COURAGE

- and a Man's Part

By Rev. Bro. G.B. Sherriff



"Courage and a man's part is what I ask of you. . . . No room for doubt or shrinking back, when the Lord your God is at your side wherever you go."
- (Joshua l. V. 9.)

Cover Picture of  two wounded Anzacs helping each other across a flooded New Guinea stream is from "The Eyes of Damien Parer" by Frank Legg


FOREWORD

Courage and patience are required to live really Christ-like lives in modern society - courage, derived from a firm belief in God, realizing His Infinite Power and His promise of assistance, - and patience with ourselves and with others.

"Courage and a Man's part" is an attempt to encourage our youth to take Christ into the modern world by their own positive influence for good, because their own lives are built on a strong faith. great trust in God and real Christ-like charity.

This booklet takes it for granted that young Catholic people will be willing to spend five minutes daily thinking about the things that really matter so that, knowing Christ better themselves, they will help to make Him known to the world around them.

To devote a few minutes each day to spiritual thinking is invaluable to the active teenager. To quote from a Doctor, "For those who have heavy responsibilities, the value of a time for quiet thought is inestimable. It gives a sense of confidence that breeds tranquility of mind and certainty of action. This is not a mere counsel for moral betterment. It is medical advice of a practical nature."

"Courage and a Man's Part" is dedicated to those pioneer Priests, Brothers, Nuns and Lay-people who brought the faith to Australia, and with this dedication goes a humble prayer to Our Lady, Help of Christians - The Madonna of the Anzacs - begging her to inspire our youth to do and to dare big things for Christ and Australia.

-Rev. Bro. G. B. Sherriff.

1965    A.C.T.S. (No. 1457)



God and Science

The first Russian Sputnik was indirectly responsible for a great many things, including an increase in the popular knowledge of Astronomy and the laws governing the wonders of God's universe.

Lord God,

I am living in an exciting age . . . Modern scientific discoveries make me realize the vastness of the heavens and the beauty of the universe, hence Your infinite power . . . Astronomers tell us the universe is so vast, that there are stars that will not be visible to man for ages to come . . . such is Your power, Omnipotent God . . . Father almighty, make me realize that You are the Lord of Lords, infinitely powerful, loving and wise . . . that You are the Creator of all things.





May the advance of scientific discoveries make me realize more clearly, Your infinite power and wisdom in planning the universe in such minute detail, and, hence, Your love for mankind and for me.

Lord God, Creator of all things, I humbly adore You.



The Light of the World

High up in the Andes is the statue of Christ the King. Since its erection at the beginning of the 20th century there has been peace between the two neighbouring nations, Chile and Argentina, previously always at the brink of war. . . .

In the Mediterranean, near Portofino is a memorial standing on the sea's bed and erected to the heroes of all nationalities who died at  sea during World War II. This monument is a statue of Christ the King.

If we stop to think of the tremendous claim of Christ, that He is God, equal to the Father in all things, and if we stop to think of the historical fact that Christ rose again from the dead, it stands to reason that we have no alternative  but to follow Him, His ideals and His standards. "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE . . . I am the LIGHT of the world." There is no other light and no other way. . . . we must then follow Him.

Christ, my King and My God,

Help me to be always loyal to You. Deepen my faith in You, my hope in You. Give me a great manly loyalty to You and to Your standards.




You are the LIGHT of the World, compel me to follow the way You illumine for me.

Give me, Lord Jesus, the courage to follow You and the loyalty to be Your Apostle.



"Not to Yield"

"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield" are the words engraven on an Obelisk on the Kokoda Trail to commemorate the heroism of those eighteen-year-old Australian lads, who withstood terrific odds to prevent further Japanese expansion . . . . . And they succeeded. The untrained soldiers at Kokoda became heroes because they held out, because they would not yield, though they were tired and hungry and worn out.

Christ, my King,

 
 

Make me realize, that when I resist temptation, I prove my manliness and my genuine love for You.

Make me realize that no matter how strong the temptation, nor how persistent it is, I cannot possibly displease You unless I deliberately choose to sin.

Also; make me realize that difficult temptation overcome means merit.

Help me always to pray in temptation because with Your help I must win.

Help me, Lord God, when tempted, - Give me the strength "not to yield."

Give me, Lord God, a similar heroism when I feel most inclined to sin.

Help me, God, to prove my manliness by being loyal to You in temptation.

Help me, God, "not to yield."

Mother Mary, impress upon my heart, the realization, that weekly Confession and Communion thoughtfully and devoutly received will obtain for me the strength of Christ.



Mental Smog

To quote from the "Encyclopaedia Britannica," in Great Britain each year 3,000,000 tons of solid matter and 5,000,000 tons of Sulphur Dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere by its countless chimneys. People breathe in these impurities without realizing it and are thereby slowly poisoned.

Christ, Eternal King,

I find myself mentally poisoned by the pagan influences thrust upon me by unscrupulous men eager to exploit the immature and the innocent.

Help me to be loyal to You and to Your standards . . . .

May those standards of Yours be the filter by which the poisonous residue of modern pagan ideas is removed.

The world teaches that I will be happy if I give in to all my desires;


The world teaches me to be selfish and self-centred;


The world teaches me to be extravagant and fashionable;


I know that this continual desire for new fashions causes unhappiness in homes and in the hearts of teenagers . . .


I know that this continual desire for new things causes serious dishonesty amongst teenagers and causes them to live beyond their means.


Impress upon my mind that just as the continual dripping of a tap can wear a hole in the hardest rock, so the continual barrage of false moral standards can destroy not only my own morals, but the spiritual stamina of our nation.

Christ Jesus, help me to think and to judge according to Your standards and to resist what is unworthy and base.

Don't let me be like a sponge that takes in everything.

Mother Mary, at Fatima you requested people to dress modestly at all times. Grant that I will never fail you or your Divine Son,



At Home

The tragic death of Brother Broderick in January, 1962, stunned all who were privileged to know him. He was dead within a few minutes of being stung by a sea-wasp. During those few minutes he spoke only twice. His first cry was not one for help but to warn the other swimmers . . . "Get out of the water, there's a large stinger here." His dying words were: "My God, I hope everybody is out of the water."    He had lived unselfishlessly. He died heroically. His had been a very happy life as a Christian Brother because it had been unselfish.

Christ Jesus,

I need Your help at home.





Make me realize the deep debt of gratitude I owe my parents.

Make me realize their real concern and love for me.

Impress upon my mind that when they  tell me to do this or to avoid that it is really their genuine love for me and their concern for me lest I ruin my life by my own wilfulness or my own lack of experience.



Help me, Christ Jesus, to be more thoughtful and kind and to be unselfish.

For only then will I be happy

Help me, also, Christ Jesus, not to embarrass my parents by expecting more money than they can give me.

     Bless, Christ Jesus, in a special way, my parents, my loved ones and my friends.

    Mother Mary, help me to be loyal to those at home, and to become the kind of man of whom my parents will have every reason to be proud.



Confession

G. K. Chesterton once stated: "I became a Catholic to have my sins forgiven." In his autobiography, he mentioned that one remedy for the doubts, fears and sins of adolescence is confession. . . Dr. Karl Jung, a world-famous psychologist, has said: "The Protestant has no one standing between himself and God. This burden of being directly responsible to the Almighty causes neurosis among non-Catholics.

Jesus, after Your victory over sin and death in Your Resurrection,
You instituted the sacrament of Confession . . . "Receive the Holy Spirit, when you forgive men's sins they are forgiven them." (John 20:23).


that confession is not only a remedy for sin already committed, but also a preventive of sin :n the future.

Help me never to abuse this great Sacrament; hence, give me great confidence in Your Priests and courage to confide in them in my doubts and difficulties.


that the priest is Your expert to understand me and my problems, to advise and counsel me, to guide and assist me. He is Your representative, so help me confide in Him.

Help me to be truly sorry for my sins and always to make good confessions. Help me when I need You most - when I find confession difficult.




Frequent Communion

Leonard Cheshire, V.C., D.S.O., and three bars, D.F.C., is even more famous in peace than he was in war. He has devoted all his talents and his life to loving God and the poor and afflicted of the whole world. He received the dynamic energy for this work from Christ in the Eucharist. On his travels, should he be unable to assist at Mass, he devoutly receives Holy Communion before the departure of his plane.

Give me, Christ, my Lord and my God, a stronger belief in Your Real Presence in the Blessed Eucharist and give me a more realistic love of You.

Imprint on my heart the full realization of Your Presence in the Eucharist and the necessity of my receiving Communion thoughtfully.

"The man who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives continually in me and I in him." (John 6: 57).

To get the full benefit from Communion I must make a positive effort to pray because the effect of grace received depends on my dispositions, the belief, the trust and the love that I bring to each Holy Communion.

Help me to overcome any tendency to laziness in preparing devoutly for Communion. Make me realize that going to Communion is not a sign of my goodness but an admission of my weakness without Your all powerful help.

May I realize, Christ my King, that Communion is not only union with You, but union with other members of the People of God who come with me to the Family Table.

Just as I require food and drink to keep my body healthy and strong so I require frequent and fervent Communions to restore and preserve the life of my soul.

You, Yourself have said, O Lord:

"Believe me when I tell you this. You can have no life in yourselves unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood . . . The man who eats my flesh and drinks my blood enjoys eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day."
 (John 6: 54-55).

Lord God, imprint these truths indelibly on my mind so that they will influence my life.

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, keep me from sin, that I may never miss the opportunity of receiving Communion with devotion at every Mass.

I thank You for the wonderful freedom I enjoy in Australia Help me preserve it.



My Guide

"I love freedom - flying anywhere about in the sky. Suppose I forgot all the rules about flying and decide to think entirely for myself. I will soon find myself on the ground. . . Now God has made rules to help us through life. He has also given us a Church. We should expect our liberty to be curtailed in some way by God's rules, but there is plenty of room for liberty of thought, just as there is plenty of room for the exercise of freedom while still observing the rules of flying."
Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, V.C., D.S.O. and three bars, D.F.C.

   In Your goodness to me, Christ, my God, You have given me the gift of the true Faith.

Hence, You have given me

Your infallible Church to guide and direct me on the sure path to eternity.

Help me appreciate that wonderful gift of the true faith, and to increase it through the share of Your own Divine Life which the Sacraments give me.

Grant me the humility and the common sense ever to obey its laws and directions and so reach my eternal home.

"I do not need a church that is right
 when I am right,
but a church that is right
 when I am wrong
and so is able to put me right."

Help me to be ever loyal to my Bishops and Priests and to realize that I have a part to play in my Parish.

Help me, then, to extend Christ's kingdom by being an active worker for my Parish and for other Church Institutions.

Give my loyalty to my church and grant that my life will be such that others may know that I can be trusted because I am true to my God and my Church.



Prayer

Dave Brown, Australia's Rugby League Captain, 1936. Point-Score Record Holder: 285 points during an English tour; 385 points in an Australian Season. In 1963, Dave was struck down with Parkinson's Disease, for which there is no known cure, but his health was completely restored to him by the power of prayer. To quote from his own words: "If you can appreciate what it is to be condemned to the life of an invalid with progressive deterioration, and then in a miraculous fashion to be transferred to perfect health, you will understand why I pen these lines. . . . . I had been ill for over twelve months - my eyesight was affected, my internal organs were in a shocking state; I had a bad tremor in my right hand and paralysis in my right leg. I had been told I would be an invalid for life. Then, February, 1964, I was suddenly cured. My doctor informed me a miracle had happened. My interpretation is that the prayers of my wife, mother, sisters and children were fully answered. Such is the power of prayer."

Lord God, impress upon my mind the importance of prayer . . . help me to become a man of prayer, because with prayer I can praise and bless You, and with prayer I can receive Your help, Your strength and Your courage.

With prayer I cannot fail in the battle of life.

"Ask and you shall receive," You invite me. Make me then a man of prayer. Help me to pray at all times.

Make me realize, that when I pray at a time when I don't feel like it my prayer is particularly pleasing to You, because then I pray, not because I like it, but because of my love for You.

Give me the grace to be always faithful to prayer and to visit You frequently in the Blessed Sacrament and there to talk to You as my friend.

Help me always to appreciate the greatest prayer of all - the Mass, when I offer the Holy Sacrifice with the Priest.

At each Mass I wish to offer myself, along with the sacred Victim.

Help me always to co-offer the Mass with effort, reverence and devotion. Give me such an appreciation of the Mass that I will never miss an opportunity of offering the Holy Sacrifice.

Make me realize the true meaning of St. Alphonsus' words.

"If I pray I will be saved, if I do not pray, I will be damned.

Those who are in heaven today are there because they prayed.

Those who are in hell today are there because they did not pray."



"It is the Mass that Matters"

At the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960, Herb Elliott brought fame to Australia by winning the World Mile Championship in 3 mins. 35.6 secs. When on the following morning, a Christian Brother in Rome telephoned to congratulate him, he was informed that Herb and his wife had not yet returned from Mass. It was Thursday, the 8th September, Our Lady's Birthday. He was at Mass in thanksgiving for his win. "It was the Mass that mattered."

Holy Spirit of God help me in my thinking to be in tune with the living Church so that the public worship of God, the Liturgy, and especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will occupy the prominent place in my life that they should.

"Prayer is our first duty," wrote Pope Paul VI, "and the liturgy is the primary source of the Divine Life which is communicated to us. It is the primary source of our spiritual life."

Impress upon my mind, Christ, my Redeemer, that the introduction of English into the Liturgy isn't merely to help me understand the Mass better but to make, me more conscious of the fact that I am not an isolated individual praying alone. I am a member of the People of God, the Mystical Body of Christ, praying with all the other members of God's Family. Hence, I must be deeply concerned about the needs of others.

Christ, my Saviour, help me to remember at Mass, the needs of the poor, the sick, the suffering, the needs of Your Church, the needs of the World.

United with all God's People everywhere:






May I ever recall, Christ, Eternal Priest, that the Mass recalls Calvary with all its graces.

May I ever recall, Christ, Eternal Truth, that You teach each day at mass through the Liturgy of the Word.

Give me, Christ, my Redeemer, a deep realization of what the Mass is and make it the centre of my life.

Mary, Queen of the Apostles, bless the Church with many zealous priests to share in Your Son's work and give the laity a deeper appreciation of the Mass.



The Two Sides

Life is like a piece of tapestry, one side bears a picture perfect in every detail, with colours of different light and shade blending in exquisite harmony.



    For then and then only will we understand God's plan for us.

The reverse side of the tapestry represents life as we see it now. It is a picture of a confused mixture of threads and colours.

There seems to be no purpose for this cutting or that knotting and for the apparent lack of planning. Yet the hand of the Master-Weaver is there, for every heart-ache, temptation, sorrow is there, in God's plan, to perfect us.

A valuable piece of tapestry would take many, many years to bring to perfection. So God, in his infinite wisdom, takes a human lifetime to complete the tapestry of one life.




Manliness

Five thousand men answered a brief advertisement that appeared in a London newspaper early in 1914 . . . "Men wanted for hazardous journey - small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success!" That advertisement had been inserted by Sir Earnest Shackleton prior to his Antarctic Expedition.

Christ my King, my God and my All, help me to take up the challenge - the greatest challenge of all times - "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself take up his cross daily and FOLLOW ME.

Help me Christ God to follow You and Your standards in a world that despises them and thereby prove my genuine manliness.






Give me Your strength, Christ Jesus, which I can most certainly get from very frequent Communion and prayer because being a confirmed Catholic today demands character, courage, stamina and real manliness.

Give me those virtues, Lord Jesus, and help me to be a true Catholic and so do and dare big things for You and for the greatest cause ever offered to man.



Mother Mary

"The instant I remembered the Catholic Church I remembered Our Lady; when I tried to forget the Catholic Church, I tried to forget her. When I finally decided to enter the Church - this was the freest and hardest of all my acts of freedom - it was in front of a gilded and very gaudy statue of her in the port of Brindisi, that I promised to become a Catholic."
 -G. K. Chesteron.

Mary, great Mother of God and my mother, I call upon you with all my heart and soul to take me under your special care and to keep me loyal to your Son. Obtain for me a dynamic, personal love for Him in the Blessed Eucharist, and thus strengthened myself, obtain for me the grace to make Him loved amongst those with whom I come in contact.

Help me to take him
 to the world of business and commerce,
 to the world of entertainment,
 to the modern world pagan as it is
 and so win it for Him.

Just as You gave the early Christians the grace to take up the challenge of their day, and to transform pagan society by their loyalty to the standards of your Son, obtain for me the grace to live as I should live assisted by your motherly care and strengthened by Communion and prayer.

Help me, Mother of God, to deepen my own faith and hence be capable of Christ-like living and of being an apostle for truth and charity.



My Passport

St. Louis, King of France, wrote: "I think more of the little chapel where I was baptized, than of the Cathedral of Rheims where I was crowned: for the dignity of child of God, which was bestowed on me at Baptism, is greater that that of a ruler of a kingdom. The latter, I shall lose at death, the former will be my passport into everlasting glory."


   By this sacrament, I became a true child of God.

   By this sacrament, I freely received a passport to heaven.

   By this sacrament, I became a living tabernacle.

Make me realize the meaning of the words of the great St. Paul.

"Don't you know that you are God's temple, and that God's Spirit dwells in you ?

"If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him.

God's temple, which you yourself are, is holy."


   make me realize my dignity as a child of God.

   Give me a tremendous reverence for myself.

   Give me a great reverence and respect for others.


   Give me the manliness always to be modest in dress and behaviour and never to follow fashions that degrade my dignity as a child of God.

   Imprint upon my mind, Christ Jesus, that every single human being, irrespective of nationality or colour, was made by God . . . even though he may be naturally repulsive to me.

Mother of God, make me realize that I have an obligation to help those in need or distress, whether or not I know them personally . . . for are they not dear to God ?



Entertainment

If it is true that T.V., (Movies) and Pictures don't affect us, then the sponsors of T.V. ads. ought to wake up. They spend tremendous sums telling us that a certain food will bring us health or a certain soap will cure our ugly skin. T.V. people employ salesmen to tell big business of the importance of advertising. Yet, they tell us, if we complain about horror or sordid screenings, that these things have no influence on the behaviour of a teenager.

Christ my Leader and my God, impress upon my mind the importance of being careful of my amusements and relaxation because so much depends upon my thinking.

"A man is but a product of his thoughts," wrote Gandhi.

"What he thinks - that he becomes."

 TV, movies, pictures, radio, magazines and newspapers are dynamic agencies for creating and spreading opinion.

Used properly these can be splendid means of completing my education and of providing suitable relaxation. But using them unwisely, I can too easily absorb false ideals and ideas and thus ruin my life and lose my soul.

Lord God, give me sufficient common sense to realize that in entertainment I must select the good from the bad, that  I might fill my heart with those things which are true, noble, good and pure, things which are worthy of  love and honour, things  which are  virtuous and worthy of praise. (See Philippines 4:8)
 
Christ, King of Truth.

• help me realize that I have a real need to read the Catholic Papers,
so that I may get Your views on modern problems,
so that I may read previews of films and thus learn to avoid programmes that are likely to harm my immortal soul.

• help me realize that I should avoid shallow literature and read about real heroes and people who have overcome great obstacles, so that I may imitate their heroism and make my own life worthwhile.



Our Lady of the Anzacs

May 1442: Never before had there been so many ships in Sydney Harbour laden with mines and high explosives. Undetected was the entry of three Japanese midget submarines that began firing torpedoes at the heavily-laden U.S. Cruiser "Chicago" at point-blank range. They missed and only a store-ferry, "Kuttabul" was sunk. . . . A national novena to Our Lady, Help of Christians had only concluded that night. Our Heavenly Patroness had not failed us.

Remember, great Mother of God, that from the earliest days of Australia, you have played an important part. It was your Rosary that our forefathers prayed. It was your Rosary that kept the faith strong when there were no priests to help.

Remember, Mary Help of Christians, that the first Australian Church was built by the first Priest to honour you.

Remember, Immaculate Mother, the faith of the gold-diggers who sent gold to Rome to be used in the official Papal Medal made to honour you and your Immaculate Conception.

Remember, Help of Christians. the faith and devotion of past and present generations of Australians and so unite our country that we may successfully spread the Faith.

Impress upon our minds the importance of the words of President Kennedy -

"Ask not what your country can. do for you, but what you can do for your country."

May we value the freedom that is ours. Inspire more and more of us to work and if need be to defend our country from communism and from other enemies.

Protect our youth, Mary. Help of Christians, and urge us to take an active part in fighting against laxity of morals. Grant, -that we may so deepen our faith and spiritualize our lives by prayer, meditation and the Sacraments, that we may exert a positive influence for good. in our country and so save it from the evils of materialism.

Mary, Help of Christians, inspire our youth with a real love and loyalty for Australia, and make us realize that unless we are loyal to God we will not be loyal to Country.



To Distant Valleys

President Kennedy posthumously awarded a previously rather anonymous Catholic doctor a Congressional Medal in June, 1962. It bore the inscription. . . "In recognition of public service to alleviate suffering among people in the world". . . The late Catholic medico had worked fearlessly to bring health and real Christianity to underprivileged peoples. Though dying of cancer he worked on to the end. He found the happiness and peace of mind that hours of intense pain could not deprive him of . . . . "The cancer goes no deeper than my flesh. There is no cancer in my spirit." Just before he died he wrote: "Bring your talents and the spirituality of your heart to distant valleys like mine, and take back with you a rich, rich reward . . . I send my wish that you will know the happiness that comes of serving others who have nothing."

Lord God, impress upon my mind the fact that as a true Christian I have the obligation to help those who need my help.

The world today needs dedicated apostles, ordinary men and women, who will educate, guide and help the poor and the underprivileged of other countries.

Only by seeing real Christianity in practice will these people be brought to the knowledge and love of the one true God.

When choosing a career, let me remember the needs of other people and the opportunity that is mine of taking You to them.

As a baptized Christian I have been commissioned by You "to teach all nations."

Help me to fulfil this command.

Lord God, impress upon my mind a realization of my obligation to help others and that true happiness comes from self-sacrifice and service for love of You.

Mother of God, give me a little of your charity for the poor, the sick and the suffering.



To Find Your Vocation

Many boys hear the voice of Christ challenging them to leave all and follow Him as Priests or Brothers. They are good, young men and generous but they hesitate, they are afraid . . . . . they fail to follow the invitation. Unfortunately, many of these then go through life unhappy because of the knowledge in their hearts that they lacked the courage to try. . . .

Lord Jesus,

that You have a special plan for me.

what that plan is.

And knowing it,


And following it,


Lord Jesus, I beg this grace through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother.

Mother Mary, Mother of Perpetual Succour, obtain for me the gift of generosity in knowing and serving your Son.



Christ, the Priest

The young man couldn't make up his mind whether or not to become a Priest. The old Nun to whom he was speaking simply said: "Say one Mass and die." The youth became a Priest. If a Priest did nothing else but offer the Holy Sacrifice once in his lifetime, he could never thank God enough because of the miracle of that one Mass. St. Alphonsus said: "The entire Church cannot give to God as much honour as one Priest by offering one Mass." Do I realize the Priest's privilege? Australia is desperately in need of more Priests for its parishes and its mission work so that the harvest sown by Father Therry in 1821 might not wither for lack of reapers. Is there a corner in the field for me?

Christ bless our Priests and grant that many of our youth will serve You and their country as Priests.




Christ, the Teacher.

One need not be particularly observant to realize that the greatest need in the Church in Australia today is for more Teaching Religious. There are at least 100,000 Catholic children at State Schools in Australia; many Catholic Schools have more secular teachers than Religious on their faculties. Something must be done. The youth of today must face the crisis and generously accept the challenge by devoting their lives to Christ as Teaching Brothers, keeping in mind the words of Pope Pius XII, "The life of the Religious Teaching Brother is the greatest act of love which a human being can offer to his Creator." Thus the work begun in Australia by Bro. P. A. Treacy, a pioneer Brother, will prosper. It is a sobering thought, that in God's Providence, there may be many boys whose salvation will depend on the generosity of your sacrifice.

Christ, the Teacher, bless all Religious Brothers and grant that many young men will serve You and their country as Religious Teachers.




Marriage

God pays men and women the compliment of asking them to co-operate with Him in perpetuating the human race. The purpose of sex in marriage is not only to bring new life into the world, but to make it possible for partners in marriage to express their love in the most beautiful way possible. Marriage is a way to perfection. Husband and wife are to help one another to God; and they help one another by loving one another. Their physical union should be the highest expression of their love. It is a holy thing. It is meant to be meritorious and to bring them closer to God. So holy is their union that St. Paul uses it as a symbol of the closeness of our union with God through grace. It is because it is such a precious thing that we protect it by the beautiful manly virtue of Purity.

Jesus, my God,

If my vocation in life is that of marriage, help me to prepare worthily for that great vocation. Impress upon my mind the nobility of Marriage, and that I should prepare worthily for it, by a life of discipline and self-restraint.

Help me to be pure, as I would expect my partner in life to be.

Marriage demands self-discipline and courage, and wonderful trust in Your Providence. Give me those qualities, then, Jesus.




Motherhood

"The most important person on earth
 is a mother.
She cannot claim the honour
of having built Notre Dame Cathedral.
 She need not.
She has built something
more magnificent than any Cathedral,
 a dwelling for an immortal soul,
the tiny perfection
 of her baby's body.

The angels have not been blessed
 with such a grace.
They cannot share
in God's creative miracle
to bring new saints to heaven.
 Only a human mother can do this.

God joins forces with mothers
in performing this act of creation.

What on God's good earth
 is more glorious
than this . . .

To be a Mother."
-Cardinal Mindszenty.

Christ, eternal Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, bless and reward my mother and father for their love and their sacrifices for me.

Grant me the grace that if marriage is to be my vocation in life, I will be worthy of it and I will marry a girl who will be a true model of Christian Motherhood.



Going Steady

Going steady should he an immediate preparation for marriage. It is the time when a youth should choose not only an amiable companion for life but the future mother of his children. Undertaken at too early an age it lessens the opportunity of enriching personality by making many friends, and it interferes with study and the completing of training for a professional career or an apprenticeship. Since it is inadvisable to marry before one's character is properly formed, and it is unfair to marry before one is financially secure, it follows that going steady too soon is contrary to right reason. There is a lot of real wisdom in the humorous remark of Monsignor Fulton Sheen, "He who mistakes puppy love for real love will end up leading a dog's life."

Jesus, I live in a pagan world and if I am not careful I will begin, little by little, to accept its standards. My environment may influence me to make judgements that are warped by false values. Make me realize, then, the moral danger and the unreasonableness of going steady too soon, because such a practice creates real problems that can lead to the ruin of my own and of other people's lives. Make me realize, Christ Jesus, the sacredness of Marriage and the need to protect the God-given, awe-inspiring power that may be used only in Marriage. Christ, my Friend, help me not only to live as You want me to live, but also to exercise a positive influence for good on my acquaintances.



Prayer for Purity

Purity is a positive, virile virtue by which a man protects the awe-inspiring God-given power that he will use in marriage to bring new life into the world and to express his love for the spouse of his choice.

God the Father, help me always to be conscious of the Divine purpose of sex in Your wonderful Providence. May reverence for the great dignity of the Sacrament of Marriage influence my thoughts, judgements and behaviour now, that I may jealously guard in my adolescent years the precious gift that I am to use in marriage for God's glory and the extension of His Kingdom, or give it back to Him whole and unstained if I dedicate my single manhood to His special service. Help me ever to be pure in thought, word and deed, so give me the common sense and the manliness to avoid all unnecessary occasions of sin.

O Mary, by your pure and Immaculate Conception, make my body pure and my soul holy.






Personal Dedication

   Holman Hunt's famous painting, "The Light of the World," shows Christ in a garden at mid-night. In His left hand, He is holding a lantern, and His right hand is knocking on a heavily panelled door. An art critic remarked: "Mr Hunt, you have not finished your work There is no handle on that door." "That," said the artist, " is the door of the human heart - it can be opened only from the inside."

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,

Today I consecrate and dedicate myself entirely to You that I may serve You alone and get others to serve You by my manly living as You want me to live.




Take me, Lord Jesus, with all my imperfections: forgive me my sins, that I may become more like You and that You may become the centre of my life.

Magnetize me, Christ my King, with the love of Your Divine Heart, so that I may induce others to love and serve You.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, give me the grace to avoid mortal sin and strengthen me with Your almighty power that I may never commit deliberate venial sin.

Give me, Christ Jesus, a genuine love for Your Sacred Heart and a desire to make reparation not only for my own sins but for the sins of the world.



Mother Mary, obtain for me the grace to devote a few minutes each day to thoughtful prayer and mental recollection.



The Challenge of Christ

Our Lord  speaks to me. He says. . .

Today, more than ever, I need your hands to work for Me . . . . . but, to be effective, they must be willing hands, loving hands, thoughtful hands . . . . . remembering always that you cannot be My apostle unless you first love those who desperately need Me . . . . . . You must take Me to them.

I need





Yes, I need your hands to work for Me . . . . . . . to take Me to others, remembering

"Courage and a man's part is what I ask of you . . . no room for doubt or shrinking back, when the Lord your God is at your side wherever you go."
- (Joshua 1:9).