Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book 1. Meditation, Prayer, and the Particular Examen, 7/31

For What and for Whom We Should Pray (Part 1)

ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI insists repeatedly that in all our devotions, at Mass, at Holy Communion, in an our visits to the Blessed Sacrament, we should pray for these four graces for ourselves, viz.:
the forgiveness of our sins,
the love of God,
the love of prayer,
and final perseverance.
When these graces are secured, our salvation is assured.

Furthermore, Religious should, in all their prayers and good works, unite themselves intimately with our holy Mother the Church, in her three intentions:
1. To glorify God; to venerate the Blessed. Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints; the Church triumphant.
2. To provide for the spiritual and temporal necessities of the children of the Church militant.
3. To procure the deliverance of theholy souls in purgatory, that is, to aid the Church suffering.
The Morning Offering of the Apostleship of Prayer is very efficacious.

"O my God, I offer Thee my prayers, works, and sufferings this day in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the intentions for which He pleads and offers HimselP in holy Mass, h thanksgiving for Thy favors, in reparation for our offences, and for the petitions of all our Associates."

Religious should say the beads, hear Mass, and offer holy communion frequently for our holy Mother the Church, for our holy Father the Pope, for bishops, priests, and superiors, for the needs of our country, for universal peace, for the conversion of sinners, and all those who do not belong to the one fold of Christ; and last, but not least, for the holy, suffering souls in purgatory.

Father Girardey, dwelling on the subject of prayer, writes:
"In praying for temporal favors for ourselves, we can claim unconditionally only the necessaries of life, for in the Our Father 'our daily bread' is equivalent to 'the necessaries of life, but does not include its superfluities or luxuries; and the words 'deliver us from evil' do not necessarily include, as we have seen, deliverance from physical evils, for the evil here meant is sin and all that leads to sin. We have no reason to hope that God wili hear our prayers for those temporal favors that may prove hurtful to our salvation, or that He will exempt us from certain corporal pains and trials, if such an exemption would lead us to sin or endanger our salvation. The granting of such prayers would be, not a favor, but a terrible punishment. We should, then, ask for temporal favors conditionally - that is, under the condition that they may promote our salvation, or at least not hinder it. We ought never to lose sight of this saying of our loving Redeemer: 'What doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?' (Matt. xvi. 26.)...

(continued tomorrow)

From "Prayer-Book for Religious"
by Rev. F.X. Lasance
Copyright 1904, 1914

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