A prayer worth praying


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AUGUST 31, 2015 / OUR FRANCISCAN FIAT
I just finished with Jesus: Our Eucharistic Love, a book from the convent library in Hankinson, by Father Stefano Manelli. Along with numerous quotes from saints to inspire the reader to greater devotion to Our Lord’s Eucharistic presence, I found this prayer by St. Alphonsus Ligouri. I thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it:

My LORD Jesus Christ, Who because of Your love for men remain night and day in the Blessed Sacrament, full of pity and of love, awaiting, calling and welcoming all who come to visit You, I believe that You are present here on the altar. I adore You, and I thank You for all the graces You have bestowed on me, especially for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given me Your most holy Mother Mary to plead for me, and for having called me to visit You in this church.

I now salute Your most loving Heart, and that for three ends: first, in thanksgiving for this great gift; secondly, to make amends to You for all the outrages committed against You in this Sacrament by Your enemies; thirdly, I intend by this visit to adore You in all the places on earth in which You are present in the Blessed Sacrament and in which You are least honored and most abandoned.

My Jesus, I love You with my whole heart. I am very sorry for having so many times offended Your infinite goodness. With the help of Your grace, I purpose never to offend You again. And now, unworthy though I am, I consecrate myself to You without reserve. I renounce and give entirely to You my will, my affection, my desires and all that I possess. For the future, dispose of me and all I have as You please.

All I ask of You is Your holy love, final perseverance and that I may carry out Your will perfectly. I recommend to You the souls in Purgatory, especially those who had the greatest devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I also recommend to You all poor sinners.

Finally, my dear Savior, I unite all my desires with the desires of Your most loving Heart; and I offer them, thus united, to the Eternal Father, and beseech Him, in Your name and for love of You, to accept and grant them.

I found this to be a extraordinarily beautiful prayer that would be worth returning to again and again. How good and right it is to show our love for the Blessed Sacrament as St. Alphonsus did.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium (11), calls the Eucharist the “source and summit of the Christian life.” I believe we can very rightly call It likewise (or in extension) “the source and summit” of our consecrated life as well.

For actually, the Eucharist is not an “it” but a “Whom.” And, who, after all, did we come to give ourselves to when we entered religious life? Who whispered an invitation of love in our ears, saying, “Come, follow me.”? If I may speak from my personal experience, I first experienced this “invitation of love” during a time with Jesus in our parish’s Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.

May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament,be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen. (From the Divine Praises)

Sr. Christina M. Neumann


#2

Mystical Prayer in the Holy Spirit

This reading on mystical (contemplative) prayer, taken from Bonaventure’s Omnia, 5, 312

Christ is both the way and the door. Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant, and the mystery hidden from the ages. A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy, and should gaze at him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude, and open to praise and jubilation. Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch, that is, a passing over. Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert. There he will taste the hidden manna, and rest with Christ in the sepulchre, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: Today you will be with me in paradise.

For this Passover to be perfect we must suspend all the operations of the mind and we must transform the peak of our affections, directing them to God alone. This is a sacred mystical experience. It cannot be comprehended by anyone unless he surrenders himself to it; nor can he surrender himself to it unless he longs for it; nor can he long for it unless the Holy Spirit, whom Christ sent into the world, should come and inflame his innermost soul. Hence the Apostle says that this mystical wisdom is revealed by the Holy Spirit.

If you ask how such things can occur, seek the answer in God’s grace, not in doctrine; in the longing of the will, not in the understanding; in the sighs of prayer, not in research; seek the bridegroom not the teacher; God and not man; darkness not daylight; and look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervor and glowing love. The fire is God, and the furnace is in Jerusalem, fired by Christ in the ardour of his loving passion. Only he understood this who said: My soul chose hanging and my bones death. Anyone who cherishes this kind of death can see God, for it is certainly true that: No man can look upon me and live.

Let us die, then, and enter into the darkness, silencing our anxieties, our passions and all the fantasies of our imagination. Let us pass over with the crucified Christ from this world to the Father, so that, when the Father has shown himself to us, we can say with Philip: It is enough. We may hear with Paul: My grace is sufficient for you; and we can rejoice with David, saying: My flesh and my heart fail me, but God is the strength of my heart and my heritage forever.

Peace


#3

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