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For Jesuits

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Loyola University Press

Copyright © 1963 Loyola University Press
Printed in the United States of America













Chapter 1: Holy Is the Lord

+   Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is coming. Worthy art thou, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and because of thy will they existed, and were created. We give thee thanks, O Lord God almighty, who art, and who wast, because thou hast taken thy great power and hast begun thy reign. And the nations were angered, but thy wrath came and the time for the dead to be judged, and for giving the reward to thy servants—the prophets, and the saints, and those who fear thy name, the small and the great—and for destroying those who corrupted the earth. Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God almighty; just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages. Who will not fear thee, O Lord, and magnify thy name? for thou alone art holy. For all nations will come and worship before thee; because thy judgments are manifest.

Apocalypse 4:8, 11; 11:17-18; 15:3-4   

   §  Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts: the heavens and the earth are filled with Your glory.


The holy Catholic apostolic Roman Church believes and professes that there is one true and living God, Creator and Lord of heaven and earth, almighty, eternal, immense, incomprehensible, infinite in mind and will and every perfection. Since He is uniquely one absolutely simple and incommunicable spiritual substance, He must be considered really and essentially distinct from the world, supremely happy in and of Himself, and ineffably superior to all things which exist or are conceivable outside Himself.

This one only true God, of His own goodness and almighty power, not for the increase or achievement of His own happiness, but to manifest His perfection by the blessings which He bestows on creatures and with absolute freedom of counsel, from the very beginning of time has created both orders of creatures in the same way out of nothing, the spiritual or angelic world and the corporeal or visible universe. And afterwards He formed the creature man, who in a way belongs to both orders, as he is composed of body and spirit.

All the things that He created, God sustains and governs by His providence: "reaching from end to end mightily, and gently ordering all things." For "all things are naked and open to His eyes," even those which are to occur in the future through the free action of creatures.

First Vatican Council   

Who Is Lord?

"Who is Lord but the Lord, or who is God but our God?" You are the greatest and the best, mightiest, almighty, most merciful and most just, utterly hidden and utterly present, most beautiful and most strong, abiding yet mysterious, suffering no change and changing all things: never new, never old, making all things new, "bringing age upon the proud, and they know it not." Ever in action, ever at rest, gathering all things to Yourself and needing none; sustaining and fulfilling and protecting, creating and nourishing and making perfect; ever seeking though lacking nothing.

You love without subjection to passion, You are jealous but not with fear; You can know repentance but not sorrow, be angry yet unperturbed by anger. You can change the things You have made but Your mind remains changeless. You find and receive back what You never lost; are never in need but rejoice over Your gains; are not greedy but demand interest manifold. Men pay You more than they have to in order to win from You in return, yet who has anything which is not already Yours? You owe nothing yet pay as if You were in debt to Your creatures, forgive what is owed to You yet without losing thereby. And with all this, what have I said, my God and my Life and my sacred Delight? What can anyone say when he speaks of You? Yet woe to them who are silent of You, when even those who say most are but dumb.

St. Augustine   

O Lord, You Search Me

O Lord, You search me and You know me,
You know my resting and my rising,
    You discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down;
    all my ways lie open to You.
Before ever a word is on my tongue
    You know it, O Lord, through and through.
Behind and before You besiege me,
    Your hand ever laid upon me.
Too wonderful for me, this knowledge,
    too high, beyond my reach.
O where can I go from Your spirit,
    or where can I flee from Your face?
If I climb the heavens, You are there;
    if I lie in the grave, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
    and dwell at the sea's furthest end,
Even there Your hand would lead me,
    Your right hand would hold me fast.
If I say: "Let the darkness hide me
    and the light around me be night,"
Even the darkness is not dark for You
    and the night is as clear as the day.
For it was You who created my being,
    knit me together in my mother's womb.
I thank You for the wonder of my being,
    for the wonders of all Your creation.
Already You know my soul,
    my body held no secret from You,
When I was being fashioned in secret
    and molded in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw all my actions,
    they were all of them written in Your book;
    every one of my days was decreed
    before one of them came into being.
To me, how mysterious Your thoughts,
    the sum of them not to be numbered!
If I count them, they are more than the sand;
    could I finish I would still be with You.
O God, that You would slay the wicked
    and keep men of blood far from me.
With deceit they rebel against You
    and set Your designs at naught.
Do I not hate those who hate You,
    abhor those who rise against You?
I hate them with a perfect hate
    and they are foes to me.
O search me God and know my heart.
    O test me and know my thoughts.
See that I follow not the wrong path
    and lead me in the path of life eternal.

Psalm 138   

I Desire To Love You

Grant, O Lord, that the blessed violence of Your most ardent love may separate and free me from everything that is under heaven, and so entirely consume me that I may die for love of Your infinite love. This I beg of You, O Son of God, who died for love of me. My God and my all! Who are You, O blessed Lord, and who am I—Your servant and a worm of earth. I desire to love You, most holy Lord. I have consecrated my soul to You, and my body, and all that I am. If I knew what I could do more perfectly to glorify You, this I would readily do; this I earnestly desire to accomplish, my God. Amen.

St. Francis of Assisi

Act of Faith

My God, I truly confess, as becomes a good Christian, the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons in one God; and I firmly believe, without hesitation, whatever the Roman Church holds and believes, and so I promise that I will live and die in the holy Catholic faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, God and man, who died for us. And in case I am not able to speak when about to die, I now confess my Lord Jesus Christ with my whole heart, for and instead of that time. Amen.

St. Francis Xavier

Center of Those Who Trust

All below heaven changes: spring, summer, autumn, each has its turn. The fortunes of the world change: what was high, lies low; what was low, rises high. Riches take wing and flee away; bereavements happen. Friends become enemies, and enemies friends. Our wishes, aims, and plans change. There is nothing stable but Thee, O my God! And Thou art the center and life of all who change, who trust Thee as their Father, who look to Thee and are content to put themselves into Thy hands. Amen.

Cardinal Newman

I Thank You, Lord

I thank You, Lord, with all my heart;
    You have heard the words of my mouth.
Before the angels I will bless You.
    I will adore before Your holy temple.
I thank You for Your faithfulness and love
    which excel all we ever knew of You.
On the day I called, You answered;
    You increased the strength of my soul.
All earth's kings shall thank You
    when they hear the words of Your mouth.
They shall sing of the Lord's ways:
    “How great is the glory of the Lord!”
The Lord is high yet He looks on the lowly
    but the haughty He knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of affliction,
    You give me life and frustrate my foes.
    You stretch out Your hand and save me,
    Your hand will do all things for me!
Your love, O Lord, is eternal;
discard not the work of Your hands.

Psalm 137

   § My God, my only God, You are all mine; may I be always Yours.

O Deus, Ego Amo Te


O Deus, ego amo te,
Nec amo te ut salves me;
Aut quia non amantes te
Aeterno punis igne.
Tu, tu, mi Jesu, totum me
Amplexus es in cruce;
Tulisti clavos, lanceam
Multamque ignominiam.
Innumeros dolores,
Sudores et angores,
Ac mortem, et haec propter me,
Ac pro me peccatore.
Cur igitur non amem te,
O Jesu amantissime?
Non ut in caelo salves me,
Aut ne aeternum damnes me,
Nec praemii ullius spe;
Sed sicut tu amasti me,
Sic amo et amabo te,
Solum quia rex meus es
Et solum quia Deus es.

St. Francis Xavier


O God, I love Thee, I love Thee—
Not out of hope of heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
    In the everlasting burning.
Thou, Thou, my Jesus, after me
    Didst reach Thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
    Sorrows passing number,
    Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death, and this for me,
    And Thou couldst see me sinning;
Then I, why should not I love Thee,
Jesus, so much in love with me?
Not for heaven's sake; not to be
Out of hell by loving Thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that Thou didst me
I do love and I will love Thee:
What must I love Thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God. Amen.

        Translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins

How Great Is Your Name

How great is Your name, O Lord our God
    through all the earth!
    Your Majesty is praised above the heavens.
On the lips of children and of babes
    You have found praise to foil Your enemy,
    to silence the foe and the rebel.
When I see the heavens, the work of Your hands,
    the moon and the stars which You arranged,
What is man that You should keep him in mind,
    mortal man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him little less than a god;
    with glory and honor You crowned him,
Gave him power over the works of Your hand,
    put all things under his feet.
All of them, sheep and cattle,
    yes, even the savage beasts,
Birds of the air, and fish
    that make their way through the waters.
How great is Your name, O Lord our God
    through all the earth!

Psalm 8

You Have Made Us for Yourself

You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Your power, and of Your wisdom there is no number. And man desires to praise You. He is but a tiny part of all that You created. He bears about him his mortality, the evidence of his sinfulness, and the evidence that You resist the proud: yet this tiny part of all that You created desires to praise You.

You so inspire him that to praise You is his joy. For You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless till they rest in You. Grant me, O Lord, to know which is the soul's first movement toward You—to implore Your aid or to utter its praise of You; and whether it must know You before it can implore. For it would seem clear that no one can call upon You without knowing You, for if he did he might invoke another than You, knowing You not. Yet may it be that a man must implore You before he can know You?

But, "how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe without a preacher? And they shall praise the Lord that seek Him." For those that seek shall find; and finding Him they will praise Him. Let me seek You, Lord, by asking Your aid; and let me utter my prayer believing in You, for You have been preached to us. My faith, Lord, cries to You, the faith that You have given me, that You have breathed into me, through the humanity of Your Son and by the ministry of the one who preached to me.

St. Augustine   

Canticle of the Sun

O most high, almighty, good Lord God, to You belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing.

Praised be my Lord God with all His creatures, and especially our brother the sun, who brings us the day and who brings us the night; fair is he and shines with a very great splendor; O Lord, he signifies You to us.

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, and for the stars, which He has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind, and for the air, and clouds, calms and all weather by which You uphold life in all creatures.

Praised be my Lord for our sister water, who is very serviceable to us and humble and precious and very clean.

Praised be my Lord for our brother fire, through whom You give us light in the darkness; he is bright and pleasant and very mighty and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the earth, which sustains us and keeps us, and brings forth grass and divers fruits and flowers of many colors.

Praise and bless the Lord, and give thanks to Him and serve Him with great humility. Amen.

St. Francis of Assisi

Te Deum

Te Deum laudamus: to Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem: omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes angeli, tibi caeli et universae potentates:
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim: incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus: Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra: majestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus apostolorum chorus,
Te prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae majestatis,
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium,
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem: non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu devicto mortis aculeo: aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes: in gloria Patris.
Judex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis: in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine: et benedic hereditati tuae.
Et rege eos et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum: et in saeculum saeculi.
Dignare, Domine, die isto: sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri, Domine: miserere nostri. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos: quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

V. Benedicamus Patrem et Filium cum Sancto Spiritu.
R. Laudemus et superexaltemus eum in saecula.
V. Benedictus es, Domine, in firmamento caeli.
R. Et laudabilis, et gloriosus, et superexaltatus in saecula.
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
V. Dominus vobiscum.

R. Et cum Spiritu tuo.

OREMUS  Deus, cujus misericordiae non est numerus, et bonitatis infinitus est thesaurus, piissimae Majestati tuae pro collatis donis gratias agimus, tuam semper clementiam exorantes: ut qui petentibus postulata concedis, eosdem non deserens, ad praemia futura disponas.

Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere.

Deus, qui neminem in te sperantem nimium affligi permittis, sed pium precibus praestas auditum: pro postulationibus nostris votisque susceptis gratias agimus, te piissime deprecantes, ut a cunctis semper muniamur adversis. Per Dominum nostrum.

We praise You, O God; we acknowledge You to be the Lord. All the earth worships You, the everlasting Father. To You all the angels, the heavens, and all the powers, the cherubim, and seraphim cry out without ceasing: Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts!

The majesty of Your glory fills the heavens and the earth. The glorious choir of apostles, the admirable company of the prophets, the white-robed army of martyrs praise You. Through the world the holy Church testifies to You, the Father, whose glory is beyond our comprehension, Your adorable, true, and only Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. You, O Christ, are the king of glory. You are the eternal Son of the Father. You did not disdain a virgin's womb to redeem man. You overcame death, and opened the kingdom of heaven for the faithful. Now You are seated at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father. We believe that You will come again as judge. Help Your servants, whom You have redeemed with Your precious blood. Number them among Your saints in everlasting glory.

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance. And govern them, and keep them safe forever.

Through each day we bless You, and praise Your name forever; indeed, for ever and ever. Grant, O Lord, to keep us without sin this day. Have mercy on us, O Lord; have mercy on us. Let Your mercy be upon us, O Lord, as we have trusted in You. In Your mercy, O Lord, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame forever.

V. Let us bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
R. Let us praise and exalt Him forever.
V. Blessed are You, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
R. Worthy to be praised, glorified, and exalted above all forever.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto You.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

LET US PRAY  O God, there is no limit to Your mercy and no boundaries to the treasury of Your goodness. We thank Your gracious Majesty for the gifts You have bestowed upon us and, because You have answered the prayers of those who petition You, we implore Your clemency to forsake them not, but to prepare them for the rewards to come. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, who have taught the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that in the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation.

O God, You never permit anyone who trusts in You to be tried beyond his strength, but faithfully hear the prayers addressed to You. We thank You for receiving our petitions and desire and humbly ask You ever to protect us from all dangers. Through our Lord.

My God and My All

Grant, O Lord, that the sweet violence of Your most ardent love may disengage and separate me from everything that is under heaven and entirely consume me, that I may die for the love of Your infinite love. This I beg of You, O Son of God, who died for love of me. My God and my all! Who are You, O sweetest Lord! and who am I? —Your servant and a base worm. I desire to love You, most holy Lord. I have consecrated my soul to You, and my body, with all that I am. If I knew what to do more perfectly to glorify You, this I would do most ardently. Yes, this I most ardently desire to accomplish, O my God. Amen.

St. Francis of Assisi

Divine Fire

Most precious of all gifts, give us love which knows no enemy and no victory for evil. Pour into our hearts a pure love, born of Your love for us, that we may love others as You have loved us. Most loving Father of Jesus Christ, from whom all love is derived, grant that our hearts, cold to You, frozen in sin and cold to others, may be warmed by Your divine fire. So help, so bless us in Your Son. Amen.

St. Anselm

Service of Mind and Tongue

O Lord my God, be attentive to my prayer. Let Your mercy grant my desire, since it does not burn for myself alone, but longs to serve the charity I have for my brethren; and in my heart You see it is so. Let me offer in sacrifice to You the service of my mind and my tongue, and give me what I may offer to You, for I am needy and poor. You are rich to all who call upon You. You are free from care for Yourself and full of care for us. Circumcise the lips of my mouth and the lips of my mind of all rash speech and lying. May Your Scriptures be for my chaste delight; let me not deceive others about them nor be myself deceived. O Lord, hearken and have mercy, O Lord my God, light of the blind and strength of the weak, but light too of the clear of sight and strength of the strong, hearken to my soul, hear it crying from the depths. Unless Your ears are attentive to us in the abyss, whither shall we go? To whom shall we cry?

St. Augustine

My Privileges

I beg of Thee grace wherewith to enter into the depths of my privileges—to enjoy what I possess—to believe in, to use, to improve, to glory in my present gifts as a member of Christ, child of God and inheritor of the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

Cardinal Newman

My Soul, Give Thanks

My soul, give thanks to the Lord,
    all my being, bless His holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
    and never forget all His blessings.
It is He who forgives all your guilt,
    who heals every one of your ills,
Who redeems your life from the grave,
    who crowns you with love and compassion,
Who fills your life with good things,
    renewing your youth like an eagle's.
The Lord does deeds of justice,
    gives judgment for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses
    and His deeds to Israel's sons.
The Lord is compassion and love,
    slow to anger and rich in mercy.
His wrath will come to an end,
    He will not be angry forever.
He does not treat us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our faults.
For as the heavens are high above the earth
    so strong is His love for those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
    so far does He remove our sins.
As a father has compassion on his sons
    the Lord has pity on those who fear Him.
For He knows of what we are made,
    He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass,
    he flowers like the flower of the field;
The wind blows and he is gone
    and his place never sees him again.
But the love of the Lord is everlasting
    upon those who hold Him in fear;
    His justice reaches out to children's children
When they keep His covenant in truth,
    when they keep His will in their mind.
The Lord has set His sway in heaven,
    and His kingdom is ruling over all.
Give thanks to the Lord, all His angels,
    mighty in power, fulfilling His word,
    who heed the voice of His word.
Give thanks to the Lord, all His hosts,
    His servants who do His will.
Give thanks to the Lord, all His works,
    in every place where He rules.
    My soul, give thanks to the Lord.

Psalm 102

Beginning and End

My Father, You are so great, I am so little. You are the first and the last, the beginning and the end, almighty, everlasting, and yet my Father. You made me the creature that I am, with my powers and my weaknesses, because You wanted me, even me. You put me here, You gave me this state of life, You want me back. I want to be Yours, I want to do Your work. When the end comes I want to go to You, but without You I cannot. You will not fail me, You cannot fail me; let me not fail You. I know my weakness, I have learnt it from my falls, which You have permitted, that I might learn. Is it necessary to be taught more? I can do nothing of myself, I cannot desire to do anything. I cannot keep from harm, I cannot want to keep from harm. Help me that I may, help me that I may desire it, give me the desire of sacrifice, at least the desire of the desire. I am an infant asking for bread, will my Father give me a stone?

Archbishop Goodier

For the Honor of Your Name

Merciful God, grant that I may eagerly desire, carefully search out, truthfully acknowledge, and ever perfectly fulfill all things which are pleasing to You. Order all my life for the glory and honor of Your name alone. Enlighten me to know what You want of me, and help me do it properly and with profit to my salvation. Grant that I may not fail or swerve either in prosperity or adversity; that I be not lifted up by the one, nor cast down by the other. Let me enjoy only what leads to You, and grieve only for what leads away from You; let me neither seek to please, nor fear to displease, any but You alone. May all transitory things grow vile in my eyes, O Lord, and may all that is Yours be dear to me for Your sake, and You, my God, dear above them all. May all joy be irksome to me that is without You, may all labor and toil delight me which is for You, and rest be weariness which is not in You. Amen.

St. Thomas Aquinas

Prayer of Pope Clement

I believe, Lord, but let me believe more firmly. I hope, but let me hope more confidently. I love, but let me love more ardently. I sorrow, but let me grieve more strongly.

I adore You as my first principle. I desire You as my last end. I praise You as my everlasting benefactor. I invoke You as my kindly benefactor.

Direct me by Your wisdom; surround me by Your justice; comfort me by Your mercy; protect me by Your power.

Lord, I offer You my thoughts that they may be of You; my words that they may be about You; my deeds that they may be in accord with You; my sufferings that they may be for You.

I desire whatever You desire; I desire it because You desire it; I desire it as You desire it; I desire it as long as You desire it.

Lord, this is my prayer: May You enlighten my mind, inflame my will, cleanse my heart, sanctify my soul.

Let me weep for my past sins; let me repel future temptations; let me correct my evil inclinations; let me cultivate my proper virtues.

Give me, good Lord, a love of You, hatred of myself, zeal for my neighbor, contempt of the world.

Let me be eager to obey my superiors, to assist my inferiors, to be attentive to my friends, and to spare my enemies.

Let me conquer pleasure by austerity, greediness by generosity, anger by mildness, tepidity by fervor.

Make me prudent in judgment, steadfast in danger, patient in adversity, humble in prosperity.

Grant, Lord, that I may be attentive in prayer, moderate in my sustenance, diligent in my work, firm in my decisions.

May I take care to possess interior innocence, exterior modesty, exemplary relationships, and an orderly life.

Let me be assiduous in controlling nature, fostering grace, keeping the law, and working out my salvation.

Let me learn from You how fragile is the earthly, how great the divine, how brief the temporal, how permanent the eternal.

Grant that I may prepare for death, fear judgment, escape hell, and obtain paradise. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Clement Xl

  §Your will be done!

I Am Your Salvation

O Lord, I am Your servant: I am Your servant and the son of Your handmaid. You have broken my bonds. I will sacrifice to You the sacrifice of praise. Let my heart and my tongue praise You, and let all my bones say, O Lord who is like to You? Let them say and do You answer me and say to my soul: "I am Your salvation." Who am I and what kind of man am I? What evil has there not been in my words, and if not in my words, then in my will? But You, Lord, are good and merciful, and Your right hand had regard to the greatness of my death and drew out the abyss of corruption that was in the bottom of my heart.

Copyright © 1998 by Inter Mirifica

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