Showing posts with label Prayers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prayers. Show all posts

March 25, 2020

Prayer During This Pandemic



By Msgr. Bernard W. Bourgeois

Dear Heavenly Father:

We come before you today as a people of faith imploring your intercession. Our society, our schools, our churches, and much of our work has come to a standstill in light of an unseen enemy known as the coronavirus.

Dear Lord, to begin with and most importantly, we pray for those who contracted this hideous disease, most especially those who are physically most vulnerable; the aged, the sick, nursing home patients, and any with compromised immune systems. We offer up to you all those on the front lines of fighting this disease, most especially those in the medical profession, public health officers, scientists and government officials who are working day and night to find ways to beat this disease. Inspire them, O Lord, with minds filled with knowledge and hearts filled with love as they work to protect the rest of us.

We also pray for those who are supplying us with food, gas, medical supplies and oil for our homes. We thank you and we pray for those who work to protect us, namely, firefighters, police officers and ambulance attendants. And we pray for all those whose jobs make it necessary that they go into work and thus make themselves vulnerable to this disease.

Dear Lord, I now ask you to help the rest of us who are not on the front lines and are being asked to distance socially from one another. We are feeling restless, anxious, and a bit on edge, Lord. We are starting to find it hard to sit home and just wait this thing out. Wild news reports are filling the airwaves and it is hard for us to discern those that are real. Our children are getting antsy without school. We worry about supplies in stores, our jobs and livelihoods. 

Give us faith, give us courage and inspire us to do the right thing. Inspire us, O Lord to stay vigilant and strong through this. Inspire us to keep our distance from one another and thus keep our children, families and ourselves safe from this disease.

All this we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.

December 1, 2019

Prayer for the Advent Wreath Week Two of Advent

Advent

The lighting of the Advent candles symbolizes the hope that the coming Messiah represents in a world that very often seems dark, forbidding and hopeless. We do so because we are a people living in faith that our Divine Master will come again in glory at the end of time to dispense peace and justice. The joyous anticipation of the season of Advent is captured in the teachings of the prophets from the Old Testament: "Exult greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! Behold: your king is coming to you, a just savior is he…" (Zechariah 9:9)

Advent Wreath Prayer - Second Week

By Msgr. Bernard Bourgeois

Dear Heavenly Father:  in this second week of Advent, I feel a bit overwhelmed as I learn to set priorities in my life. At the base of your mountain, I realize I cannot climb it with too much baggage. I see you at the top of the mountain, ready to usher me into the holy city. Draw me up that mountain, Lord, for there I will find fulfillment and peace. As I light these two candles, help me, Lord, to cast aside that which is not of you, that baggage that holds me back from fully embracing you. Help me to make prayer the center of my life. I am preparing my heart, O Lord, for you to enter it once again, to give me life and hope, for you are the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.
________________________________________

Collect Prayer Second Sunday of Advent

Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heaven wisdom gain us due admittance to his company. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, and with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

***

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people. He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us. He is the Savior of all. May He come quickly and not delay. We ask this in His holy name. Amen.

November 1, 2019

All Souls' Day 2019 | The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

All Souls' Day

"The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace." — Wisdom 3:1-3

"On this day [November 2nd] is observed the commemoration of the faithful departed, in which our common and pious Mother the Church, immediately after having endeavored to celebrate by worthy praise all her children who already rejoice in heaven, strives to aid by her powerful intercession with Christ, her Lord and Spouse, all those who still groan in purgatory, so that they may join as soon as possible the inhabitants of the heavenly city." (Roman Martyrology)

Monsignor Bernard Bourgeois explains this commemoration: "Eternity with God is the life to which each disciple of Christ aspires. The Second Eucharistic Prayer at Mass asks the Lord to 'welcome them [the faithful departed] into the light of [his] face.' We believe that God welcomes his children to his home, into his very presence. To behold the face of God is the 'stuff' of eternal life. If one can see another’s face, the two people are close together. The same can be said for this image of eternal life. If the departed person has been welcomed into God’s presence, then that person will be close enough to God to behold the light of his face. And that’s eternal life — to behold the face of God for all of eternity."

The Holy Souls in Purgatory

"Purgatory is much more like heaven than hell, for the souls detained there are not in Satan's clutches, but ready for God's loving embrace. They have their pains, but they also have their joys. They have their pains, because they cannot see God, though they are so close to Him. Their knowledge that their sentence is terminating builds up the desire for heaven to such a pitch that the pain of privation is most intense. But there is a mixed feeling. They also have their joy. St. Catherine of Genoa wrote: 'Apart from the happiness of the saints in heaven, I think there is no joy comparable to that of the souls in purgatory.' Their state is such that it is more correct to call them holy souls than poor souls..." [Source]

Collect Prayer for All Souls' Day

Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord, and, as our faith in your Son, raised from the dead, is deepened, so may our due hope of resurrection for your departed servants also find new strength. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

February 16, 2018

Novena to Saint Michael the Archangel for Protection

St. Michael Archangel (statue)

Saint Michael the Archangel is known for protecting against evil, for persevering in the Faith and for spiritual healing. Although his feast day is September 29th, as with every novena, you may pray it any time of the year. The Novena to St. Michael for Protection will begin February 20th, during the second week of Lent.

As the "Prince of the Heavenly Host", St. Michael the Archangel is second only to the Mother of God in leading the angels. His name in Hebrew means "Who is like God?". It was Michael who commanded heaven's forces in casting down Lucifer and the fallen angels into hell. In 1886, after receiving a prophetic vision of the evil to be visited upon the world in the 20th century, Pope Leo XIII instituted a prayer invoking St. Michael's protection. Scripture mentions him four times (in Daniel 10:13-21 and 12:1, in Jude 1:9 and in the Book of Revelation 12:7-9).

The Church recognizes four distinct offices of St. Michael; 1.) to oppose Satan, the "father of lies". 2.) to defend the souls of the faithful against the power of Satan, especially at the hour of death. 3.) to champion God's people, 4.) to accompany souls to their particular judgment, bring them to purgatory, and present them to God following their purgation before entering heaven.

St. Michael the Archangel, we honor you as a powerful protector of the Church and guardian of our souls. Inspire us with your humility, courage and strength that we may reject sin completely and perfect our love for our Heavenly Father.

In your strength and humility, slay all the evil and pride in our hearts so that nothing will keep us from God, and doing his will, to persevere in love. Amen.

Click for more about this novena and to receive daily email reminders.

Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Latin

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen.

February 14, 2018

Plenary Indulgence Available Fridays During Lent

Christ crucified

A plenary indulgence may be obtained on each Friday of Lent by the faithful, who after worthily receiving Communion, piously recite the following prayer before an image of Christ crucified – provided the conditions for a plenary indulgence are met. A plenary indulgence remits all temporal punishment due to personal sins.

Prayer Before a Crucifix/Prayer to Christ Crucified.

Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul, pray and beseech thee that thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, with true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment; while with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate thy five wounds, having before my eyes the words which David the prophet put on thy lips concerning thee: “My hands and my feet they have pierced, they have numbered all my bones" (Ps 21, 17-18). Amen.

In Latin:

En ego, o bone et dulcissime Jesu, ante conspectum tuum genibus me provolvo, ac maximo animi ardore te oro atque obtestor, ut meum in cor vividos fidei, spei et caritatis sensus, atque veram peccatorum meorum paenitentiam, eaque emendandi firmissimam voluntatem velis imprimere; dum magno animi affectu et dolore tua quinque vulnera mecum ipse considero, ac mente contemplor, illud prae oculis habens, quod iam in ore ponebat tuo David Propheta de te, o bone Iesu: "Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos; dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea." Amen. (Grant 8 § 1, 2º in the Manual of Indulgences.)

Requirements for Obtaining Plenary Indulgence on Fridays during Lent:

◗ Recite the prayer to Christ crucified in front of a crucifix on a Friday  during Lent (after receiving Communion).
◗ Say one "Our Father" and the "Apostles Creed".
◗ Say one "Our Father" and one "Hail Mary" for the Holy Father’s  intentions (the intentions  designated by the Holy Father each month).
◗ Make a sacramental confession within 20 days.
◗ For a plenary indulgence, be free from all attachment to sin, even  venial sin (or the indulgence is partial, not plenary).

On any other day, a partial indulgence is granted if the faithful recite the prayer to Christ crucified before a crucifix after receiving Communion.

Lenten Prayer for Holiness

May this Lenten season strengthen you to love God completely and to grow ever more holy. May your humanity be more fully united with Christ’s own humanity, so that, at the end of time, you may claim the inheritance won for you through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Lamb of God, your supreme sacrifice saved mankind. Help us be your disciples.

January 30, 2018

St. John Bosco’s Prayer to Our Lady Help of Christians


Throughout his life, Saint John Bosco had a great devotion to Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady Help of Christians. Together with the Order he founded (the Salesians) Don Bosco introduced others, particularly the young, the poor and the ignorant, to God.

Prayer to Our Lady Help of Christians

By St. John Bosco

Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, how sweet it is to come to your feet imploring your perpetual help. If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children, how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me? Grant then to me, I implore you, your perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations. I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering. Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners. Grant through your intercessions many vocations to the religious life.

Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians, that having invoked you on earth we may love and eternally thank you in heaven. Amen.

January 21, 2018

Biblical Reflections and Prayers for the 2018 Octave of Christian Unity


The theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is "Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power." (Exodus 15:6). The octave of prayer for the promotion of Christian unity takes its impetus from Exodus 15:1-21, the words of Moses.

Day One  

You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt 

The Israelites’ memory of being strangers in the land of Egypt lay behind the Law’s instruction that God’s people were to welcome the stranger in their midst. The memory of their own exile was expected to prompt empathy and solidarity with contemporary exiles and strangers. Like Israel, our common Christian experience of God’s saving action goes together with remembering both alienation and estrangement - in the sense of estrangement from God and from his kingdom. This kind of Christian remembering has ethical implications. God has restored our dignity in Christ, and made us citizens of his kingdom, not because of anything we did to deserve it but by his own free gift in love. We are called to do likewise, freely and motivated by love. Christian love is to love like the Father, that is to recognize dignity and to give dignity, and thereby to help bring healing to the broken human family.

Day Two 

No longer as a slave but a beloved brother 

One of the first things we learn about God in the Hebrew and Christian Bible is that God created humankind in his own image. However, this profound and beautiful truth has often been obscured or denied throughout human history. For instance, in the Roman Empire, the dignity of those enslaved was denied. The Gospel message is entirely different to this. Jesus challenged the social norms that devalued the human dignity of Samaritans, describing the Samaritan as the ‘neighbour’ of the man who had been attacked on the road to Jericho – a neighbour to be loved, according to the Law. And Paul, made bold in Christ, describes the once-enslaved Onesimus as ‘a beloved brother’, transgressing the norms of his society and affirming Onesimus’s humanity.

Day Three 

Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit 

The book of Exodus demonstrates God’s concern for people in human bondage. God’s revelation to Moses at the burning bush was a powerful declaration of his will to free his people. God observed their misery, heard their cry and so came to deliver them. God still hears the cry of those who are subject to enslavement today, and wills to deliver them. While sexuality is a gift of God for human relationships and the expression of intimacy, the misuse of this gift through pornography enslaves and devalues both those caught up in producing it and those who consume it. God is not impervious to their plight and Christians are called to be similarly concerned.

Day Four 

Hope and Healing 

The kingdom which God promised, the kingdom which Jesus proclaimed and made manifest in his ministry, is a kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. What does this Good News mean for those trapped in the darkness of violence? In the prophet’s vision, light shone on those who lived in a land of deep darkness. But how can Christians bring the light of Jesus to those living in the darkness of domestic and gang violence? What sense of hope can Christians offer? It is a sad reality that division among Christians is a counter-sign, which hampers the communication of hope.

Day Five 

Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land!

We can imagine the noise of the crowd as Jesus enters Jericho. Many voices shout down the cry of the blind beggar. He is a distraction and an embarrassment. But through all this tumult Jesus hears the blind man’s voice, just as God always hears the cries of the poor in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Lord who upholds the falling not only hears, he responds. Thereby, the beggar’s life is radically transformed.

Day Six 

Let us look to the interests of others

The witness of the Scriptures is consistent that God always makes a preferential option for the poor: the right hand of God acts for the powerless against the powerful. Similarly, Jesus consistently warns against the dangers of greed. Despite these warnings, however, the sin of greed often infects our Christian communities and introduces a logic of competition: one community competing against the next. We need to remember that insofar as we fail to differentiate ourselves from the world, but conform to its divisive competing spirit, we fail to offer ‘a refuge for the needy in distress, a shelter from the storm’.

Day Seven 

Building family in household and church

Families are of central importance for the protection and nurture of children. The Bible accounts of the infancies of both Moses and Jesus, who were in mortal danger from the moment they were born because of the murderous orders of angry rulers, illustrate how vulnerable children can be to external forces. These stories also show how action can be taken to protect such little ones. Matthew presents us with a model of fatherhood that is in loving fidelity to the Lord’s command, especially in turbulent times.

Day Eight 

He will gather the dispersed… from the four corners of the earth

Throughout the biblical narrative of salvation history, an unmistakable motif is the unrelenting determination of the Lord to form a people whom he could call his own. The formation of such a people—united in a sacred covenant with God—is integral to the Lord’s plan of salvation and to the glorification and hallowing of God’s Name.

January 15, 2018

2018 Saint Peregrine Novena Starts January 16th

St. Peregrine

Saint Peregrine is the patron saint of cancer patients. He was known for his holiness and for a miraculous healing he received. Peregrine was scheduled to have his leg amputated due to a cancerous growth. The night before the surgery, while praying for healing, he received a vision of Christ coming down from the cross to touch his leg. The following morning, he was completely healed. Cancer patients and those suffering from terminal diseases seek his intercession.

Dear holy servant of God, St. Peregrine, we pray today for healing.

Intercede for us! God healed you of cancer and others were healed by your prayers. Please pray for the physical healing of…

(Mention your intentions)

These intentions bring us to our knees seeking your intercession for healing.

We are humbled by our physical limitations and ailments. We are so weak and so powerless. We are completely dependent upon God. And so, we ask that you pray for us…

We know, St. Peregrine, that you are a powerful intercessor because your life was completely given to God. We know that in as much as you pray for our healing, you are praying even more for our salvation.

A life of holiness like yours is more important that a life free of suffering and disease. Pray for our healing, but pray even more that we might come as close to Our Lord as you are.

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. Amen.

Click for information on this novena as well as daily email reminders.

December 29, 2017

Plenary Indulgence Available New Year's Day

Holy Spirit

A plenary indulgence may be gained by reciting or singing the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus on the first day of the year. This hymn calls on the Holy Spirit's guidance, protection and blessing before endeavoring any new venture. In addition to its place in the Pentecost liturgy, the Veni Creator Spiritus is devoutly recited as the opening prayer for Church councils and synods. [Listen to it in Gregorian chant.]

Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on New Year's Day:

◗ Recite or sing the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus on the first day of the year.
◗ Say one "Our Father" and one "Hail Mary" for the Pope's intentions.
◗ Worthily receive Holy Communion [ideally on the same  day].
◗ Make a sacramental confession within 20 days of New Year's Day.
◗ For a plenary indulgence, be free from all attachment to sin, even  venial sin [or the indulgence is partial, not plenary].

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator Blest

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.

Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.

****

Veni, Creator Spiritus

Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.

Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.

Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.

Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.

Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula. Amen.

Sources: Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs by Francis X. Weiser, S.J., Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1958 and the Enchiridion of Indulgences by the 1968 Decree of the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary.

December 26, 2017

Three Prayers to Saint John the Apostle

Saint John the Apostle

Prayer to Saint John the Beloved Disciple

O Glorious Apostle, who, on account of your virginal purity, was most beloved by Jesus as to deserve to lay your head upon His divine breast, and to be left, in His place, as son to His most holy Mother; I beg you to inflame within me a true and ardent love towards Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me from our Lord that I, too, with a heart purified from earthly affections, may be made worthy to be ever united to Jesus as a faithful disciple, and to Mary as a devoted son, both here on earth and eternally in heaven. Amen. St. John, the beloved disciple of our Lord, pray for us.

Hymn of Praise to St. John the Evangelist

An exile for the faith
Of thy Incarnate Lord,
Beyond the stars, beyond all space,
Thy soul imprisoned soared:
There saw in glory Him
Who liveth, and was dead;
There Judah's Lion, and the Lamb
That for our ransom bled.

There of the Kingdom learnt
The mysteries sublime;
How, sown in martyrs' blood, the faith
Should spread from clime to clime.
The Holy City, bathed
In her dear Spouse's light,
Pure seat of bliss, thy spirit saw,
And gloried in the sight.

Now to the Lamb's clear fount,
To drink of life their fill,
Thou callest all; O Lord, in me
This blessed thirst instil.
To Jesus, Virgin-born,
Praise with the Father be;
Praise to the Spirit Paraclete,
Through all eternity. Amen.

Collect Prayer for the Feast of St. John the Apostle

O God, who through the blessed Apostle John have unlocked for us the secrets of your Word, grant, we pray, that we may grasp with proper understanding what he has so marvelously brought to our ears. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

December 24, 2017

Christmas 2017 | The Nativity Of Our Lord


For when peaceful stillness encompassed everything 
and the night in its swift course was half spent, 
Your all-powerful Word O Lord, 
leapt down from Your royal throne. Alleluia.

— Wisdom 18:14-15

O God, who marvelously created and yet more marvelously restored the dignity of human nature, grant that we may share the divinity of Him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son, Jesus Christ; who...reigns with you. 

— From the Divine Liturgy of the Nativity of the Lord

Almighty God, who sent Your only Son to redeem creation, on this feast of Our Lord's Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with worship and glad rejoicing. Loving Father, we duly praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people. He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us. He is the Savior of the world. May we imitate Him in every way. We ask this in Our Lord's most holy name. Amen.

Dear Readers,
May the peace and joy of Christmas be with you, 
now and always. A blessed Christmas to all.

December 17, 2017

Prayer for the Advent Wreath Week Four

Advent

The lighting of the Advent candles symbolizes the hope that the coming Messiah represents in a world that very often seems dark, forbidding and hopeless. We do so because we are a people living in faith that our Divine Master will come again in glory at the end of time to dispense peace and justice. The joyous anticipation of the season of Advent is captured in the teachings of the prophets from the Old Testament: "Exult greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! Behold: your king is coming to you, a just savior is he…" (Zechariah 9:9)

Advent Wreath Prayer - Fourth Week

By Msgr. Bernard Bourgeois

Heavenly Father, today I light the final candle of the Advent wreath. All four candles are now lit. As I sit back and see all the candles burning, I am reminded that your time is nigh. Prepare my heart, Lord, for the great feast that next week will bring. I don’t know if I am ready, Lord, but I know I am anxious to reignite our relationship. With you, Lord, I will be complete and filled with joy. I know I cannot make this earthly journey without you. So let me remove the obstacles that hold me back Lord that you may rush into my heart and soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
________________________________________

Collect Prayer Fourth Sunday of Advent

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns, together with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.

***

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people. He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us. He is the Savior of all. May He come quickly and not delay. We ask this in His holy name. Amen.

December 15, 2017

The O Antiphons, December 17 - 23


Beginning on December 17, as the final phase of preparation for Christmas, the Church recites or chants the O Antiphons preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours.

The O Antiphons express the Church's longing and expectation for the Messiah, her startled wonderment at the fullness of grace which the Christ-Child is about to bestow on the world. Their theme is the majesty of the Savior, His wisdom, His faithfulness and sanctity, His justice and mercy, His covenant with His chosen people, who in their ingratitude broke faith with Him. They are concerned with His power and love as King and Redeemer of the world, His relation to every soul as Emmanuel, God-with-us. (With Christ Through the Year by Bernard Strasser)

According to Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one — Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia — the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” Therefore, the Lord Jesus, whose coming we have prepared for in Advent and whom we have addressed in these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us, “Tomorrow, I will come.” So the “O Antiphons” not only bring intensity to our Advent preparation, but bring it to a joyful conclusion. (Fr. William Saunders)

December 17th - O WISDOM

Symbols: All-Seeing Eye and the Lamp

Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly, Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter, suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

The "all-seeing eye" represents the all-knowing and ever-present God. During the late Renaissance, the eye was pictured in a triangle with rays of light to represent the infinite holiness of the Trinity. The lamp is a symbol of wisdom taken from the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25.

December 18th - O LORD AND RULER

Symbols: The Tablets

Come and redeem us with outstretched arm.

O Lord and Ruler of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with outstretched arm.

O Adonai, et dux domus Israël, qui Moyse in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

The tablets of stone are a picture of the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. They may be used to represent the whole of God's law, the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, the Torah), or the entire Old Testament.

December 19th - O ROOT OF JESSE

Symbols: Plant with Flower

Come to deliver us, and tarry not.

O Root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: Come to deliver us, and tarry not.

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

The flower which springs up from the root of Jesse is another figure of Christ. Isaiah prophesied that the Savior would be born from the root of Jesse, that He would sit upon the throne of David, and in Christ this prophecy is fulfilled.

December 20th - O KEY OF DAVID

Symbols: Key

Come, and bring forth the captive from his prison.

O Key of David, and Scepter of the House of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens; Come and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israël, qui aperis, et nemo claudit, claudis, et nemo aperuit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

The key is the emblem of authority and power. Christ is the Key of the House of David who opens to us the full meaning of the scriptural prophecies, and reopens for all mankind the gate of Heaven.

December 21st - O RADIANT DAWN

Symbols: Sun with Rays

Come, and shine on those seated in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

O Dawn, splendor of eternal light, and sun of justice, come, and shine on those seated in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

Just as the natural sun gives light and life to all upon whom its rays fall, so Christ, the Rising Dawn, dispels darkness and brings eternal life and light.

December 22nd - O KING OF THE GENTILES

Symbols: Crown and Scepter

Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the earth.

O King of the Gentiles and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes both one; Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the earth.

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

The crown and scepter signify Christ's universal kingship. As we sing in the fifth O Antiphon, Christ is not only the King of the Jewish nation, but the "Desired One of all," the cornerstone which unites both Jew and Gentile.

December 23rd - O EMMANUEL

Symbols: Manger

Come to save us, O Lord our God.

O Emmanuel, God with us, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: Come to save us, O Lord our God.

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, expectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.

The manger reminds us of the simplicity and poverty surrounding the birth of Jesus and is representative of His life of humility.

Information excerpted from the Advent pages of Catholicculture.org.

December 11, 2017

Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Loving Message to the World


Our Lady of Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego, an humble Indian convert, on December 9th, 1531. According to the account, Our Lady instructed Juan Diego to tell Bishop Juan de Zumárraga to build a chapel in her honor where the faithful could pray and receive miracles. Our Lady’s message to humanity is one of peace, hope and love. May we heed her words and love God ever more deeply.

"Hear me and let it penetrate your heart…do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need? Do not grieve nor be disturbed…"

Our Lady’s words to Juan Diego
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Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mystical Rose, make intercession for holy Church, protect the sovereign Pontiff, help all those who invoke you in their necessities, and since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most holy Son the grace of keeping our faith, of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life of burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverance. Amen. [Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, pray for us always.]

December 10, 2017

Prayer for the Advent Wreath Week Three

Advent

The lighting of the Advent candles symbolizes the hope that the coming Messiah represents in a world that very often seems dark, forbidding and hopeless. We do so because we are a people living in faith that our Divine Master will come again in glory at the end of time to dispense peace and justice. The joyous anticipation of the season of Advent is captured in the teachings of the prophets from the Old Testament: "Exult greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! Behold: your king is coming to you, a just savior is he…" (Zechariah 9:9)

Advent Wreath Prayer - Third Week

By Msgr. Bernard Bourgeois

Heavenly Father, today is the Third Sunday of Advent. Everything about today speaks of rejoicing in your presence among us. The prayers, readings and even the pink candle remind us that we are building up to the celebration of your decision to step into time and take a place in the human family.  Help me, Lord, to feel the excitement of a child who waits to open that large Christmas gift. Inspire me to open my heart, mind and soul to your presence, not only in the world but within me, which calls me to holiness and truth. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Collect Prayer Third Sunday of Advent

O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord's Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

***

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people. He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us. He is the Savior of all. May He come quickly and not delay. We ask this in His holy name. Amen.

December 6, 2017

Immaculate Conception Novena 2017 | Day 9

The Immaculate Conception

December 7, 2016

Today we pray for all those intentions that reside in the silence of our hearts; especially those that concern our own welfare, and for the willingness to suffer for the sake of coming closer to Christ. To thee, O Virgin Mother, who was never touched by any spot of original or actual sin, we commend and entrust the purity of our hearts. We ask these things through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Immaculate Conception Novena - Day 9

O most pure Virgin Mary conceived without sin, from the very first instant, you were entirely immaculate. O glorious Mary full of grace, you are the mother of my God – the Queen of Angels and of men. I humbly venerate you as the chosen mother of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords chose you for the singular grace and honor of being His beloved mother. By the power of His Cross, He preserved you from all sin. Therefore, by His power and love, I have hope and bold confidence in your prayers for my holiness and salvation.

I pray that your prayers will bring me to imitate your holiness and submission to Jesus and the Divine Will.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Now, Queen of Heaven, I beg you to beg my Savior to grant me these requests…

(Mention your intentions)

My holy Mother, I know that you were obedient to the will of God. In making this petition, I know that God’s will is more perfect than mine. So, grant that I may receive God’s grace with humility like you.

As my final request, I ask that you pray for me to increase in faith in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in hope in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in love for the risen Jesus!

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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December 5, 2017

Immaculate Conception Novena 2017 | Day 8

The Immaculate Conception

December 6, 2016

Today we pray for those who have fallen away from the faith. Jesus says that there will be great rejoicing in Heaven when one who was lost returns. O Mary most holy, intercede for families, especially parents, that they may lead their children to God. We pray that our loved ones who have gone astray will soon be welcomed home to the Church founded by Christ, to live in imitation of Him.

Immaculate Conception Novena - Day 8

O most pure Virgin Mary conceived without sin, from the very first instant, you were entirely immaculate. O glorious Mary full of grace, you are the mother of my God – the Queen of Angels and of men. I humbly venerate you as the chosen mother of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords chose you for the singular grace and honor of being His beloved mother. By the power of His Cross, He preserved you from all sin. Therefore, by His power and love, I have hope and bold confidence in your prayers for my holiness and salvation.

I pray that your prayers will bring me to imitate your holiness and submission to Jesus and the Divine Will.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Now, Queen of Heaven, I beg you to beg my Savior to grant me these requests…

(Mention your intentions)

My holy Mother, I know that you were obedient to the will of God. In making this petition, I know that God’s will is more perfect than mine. So, grant that I may receive God’s grace with humility like you.

As my final request, I ask that you pray for me to increase in faith in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in hope in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in love for the risen Jesus!

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Click to sign up for daily reminders to pray the Immaculate Conception Novena.

How to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office)


The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office or Breviary is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer. The Hours are a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ, using scripture and prayer. At times the dialogue is between the Church or individual soul and God; at times it is a dialogue among the members of the Church; and at times it is even between the Church and the world. The Divine Office "is truly the voice of the Bride herself addressed to her Bridegroom. It is the very prayer which Christ himself together with his Body addresses to the Father." (SC 84)

The dialogue is always held, however, in the presence of God and using the words and wisdom of God. Each of the five canonical Hours includes selections from the Psalms that culminate in a scriptural proclamation. The two most important or hinge Hours are Morning and Evening Prayer. These each include a Gospel canticle: the Canticle of Zechariah from Luke 1:68-79 for Morning Prayer (the Benedictus), and the Canticle of Mary from Luke 1:46-55 for Evening Prayer (the Magnificat). The Gospel canticle acts as a kind of meditative extension of the scriptural proclamation in light of the Christ event. Morning and Evening Prayer also include intercessions that flow from the scriptural proclamation just as the Psalms prepare for it. The Hours of the Divine Office are: [See here for more.)

Office of Readings

"The office of readings seeks to provide God's people, and in particular those consecrated to God in a special way, with a wider selection of passages from sacred Scripture for meditation, together with the finest excerpts from spiritual writers. Even though the cycle of scriptural readings at daily Mass is now richer, the treasures of revelation and tradition to be found in the office of readings will also contribute greatly to the spiritual life" (General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours [GILH], no. 55).

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

"As is clear from many of the elements that make it up, morning prayer is intended and arranged to sanctify the morning. St. Basil the Great gives an excellent description of this character in these words: "It is said in the morning in order that the first stirrings of our mind and will may be consecrated to God and that we may take nothing in hand until we have been gladdened by the thought of God, as it is written: 'I was mindful of God and was glad' (Ps 77:4 [Jerome's translation from Hebrew]), or set our bodies to any task before we do what has been said: 'I will pray to you, Lord, you will hear my voice in the morning; I will stand before you in the morning and gaze on you' (Ps 5:4-5)."

"Celebrated as it is as the light of a new day is dawning, this hour also recalls the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the true light enlightening all people (see Jn 1:9) and "the sun of justice" (Mal 4:2), "rising from on high" (Lk 1:78). Hence, we can well understand the advice of St. Cyprian: "There should be prayer in the morning so that the resurrection of the Lord may thus be celebrated" (GILH, no. 38).

Daytime Prayer

Can be prayed at Midmorning (Terce), Midday (Sext), or Midafternoon (None).

"Following a very ancient tradition Christians have made a practice of praying out of private devotion at various times of the day, even in the course of their work, in imitation of the Church in apostolic times. In different ways with the passage of time this tradition has taken the form of a liturgical celebration.

"Liturgical custom in both East and West has retained midmorning, midday, and midafternoon prayer, mainly because these hours were linked to a commemoration of the events of the Lord's passion and of the first preaching of the Gospel" (GILH, no. 74-75).

Evening Prayer (Vespers)

"When evening approaches and the day is already far spent, evening prayer is celebrated in order that 'we may give thanks for what has been given us, or what we have done well, during the day.' We also recall the redemption through the prayer we send up 'like incense in the Lord's sight,' and in which 'the raising up of our hands' becomes 'an evening sacrifice' (see Ps 141:2). This sacrifice 'may also be interpreted more spiritually as the true evening sacrifice that our Savior the Lord entrusted to the apostles at supper on the evening when he instituted the sacred mysteries of the Church or of the evening sacrifice of the next day, the sacrifice, that is, which, raising his hands, he offered to the Father at the end of the ages for the salvation of the whole world.'…'" (GILH, no. 39).

Night Prayer (Compline)

"Night prayer is the last prayer of the day, said before retiring, even if that is after midnight" (GILH, no. 84). The Psalms that are chosen for Night Prayer are full of confidence in the Lord.

Information courtesy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

December 4, 2017

Immaculate Conception Novena 2017 | Day 7

The Immaculate Conception

December 5, 2016

Today we pray for motherhood. Mary is the mother of our Savior. She is tender, loving and selfless. May all mothers be like Mary in how loving they are to their children and families. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Immaculate Conception Novena - Day 7

O most pure Virgin Mary conceived without sin, from the very first instant, you were entirely immaculate. O glorious Mary full of grace, you are the mother of my God – the Queen of Angels and of men. I humbly venerate you as the chosen mother of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords chose you for the singular grace and honor of being His beloved mother. By the power of His Cross, He preserved you from all sin. Therefore, by His power and love, I have hope and bold confidence in your prayers for my holiness and salvation.

I pray that your prayers will bring me to imitate your holiness and submission to Jesus and the Divine Will.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Now, Queen of Heaven, I beg you to beg my Savior to grant me these requests…

(Mention your intentions)

My holy Mother, I know that you were obedient to the will of God. In making this petition, I know that God’s will is more perfect than mine. So, grant that I may receive God’s grace with humility like you.

As my final request, I ask that you pray for me to increase in faith in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in hope in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in love for the risen Jesus!

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Click to sign up for daily reminders to pray the Immaculate Conception Novena.

December 3, 2017

Immaculate Conception Novena 2017 | Day 6

The Immaculate Conception

December 4, 2016

Today we pray for healing; the healing of our relationships, minds and physical bodies. If you or someone you know is suffering and needs healing, know that many people are praying for you. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.

Immaculate Conception Novena - Day 6

O most pure Virgin Mary conceived without sin, from the very first instant, you were entirely immaculate. O glorious Mary full of grace, you are the mother of my God – the Queen of Angels and of men. I humbly venerate you as the chosen mother of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords chose you for the singular grace and honor of being His beloved mother. By the power of His Cross, He preserved you from all sin. Therefore, by His power and love, I have hope and bold confidence in your prayers for my holiness and salvation.

I pray that your prayers will bring me to imitate your holiness and submission to Jesus and the Divine Will.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Now, Queen of Heaven, I beg you to beg my Savior to grant me these requests…

(Mention your intentions)

My holy Mother, I know that you were obedient to the will of God. In making this petition, I know that God’s will is more perfect than mine. So, grant that I may receive God’s grace with humility like you.

As my final request, I ask that you pray for me to increase in faith in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in hope in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in love for the risen Jesus!

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Click to sign up for daily reminders to pray the Immaculate Conception Novena.