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THOU HAST PREPARED THY HOLY TABLE IN THE SIGHT OF MY SPIRITUAL ENEMIES

THOU HAST PREPARED THY HOLY TABLE IN THE SIGHT OF MY SPIRITUAL ENEMIES

ACT OF HOPE BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION

Jesus, my Lord and my God, Whom I behold with eyes of faith in the Sacrament of the Altar, what may I not hope from thee! Thou art the Almighty who canst ever succour us; thou art our all-loving and merciful God Who wilt gladly help us, Whose delight is to dispense grace and blessing.

Thou knockest at the door of our hearts yearning to enter and lavish upon us the fulness of thy grace. What canst thou withhold, O my loving Redeemer, when thou givest me thyself with all that thou art and all that thou hast? Thou art my refuge, my hope, my salvation, my life, my beatitude!

Thou hast promised refreshment to all who are weary and heavy burdened; thou hast the words of eternal life, and thou wilt fulfil these words in me. Thou hast prepared this holy table against all that afflicts me, against all the enemies of my salvation; I hope, therefore, to be strengthened at thy table for the struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Thou hast given me this food as the pledge of immortality; through it I hope for eternal life. Bless, O Lord, all that hope in thee. Increase my hope and let it not be in vain.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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HOW CAN WE FOLLOW JESUS MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE?

HOW CAN WE FOLLOW JESUS MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE?

TO FOLLOW JESUS IS MEANS TO IMITATE HIM

In order to be able the better to imitate Jesus Christ, we must look upon Him continually: He is the model, of whom the artisan, who wishes to fashion his soul to His likeness, must not lose sight.

We must meditate on His example, for in this pious meditation the soul will find the necessary sustenance, and the only true nourishment for its piety.

We must remove all obstacles which hinder this imitation, such as:

Sins,

Bad habits,

Evil inclinations.

We must employ the sacraments, and, finally, take courage afresh each day and advance joyfully.

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2017 in Words of Wisdom

 

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EVENING PRAYERS (CHRISTIAN – CATHOLIC)

EVENING PRAYERS (CHRISTIAN – CATHOLIC)

+ 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.

 

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I FIRMLY BELIEVE WITH MY HEART AND CONFESS WITH MY LIPS…

I FIRMLY BELIEVE WITH MY HEART AND CONFESS WITH MY LIPS…

PRAYERS BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION

ACT OF FAITH

I firmly believe with my heart and confess with my lips that thou, my loving Jesus, equal to the Father in power and majesty, art really and truly present in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and, with thy Divinity and thy Humanity, abidest for me in this sanctuary.

Thou who didst weep as an infant in the crib, Who wast offered a Victim for me on the Cross. Who sittest as my intercessor at the right hand of the Father, Who wilt come as my Judge in the clouds of heaven – dwellest a hidden God in the narrow limits of the tabernacle and concealest under the humble form of bread.

Thy Flesh and thy Blood, thy Body and thy Soul, thy Divinity and thy glorified Humanity, thy splendour and thy boundless Majesty, I believe this on the authority of thy word as firmly as if I saw it with my eyes. Animated by this faith, I cast myself before thee, and adore thee as my Creator, my Redeemer, my greatest Good. In this faith will I live and die; quicken and increase this virtue in me.

 

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LENTEN CHALLENGE: MAKING ALL ONE’S CONVERSATIONS HOLY

LENTEN CHALLENGE: MAKING ALL ONE’S CONVERSATIONS HOLY

“ANY TIME WE CATCH OURSELVES AGREEING TO SOMETHING WHICH IS CONTRARY TO OUR CONVICTIONS, WE ARE NOT TALKING CHRIST’S LANGUAGE”

HOW TO HAVE CHRISTIAN CONVERSATION

“‘If anyone speaks, let it be as with words of God.’ In this admonition St Peter in his first Epistle sets us a standard, although a perfectly logical one. If we are Christians, Peter is saying, then we ought to talk like Christians. The words that we speak should be words that would not be out of place on the lips of Christ Himself.

NOT CONFINED TO RELIGIOUS TOPICS

This does not mean that all our conversation should be confined to religious topics. The Gospels record for us a very small percentage of our Lord’s conversations. It is only His words of major importance and of universal application that are related by the Evangelists.

JESUS IS FULLY HUMAN

However, Jesus is fully human, and we can be sure that He took part in ordinary, every day human conversation. With His disciples and other friends He undoubtedly discussed local politics, the weather and the happenings around Him – the comic, tragic or just plain interesting incidents which make up an ordinary day.

THE THREE NOTABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHRISTLIKE CONVERSATION

No, we do not have to be perpetually preaching in order to speak ‘with words of God.’ Even in the most casual chat there is a Christlike way of speaking. There are three notable qualities which characterise such conversation. These qualities are charity, humility and sincerity.

WHAT NOT TO MAKE TOPICS OF CONVERSATION

CHARITY bars from our conversation all that might give unnecessary pain to another. Sarcasm, ridicule, fault-finding, angry or resentful remarks – none of these, surely, would reflect Christ to our listeners. Equally foreign to the lips of Christ would be every type of unkind gossip, every type of tale-bearing, slander or detraction.

ONE-UPMANSHIP AND OTHER CONVERSATION HABITS

Perhaps a little less obvious than the need for charity is the need for HUMILITY in our conversation. There is no one (God excepted, let us hope) whom we love more than ourselves. Consequently it is a real struggle to keep self to a minimum in our talk.

Most of us are too sophisticated to indulge in outright bragging. Just listen to us, though, as we manage to mention (so very offhandedly!) some small triumph of ours or a compliment someone has paid us or an honour that has been accorded us.

Then there is the matter of one-upmanship, as it is called. This consists of topping the other person’s experiences. If someone mentions having had a serious operation, we describe our own much more serious one. If another person speaks of his trip to Mexico, we tell about our trip to Europe. If the speaker recalls an unusual bridge hand he held last night, we can remember a still more freakish hand which we held a week ago.

THE VERY TRICKIEST PART

SINCERITY is the third quality which characterises the conversation of a Christian. Insincerity is a much more difficult defect to spot in ourselves than is either uncharitableness or self-centredness. The reason is that usually we are not trying deliberately to deceive other persons. We first of all deceive ourselves and others only incidentally.

INCIDENTAL DECEPTIONS

All too often in conversation we say what we think we ought to say and try to convince ourselves that we really mean it. We stifle the small voice inside us which whispers, ‘You’re talking hogwash and you know it. You don’t really believe what you’re saying.’

AGREEING FOR POLITENESS’ SAKE

Sincerity does not demand that we stud our conversation with disagreeable truths or opposing opinions which may give offence without accomplishing any proportionate good. Sometimes it is more Christian to be silent. However, any time we catch ourselves saying or agreeing to something which is contrary to our own convictions, we are compromising our integrity. And we are not talking Christ’s language.

ARE WE UP TO THE CHALLENGE?

We may be tempted to feel that Christlike conversation is beyond us. There is too much to guard against. We simply cannot be that alert all the time.

True, we probably never will achieve absolute perfection. Nevertheless, with a little effort we certainly can speak ‘with words of God’ much more consistently than we do. We shall find it a challenging experience to try to go through just one day (for a starter) with our conversation keyed to the question, ‘What would Jesus probably say under these circumstances?’

It may tend to curtail our conversation somewhat. But no matter. Most of us talk too much anyway.”
– Fr Leo J. Trese

 

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TO BE PRAYED DURING LENT: THE SEVEN PENITENTIAL PSALMS

TO BE PRAYED DURING LENT: THE SEVEN PENITENTIAL PSALMS

TO BE PRAYED DURING LENT: THE SEVEN PENITENTIAL PSALMS

Begin by making the Sign of the Cross, saying, “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen”, in order to honour and invoke the all-powerful Holy Trinity and also to recall our Saviour Jesus Christ’s loving sacrifice on the Cross which He did for us all to be saved.

Before each psalm you pray this antiphon: “Remember not, O Lord, our or our parents’ offences: neither take vengeance of our sins.” After the last of the seven psalms, pray: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.” Finish your prayer with the Sign of the Cross as in the beginning, to thank the Holy Trinity and to thank our Lord Jesus for His suffering on the Cross for love of us, our ancestors and all mankind.

PSALM 6:

O Lord, in your anger do not reprove; nor punish me in your fury. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have no strength left. O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in torment. My soul also is greatly troubled. How long, O Lord, how long? How long will you be? Come back to me, O Lord, save my life; rescue me for the sake of your love. For no one remembers you in the grave; who will praise you in the world of the dead?

I am weary with moaning; I weep every night, drenching my bed with tears. My eyes have grown dim from troubles; I have weakened because of my foes. Away from me, you evildoers, for the Lord has heard my plaintive voice. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will grant all that I pray for. Let my enemies fall back in shame, all of a sudden – the whole bunch of them!

PSALM 32:

Blessed is the one whose sin is forgiven, whose iniquity is wiped away. Blessed are those in whom the Lord sees no guilt and in whose spirit is found no deceit. When I kept my sin secret, my body wasted away, I was moaning all day long. Your hand day and night lay heavy upon me; draining my strength, parching my heart as in the heat of a summer drought. Then I made known to you my sin and uncovered before you my fault, saying to myself, “To the Lord I will now confess my wrong.” And you, you forgave my sin, you removed my guilt.

So let the faithful ones pray to you in time of distress; the overflowing waters will not reach them. You are my refuge; you protect me from distress and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will teach you, I will show you the way to follow. I will watch over you and give you counsel. Do not be like the horse or the mule – senseless and led by bit and bridle. Many woes befall the wicked, but the Lord’s mercy enfolds those who trust in him. Rejoice in the Lord, and be glad, you who are upright; sing and shout for joy, you who are clean of heart.

PSALM 38:

O Lord, rebuke me not in your rage, punish me not in your fury. Your arrows have struck me; your hand has come down heavily upon me. Your anger has spared no part of my body, my sin gives no peace to my bones. For my transgressions overwhelm me; they weigh me down like an unbearable load. My wounds stink and fester within me, the outcome of my sinful folly. Stooped and bowed down, I go about mourning all day. My loins burn, my flesh is diseased, my body, worn out and utterly crushed; I groan in pain and anguish of heart. All my longing, O Lord, is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds as my strength ebbs; even the light has deserted my eyes. My friends avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbours stay far off. Those who seek my life lay snares for me; those who wish to hurt me speak of my ruin and plot against me all day long.

But like a deaf-mute, I neither hear nor open my mouth. I am like one whose ears hear not and whose mouth has no answer. For I put my trust in you, O Lord; you will answer for me, Lord God. I will pray, “Don’t let them gloat over me, nor take advantage of my helplessness when my foot slips. For I am about to fall, my pain is ever with me. I confess my transgression, I repent of my sin. Many are my foes; many are those who hate me for no reason, those who pay me evil for good and harass me because I seek good. Forsake me not, O Lord, stay not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord, my saviour!

PSALM 51:

Have mercy on me, O God, in your love. In your gret compassion blot out my sin. Wash me thoroughly of my guilt; cleanse me of evil. For I acknowledge my wrongdoings and have my sins ever in mind. Against you alone have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done. You are right when you pass sentence and blameless in your judgment. For I have been guilt-ridden from birth, a sinner from my mother’s womb. I know you desire truth in my heart, teach me wisdom in my inmost being. Cleanse me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me, I shall be whiter than snow. Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Turn your face away from my sins and blot out all my offences. Create in me, O God, a pure heart; give me a new and steadfast spirit.

Do not cast me out of your presence nor take your holy spirit from me. Give me again the joy of your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will show wrongdoers your ways and sinners will return to you. Deliver me, O God, from the guilt of blood, and of your justice I shall sing aloud. O Lord, open my lips, and I will declare your praise. You take no pleasure in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, you would not delight in it. O God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart you will not despise. Shower Zion with your favour: rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in fitting sacrifices, in burnt offerings and bulls offered on your altar.

PSALM 102:

O Lord, hear my prayer; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in trouble. Turn your ear to me; make haste to answer me when I call. For my days are passing away like smoke, my bones burning like a furnace. Like withered grass, my heart is blighted, and I forget to eat my bread. Because of my great grief I am reduced to skin and bones. I am like an owl in the wilderness, like a vulture among the ruins. I awake moaning like a lonely bird on the housetop. All day long I am taunted by my enemies; they use my name as a curse. The bread I eat is ashes, my drink is mingled with tears, for your wrath, your fury; for you have thrown me aside. My days are vanishing like shadows at night; I wither away like grass. But you, O Lord, you sit forever; your name endures through all generations.

Arise, have mercy on Zion; this is the time to show her your mercy. For your servants cherish her stones, and are moved to pity by her dust. O Lord, the nations will revere your name, and the kings of the earth your glory, when the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in all his splendour. For he will answer the prayer of the needy and will not despise their plea. Let this be written for future ages, “the Lord will be praised by a people he will form.” From his holy height in heaven, the Lord has looked on the earth to hear the groaning of the prisoners, and free those condemned to death. Then the name of the Lord will be cleared in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem, when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship him. My walk has exhausted me, he has cut short my days. I cry to him, “My God, do not take my life in mid-course, you whose days are from age to age.” In the beginning you laid the earth’s foundation, the heavens are the work of your hands. Although they perish, you will remain; they will wear out like a garment, you change them like clothes: they pass away, but you remain the same, your years unending. Your servants’ children will dwell secure; their posterity will endure without fail.

PSALM 130:

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears pay attention to the voice of my supplication. If you should mark our evil, O Lord, who could stand? But with you is forgiveness, and for that you are revered. I waited for the Lord, my soul waits, and I put my hope in his word. My soul expects the Lord more than watchmen the dawn. O Israel, hope in the Lord, for with him is unfailing love and with him full deliverance. He will deliver Israel from all its sins.

PSALM 143:

O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; answer me, you who are righteous and faithful. Do not bring your servant to judgment, for no mortal is just in your sight. The enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, sending me to darkness with those long dead. And so my spirit fails me, my heart is full of fear. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on what you have done and consider the work of your hand. I stretch out my hands to you, and thirst for you like a parched land.

O Lord, answer me quickly: my spirit is faint with yearning. Do not hide your face from me; save me from going down to the pit. Let the dawn bring me word of your love, for in you alone I put my trust. Show me the way I should walk, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for to you I flee for refuge. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your Spirit lead me on a safe path. Preserve me, O Lord, for your name’s sake; free me from distress, in your justice. You who are merciful, crush my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

 

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AT THE HOUR OF DEATH YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF SURROUNDED BY EVIL SPIRITS

AT THE HOUR OF DEATH YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF SURROUNDED BY EVIL SPIRITS

Jesus Christ said, ‘I will come as a thief, unseen and in secret.

Jesus Christ said, ‘I will come as a thief, unseen and in secret.’ Your merciful Saviour warns you in season, for He desires that you may be saved. Do what God desires of you, profit by the warning, prepare yourself to die well before death itself comes. ‘Be ready,’ for when there is no more time for preparation, it is necessary to be already prepared. (Examine here your besetting sins.)

It is certain that you must die. The drama of this world must close for you, and you know not when. Who knows whether you will live a year, a month, or even till to-morrow? Jesus! enlighten me and pardon me. (Arouse your soul to contrition, and make a firm resolution.)

Consider how you will lie, at the hour of death, stretched upon a bed, surrounded by your weeping friends, a priest by your side to assist your soul; a crucifix at your head, the lighted taper at your feet; in fine, already just at the entrance of eternity. Dreadful pains afflict your distracted head, it grows dark around you, your tongue is parched, your breath is short, your breast is burdened, your blood chilled, your flesh shrunken, your heart rent with anguish, all you have is gliding from you, and, poor and naked, you will be thrown into a grave to rot. There worms and insects will gnaw your flesh, and nothing of you will be left but the crumbling bones and a little dust. Open some grave and look! what has become of that rich, that avaricious man, that vain and worldly woman?

Thus ends this earthly pilgrimage

Thus ends life. At the hour of death you will find yourself surrounded by evil spirits, who will bring up before you all the sins you have committed from your childhood. Now the devil conceals and excuses your sins, that he may lead you into sin; he says to you, This vanity, this pleasure, this dangerous company, this inclination is no great sin; you have no bad intention in this acquaintance; but at the hour of death he will show you all the enormity of your sins. (Examine yourself thoroughly as to your besetting sin.) By the light of that eternity into which you are just entering, you will then see what an evil it was to have offended an infinite God. Now, while there is yet time, while you can do it, remedy the evil, for then it will be too late. (Awaken your contrition, and make a firm resolution.)

Consider that death is a moment upon which a whole eternity depends. Behold! here lies a man just dying, and therefore near to both eternities: near an eternity of happiness, or an eternity of misery. See, his fate for eternity depends upon his last breath, after which his soul will be forever happy or forever lost.

The moment on which eternity depends

Oh, the end of life! the last breath! that last moment, on which eternity depends – an eternity of glory or of pain – of happiness or of misery; of joy, or of despair; an eternity of every good, or an eternity of every evil; an eternity in heaven, or an eternity in hell! For, if in that last moment you are saved, you will have nothing more to suffer, you will be forever happy and blessed; but if you die in sin, and are damned, you will be wretched, and in despair, so long as God is God. In death, you will see what mean those words, heaven, hell, sin, an offended God, contempt of the divine Law, sins hidden in confession, good of others not restored. ‘O, miserable being that I am,’ the dying man will exclaim, ‘I must now, in a few moments, appear in the presence of God! Who knows what judgment will meet me there? Whither am I going, to heaven or to hell? Shall I rejoice forever with the angels, or shall I burn eternally with the damned? Shall I be a child of God, or a slave of the devil? Alas! soon, too soon, I shall know, and where I find myself the first moment, there shall I remain through eternity.

Ah! what will become of me in a few hours, in a few moments? What will become of me when I can no longer repair that scandal? when I cannot restore those ill-gotten goods? when I cannot pardon my enemies from my heart? when I cannot any longer make good that confession?’ (Examine yourself as to your principal sin.) Then will you curse a thousand times that day in which you sinned; you will curse that pleasure, that revenge which you have taken, but too late, and without avail, because you will do it then only from the fear of punishment, and not from love of God! Ah! Lord, behold – now, at this very moment, I turn to thee; I will not wait for death; now, and always, I will love thee; I embrace thee, and in thy embrace will I die! My Mother, Mary, let me die under thy protecting mantle; help me in my death! Amen. (Awaken your contrition, and make a firm resolution.)

– St Alphonsus

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Words of Wisdom

 

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