grace to enter into the practices of thy holy life, and to imitate thee in thy sufferings, so that I may be always inseparably united to thee.

Thank God for His graces and benefits

I thank thee, O my God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, for all the graces and blessings which thou hast been pleased to bestow upon me; for having given me life, for having preserved it till now; for having made me a Christian, and delivered me from my sins; and for all the special graces which, in thy bounty, thou hast this day conferred upon me.

Beg of God the graces we shall need during this night

I beg of thee, O my God, the continuation of thy bounties and thy graces to me, and above all that of dying happily; that is, to die in loving thee. I will then endeavour to prepare myself that I may not die unprovidedly, should it be thy will to take me this night out of this world; and as I know that sin infinitely displeases thee, and that I am filled therewith, I will endeavour from this moment to be cleansed therefrom, and offend thee no more. Give me, then, O my God, the light necessary to know my sins, and a true contrition that I may hate and never more commit them.

[Here examine your conscience.]

Beg pardon of God.

O my God, I most humbly beg pardon for all the sins which I have committed against thy Divine Majesty; my heart is overwhelmed with sorrow for them, and the cause of my sorrow is the consideration of thy goodness, the horror thou hast for my faults, the punishment which they deserve, and the state in which I am of not being able to perform adequate penance for them. Ah! my God, how have I been so wretched as to relapse so often into sin, after having always promised thee to change my life! I am covered with confusion at appearing before thee after so many relapses and infidelities; and were I not firmly convinced of the infinite greatness of thy mercy, I would hardly dare to hope for pardon for them.

I present myself then before thee, attracted by thy goodness, and wholly covered with the Precious Blood of Jesus, my Saviour, beseeching thee to acknowledge me as His servant, and to preserve me in thy holy grace. I assure thee that, notwithstanding all my evil inclinations and the disorderly affections of my heart, it is my desire to be wholly thine, to offend thee no more, and to make all the satisfaction I possibly can for my sins!

Beg of God to keep us this night in His holy love.

Preserve me, O my God while I wake, watch over me when I sleep, so that, having watched with Jesus Christ, I may repose in peace with thee!

Preserve me, O my God! from all sin during this night; enlighten my darkness by thy Divine Light, and in thy goodness keep me from all the snares which the devil, my enemy, might lay for me.

O my God! who hast prepared invisible treasures for those who love thee, diffuse through my heart the fire of thy holy love, so that loving thee in all things and above all things, I may obtain what thou hast promised me, which surpasses all that I could desire. This is what I ask of thee through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Abandon yourself entirely to God, and offer Him the repose you are about to take.

O my God, I offer myself wholly to thee, do with me what thou pleasest; my life is in thy power. If thou wilt take it from me, I offer it to thee; if thou leavest it with me I am satisfied: I abandon myself entirely to thy holy will.

I offer thee, O my God, the sleep I am going to take in honour of thy eternal rest, and in union with that which Jesus my Saviour took while on earth. Permit not, I beseech thee, that I should take this repose through a movement of pleasure or sensuality; but grant that it be in submission to thy holy will, and only through necessity, so that, having regained new strength, I may serve thee to-morrow with more fervour. I bless thee, O my God! for having put this interruption to my malice, which is so great while I am awake. I accept this repose as the image of thy peace, the re-establishment of my strength, the cessation of my sins, the warning of my death, and the figure of that repose which is enjoyed in heaven.

Pater (Our Father), Ave (Hail Mary), Credo (Apostles’ Creed), Hail Holy Queen, Prayer to St Joseph.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,



God is in charge.

No one can do you harm if God does not will it; and if He wills it for something good, be calm and patient; weep if your heart aches, but continue to love and wait; the trial will pass away, but God will remain with you always.

If you but knew what it is to pray.

If you but knew what it is to pray. If God would but grant you the grace to love prayer. How calm would be your soul and how loving your heart! What a sweet and peaceful joy would shine in your countenance, even amid tears!

“Behold, I am here. You have called me.”

To pray is, by a cry which, escaping from the lips of the heart, to make known to God that we wish to speak to Him; God is always so good that He is always disposed to listen to us, and – we dare scarcely say it – to answer with the punctual exactness of a faithful servant this first cry of prayer. He manifests Himself to the soul with an ineffable love, saying: Behold, I am here. You have called me; what do you wish for?

Consulting with God.

To pray is to remain during the time of prayer in the company of God, as if visiting Him, feeling certain that we never weary Him, no matter what the subject is of which we speak, or the requests which we make, even though we might say nothing to Him, but, after the example of the good peasant mentioned by the holy curate of Ars, are simply contented to consult with God, and be advised by Him.

The key of all heavenly treasures.

To pray is to hold in our hand the key of all heavenly treasures; it is to penetrate into the centre of joy, strength, mercy, and Divine Goodness; it is to saturate our entire being with that joy, that mercy, that goodness, and to bear them away with us, as the sponge plunged in the streams at once becomes filled with the water which surrounds it.

– From: Golden Grains, M. H. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 7, 2016 in Words of Wisdom


Tags: , , ,


That comfort is to be found in prayer is such an outstanding fact, as proved by the lives of the saints and by those of ordinary good Catholics, that it might seem a pious platitude to state it. That it gives the chief clue to the heroic lives that have been lived by men and women in every period of Christian history, no one who has studied those lives can fail to see. It is the only explanation to be found of those even of less heroic mould, who in spite of many faults and shortcomings show fortitude and perseverance in clinging to God amid the grievous trials that beset them.

“I cannot pray”

Alas, there are many who, because they have neglected prayer when their lives were bathed in temporary sunshine and everything from a worldly point of view was going well with them, find it difficult to turn to God when the sun has gone in and they are plunged in temporary darkness, darkness that holds trouble and suffering.

They may come wrongly to think that they cannot pray. But though because of their past neglect prayer may not at first be easy, their difficulty very soon can be overcome by getting a right conception of what prayer is. Prayer, as the Catechism reminds us, is the raising up of the mind and heart to God. It is to look up to Him not only as the Great Spirit, the Omnipotent Creator and Ruler of all things, but no less as the infinitely tender and loving Father who has ever the best interest of His children at heart and is most anxious to help them even though they have forgotten Him and neglected all His claims upon their obedience and service.

Raising up your mind and heart to God

It is this conception of God as our Father, and of ourselves as His children, that tells us of the right spirit in which we ought to pray. It is the spirit that especially inspired that saint of our own days, St Therese of Lisieux, who has brought so many souls closer to God by reminding them of Christ’s words: “Unless ye become like little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” She in her autobiography (a book that has been read with such profit in every part of the Catholic world) has removed many misconceptions that even good Catholics have held in regard to prayer.

Unless ye become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven

The Saint has made it plain that to pray well it is not necessary to follow any particular method… She was content with a simple perusal of the Scriptures and with readings from the Imitation of Christ, which fitted in with a conception of herself as a little child, speaking and appealing to her loving Father in heaven.

She would have admitted at once that well-known methods of prayer, approved by the Church, such as the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, are of unquestionable help and value in the formation of virtue and in the attainment of perfection, but she realised that a more simple approach to God was of more benefit in her own case. This simplicity of prayer is one which is suited to many souls who would find in the strict following of a formal method a difficulty or even a positive hindrance…

Simplicity of prayer 

Very often when people say “I can’t pray,” it no doubt only means that they are not disposed to overcome a lazy habit and they make no real attempt to raise their minds and hearts to God.

To overcome this lethargy and to rid themselves of an inordinate love of the things of this world, God in His mercy will sometimes permit some misfortune, such as a serious sickness, to befall them, which rouses their fears and makes them instinctively turn for Him for help. Such an experience may happily have the permanent effect of creating in them a fixed habit of prayer.

As an example of what simple prayer means, it is enough, then, to look up to God and see in Him the supremely good Father having – but in an infinitely greater degree – all those most attractive qualities which the best of earthly fathers possess; and, then, remembering you are His child, you can pour out as a child, in simple words, all that your heart prompts you to say, confident that He will listen and help you.

You may have been guilty of many and grave sins, but once you realise your wrong-doing and the goodness of Him you have offended, you will run to Him, even as little children run to a good father, and tell Him of your sorrow, certain that He in His infinite mercy will forgive you. The mere acknowledgement of your sins in straightforward unequivocal language, with no excuse or concealment, is in itself a prayer, and the act of hope that follows gives greatly added value to it.

How to effectively open the communication-channels with God with one single, spontaneous, lengthy prayer 

One who has led a life of prolonged sin will find that only to enumerate his sins in the presence of Our Blessed Lord in the tabernacle will fill up no inconsiderable measure of time and become a source of real comfort, for gradually as he is doing this there will come to him a clearer perception of Him against whom he has sinned. He will get a deeper appreciation and understanding of the words of the angel in the Dream of Gerontius who says to the disembodied soul arrived at the throne of judgement:

What then – if such thy lot – thou seest thy Judge,

The sight of Him will kindle in thy heart

All tender, gracious, reverential thoughts.

Thou wilt be sick with love, and yearn for Him,

And feel as though thou couldn’t but pity Him,

That One so sweet should e’er have placed Himself

At disadvantage such, as to be used

So vilely by a being so vile as thee.

There is a pleading in His pensive eyes

Will pierce thee to the quick, and trouble thee

And thou wilt hate and loathe thyself.

It is not too far-fetched to say that the simple prayer of one of God’s sinful children can bring about an effect, as near as is possible on this earth, to that produced on one who finds himself in the presence of his Judge and Saviour.

It was the telling of his sins in his Confessions that brought to St Augustine a greater understanding of God’s infinite love and that elicited some of the deepest and loveliest words that ever a man wrote about his Creator. But it needs not the genius of an Augustine to pray in simple words out of which arise thoughts which, though unuttered and perhaps not fully understood, may yet be deeply felt and be the cause of the truest consolation and comfort. This the grace of God will most surely bring to those who go to Him as children and so make, as it were, a bridge that joins their littleness with His infinitude.

It is really easy to pray if we but look upon ourselves as God’s helpless little children (as indeed we are) and see in Him the Father of all goodness and love who gives ready ear to all our prattlings. How well did that great little Saint of Lisieux understand this! When we read her life we might at first think that much that she said and did was concerned with things seemingly trifling, but it was her simple prayer that won her the courage and strength to meet every difficulty that arose; her simple prayer that increased ever daily her love for God and enabled her to refuse no sacrifice that His love demanded, so that as her sufferings became ever more intense – and how great they were! – she bore them with a heroic sweetness and patience that has gained her a high place among the canonised saints of the Church, as the numerous miracles wrought through her intercession surely testify.

Those people find it hard to pray who are under the wrong impression that God must be addressed as if He were a public meeting. Prayer books that are written in periodic English and couched in artificial language might not really be helpful for many of us. They are in striking contrast to the liturgical prayers of the Church which are so simple and direct, where adoration and praise of God and thanksgiving to Him are joined with petition. They should form the model of our own private prayers.

As a child will find delight in praising its father and will express gratitude to him for his kindness to it, so we, putting ourselves in a like attitude, will speak to God in the same simple way.

It is then that we will experience the real comfort of prayer and find in it solace and strength, however dark and menacing be the external world in which we are living and however great may be the difficulties with which we have to contend. Every saint and every fervent Catholic would be able to say, “experto crede” [“(formula) trusted by experts”], and would confirm all that has been said above.

– From: Lift Up Your Hearts, Christopher J. Wilmot, S.J., The Catholic Book Club, London, 1949





Tags: , , , , , , ,


The best method

“It consists in praying constantly; that is in recommending ourselves on all occasions to Jesus Christ, and in invoking the intercession of our Angel guardian, of our holy patrons, and above all of the Blessed Virgin; for all God’s graces pass through her hands.

Our whole welfare depends on prayer

Our whole welfare depends on prayer. Every day we should specially ask God for perseverance in grace. He who prays for perseverance obtains it; he who does not pray for it does not obtain it, and is lost for all eternity. We should also ask from Jesus Christ the grace of His divine love, as well as perfect conformity to His holy will. And to obtain these graces, we must rely above all on the merits of Jesus and the intercession of Mary.

These prayers should be said on rising in the morning

These prayers should be said on rising in the morning. We should return to them during the day, in our devotions, at Holy Communion, in visiting the Blessed Sacrament, and, finally, at our evening examination of conscience.

We should particularly ask God’s help in resisting temptations, above all temptations against chastity. We shall be unable to resist, unless we constantly invoke the holy names of Jesus and Mary. He who prays, triumphs; he who does not pray is overcome.

He who prays triumphs

Yes, O my Jesus, how many times I have fallen, because I neglected to call upon You! Doce nos orare. O teach me Yourself to pray, and to recommend myself to the maternal care of our Blessed Mother!”

– St Alphonsus


Tags: , , , , , ,


“Need we be astonished if Saint Augustine assures us frequently that the whole Christian life is only a long-continued direction of the heart towards that eternal justice for which we sigh here below. Our happiness lies in being always satiated with it. Now, this thirst is a prayer: desire, then, this justice unceasingly, and you will pray unceasingly.

Do not imagine that it is necessary to utter a long succession of words, and to put oneself to great trouble, in order to pray to God. To pray is to ask Him that His will may be done, to form some good wish, to raise our hearts to God, to sigh for the good things which He promises us, to grieve at the sight of our miseries and of the risk we run of offending Him and violating His law.

Now this prayer demands neither science, nor method, nor reasoning; it should not be a mental labour; all that is necessary is a moment of our time and a good impulse of the heart. One can pray without any definitive idea; a moment, a movement of the heart, is all that is needed, and even that moment may be employed in something else. God’s condescension towards our weakness is so great, that He permits us, in case of need, to share this moment between Him and His creatures.”

– Francois Fenelon


Leave a comment

Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Words of Wisdom


Tags: , , , ,