Chapter 11 - Kingdom of the Lord
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
joyfully rendering thanks to the Father, who has made us worthy to share the lot of the saints in light. He has rescued us from
the power of darkness and transferred
us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins. He is the image
of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. For in him were
created all things in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things
invisible, whether Thrones, or Dominations, or Principalities, or Powers. All
things have been created through and unto him, and he is before all creatures,
and in him all things hold together. Again, he
is the head of his body, the Church; he, who is the beginning, the firstborn
from the dead, that in all things he may have the first place. For it
has pleased God the Father that in him all
his fullness should dwell, and that
through him he should reconcile to himself all things, whether on the
earth or in the heavens, making peace through the
blood of his cross.
Heart of Jesus, Your kingdom come.
For the Greater Glory of God
Take away from me, O Lord, the old man with his
vices and concupiscences, to which You know me
to be so much exposed. Clothe me with the new man whom this holy vocation requires, so that from day to day I will be renewed with a passionate
desire and an unfailing effort to make progress in the solid virtues which I
lack. Do not allow me, Lord, to be seriously and dangerously tempted, especially in the matter of the grace of
my vocation. Give me strength of mind to resist and
overcome my difficulties. Grant me the gift of persevering faithful to You even
to death. Increase in me the grace to fulfill the vows I have formally taken, so that in me may flourish a truly simple poverty
and an angelic chastity; and let both an exterior and interior obedience claim me wholly for itself presenting
me to You as a pleasant, constant, and perfect holocaust. Amen.
Have pity on me, compassionate Father, seeing that
I have so often offended Your Majesty both in
the world and in religion; that I have been thankless for Your favors,
indifferent in the course of my vocation, lacking in true fear and love, thoughtless in a sincere and unfailing care for Your glory and my own salvation. Open my eyes, I beg of You, and let me see; give me strength to
act, and move my will to wish to make due progress
in Your way and my vocation, and to strive toward the goal proposed to me, by
working earnestly for my own and my neighbor's
salvation and perfection. May Your holy, gracious, and perfect will be
done in me, wherever I may be and whatever I may suffer. May Your holy name
be hallowed in me, so that I may fulfill the
good hopes of my superiors, and finally be made a partaker with all the
just, both in the Catholic Church and this
Society, who are pleasing to You, and even with those who are celebrating their triumph in heaven. Through
our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have pity on our parents and spiritual superiors.
Grant, Lord, that they may be wise according to Your Spirit, and prudently rule their subjects, and have the joy of seeing us their truly obedient sons.
Have pity on our friends and benefactors, who help us
and our Society both in spiritual and temporal matters. Protect
them from all evil, not only in
this life, but even after death, so that they may see
in You a generous reward for us.
Have pity on our Society which was planted by Your right hand. Make it grow
more and more throughout the whole world like a fruitful tree and always bring forth abundant fruit for You in the
garden of Your Church.
Have pity on the departed, both our brethren and
our benefactors, externs, and all Catholics. Give them, Lord, light in the darkness, repose in their
pains, and everlasting bliss in Your kingdom. Amen.
Have pity on the students and spiritual sons whom
You have given to our Society throughout the world to be educated, trained, and helped. Give
strength, Lord, to the good seed in them, so that in their studies, their habits,
and their virtues, they may make greater
and greater progress and be rightly and successfully attended by Ours.
Have pity on the Fathers and Brothers who stand strong in the way
of their vocation, and confirm them in the
right course of virtue. Have pity also on those who are stumbling. Help
them and steady them with Your strong spirit to keep from swerving to the right
or to the left.
Have pity also on those who have fallen, and let these
runaway sons rise from their apostasy, and recognizing the early grace of their vocation, by
true repentance be reconciled to You.
Have pity on our enemies, and those who openly
or secretly persecute us and our Society. Do
not impute this sin to them, but bestow Your grace
upon them, recovery and true charity. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Have pity on schismatics and heretics, and let them
return to the unity of the Church, leaving behind
them the darkness of error, bring them to embrace with us the light of Catholic
Have pity on sinners who serve the world, the flesh, and the devil, rather than
You, the true and living God, and thus hurry to the gates of everlasting death. Convert
them, Lord, to the way of penance and restore to the dead the life of grace,
lest otherwise they die in their sins and be forever separated from Your grace
and glory. Amen.
St. Peter Canisius
Lead, Kindly Light
Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant sceneone step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now,
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.
So long Thy power hath blessed me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
For My Father
I thank You, dear God, for giving me my father. Enlighten me, so I may realize the depth of his love
for me and the greatness of his sacrifices for me. His fatherly care reflects
Your goodness; his manliness, Your strength; his understanding, Your wisdom. He is Your faithful servant and image. Bless
him with peace of soul, health of body, and success in his work. Amen.
For My Mother
Lord Jesus, look with mercy and
love upon my mother.
Reward her untiring generosity, her love, her care of me. I ask for her the same blessings You desired for Your Mother; health
of body, peace of
soul, happiness of family, and the bountiful
grace of God. Give her the richest joy of a mother's
heart, that her child may grow in wisdom and grace before God and men.
Empire of Love
Most holy Heart of Jesus, shower
Your blessings in
abundant measure upon Your holy Church, upon the supreme pontiff, and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance, convert sinners, enlighten unbelievers; bless our relatives, friends,
and benefactors; assist the dying;
deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet
empire of Your love. Amen.
Instrument of Peace
Lord, make me an instrument of Your
peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow
love; where there is injury, pardon; where
there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and
where there is sadness, joy. Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood
as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we
receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
St. Francis of Assisi
For Sisters and Nuns
Bless, O Lord, all the Sisters and nuns throughout the
world. People of every kindthe ignorant, the penniless,
the sick and dying, the homeless, the aged,
the younghave all experienced the generous help, the smiling kindness
of these selfless women. As Veronica of Jerusalem
consoled You on the way of the cross,
so they console You today in the needy
souls of every walk of life. In gratitude for what they have done for the world and for me in particular,
I ask You to bless them always with Your peace and joy and grace. Amen.
For My Parents
O God, whom we obey in honoring our parents, look
down mercifully, I beseech You, on those to whom
in Your providence I owe my being. May they
grow daily in faith, hope, and charity. Implant deeply in their hearts the conviction that as You are the beginning of all things so to You must
all return. Condone their frailties,
pardon whatever excessive indulgence for me they may have shown, and impute not to them my waywardness, my sloth, my weakness of will. Grant them while life lasts health and prosperity, pour upon them
the abundance of Your grace. Defend and preserve
them by Your all-powerful hand. May my Christian
life, in meeting their fondest expectations
and fulfilling all their hopes, be the consolation of their last years. May they die the death of the just. May they pass quickly to their heavenly
home, and may I join them there, their dutiful child
for all eternity. Amen.
Daniel Lord, S.J.
Patroness of the Missions
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, you have been rightly proclaimed the patroness of Catholic missions throughout the world. Remember the burning desire which you showed here on earth to plant the cross of Christ on every shore and preach the gospel even to the consummation of the world.
We ask you, according to your promise,
to help all priests and missionaries and the whole
Church of God.
O God of love, in all humility and confidence I offer
You the immaculate heart of Mary with the loving
Heart of Jesus our Lord, who gave Himself on the cross of Calvary and
still offers Himself on the altar to sanctify
and save the souls of men. In loving union with this sacrifice of infinite
value, I offer my whole being, O my God,
and all my prayers and suffering,
all my sorrows and labors, my life and death, to accomplish Your divine will
in my own soul, to sanctify all missionaries and their
native clergy, to obtain the grace of perseverance for their converts and the conversion of all sinners and
unbelievers in their missions.
For All Religious
Lord Jesus, by the merits and prayers of the Virgin
Mary, of St. Ignatius, and of all holy founders, pour out upon me and my brethren,
and upon the religious of the whole world, the spirit of faith, sacrifice, prayer, humility, docility, and charity.
Grant, my Jesus, that this spirit
of charity may be truly supernatural, universal, understanding, long-suffering,
joyous, and fruitful. Amen.
Prayer for Social Justice
Lord Jesus, carpenter and king, supreme sovereign
of all men, look with tender mercy upon the multitudes of our day who bear the
indignities of injustice everywhere. Raise
up leaders in every land dedicated
to Your standards of order, equity, and
justice. Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, the grace to be worthy members of
Your mystical body, laboring unceasingly to
fulfill our vocation in the social apostolate of Your Church. Sharpen
our intellects to pierce the pettiness of prejudice; to perceive the beauty of true human brotherhood. Guide
our minds to a meaningful understanding of
the problems of the poor, of the oppressed, of the unemployed, of all
in need of assistance anywhere. Guide our hearts against the subtle lure of
earthly things and undue regard for those who possess them. May we hunger and thirst after justice
For the Holy Father
God, the shepherd and ruler of all the faithful, mercifully look upon Your servant
(NAME), whom You have chosen as chief pastor over Your Church. We ask You to grant him, by word and example so to lead those under his charge that he may reach
everlasting life, together with the flock committed to him. Through Christ our
Kingdom of the Sacred Heart
Jesus, humbled in the Eucharist to be the strength of
souls, and the source and center of love in the Catholic Church, we offer You our prayers, actions, and sufferings, for
Your priests that each day may see
the wider extension of the kingdom of Your Sacred Heart. Amen.
Propagation of the Faith
O God, You desire that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Look down, we beseech You, with favor upon the efforts
of Your children to advance Your kingdom upon earth. Inspire our people of all
racial origins with zeal for the propagation of the faith in their own parishes
and throughout the world. Fill them with the
spirit of prayer for those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. Move their hearts to generous giving
for the home and foreign missions. Raise up
vocations and send laborers into Your harvest that Your gospel of peace
and good will to all men may everywhere be
heard and glorified, and that all
nations may honor You, the one true God and Him whom You have sent, Jesus
Christ our Lord, who live and reign with
You for ever and ever. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be to the Father.
Queen of the apostles, pray for us.
Our glorious North American Martyrs, pray for us.
St. Francis Xavier, pray for us.
THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE
St. Francis Xavier for Unbelievers
O God, the everlasting Creator of all things, remember
that the souls of unbelievers have been created
by You and formed in Your own image and
likeness. Remember that Your Son Jesus endured a most painful death for their salvation. Permit not, I beseech You, Lord, that Your Son should any longer be despised by unbelievers. But
be appeased by the prayers of saintly men and of the Church, the spouse of Your most holy Son, and be mindful
of Your mercy. Forget their idolatry and
unbelief and bring it about that they too may some day acknowledge Him
whom You have sent, Jesus Christ, Your Son,
our Lord, who is our salvation, our life and resurrection, by whom we have been saved and delivered, to whom be glory
for endless ages. Amen.
Church Unity Octave
ANTIPHON That they all may be one, as You, Father, in Me and I in
You; that they also may be one in Us; that
the world may believe that You have sent Me.
I say to you that you are Peter; and upon this rock
I will build My Church. O Lord Jesus Christ, who
said to Your apostles: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, regard not our sins, but the faith
of Your Church, and grant her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Your
will, who live and reign God for ever and ever. Amen.
DAILY INTENTIONS, from January 18 to the feast
of the conversion of St. Paul, January 25.
January 18: The union of all Christians in the one true faith and in the Church.
January 19: The return of separated eastern Christians to communion with the Holy See.
January 20: The reconciliation of Anglicans with the Holy See.
January 21: The reconciliation of European Protestants with the Holy See.
January 22: That American Christians become one in union with the Chair of Peter.
January 23: The restoration of lapsed Catholics to the sacramental life of the Church.
January 24: That the Jewish people come into their inheritance in Jesus Christ.
January 25: The missionary extension of Christ's kingdom throughout the world.
Reunion of Christendom
Immaculate Virgin, you were preserved by a singular privilege of grace from original sin. Look down with
pity on our separated brethren, who are
still your children, and call them back to the center of unity. Even from afar, many have preserved a most tender devotion toward you, O Mother. Reward them for their devotion by obtaining
for them the grace of conversion.
Victorious over the powers of hell from the first moment
of your existence, now that the necessity is
more urgent, renew your triumphant progress as in ages past. Glorify
your Son, O Mother, by bringing back to the one fold His straying sheep,
and make them obedient to the guidance of the universal
shepherd, who is His vicar on earth. May it be your glory, O Virgin Mary, to
banish error from the earth, to put an end to disunity and to restore
peace to the world. Amen.
§ St. Michael, first champion of the kingship of Christ,
pray for us.
Return of Oriental Dissidents
Glorious martyrs, Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna, and illustrious doctors of the Church, Athanasius, John Chrysostom, and Basil, you labored and suffered so much for the purity of faith and the salvation of the souls entrusted to
Look down from heaven on your beloved eastern
lands, now separated from the body of the true
Church. By your powerful intercession obtain for all dissident Oriental Christians
the grace of returning to the center of unity,
and of forming with us one and the same family under the guidance of the Roman pontiff, successor of St. Peter
the apostle as supreme shepherd of the flock. Amen.
Conversion of England
Jesus, Good Shepherd, look down with favor on the English nation. Converted to You by the labors of St. Augustine and his companions, it was for many centuries rich in fruits of faith and sanctity.
So devoted was it to Your holy and immaculate Mother that it was known throughout
Christendom as the Dowry of Mary. While being
cut off from You in cruel fashion, hundreds of its people willingly shed their blood in testimony of
their loyalty to You and Your Church. Loving Shepherd
of souls, recall this great nation once more to the unity of Your Church,
and grant peace of soul to those now separated
from Your fold. Amen.
Conversion of America
Jesus Christ, grant to all Your servants, but especially
to the people of our own nation, the grace
of being fully united with You in Your Church.
Divine Redeemer, the prophet sang of You,
"all the kings of the earth shall adore Him, and all the nations
shall serve Him." Extend Your kingdom
over the entire human race, and in particular
over our own beloved country. Grant in Your mercy that the people of
our land may be converted to You, and humbly
and lovingly serve You. We ask this,
O Savior, through the intercession
of Your immaculate Mother, the patroness and protector of our country.
For European Protestants
Mother of Mercy and Refuge of Sinners, we beg of you to look with compassion
on the Protestant peoples of Europe. Seat of Wisdom, enlighten their minds that
they may come to recognize the Catholic Church as the one true Church of Christ.
Complete their conversion by obtaining for
them the grace to believe every truth
of our holy faith, and submit themselves
to the sovereign pontiff, the vicar of Jesus Christ on earth.
Once more united to us by bonds of divine charity,
they will sing with us forever your glorious
praise: "Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, for you alone
have conquered all error in the world." Amen.
Conversion of the Jews
God, You manifest Your mercy and compassion toward
all peoples. Have mercy on the Jewish race, once Your chosen people.
You chose them alone of all nations to be
custodians of Your sacred revelation.
From them You raised up prophets and patriarchs to announce the coming
of the Redeemer. You willed that Your only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,
should be a Jew according to the flesh, born
of a Jewish maiden in the land of
promise. Hear the prayers we offer for the conversion of Israel. Grant that soon it may come to the
knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Messias foretold by the prophets, and may walk with us in the way
of salvation. Amen.
Return of Lapsed Catholics to the Sacraments
Father, You desire not the death of the sinner
but that he may be converted and live. Pour
out upon us Your mercy and hear the prayers of Your servants. Soften
the hearts of Your children who have strayed
from the true path which You established
for their salvation. They are now forgetful of their duties as Catholics,
and pursue the pleasures of the world. Grant that they may quickly return to the practice of every Christian
virtue, so that their lives may shine with the integrity of faith, the fervor
of piety, and the ardor
of charity. Restore them all to Your sacraments and the life of Your grace, through the merits
of the most precious blood of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
For Christian Unity
O Jesus, true God and true man, by the desire of Your Sacred Heart for the salvation of the world, we
humbly beseech You, that we who glory in the Christian
name may be drawn into the full and proper
heritage of that name. May we be one in You, as You are one with the Father, that the world may know that He has sent You, and that we are Your disciples. May we be inseparably united to You, by the Holy Spirit, in Your mystical
body, the Church, now and forever. Amen.
Missionary Conquest of the World
O God, You would have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. We ask You
to send forth laborers into Your harvest, and grant
them with all courage to preach the Word, so that Your gospel may everywhere
be heard and glorified, and that all nations
may know You, the only true God, and
Him whom You have sent, Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.
Merciful Lord, who prayed that there be one flock
and one shepherd, I ask the light of faith for those who are related to me and do not know You in Your Eucharistic presence. Give them the fullness
of Your faith. Give them the joy of Your protecting presence. Bring them into
the one fold of which You are the master and lord. Forgive them their sins and teach them the way of repentance. In the end bring them into the larger circle of Your family, to God our Father, to Mary our Mother,
and to You our beloved Brother. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, whose will is the conversion and
salvation of all the children of God, I pray to You especially in Your Eucharistic presence for the friends who do not know You. They have been gracious to me; I have known their affection. What return can I make comparable to the return of leading them to Your friendship? Yet faith is a gift, which now I ask for those who are
close to me. Be their friend and lead them to Your friendship,
so that the friendship we have known in
life will be continued in the world to come. Amen.
Father, Forgive Them
O Lord Jesus Christ, upon the cross Thou didst say:
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And this surely, O my God, is the condition of vast multitudes among us now; they know not what they might have known, or they have
forgotten what once they knew. They deny that
there is a God, but they know not what they are doing. They laugh at the joys of heaven and the pains of hell, but they know not what they are doing. They renounce all faith in Thee, the Saviour
of man, they despise Thy word and sacraments,
they revile and slander Thy holy Church and her priests, but they know
not what they are doing. They mislead the
wandering, they frighten the weak, they corrupt the young, but they know not
what they do.
Others, again, have a wish to be religious, but mistake
error for truththey go after fancies of their
own, and they seduce others and keep them from
Thee. They know not what they are doing, but
Thou canst make them know. O Lord, we urge
Thee by Thy own dear words: "Lord and Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Teach
them now, open their eyes here, before the
future comes; give them faith in what they must see hereafter, if they will
not believe in it here. Give them full
and saving faith here; destroy their
dreadful delusions, and give them to drink
of that living water, which who so has shall not thirst again. Amen.
THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES
all the methods of spiritual exercises which very laudably adhere to the principles
of sound Catholic asceticism, one has ever held the foremost place and, adorned by the full and repeated approbation
of the Holy See and honored by the praises of men distinguished for spiritual
doctrine and sanctity, has borne abundant fruits of holiness for almost four hundred years. We mean the method introduced by St. Ignatius of Loyola, whom We are pleased to call the first and outstanding
master of the Spiritual Exercises.
The excellence of spiritual doctrine altogether free
from the perils and errors of false mysticism, the admirable facility of adapting
the Exercises to any order or state of men,
whether they devote themselves to contemplation in the cloister or lead an active
life in the affairs of the world, the apt coordination of the various parts, the wonderful and lucid order in the meditation of truths that seem
to follow naturally one from another, and lastly the spiritual lessons which, after casting off the yoke of sin and washing away the disease inherent
in his morals, lead a man through the safe paths
of abnegation and the removal of evil habits, up to the highest reaches
of prayer and divine love; without doubt
all these are enough to show the efficacious nature of the Ignatian method
and abundantly commend the Ignatian meditations.
Before Entering Retreat
of my soul and God of my heart, help me to make
my annual retreat according to the mind of St. Ignatius. Teach me to
prepare and dispose myself to be rid of all
inordinate attachments, and, after their removal,
to seek and find Your divine will
in the disposition of my life for the salvation of my soul. Amen.
My Savior, I know how profitable it is for a person
starting his retreat to enter upon the Exercises with largeness of soul and
generosity toward You, his Creator and Lord, and to offer You his entire liberty and will. I therefore ask You so to dispose
me that during the retreat I may resign
myself and all I possess to the will
of Your Divine Majesty. Amen.
Dear Lord, I commend to Your Sacred Heart all the persons throughout the worldpriests, religious, and laitywho are now making their retreat.
Give them light to know Your divine will in their state of life, courage to
sacrifice what stands between them and Your
greater glory, and generosity in responding
to Your love, through the merits of St. Ignatius the patron of Spiritual
For Retreat Masters
Holy spirit of wisdom, I ask You to assist with Your
grace all priests who are now conducting retreats throughout the world. Give
them fervor to inspire love of God and of
the mystical body which You animate, prudence in directing souls according to Your divine will, and zeal that will
lead the retreatants to prove their devotion to Christ and His Church by generosity in prayer, work,
and sacrifice in the apostolate. Amen.
In Preparation for Giving Retreats
Dear Lord, in anticipation of the time when I shall be giving the Spiritual Exercises, I ask You to
make me an effective retreat master for Your greater glory. Give me a right
appreciation of the Exercises as a powerful
instrument of sanctification, a deep understanding of the spiritual life
and a facility in transmitting this knowledge
persuasively to others, and above all
a great love of You and Your Church, so that in giving the Exercises I shall be giving Your spirit, by word and example, for the benefit of souls and the extension of
Your kingdom on earth and in heaven. Amen.
For Generosity in Detachment
My Creator and Lord, I see quite clearly what I am inordinately attached or inclined to. I also know that
unless I become sincerely detached from
this creature, You will not work in and through me as You desire. What I need, then, is to rouse
myself by the exertion of all my powers to desire the opposite of that to which I am wrongly inclined. As much as it costs me to say it, I beg for the reverse of that which I believe is now
an obstacle to my more perfect love of You, unless You see fit to regulate my
desires and change my present attachment in
conformity with Your will. Grant me the light and courage to want and retain every creature only for the service, honor,
and glory of Your Divine Majesty. Amen.
Key Meditations As Prayers
and Foundation. My Lord and my God, You created me to praise, reverence, and serve You,
and by this means to save my soul. The other things
on the face of the earth You created for me, to help me in attaining the end for which I was created. Help me,
therefore, to make use of them insofar as
they lead me to my end, and to rid myself
of them insofar as they prove a hindrance to me. Aid me by Your grace
to make myself indifferent to all created
things, as far as I am allowed free
choice and under no prohibition. May I not prefer health to sickness,
riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, or a long life to a short life. But let
my one desire and choice ever be what is more conducive
to the end for which I was created. Amen.
of Christ the King. Jesus Christ, my Lord and
eternal King, You have called me to Your special service. "It is My will,"
You said, "to conquer the whole world
and all My enemies, and thus to enter into the glory of My Father." You have told me that if I wish to join You in this enterprise
I must be willing to labor with You,
that by following You in suffering I may also follow You in glory. Since I wish to give full proof of my love
and distinguish myself in Your service, I not only offer myself entirely for this work, but with the help of Your grace will act against my sensuality
and my carnal and worldly love.
Eternal Lord of all things, in the presence of Your
infinite goodness, of Your glorious Mother, and of all the saints of Your heavenly court, this is
the offering which I make with Your favor and help.
I protest it is my earnest desire and my deliberate choice, provided only it is for Your greater service and praise, to imitate You in bearing
all wrongs and all abuse and all poverty, both actual and spiritual, since Your
holy Majesty has deigned to choose and admit
me to this state and way of life. Amen.
The Standard of Christ. Lord of all the world, You
have chosen certain persons as apostles and disciples and sent them into every
nation to spread Your sacred doctrine, by word and example, among men of every
social class and state of life. Through no
merit of mine, I am one of those selected to labor under Your standard for the salvation of souls. This means that I must strive to become like
You, as far as this is possible with the help of Your grace. Make me poor in spirit and faithful to the actual poverty I profess. Grant me strength
to bear injuries and offenses, thereby
to imitate You better and become a
more effective instrument for the greater glory of Your name. Amen.
The Third Class.
Dear Lord, I wish to shake off the inordinate affection that I find in myself, and I want to do it in such a way as not to desire to retain
the object which is at the root of this attachment. My only desire is to wish
for it or not, according as You, my God,
shall give me to wish and as it shall
seem better for the service and praise of Your Divine Majesty. Amen.
Third Degree of Humility. Lord, help me to serve You in the most generous way possible. If it be for the equal or greater service of Your Divine Majesty,
in order the better to imitate You, my Jesus, and to become actually more like
You, I desire and choose
poverty with You poor, than riches;
contempt with You contemned, than honors;
and I desire to be esteemed foolish for Your sake,
who were first held to be such, than to be accounted wise and prudent in this
APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER
The Apostleship of Prayer encourages the faithful to help in the conversion of souls by the offering to God of their prayers, works, and sufferings. This labor for the extension of Christ's kingdom not only kindles a zeal for souls, a concern for the eternal salvation of the neighbor, but it promotes
and puts to work those supernatural means upon which the real success of all
apostolic labor depends. Hence the association
makes the work of the apostolate most effective. Its energy is not dissipated
in externals but made to produce solid and lasting fruit.
Attention should be called to the perfect way in which
the members of the Apostleship of Prayer are urged to pray and dedicate
their lives to apostolic endeavors. They are not asked merely to recite certain prayers. Their whole lives must be offered to God as a prayer and sacrifice for the cause of the apostolate. The daily offering of self
is the essence of the Apostleship of Prayer. This is perfected by other
acts of piety, especially by devotion to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus. The daily life of each member is thus converted into
a sacrifice of praise, reparation, and impetration. In this way the forces implanted
in baptism are activated, and the Christian offers his life as a sacrifice in and with Christ for the honor of God the Father and
for the salvation of souls.
All the sacred practices of which the Apostleship of Prayer makes use
to round out and perfect this oblation, taken
together, contain the sum total of Christian perfection. Through this
sacrifice demanded by the apostolate, they
put into the hands of all men the means by which Christians sanctify
their lives. Personal holiness renders their apostolate most fruitful.
§ Queen of the Apostles, pray for us.
Daily Intentions of the Apostleship of
Besides the monthly intentions of the Holy Father and
the missions, each day of the month has
its own fixed intention for which the members are asked to pray.
- Thanksgiving. "Give thanks frequently to God for all the benefits He has conferred upon you, that you may be worthy to receive more." St. Louis IX.
- Those in Affliction. "It is not enough to be afflicted because God wills it; but we must be so as He wills it, when He wills it, for as long as He wills it, and exactly in the manner in which it pleases Him." St. Francis de Sales.
- The Sick. "Who can hinder us from becoming saints, since we have a heart to love and a body to suffer?" St. Margaret Mary.
- Faithful Departed. "All that we give through charity to the souls in purgatory is changed into graces for us, and after our death we shall find the merit of it increased in our regard a hundredfold." St. Ambrose.
- Local Centers. "Those who give Him and cause others to give Him all the love, honor, and glory they can by the means He provides, will never be lost." St. Margaret Mary.
- Directors. "Those who labor for the salvation of souls will know how to touch the most hardened
hearts if they have a tender devotion to His Sacred Heart, and strive to instill it in others and to establish it everywhere." St. Margaret Mary.
- Promoters. "How indebted we are to this divine Heart for deigning to make use of us to carry out His plans. He reserves treasures of grace for all those who work for this end as much as He enables them to." St. Margaret Mary.
- For Perseverance. "We cannot command our final perseverance, but must ask it of God." St. Thomas Aquinas.
- The Young. "You know how slippery is the path of youth; a path on which I myself have fallen, and which you are now traveling not without fear." St. Jerome.
- First Communion. "Holy Communion is the shortest and surest way to heaven." St. Pius X.
- Parents. "In a true sense, parents are the vicars of God. They should be careful to make right use of the authority given to them." Pius XI.
- Families. "The family may be regarded as the cradle of civil society, and it is in great measure within the circle of family life that the destiny of states is fostered." Leo XIII.
- Reconciliations. "He has real charity toward his enemies who, when he suffers injustice, thinks first of all the harm the unjust one has done to his own soul." St. Francis of Assisi.
- Employment. "Labor is our portion lest we should make this world our rest and not hope for the hereafter." St. John Chrysostom.
- Clergy. "To make Jesus Christ reign in the world, nothing is more necessary than holiness in the clergy." St. Pius X.
- Religious. "The religious life is not a natural life. It is above nature, and its soul is given and formed by grace." St. Francis de Sales.
- Seminarians. "Mother Church primarily wants her seminarians to lay the foundations for that holiness which the minister of God must develop and practice all his life." Pius XII.
- Vocations. "Our Lord shows us the surest way of having numerous vocations, 'Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest'humble prayer trusting in God." Pius XII.
- Parishes. "The Cenacle at Jerusalem remains the prototype of every Christian community, especially of the parish, which is a family whose members live and work together in fraternal cooperation." Pius XII.
- Schools. "Perfect schools are the result not so much of good methods as of good teachers." Pius XI.
- Superiors. "They who are entrusted with the guidance of others are obliged to animate and assist them to the imitation of Christ." St. Basil.
- Retreats. "The Spiritual Exercises are the best means I can think of in this life both to help a man benefit himself and to bring help, profit, and advantage to many others." St. Ignatius Loyola.
- Societies. "In order that social action may prosper by a necessary union of its varied activities, Catholics must above all preserve a spirit of peace and harmony which can only come from a unity in understanding." St. Pius X.
- Conversions. "Although we must labor strenuously that the light of the gospel may illumine the minds of all men, yet our first need is to beg this of God through loving and fervent prayer." Pius XII.
- Sinners. "Where prayer is poured forth, sins are removed." St. Augustine.
- The Intemperate. "Intemperance is a constant source of sin and a prolific root of evils, working havoc with the families of those addicted and exposing many to eternal death and punishment." Leo XIII.
- Missionaries. "Missionary undertakings are dry and barren unless made fruitful by divine grace. To the acquisition of this grace there is but one way open, persevering and humble prayer." Benedict XV.
- Apostates. "Secede not from the Church; for nothing is stronger than the Church. Your hope is the Church; your salvation is the Church; your refuge is the Church." St. John Chrysostom.
- Examinations. "Religious, honest, cultured, open-minded, and enterprising: this is how we would like to see youth come forth from the schools." Pius XII.
- Various. "He causes his prayers to be of more avail to others, who offers them also for others." St. Gregory I.
OF OUR LADY
In this present age disturbed by so many upheavals, it is
a great consolation to Us to contemplate the Sodalities of Our Lady over the world working strenuously and effectively in every field of the apostolate, either inspiring people of every social rank, youths especially and workers, by means
of the Spiritual Exercises to the practice of virtue
and the desire of a deeper Christian life, or in coming to the help of those in grave corporal or spiritual
It is not contrary to the close and almost military unity of Catholics that this type of sodality was first started by the Ignatian family, and seems to be as it were an offshoot and branch of it. Rather, from their very beginning the Sodalities of Our Lady proposed to themselves as a headline the rules "for thinking with the Church," and seem to have developed an almost natural tendency of obeying the words of those whom "the Holy Spirit placed as bishops to rule the Church of God." Hence they have been and shall be in the future a most powerful help to the bishops in promoting the kingdom of Christ.
The Sodalities of Our Lady are associations imbued with an apostolic spirit
which not only urge their members, who are sometimes led to the highest
sanctity, to strive to obtain, under the guidance of their pastors, the
Christian perfection and eternal salvation
of others, and to safeguard the rights
of the Church, but also provide tireless heralds of the Virgin Mother
of God and fully trained propagators of the kingdom of Christ.
The structure and peculiar character of the Sodalities
of Our Lady are no obstacle whatever to their being called with the fullest
right "Catholic Action under the auspices and inspiration of the Blessed Virgin Mary." For as they have been in the past, they are and will continue to be a means
of safeguarding and promoting the formation of outstanding Catholics.
For Vocations Through the Sodality
Virgin Mother Mary, I ask you to prosper an increase of vocations to the Society of Jesus, and to the priestly and religious life in general, through the sodalities consecrated to your name. Experience proves that the number of desirable vocations
increases amazingly where sodalities flourish among
the young. At some time or other, the grace
of vocation is offered to many. The commonest cause of its loss is that
their spiritual formation does not make them
ready for it, or does not make them responsive and faithful to the grace. I therefore beg of you, dear Mother, to obtain
for Marian sodalities throughout the world an abundance of grace for their members,
that those who are being called to serve your
divine Son in the priesthood or the religious life may recognize their
vocation and respond with generosity for the greater glory of God. Amen.
For the Sanctification of Sodalists
of divine grace, obtain for all sodalists a growth
in holiness and fidelity to their way of life. Just as the Exercises in their entirety are suited only to those "who desire to secure the
greatest possible spiritual profit,"
so the sodality is suited only to
those who entertain a similar resolve to attain Christian perfection. But desires and resolutions are sterile without the grace of
God. I therefore ask you to intercede in favor of
those who have consecrated themselves specially under
your protection, and secure for them light and strength to become what
their sodality ideal proposes: outstanding
Catholics who give themselves wholeheartedly
to sanctification in their own state of life and strenuously endeavor
to save and sanctify others and defend the
Church of Jesus Christ against the
attacks of its enemies. Amen.
For the Sodality Apostolate
Mary, Queen of Apostles, assist by your prayers and intercession
all the apostolic works undertaken by sodalists throughout
the world. Obtain for them an
increase in zeal for souls, redeemed by the blood of your divine Son
and entrusted to your care as He was
dying on the cross. Just as in the
Society of Jesus, so in the sodality, apostolic endeavor is no less essential than personal perfection. Enlighten sodality directors to discover suitable
works in the apostolate; teach them and their members to adapt themselves to
meet the most pressing needs at hand; enlarge their vision to see beyond
their immediate environment to the spiritual
necessities of the whole mystical body of Christ; protect them from the
dangers of self-complacency and pride, and prosper all their apostolic efforts for the upbuilding of the Church of God. Amen.
Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, I, (NAME), choose you this
day to be my queen, my patroness,
and my advocate, and I firmly resolve never to leave you, and never to say or do anything against you, nor ever permit others to do anything against your honor. Receive me, then, I beg of you, for your servant forever. Help me in my every action,
and abandon me not at the hour of my
St. John Berchmans
Most holy Mary, Virgin Mother of
God, I, (NAME), most unworthy though I
am to be your servant, yet touched by your
motherly care for me, and longing to serve you, do in the presence of
my guardian angel and all the court of heaven, choose you this day to be my queen, my advocate, and my mother. I firmly
resolve to serve you evermore myself and to
do what I can that all may render faithful service to you. Therefore,
most devoted Mother, through the precious blood of your Son poured out for me,
I implore you to number me among your subjects
and accept me as your servant forever.
Aid me in all my actions, and beg for me the grace never by word or deed or thought to be displeasing in your
sight and that of your most holy Son.
Watch over me and desert me not at the hour of death. Amen.
St. Francis de Sales
THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
Through the Passion
My Jesus, by the sorrows You suffered
in Your agony in
the garden, in Your scourging and crowning with thorns, in the way to Calvary, in Your crucifixion and death, have
mercy on the souls
in purgatory, and especially on those that are most forsaken. Deliver them from the dire torments they endure. Call them and
admit them to Your most blessed embrace
in paradise. Amen.
§ Divine Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the
dying, deliver the holy souls in purgatory.
Most Loving Jesus
Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech
You to offer to Your
eternal Father in behalf of the holy souls in purgatory, the most precious blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Your adorable body, together with Your agony and death.
Sorrowful Virgin Mary, also present to Him, together
with the dolorous Passion of your dear Son,
your own sighs and tears, and all the trials you endured in His suffering, in order that, through His merits, refreshment may be granted to
the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory. Delivered from that painful prison, may they be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from
every bond of sin, that with Your gracious
assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy
the blessedness of everlasting light.
v Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
R And let perpetual light shine upon them.
v From the gates of hell,
R Deliver their souls, O Lord.
v May they rest in peace.
v O Lord, hear my prayer.
R And let my cry come unto You.
LET US PRAY O
God, Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful,
grant to the souls of Your servants and handmaids the remission of all their
sins; that through our fervent prayers they may obtain the pardon which they
have always desired. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.
For My Parents
O God, You have commanded us to honor our
father and mother. In Your mercy have pity on the souls of my father and mother
(the soul of my father, the soul of my mother), and forgive them
their trespasses (forgive him his trespasses,
forgive her her trespasses); and grant me to see them (him,
her) again in the joy of
everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, who in the ranks of the apostolic
these, Your servant (s), (NAME), with the priestly dignity, grant, we beg You, that they (he) may be joined
to the everlasting friendship of the same
priests, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Brothers and Scholastics
Grant, we beseech You, O Lord, that
the soul of Your
servant (s), (NAME), whom You have honored in this life with the grace of a religious vocation, may forever rejoice in the bliss of heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your
Son, who live and reign world without
Heroic Act of Charity
According to a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences, confirmed by Leo XIII, "The
Heroic Act of Charity in favor of the souls
detained in purgatory consists in this, that a member of the Church militant, either using a set formula or simply by an act of his will, offers to God for the souls in purgatory all the satisfactory works which he will perform during his lifetime, and also all the suffrages
which may accrue to him after his death. Many Christians devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary . . . make it a practice
to deposit the said merits and suffrages as
it were into the hands of the Blessed Virgin
that she may distribute these favors to the
souls in purgatory according to her own merciful pleasure." A later answer from the same Congregation
added the explanation that the Heroic Act,
unlike a vow, is revocable at will.
The Heroic Act has been enriched with numerous
indulgences, by Benedict XIII (1728), Pius
VI (1788), Pius IX (1852, 1854), and Pius XI (1932). Priests who make
it receive the personal privilege of a privileged altar every time they say
Mass for the departed; the laity gain a plenary indulgence
applicable only to the souls
in purgatory on every day
they receive Holy Communion; they can also
gain the same every Monday by hearing
Mass and offering it for the poor soulsin both cases under the usual
conditions. Moreover they can obtain for
the faithful departed all indulgences,
even those which are not otherwise applicable to them.
no formula is required, a familiar wording is the prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori:
"O my God, in union with the
merits of Jesus and Mary, I offer You for
the souls in purgatory all my satisfactory works, as well as
those which may be applied to me by others
life and after my death.
To be more agreeable
to the divine Heart of Jesus and more helpful
to the departed, I place them all in the hands of the merciful Virgin Mary."
Prayer for All Times
The following are examples of informal prayers,
covering a variety of typical circumstances
and intentions, which may serve as models of that personal and direct
contact with God which St. Ignatius so highly recommended to his sons. They are suggested ways of keeping in touch
with our Lord in simple, unadorned language
about daily problems and needs in
the ordinary life of a Jesuit. Their purpose is to show that our life
of prayer is not a spiritual vacuum, that
we can pray about the real issues
we face day after day, and pray in our own words not only in terms of standard formularies.
The samples here given are only illustrative.
Realistic prayer about one's own specific needs is too personal to be done by anyone except
by each man for himself. Priests, Scholastics,
Brothers, novices, and postulants have different immediate goals and find themselves in vastly different situations. Individually
we differ in everything that makes us different
personalities. It is in the interest of this individuality in prayer that certain familiar sentiments are here addressed to God.
Lord Jesus, how quick I am to seek
for praise when,
perhaps, I should be blamed, and how slow to credit others when I know they should be praised. To overcome myself on both
these counts, I ask for grace to stop
as promptly as I can every rising thought
of self-complacency; and to look for
opportunities of praising others first in my mind and then in words,
but always with perfect sincerity.
Lord, help me to forgive and forget.
Let me see that brooding over real or
imaginary injuries is poison to the soul. I know from experience that at the
moment I suffer adversity or some injustice I am not much affected. But later
on, when I recall the annoyance
I become irritated and resentful and tempted to revenge. Assist me, dear Jesus,
either to keep from thinking
about past offenses or, if they come to mind, to use them
as occasions for a prayer of reparation to Your Sacred Heart.
Merciful Jesus, I have sinned again. The humiliation
is good for me. "Bonum est mihi." But Your mercy is above all Your
works. "Domine, miserere mihi." I am truly sorry and confident that
You permitted this fall in order to draw me closer to Yourself. "Cor contritum
non despicies." With implicit confidence
in Your providential care, I will use the experience to grow in Your
love and give myself more than ever zealously to Your service. Amen.
My adorable Savior, grant me the grace to accept this
trial from Your hands not only patiently but cheerfully.
You love sacrifices made in joy, and the perfection of my offering is
to show gratitude when I am tried. Help me
see that the sufferings of this life
are not worthy to be compared with the
glory to come that shall be revealed in us. May I profit from this visitation
of Your mercy by resigning myself to Your will, and generously cooperating with
the grace You offer to expiate my sins and grow in likeness of You, my Lord
and Redeemer. Amen!
Holy spirit of wisdom, may I see myself as I really
am, and be willing to apply the test of my sincerity.
I know I cannot trust myself to overcome
self. May I be willing that others should help me, and not resist Your providence when they do so. May I take
little slights, coldness, and neglect in the right spirit, patiently and even
willingly, looking on each as a grace to
draw me nearer to Yourself and destroy Your enemy, inordinate self-love,
in my heart for Your praise and glory. Amen.
Assist me, dear Lord, to gain the spiritual fruit You intend from the illness you sent me. May I see that bodily
infirmities are to help me understand
myself better, detach me from the love of created
things, and, by reflecting on the shortness of life, urge me to labor more earnestly to adorn my soul for the future
life where there is no sickness or pain but only joy in Your company
for all eternity.
Heart of Jesus, I ask for the grace of deep humility, in the spirit of the third
degree: to avoid speaking of self and trying to attract attention; to bear reproof without being discouraged or sulking;
to accept advice when given, to ask and follow the same when needed; to put myself last, and be content that
others are preferred to me; to acknowledge my faults and shortcomings frankly,
both interiorly and exteriorly. Help me, dear Lord,
to live out the ideal set before me
by St. Ignatius, of doing in all things the opposite to what worldly
people do, rejecting with horror what they seek after, and eagerly seeking what they reject, in order
to become more like You, who are meek and humble of heart. Amen.
Lord Jesus, help me to overcome the aversion I feel for this person. Enlighten me to see Your presence in him, so that captivated by this image I may not be distracted by his natural temperament or deceived by external appearances. Teach me
to observe in him only his virtues and good qualities, and in myself only my
faults and imperfections. You have placed him into my life as an opportunity to prove my love for You and as a way to expiate, in some measure, the impatience that my own failings and defects have provoked in
Jesus, my Lord, deepen my religious poverty. Let me see that a person is not poor in spirit if he does
not wish to feel the cost of poverty. To have the
name of being poor, and at the same time enjoy the comforts of wealth, is to deceive myself and others. Help me to see and put into practice
the counsel of St. Ignatius to cherish poverty as a mother and, as occasion
offers, experience some of its effects.
Lord, grant me the spirit of indifference in my religious
life. I know how easy it is to be deceived that I would make greater progress
or be better satisfied under another superior, in other employment or circumstances. You have placed me where I
am, and I ask only for the grace perfectly to cooperate with Your providence in my regard. Amen.
Rising in the Morning
Lord Jesus, help me to rise promptly with the bell
in the morning. I know from experience how much this first act of sacrifice
can affect my meditation and consequently
my whole day. Let me offer You the
self-conquest it requires as atonement
for my past self-indulgence, and a petition for the strength of character which You look for in Your devoted
Teach me, dear Lord, to appreciate the value of time. Let me not think it is a small matter to waste
time in idle reading or conversation. Help me
see that time is the talent You have entrusted to our keeping, to be
used for the greater profit of souls. It is
not ours but Yours. While we are wasting time the enemy is alert and
working for the downfall of the human race.
On the day of judgment You will demand a strict account of every idle word we have spoken, and reward us according to the use we made of this precious gift of Your bounty.
Grant me, dear Lord, the spirit of generosity I need to profit from the classes required by obedience and prescribed by the Church for the training of her future priests. Help me to see, as St. Ignatius tells us, that while in studies we are no less pleasing to You and useful to souls than later on in the active apostolate. Let me not measure my application to classwork by merely human wisdom, but, enlightened by Your grace, trust that
every course I take and lecture I attend have bearing
on my future ministry for Your greater glory. Amen.
Divine Teacher of heavenly wisdom, may I respect my teachers as their office and my role as student
require. Let me not allow understandable differences
or defects to hinder profiting from their instruction. Grant me that
docility of mind which, according to St. Thomas, is not negligent through sloth
nor disdainful through pride. Grant my teachers
that understanding of truth which You desire to give me through them. Make me
grateful for the knowledge that, except for their charity, I should not possess; and make me zealous not to hoard what I learn but share what I receive, for Your glory and the good of souls. Amen.
Equality of All Men
of heaven and earth who became poor and humble
to teach us the way of salvation, assist me to place the proper value on persons and things, and not be misled
by appearances. Let me never consider anyone
more worthy than others of esteem
or of spiritual care merely because of his family's prestige or his wealth. I know what I should think of a man imbued with this spirit who
on meeting You or Your Mother as You lived on earthpoor certainly and living
by the toil of Your handswould look down with contempt on You or at least would be indifferent to Your lot
and pass You by. Keep me mindful, dear Lord, of Your
promise and warning, that: "as long as you did it for one of these, the
least of My brethren, you did it for Me." Amen.
Immaculate Virgin Mary, I confide my vow of chastity to your maternal heart. I ask your help to
guard my senses, especially the eyes, for an unchaste
eye is the messenger of an unchaste heart. Knowing my pride, I pray for
that humility which invites the mercy of God.
Knowing that I am human, I shall not be surprised at the urge of concupiscence, but trusting in your care I rely on
your protection and all the graces
that I need from your divine Son. Amen.
I have been humiliated to the dust, dear Lord, and I ask for courage to benefit from what You sent me. Teach me to know that great graces cannot be obtained without humility, so those who are
to have them must be humiliated, to be made worthy
by humility to receive the blessings that You withhold from the proud.
Having experienced the present humiliation,
may I trust it as a sure sign that
You have some special grace in store for me. Amen.
Protect me, most humble Savior, from falling prey to envy, which is a criminal sadness at the good fortune of our neighbor, and utterly unworthy of a companion of Jesus. By the merits of Your death, which was brought on by envy, grant me the grace to rejoice in the talents and achievements
of my brethren. Instead of feeling sad that someone
is preferred to me, or that he succeeds where I failed, let me use the
experience to inspire greater effort in Your service and more generous zeal for the upbuilding of the mystical
Spirit of wisdom, enlighten me to understand what I am about to read, and help me to put it into practice.
Assist my memory to retain what You
desire should later be used in the interests of charity and the work of the apostolate. Teach me to recognize in
this reading an instrument of Your grace,
directing my soul to greater union with You, and through me, the souls of others with whom I share what
You wish me to learn. Amen.
Jesus, my Lord, help me to overcome my weakness of giving in to human respect. I seem almost to live by the judgment that others have of me. Yet
I know how foolish it is to pay so much attention to what people think or say,
as though it was their opinion and not Your
infallible wisdom that was the norm of my actions. Deliver me from this
tyranny, which it is, by making me so conscious of Your presence that no human being may interfere with my joyous freedom in Your service. Amen.
have been misjudged and deeply offended, dear Lord,
and it is hard to suppress my wounded feelings. But when I reflect on
the injuries You have patiently suffered for my sake and now ask me to bear You company, I am strengthened to accept the
trial for love of You in return. Let me never fear that You will ask
too much of me. Of course You often ask for something that my nature rebels
against, but the pain of giving it lasts only a short time, while the reward is eternal. St. Ignatius tells us to "labor
to make ourselves indifferent," not necessarily "be indifferent," because we do not become indifferent or lose our sensitivities overnight.
I ask for the grace to profit from this experience and, in spite of my emotions,
offer the sacrifice of my will to Your divine will. Amen.
of counsel and understanding, enlighten my mind on the problem I face, to make
the decision which You foresee will be most conducive to Your glory and my salvation. Do not permit my feelings
or preferences, human respect or unreasoning fear to influence my judgment,
but let me decide according to Your will,
let me do what I will wish to have done at the moment of my death. Amen.
Lord, I have been told I am moody, and I admit this is true. But what can I do? Enlighten me to
see what defect in character gives rise to the moodiness, whether envy or pride or inordinate fear. Give me courage
to overcome what stands in the way of my cheerful service of You. Let me see
how valuable as simple a thing as
a smile can be in
community life, and how effective in dealing with people in the apostolateyet how much of a sacrifice for a man of
my temperament and therefore how pleasing to Your Majesty. Amen.
Lord Jesus, may I see that devotion
to Your Sacred Heart means being convinced of Your personal love for me, returning
it by personal love for You, and, therefore,
being glad when You are honored, sorry when
You are offended, and making what
reparation I can for the injuries which I and others have done to You
by our sins. Let me learn from experience
the truth of Your promise to the Society
that we shall succeed in the apostolate beyond our fondest hopes or desires if only we are devoted
to Your Sacred Heart.
been told, dear Lord, to cultivate kindness of manner
and gentleness in my dealings with others. Moreover I know how much I appreciate having others act kindly toward me. But I need light to see the difference between this and softness,
and to distinguish sentimentality from true Christian
love. I also need prudence not to allow my feelings to get the better of me, and so restrain what should be expressions of charity out
of fear of being betrayed in my affections or of permitting emotions
to dominate my conduct. Above
all I need control of my thoughts, since my words and actions will be as kind
as my inner dispositions. By the kindness
You showed to those who entered Your mortal life on earth, and by the
infinite mercy of Your Sacred Heart, grant me an increase
in the fruits of Your Holy Spirit, notably of gentleness and mildness,
for the glory of Your name and the benefit of souls. Amen.
My Lord, there is no virtue I need more in religious
life than fraternal charity. None is more important
for peace and harmony in a community; none
can be practiced more often or in more ways or with greater demands on nature and the resources of grace. None is more pleasing to You, since
You told us that by this shall men know that we
are Your disciples, and on the last day our fidelity to this virtue will
determine our eternal destiny.
In Your wisdom You have given us the norm for
the practice of charity, namely, to love others as
we love ourselves, or do to others as we would have them do to us. If I ask myself whether I prefer to have attention paid to me or be overlooked,
smiled or frowned upon, complimented for
the good I do or ignored, have my defects passed over or paraded before
others and talked about, spoken to in recreation or passed by in silence, have
interest shown in my interests or have no one care how I feel or what I think,
be asked to
cooperate in community projects or snubbed even when I offer to helpthe answer in each case is obvious,
where I am concerned. Yet this is the standard which You give me for dealing with all who enter my life, and especially my fellow religious; as it will also be the measure of Your love
for me and of Your grace in my favor.
Teach me to learn this law of charity, that You will love us in the degree in which we love others, and help me by Your mercy to put it into daily practice until
You call me to Yourself. Amen.
Toward the Priesthood
Dearest Jesus, You revealed Yourself as the good shepherd and instituted the priesthood for the care
of Your flock. Grant that every action of mine in these long years of preparation may make me less unworthy of
that tremendous honor, and prepare me better
to care for the souls You will entrust to me. Though I myself of myself
am most unworthy of Your gifts of grace,
for the sake of the souls to be given
to my charge increase my faith, hope, and love. Amen.
A Brother's Prayer
Dear Jesus, I thank You for calling
me to walk in Your footsteps as a Jesuit Brother.
I am not worthy of such a privilege but humbly and graciously accept it with all my heart. Mine is the privilege
of imitating You in Your thirty years of a hidden
life of love and hard work. Mine is the privilege of
being able to pause during the day knowing that Mary and Joseph are near me to help me live ever more faithfully in my holy vocation. To You,
my Jesus, I renew my vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. And as You have given me the grace to desire and offer them, so now I humbly beg and trust You for the grace to fulfill them.
St. Alphonsus, make me the kind of Jesuit Brother that Jesus wants me to be. Mine is the sublime vocation
which the world looks down upon. The world
regards success as having one's name on people's lips and enjoying all the material
comforts one could desire. It does not know the peace that comes from the true love of Jesus and from living and working in a hidden life, away from all that the world holds dear. Help me, St. Alphonsus, to be very humble and to love very much. In this world of coldness, bitterness, and strife,
may God see in my hidden life as a Jesuit Brother one who dearly loves Him and wants to bring as many souls as possible to do the same. Amen.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, as I am starting
this morning's (afternoon's)
work, may I offer You through Mary's immaculate
heart and in the company of St. Joseph all the chores I am about to perform.
May I be diligent and hard working, generous and self-sacrificing, cheerful and patient, and above all motivated by a strong love for You. I unite
myself to all the Masses that will be offered during this time, my Jesus. May
they obtain many graces for myself and all Your children throughout the world,
especially those who are most in need. Amen.
A Teacher's Prayer
Dear Lord, help me teach my students how
to live this life on earth,
to face its struggles and improve their worth
in the Church and in civil society. May the result of my message to them be
not just a lesson in a book, but their choice of
right from wrong. I ask Your guidance, Lord, to fill my place, to do my part in forging character
and bringing Your grace to their hearts. Amen.
Before Spiritual Direction
Jesus, I am about to confer with the counselor
providence has chosen for the guidance of my soul. Help me to speak frankly and confidently
to him, and
to hear his counsels with humility and docility.
May they lead me to a clearer knowledge of
myself and a deeper insight and a warmer love of You, a better appreciation
of my vocation and the means it offers me to attain the perfection You
expect of me. Amen.
§ Savior of the world, save Russia.
Prescribed Jesuit Intentions
Unless otherwise specified, the requirements for
priests are one Mass offered first intention,
and for those who are not priests, one Mass
heard, Holy Communion received, and rosary said.
- At the beginning of the year, for the Society of Jesus.
- March 12, on the anniversary (1622) of the canonization of Sts. Ignatius and Francis Xavier, in remembrance, thanksgiving, and petition for grace "to follow in the footsteps of Fathers so illustrious."
- July 2, on the anniversary (1688) of the commission received by the Society to promote devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in thanksgiving. At least second intention for priests.
- August 7, on the anniversary (1814) of the reestablishment of the Society throughout the world, in thanksgiving.
- September 27, on the anniversary (1540) of the first establishment and confirmation of the Society, in thanksgiving and petition for future prosperity.
- November 3, for all the deceased members of the Society.
The following are second intentions for priests offering Mass, but first intention for all others who are not priests.
- For the Society.
- For the conversion of heretics and schismatics.
- For the conversion of infidels.
- For the principal benefactors, living and dead, of the house in which there are at least twenty members of the Society.
- In some provinces, the Scholastics and Brothers offer Holy Communion on a certain day for living and deceased members of the Jesuit Seminary Association.
- For the intention of Father General.
- For the deceased members of other provinces. Second intention in the priests' offering of Mass.
- For the Society. Seven Paters and Aves by Scholastics and Brothers; second intention at Mass by the priest(s) designated.
- For the benefactors of the house, living and dead. Seven Paters and Aves by Scholastics and Brothers; second intention at Mass by the priest(s) designated.
- For the principal benefactors of the house, living and dead. One rosary by the Scholastic or Brother designated; second intention at Mass by the designated priest.
- In honor of the holy angels for protection. Second intention at Mass by the designated priest. In some provinces, notably in novitiates and scholasticates, the Mass is of first intention.
- In honor of St. Joseph for the temporal needs of the house. Holy Communion and rosary for designated Scholastics and Brothers; second intention at Mass for designated priest.
1 Three Masses, first intention, offered by the priests; and three Masses, Holy Communions, and rosaries by those who are not priests for deceased members of the house or community.
2 Two Masses, first intention, offered by the priests; and two Masses, Holy Communions, and rosaries by those who are not priests for deceased members of the province.
all be mindful according to the Constitutions to pray frequently for the Church, especially for those who can contribute most to its well-being, such as ecclesiastical and secular
rulers, and those who can most help or hinder the salvation of souls; also for
our friends and benefactors, living and dead, those for whose salvation Ours
are working in all parts of the world, and for those unfavorably disposed toward
our Society. Epitome,
Copyright © 1998 by Inter Mirifica