“WHAT SHALL
I SAY TO HIM?”

Thanksgiving After Holy Communion -
On the ‘Our Father’.

By Sister Mary Emmanuel, O.S.B.

CATHOLIC TRUTH SOCIETY of Ireland No. Pr1401 (1936).


PRELIMINARY.

EVEN without having any definite intention for Communion, the Our Father gives us a helpful plan for the order of Acts in our thanksgiving.

First, we praise and thank God. “HALLOWED BE THY NAME.”
Acts of Praise and Thanksgiving.
Then, we pray that God may rule over us and over all the world, that HE may have His rights in us and in all whom we love. “THY KINGDOM COME.”
Here we pray for the Church and its rulers, and for all the ministers of Christ, through whom His Kingdom comes on earth.

We may label these acts “DESIRE.”

Then we make Acts of Surrender to God’s Will. “THY WILL BE DONE.”
In Holy Communion, God has given Himself wholly to us; we give ourselves back to Him by Acts of oblation and self-surrender. If we follow this plan, we begin by making sure of our worship and homage to God, and that should always be our first thought in prayer, God’s rights, not our own. So our Lord teaches.

Only after such acts of worship do we begin to ask things, for ourselves, and our friends.
ACTS of Petition.
And Our Lord has told Himself what we are to ask for, and in what order the petitions should come. He has put first our own daily pressing needs, our daily bodily food, without which we cannot live. “GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.”
In asking for this, we ask implicitly for all that is needful for our lives, spiritually, temporally, mentally, bodily. For “not by bread alone does man live,” says Our Lord Himself. We need food for our minds and our hearts as well as for our bodies, we need joy and happiness; if we ask, God will give it to us. We need work for our minds and our bodies, we may even need amusement — we ask for all this under this petition.

We have to live with others, “it is not good for man to be alone.” Straight after Holy Communion, we shall have to go forth among men and shall be sure to meet with things to annoy us. Can a day pass without some contradiction from others? In other words, we shall very soon have something to put up with, something to forgive. Our Lord has said: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” This petition of His Prayer puts this teaching into a prayer. “FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES. “

We are also obliged to beg of God the pardon of our own sins — “wash me yet more from my iniquity” is a prayer all, from saint to sinner, have to say daily. Here we are reminded of the condition made by Our Lord Himself for this pardon. We, in our turn, must forgive. We must first ask for the grace to do this hard thing, and we do ask it when we say “FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE.”
We ask implicitly for this grace when we say this petition.
Acts of Contrition.

Another of our daily and unavoidable dangers is temptation. “Man’s life on earth is a warfare.” Without the Divine help we shall fall. So we ask for grace to be kept from sin this day. “Deign, to keep us from sin this day, O Lord.”
“LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.”

We are also daily exposed to all kinds of dangers and sufferings, accidents, losses, illnesses, disappointments, failures. We may ask God to deliver us from all these evils, for He has told us to say “DELIVER US FROM EVIL”
We should gain great good from this petition if we were to apply it to some particular intention every time we say the Our Father. Supposing, for instance, we meant that petition as a prayer against war, or whatever evil we most dread in life; each of us has some special bugbear. The prayer would be more fervent if we had a meaning for it. One general intention, once for all, suffices.

Then we seal and repeat all our petitions, as it were, by our AMEN.

So, if we just call to mind those ideas and this plan of prayer after Communion, we can be quite sure we are doing what Our Lord Himself has told us.

1. Acts of Praise and Thanksgiving.

2. Desire for God’s glory, for the good of the Church, for all who work for souls.

3. Abandonment to God’s Will; Surrender; Oblation; Contrition.

4. Petition. For daily needs of body and soul, for ourselves, and for others. For pardon for sin, grace to be kind and forgiving, for grace not to sin, to be strong in trial, and for deliverance from all dangers to soul and body.

These wide headings include all we can ask for.

Each can group their own special petitions and desires under these headings. Having made our prayers on these points, we shall have made a most complete thanksgiving, and omitted nothing, and it is thus we have been taught by Our Lord Himself to make our thanksgiving after Holy Communion.

We are then with Our Lord, as a child with its mother, and we know that whatever the child says is pleasing to its mother, and of supreme interest to her. We may say that Our Lord hangs upon our words and thoughts and desires then, in the moments after Holy Communion, as a mother does with her child. We do our best, and He supplies all the rest, as a mother can interpret her child’s stammering words, so does Our Lord interpret our efforts and our desires, and He Himself will perfect and complete them. He hears what our heart is saying, which is more to Him than the words on our lips.

ORDER OF ACTS IN THE OUR FATHER.

1. Praise and Thanksgiving.

2. Desire for God’s glory and the triumph of Christ’s Church.

3. Oblation and Surrender.

4. Petition.

(a) Daily needs of body and soul.

(b) Forgiveness of sins and grace to forgive.

(c) Help in temptation.

(d) Deliverance from all evils.
          AMEN.

SUNDAY. THANKSGIVING.

OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN. —
Blessed be You, O Our Father in Heaven, from whom is all fatherhood in heaven and on earth, You who are the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the God of all consolation, You who are now within the heaven of my soul. “The Lord is in His Holy Temple.”
“If anyone love Me, he will keep My word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him.” Dear Lord, You have said: “Come ye all to Me.” I have kept Your word, I have come to You, and You have come to me, and Your Father with You.

“In us is His homeliest home, and His endless dwelling.” (Mother Julian of Norwich).
Blessed be You, O Our Father, You who have given us life, You who have prepared for us, Your children, Your own glorious home in heaven, that where You are, we also may be with You. Let us never forget You, Our Father in heaven, nor that glorious home, with its many mansions, one destined for each of us, if we are faithful to that grace by which we become Your children by adoption, with a right to that heavenly inheritance, those delights which eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor can the heart of man conceive. But here below we are in exile, and life is often so weary that we are tempted to bury ourselves in the passing joys and pleasures of earth, which You in Your goodness have given us to help and cheer us in our way to You. And so, in Your goodness, You give us bread from heaven, having in it all delight, manna with the sweetness of every taste, to detach us from earthly tastes, Jesus, Your Son, Our Brother. May You visit, this day, beloved Jesus; fit me yet more and more for that dwelling of untold, un-conceived bliss. May I ever find my chief joy in You, Jesus, joy of angels. You who are the glory and the rejoicing of my heart; in You will I glory and rejoice all the day long, but for myself I will rejoice only in my infirmities. May we all use creatures, time, work, money, pleasures, sorrows, friends, family, all, simply to lead us to You, O Our Father, who are in heaven. Raise up our hearts to You in heaven, and suffer us not to stray to and fro upon earth. Be You alone sweet to us henceforth for evermore, for You only are our meat and our drink, our love and our joy, our sweetness and all our good. O Our Father in Heaven, You who have made us for Yourself, have mercy on us and bring us home to You. Amen.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME. —
Not content, O God, our Father, with having prepared for us a home with You in heaven, You have given us in our exile, the fair home of this earth, created by You. Blessed be You, O God Our Father, for all Your good gifts in heaven and on earth. Blessed be You for Your glorious sky, and changeful, many-coloured clouds, for the wind and the sun and the rain, for the glories of the sunrise and the sunset, for the moon and the stars, and all that You do work for our good, through these fair creatures of Yours. Eternal thanks be to You for all Your beauty and wisdom and goodness that we can read therein. Blessed be Your Name for all Your beautiful creatures on this earth, for the glory of the mountain and the valley and the hill, for the wide open spaces, the plains, and the seas and the rivers, and all the living creatures in them. Blessed be You for the trees and the flowers, and for all lovely and useful green growing things. For the creatures who share this earth with us, and minister to our needs, for Your beasts and Your birds and Your fishes, and all that You have placed under the dominion of man.

O Lord, our Lord, how admirable is Your Name in all the earth! Blessed be Your Name for all Your gifts to us of soul and body. Blessed be You for Your Church and Your Sacraments, for Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Saviour, and for His most sweet salvation, for Your Mother and Your Saints, who teach us the way to You, and reveal to us Your ways. I offer You the Heart of Jesus, now one with mine, in thanksgiving for all these Your great gifts, for Your own great glory and beauty, O God Our Father!
“You in me; and I in You, O Jesus my One Good! This is the thank-offering I set before Your glory. I have nothing else beside. My one only offering is what I am in You, my life in You.” (Exercises of Saint Gertrude).
Jesus alone is Lord, He alone of men is holy, He alone is Most High, and He is mine, He is now within me! My Beloved is mine, and I am His! Look then on the Face of Your Christ, O God Our Father, and be You blessed in Him, and by Him in me, Your most unworthy creature!

OUR FATHER, HALLOWED BE THY NAME. My soul does magnify the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. Blessed be His Holy Name for ever. Amen! Amen.

THY KINGDOM COME. —
Blessed be You, O my God, that You have chosen us to be of Your Kingdom, of Your One True Church, of the subjects of Christ our King, I am now the Throne, the Temple of the King, how then should His Kingdom not come in me, except by my own blindness, weakness, darkness and ignorance?

Break down the barriers that hide Him from me, that He alone may rule me, that His Kingdom may rule over all that is within me. Blessed be You that Christ is our King; let none but Him possess me!

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. —
Blessed be You, O God Our Father, that in heaven Your Will is perfectly fulfilled by Your Saints and Angels. Teach me to do Your Will on earth, for You are my God, and here below I may be led astray by the free-will You have given me. What can I refuse You, how shall I dare oppose Your Will, when You Yourself are within me as a King on His own throne? But when temptation comes, I shall forget You, unless You take my poor weak will – and hold it fast by Your mighty love-fetters. Bind me to You, O Love, Who rules me at this moment; for without You, my soul is earth, but with You it is heaven. Let my will be ever one with Yours, as it now is. O my God, my Love, Who are now all mine, and I am all Yours; let my soul lose herself in Your Will, exulting in Your love. At this moment when our wills are one, I beg You let me never will except as You will, and when my weak will revolts, come to me again and make it all Your own. Amen. Let me be called by that new name which You Yourself shall give me, “My Will in her.” “My Will in him.”

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD. —
Blessed be You, O Lord, that You give me Yourself, the Food for which my soul hungers and thirsts, without which I am miserable and poor and blind and naked, and dying, and as a dry land without water before You. Give me all that satisfies the needs, the infinite desires, the aspirations of this longing soul of mine, which is never, never satisfied, “ever me wants” as Mother Julian of Norwich put it. You alone can fill that unspeakable void, and satisfy that nameless longing which torments me. Oh, give me Your inspirations, Your graces, Your gracious calls and invitations,

Oh, speak to my poor empty soul those potent, creative, life-giving words, which are to me life, and light, and love and food. Give me all I need for my earthly life, that I may not forsake You to hunt after the things of earth, that nothing may tear or distract me from You. And blessed be You, O my God, for my food of soul and of body, which You give me day after day, year after year. You open You Hand and fill every living creature with blessing. You have made me with infinite needs, do You Yourself supply and satisfy them. And blessed be You for all Your good gifts to my soul and body, and above all for the gift of Your Most Precious Body and Blood to be the Food of my soul. Give me, O Lord, ever to hunger for this Bread of Angels. Amen.

AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THEM THAT TRESPASS. —
Of all my needs, beloved Guest of my soul, none is so great as the need of pardon and forgiveness. Blessed be You, that You give it to me so readily, so completely, this pardon, through the Precious Blood of my Saviour, Who is now within me; the whole of His Precious Blood is mine at this moment, to make use of, as I will. May it flow over me, and wash me clean from all my sins and negligences. And take from me all rancour, all resentment, all ill-will, suspicion and distrust, that I may forgive even as I am forgiven. Set before me the exquisite food of Your everlasting forgiveness, which alone can give peace to my soul. O Jesus, my sweetest Peace, deign to be my healing and my light. Blot out all mine iniquities in Your great compassion, cover all my sins with the mantle of Your charity, supply all my defects in Your goodness, let my soul recover, through Your love, that liberty which You gave me at the cost of Your own Most Precious Blood.” (Exercises of Saint Gertrude).

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION. —
Blessed be You, O my God, that by this heavenly Food, You so strengthen me against the snares and wiles of the Evil One, that I am strong to meet my daily trials and difficulties. My youth is renewed as the eagle’s. I, who till now was afraid of every obstacle, I who fail and fall at every step, can now look forward fearlessly to the day’s trials, for You have filled my hungry soul with good things. Even if I walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You, yes You, are with me. Stay with me, Lord, for it is ever evening on this sad, dark earth. You are the Bright and Morning Star. Our Communion is our Morning Star. You have said: “I will give him the Morning Star.” (Revelation 2:28) You give it every morning, if we will but take it. Blessed be You, O Light Eternal! Following You, we shall never stray into the paths of danger. Blessed are they that walk in You, The Way! Oh, place Your blessed Footsteps in the Way, that I may walk in them! (Psalm 84 in the Vulgate or Psalm 85 in the Hebrew – see especially verses 13-14).

“Lead me through Yourself, the Way, unto Yourself, the Truth, into that Life which is Your Blessed Self.” (Adapted from Exercises of Saint Gertrude.)

Hide me, plunge me therein, You in me, and I in You, that You alone may live in me.

BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL. AMEN. —
Blessed be You, O my God, that You give me Yourself, as my remedy and my safeguard against evil, against all the snares of the enemy, against the dangers of my own evil inclinations. You are my Rock, my Refuge, and my Deliverer. You Yourself are my Defence, my Deliverance from evil, and at this moment, I am one with You, my Deliverer. I am all Yours and You are all mine. Let us stand together for if the Lord is with me, who is against me. (A quotation from Isaiah, chapter 50:8: Stemus simul quis est adversarius meus.)

I am one with You, O You one only love of my soul, let me not stray from You, but direct all my steps in Your ways, the ways of peace and truth, and love. Help me, O Eternal Truth, that no vanity be my motive. Blessed be You for my salvation, and my deliverance, and my plentiful Redemption. My spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. Praising I will call upon the Lord, and I shall be saved from all my enemies. Behold God is my Saviour; I will deal confidently and will not fear. I will drink waters in joy from the Fountains of my Saviour, from His Five Sacred Wounds, from His Sacraments, from this Sacrament of His Love. Blessed be You, – Jesus our Deliverer, for that You have fought and conquered for us, let us ever put our whole trust in You. Amen.

MONDAY. FOR THE HOLY SOULS.

Our Lord once appeared to Saint Mechtilde, after she had received Holy Communion for the Holy Souls, saying: “Say the OUR FATHER for them.” She was inspired to say it as follows, and when she had finished she beheld an immense multitude of souls ascending to heaven.

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN.
‘I beseech You to forgive all the souls in Purgatory, in so far as they have not loved nor worthily honoured You, their adorable and most beloved Father, who of Your own mere grace did adopt them to be Your children. By their sins, they have thrust You forth from their hearts, Your own chosen heaven. In satisfaction for this their sin, I offer You that love and honour which Your Beloved Son showed You upon earth, and that most abundant satisfaction which He has made for all their sins.’

”HALLOWED BE THY NAME.”
‘I beseech You, O You Father of compassion, forgive the souls of the faithful departed, in so far as they have not worthily honoured nor duly made mention of Your Most Holy Name, but have taken it in vain, and by their scandalous life rendered themselves unworthy of the name of Christians. And in satisfaction for these their sins, I offer You the consummate holiness of Your Son, whereby He magnified Your Name by His teaching, and glorified You by all the works of His Sacred Humanity.’

THY KINGDOM COME.
‘I beseech You, O Father of compassion, forgive the souls of the faithful departed, in so far as they have not fervently longed for the spread of Your Kingdom, nor have longed and striven for Yourself, in whom alone is true rest and abiding joy. And, for this and all their sloth in doing good, I offer You all the most holy and longing desires of Your Son, wherewith He desired to make them heirs together with Him of His Kingdom.’

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
‘I beseech You, O Father of compassion, vouchsafe to forgive the souls of the faithful departed, and especially of those consecrated to You in the religious life, in so far as they have not preferred Your Will to their own, nor have loved it in all things, but have too often lived and done only according to their own will. And in satisfaction for this their disobedience, I offer You the union of- the sweetest Heart of Your Son with Your Will, and all that His most ready and loving obedience wherewith He was obedient to You even to the death of the Cross.’

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.
‘I beseech You, O Father of compassion, vouchsafe to forgive the souls of the faithful departed in so far as they have not received the Most Blessed and adorable Sacrament of the Altar with pure and perfect desire, devotion, and love; or have received it unworthily, or seldom, or not at all. And in satisfaction for these their sins, I offer You the consummate holiness and the devotion of Your Son, together with that most ardent love and ineffable yearning desire wherewith He bestowed upon us this most inestimable treasure.’

AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES
AS WE FORGIVE THEM THAT TRESPASS AGAINST US.
‘I beseech You, O Father of compassion, vouchsafe to forgive the souls of the faithful departed in so far as they have sinned against You by any one of the seven capital sins, and especially in so far as they have not forgiven those who had offended them, or have not loved their enemies. And for all these their sins I offer You that most sweet and tender prayer which Your Son prayed for His enemies while He hung on the Cross.’

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.
‘I beseech You, O Father of compassion, vouchsafe to forgive the souls of the faithful departed in so far as they have not resisted their concupiscence and the sins-to which they were especially prone, but have again and again consented to the devil and the flesh, and entangled themselves by their own will in many grievous evils. And for all these their manifold sins, I offer You the glorious victory wherewith Your Son overcame the world, and the devil, together with all His most holy Life and conversation, His toil and weariness, His Most Bitter Passion and Death.’

BUT DELIVER US ‘AND THEM FROM EVERY EVIL
and every punishment through the merits of Your Beloved Son, and bring us to the kingdom of Your glory which is none other than Your Most Glorious Self.
Amen.’

(From the Prayers of Saint Gertrude.)

TUESDAY. FOR OUR OWN SOUL.

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN,
Who are in a most special manner present at this moment in the sanctuary, the heaven, of my own soul, may I ever be mindful of Your gracious Presence within me!

Jesu, in Your dear Sacrament,
Your heaven I cannot see,
But heaven is everywhere You are
And You are heaven to me.

You dwell within me as a King on his throne, as a Master in his own house. Make me joyful in Your house of prayer.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME
within me, that my soul may ever praise You, and give You glory, speaking to myself in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles.
It is my duty to praise You, O Lord, my Deity; it is my most ardent desire, but as I cannot praise You worthily; I beseech You to offer to Yourself most perfect praise within my heart, so that You may sanctify for Yourself and accept as most grateful praise and adoration, every breath I draw, whether I wake or sleep. My soul does magnify the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour. In You, will I glory and rejoice all the day long, for You are my glory and the joy of my heart, but for myself I will glory only in my infirmities. O Lord, our Lord, how wondrous is Your Name in all the earth I May I cause Your Name, O God my Father, to be praised and blessed by all, when they behold You working within me Your wonders of grace and of conversion. Blessed be God, Blessed be His Holy Name. Hallowed be Your Name in me, O Father, for ever and ever. Amen.

THY KINGDOM COME.
Oh, that I had the great and passionate desires for the coming of Your Kingdom on earth, in the souls of my family and friends, in the whole world. Oh. That I had the same desire that Your Saints had! Oh, that Your glorious Kingdom would come within my own soul, that You might in very truth be sole King therein, and in the souls of all men! And if I have not this desire as I should have it, then I will humbly content my-self with making this petition, “Your Kingdom come,” knowing that You in Your goodness wilt take the will for the deed.

Our Lord said to Saint Catherine of Siena, “You have nothing infinite but your desires.” I desire then, O my Saviour – my Father, my Brother, my Spouse, – to make You the most ardent, burning, passionate act of love that was ever made to You in the whole world, or ever will be. I desire to gather into my one heart all the acts of love that have ever pleased You most, and to offer them all to You from the heart of every creature You have ever made. I offer You Your own Most Sacred Heart, now beating as one with mine, with all Its desires for the Father’s glory. Lord, Your Heart is mine, Your desires are mine, whilst You are one with me. I love You, then, with Your own love. My Lord, Who are now Life of my life, Heart of my heart, Lord, make haste to help me to pray to You and love and praise You with Your own love and praise and prayer. The Lord is my strength and my praise. Rejoice and praise, O Sion, for great is He that is in the midst of you, the Holy One of Israel.

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
If this were really my one aim, how speedily, how truly, should I become holy, for Your Will is my sanctification! What are all my sins and failings but so many resistances to Your Will, to Your daily calls and inspirations? Christ has said: “Whosoever shall do the Will of My Father that is in heaven, he is My brother, and My sister, and mother.”
“Oh, who would not change wills with God?” (Spiritual Conquest).
Oh, that You could say of me as You did of Your servant, “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to My own heart, who shall do all My wills.”
Like David, would that I could say, “My heart is ready, O God.”
“Take my will totally to You, O my God, govern it and submit it perfectly to Your own. I give up my will, O divine Artist, to be plunged, purified, polished, hammered, filed and fired in the furnace of Your love. Oh, do with it and with me as You best know and please.”
(Spiritual Conquest).
Grant that I and all men may ever do Your Holy Will. Teach me to do Your Will for You are my God. There is Life in His Will. Lord, what would You have me to do?

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.
Since You, O most gracious Father, did create us with so many needs of soul and body, which of ourselves we cannot, without Your help, supply, it is a prayer blessed by Yourself to ask for the supply of our needs of soul and body. Give us then this day the food of our body, for it is, as it were, a sacramental, a sacred thing, authorised and blessed by You. Give to our poor hungering, thirsting souls, their deep satisfaction in Your own most Blessed Self. Give us the knowledge and the relish of You, in prayer and in the husks of earthly satisfactions, having tasted and seen how sweet is the Lord. Give us Your holy lights and inspirations, that we may serve You purely, perfectly, ardently, faithfully. Give us all that You know we need, that we may not faint in the way. We are hungry, we are weak, we are Your needy children, dependent on You, Our Father.

Fill us then with Your good things. Send us not away empty, like the self-satisfied rich, who call not upon You. “I hold forth to You the empty vessel of my desires,” (Saint Gertrude), fill my hungry soul with good things, and give me to drink of the cup of pardon.

FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE.
Above all our needs, is the need of pardon and forgiveness.
“Blot out all my sins with Your effectual pardon. My sins affright me, my omissions cover me with shame, my life is one long failure, and fills me with alarm. Do You renew my life in You like the eagles. Grant me a tender compunction of heart, a spirit of humble penance, that I may ever strive to render my sins fewer, my defects less glaring. Fill my lamp with the oil of charity, light it at the flame of love, may it give light in all the works of a living faith. O my sweet Jesus, pledge of my redemption, come You with me to judgment, there let us stand together. Judge me for You have the right, but remember, too, You are my Advocate.” (Exercises of Saint Gertrude).

Transform my whole life in You; make me such as You would have me to be. Give us generosity to forgive in our turn, all who offend us. Make us ever remember Your Law: “Forgive and you shall be forgiven.”
“With what measure you have meted to others, so shall it be meted to you.”

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.
Pity our weakness and turn away from us the occasions of sins. Send Your Holy Angels, who shall walk with us every step of the way, and drive from us the snares of the Evil One. Turn away our eyes lest they behold vanity; the eyes of our soul from dwelling with self-complacency on our own advantages. Turn away our ears from hearing uncharitable talk, foolish flattery, or words, which may harden or embitter us. Keep our hands, our feet, from all offence.

BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL. AMEN.
Save us by the omnipotent protection of Your Presence, from dangers to soul and body, from accidents, from sin and discouragement, depression and loss of peace, from delusions, from tepidity and luke-warmness and discontent, from false and wrong ideas, from bad companions, from diffidence and despair and depression, from all the evils of soul and body which beset us in this vale of tears. Deliver us from the evils of our own character, and from our bad habits, which seem too strong for us to subdue. Jesus, Deliverer, stay You with me!
Amen! Amen.

WEDNESDAY. FOR OUR HOME, FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN.

You have made me, and the home, family and friends You have given me, to live for ever with You, Our Father, in our true home, Heaven. It is for this You have given us to each other, and brought us all so close together into one family – that we may help each other to You, and to the glory for which You have created us. May we never forget You. Our Father, may we never harm one another by bad example, neglect, or unkindness. May we ever remember that our home on earth is but a faint foreshadowing, a preparation, for our true home life with You in heaven. You give Yourself to us in Holy Communion, to help and speed and strengthen us on our way thither. Now that You are within me, increase in my heart true love of all my dear ones, draw them ever closer to Your Father’s Heart, be a bond of union and love between us. Even now, each one of us has within us the heaven of our own souls, wherein You, Our Father, dwell with Your Son and the Holy Ghost, when we are in the state of grace. Let each of us ever strive that in our home, this may always be so, that no one of us may ever be deprived of Your Presence through sin. Father in heaven, be ever with each and all of us in our home, in the heaven of our souls. Give us true peace and union of hearts, that our home on earth may be a true fore-shadowing of heaven.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME.

May all of us love Your glory, Your praise, Your service. May we use our lives, our time, our energy for this one end, Your glory. May all who come near us, who meet us, be led by the holiness of our lives to praise and bless Your Name. May we never allow anything to be said or done in our house, our home, that would in any way dishonour or displease You. May our home, our family be a glorious praise to Your Name.

THY KINGDOM COME.

May each one of us strive for this glorious end, that by us, and in us, and through us, Your Kingdom may come to all with whom we have dealings. May this be the one great aim of our lives, of all we say or do or think. May it be our family motto. That by means of our home, our family, our friends, Your Kingdom may come, Your reign in souls. May Your Kingdom rule over all. May Your Kingdom come in all the world, over all men, may it be furthered by us, wherever we are, whatever work we have to do.
Let all that concerns us be buried in this aspiration THY KINGDOM COME, our lives, our work, our aims, our desires, our joys, our sufferings.
Let us never prefer anything to the coming of Your Kingdom. Sacred Heart of Jesus now beating as one with my poor heart, Your Kingdom come in us now, and for ever. Amen! Amen.

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

You, O Our Father, have Your own plans for each one of us. Never halt them! They are greater and wider and better than any we could make for ourselves. If we simply do Your Will, day by day, as it comes, each declaring to us Your Will of Good Pleasure, Your plans will be carried out in us. Let us then put no obstacles to Your Blessed Will, let us not set our hearts on things You have not designed for us. Let us be content with Your ordering of our lives, and when sorrows come, let us remember that all is Your Will. Your Will is our sanctification, and God is a perpetual communion to the soul who does His Will. Never let us oppose Your Will, O Our Father. Let us trust You, and believe that all that You do is for our good. Let us abandon ourselves and all that concerns us to Your Divine Providence. Let us be faithful, each one of us, to Your commands, whether expressed by the one in authority in our home, or by Your Church. Let us be faithful to Your secret calls and inspirations, in the hearts of each of us. Let us be Your true and obedient children. Your Will be done in us! Teach us to do Your Will, for You are Our God, Our Father, Our Master, Our Lord.

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.

You are Our Father, You know the needs of Your children, You know we have need of many things daily, for soul and body; give them then to us, You who has created us with all these needs, that we might depend on You for their daily supply, as children do on their Father. It is You Yourself who has taught us to ask for what we want day by day. Give us then our food of soul and body, that we may not go astray in seeking them by our own exertions. Blessed be You, O Our Father, for giving us on this day Yourself, the Food of our souls in Holy Communion; give us, O Our Father, then all that we need besides. Thanks, also, for the gift of this day.

You have this day given me the Bread from heaven, containing in Itself all sweetness; and what is to every taste, will be found therein. (Footnote: See Wisdom 16:20-21. This is applied by the Church to the Blessed Sacrament in the Office of Corpus Christi.)
And now, Lord, what I ask at this moment, is the supply of all temporal good things for my home and family. May each of us contribute our share to the general good of the home and family, and prefer what is useful to others rather than what benefits self only. Deliver us from all selfishness. Father, give us this day our daily bread.

AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES
AS WE FORGIVE THEM THAT TRESPASS AGAINST US.

Living as we do, so close together, in one home, in one house, one family, it cannot but be that we shall rub up against one another sometimes, and cause annoyance to one another. When this happens, let us be prepared to give and take in daily life, to put up with one another’s weaknesses, bear one another’s burdens. Let the strong help the weak, the wise the foolish, let each use for the common good, whatever we have to give, whether it be the gift of wise counsel, or work of body or soul, or money, or any other good gift of nature or grace. Let us forget and forgive when we are hurt, for we ask You to forgive us our sins daily, even as we forgive. Save us from bitterness and rancour, from jealousy and resentment, which would destroy the peace of our home.

Give us to drink of the cup of pardon, and let us generously pardon others their offences against us. It is not always easy, but with You in our hearts, the God of all pardon, we cannot refuse to forgive. Give us, O Lord, a forgiving spirit.

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.

Move all of us by Your grace. Let us not tempt one another, by unkindness, bad example, or neglect of our duty one to another. For we  each have a responsibility to all in our home and family circle; our influence daily works for good or evil on all around us. Let us never lead one another into temptation, and so incur the guilt of another’s sin. Let us rather be saviours and deliverers one to another, shielding one another from sin and danger and as far as may be from suffering.

BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL. AMEN.

Our life on earth is full of dangers to soul and body. Save us and our dear ones, this day, dear Lord, by virtue of Your Sacramental Presence, from bodily harm, from accidents, and illness, as far as may be. Save us above all from dangers to our souls, from sin. You know better than we do the dangers that threaten us, we are so weak, we cannot save ourselves from them, but You Who are Our Father Almighty, are all-powerful, and You have bidden us to ask You to deliver us from evil. Send Your Holy Angels to care for us, and watch over us, lest we dash our foot against a stone. Jesus, deliver us from all evil. Amen.

‘AMEN’, dear Lord, to all the seven petitions You Yourself have taught us to make to You.
Once more now when we say AMEN at the end of our prayer do we renew our petitions for each favour we have asked in this prayer.
May our whole day be an AMEN to YOUR prayer.
May each moment of our day say to You, AMEN, LORD.

When we pray, AMEN to “Hallowed be Your Name.”
When we work or suffer, AMEN to Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done.
When we are hurt or angry, AMEN to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive.”
When we have sinned, AMEN to “forgive us our trespasses.”
When we are in danger of sin, AMEN to “Lead us not into temptation.”
When we are in need or hunger of body or soul, AMEN to “Give us this day our daily bread.”
When we are tempted to sin, AMEN to “Deliver us from evil.”

AMEN. AMEN.
O You, Who are the AMEN, FAITHFUL AND TRUE, be to us an AMEN, FAITHFUL AND TRUE.
In You, O AMEN, we put our trust, let us never be confounded. Amen! Amen! Alleluia!

THURSDAY. FOR A PRIEST.

OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN.
Our Father in Heaven, may You ever be present, as in Your most chosen dwelling, in the heart of Your priest! May all souls, at all times, ever find You, Their Father, in HIM!

HALLOWED BE THY NAME, in him.
May he lead all souls, all hearts, to praise and glorify You, to serve You. May He himself, by his very life, by all his priestly functions, faithfully and zealously performed, cause You to be praised and blessed and glorified, You Who alone can work such wonders by means of a frail human being.

THY KINGDOM COME, in him, in his own soul.
May he have an ardent, consuming zeal for Your Kingdom. May he put this before all else, and bury all that concerns him in this aspiration. May he ever spread Your Kingdom by word and work. May his zeal for Your interests never flag, may he ever work, pray, live, for the coming of Your Kingdom. And do You prosper and bless his labours, that by them Your Kingdom may in very truth rule over all, all the changing fashions of this world, all that momentarily sways men’s changeful hearts and minds. May Your priest but live for the coming of Your Kingdom. May this be the one object of his life, of his thoughts and desires. May this aim keep him from a worldly spirit.

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
Your Will is his sanctification. Let Your priest be clothed with justice. May Your Will be the rule of his life. May he be faithful to every manifestation of Your Will, whether it come by authority, or by Your secret calls and inspirations. Deliver him from self-will and self-seeking. Give him grace to embrace Your will in what is hard and trying, and never seek to escape his burdens. Give him life in Your Will, joy in Your Will, peace in Your Will, content in the sphere in which You have placed him, and peace in full submission to You, His Father.

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.
It is through Your priest, through the power You has given him, that You Yourself, the Bread of our souls, come to us in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Through him, Your mouth-piece, You, the Word, the Food of our souls, on which You have told us that man lives, yes You, the Word, are spoken to us. May he ever be a true and faithful minister of the Most Blessed Sacrament to his flock.

And give to his own soul the divine strength and nourishment he needs, give him the holy, beautiful thoughts and aspirations which may feed and satisfy his own soul, and where-with he may in truth feed the souls and hearts of his flock. Make him truly a Good Shepherd who gives to his flock their daily bread.

FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES,
AS WE FORGIVE THEM THAT TRESPASS AGAINST US.
Our Father, Who have given to Your priests the divine power to forgive us our sins, may Your priest exercise it as You will and as we need. May we ever treasure the great gift You have given us in the Sacrament of Penance, and give to Your Priest the gift to help and strengthen the souls who bring to him their sins and burdens; give him the light to understand their needs; give him the words of light and good counsel which heal souls. And give him the grace to forgive all that he has to bear with, from the trying ways of men, from evil speaking and injurious deeds. Give him a merciful and forgiving heart as You do wish to see in Your servants.

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.
You, Lord, know the difficulties of Your priest’s life, do You shield and protect him from the dangers in his path; strengthen his human frailty; give him light, comfort, and courage in all the difficult circumstances of his life; keep him from sin, imprudence and error; be a lamp to his feet, and a light to his paths; give him wisdom that sits by Your throne, to guide him in all his ways.

DELIVER US and him FROM every EVIL,
from every sin and evil habit, from trials too hard, from misfortune and accident, as far as may be, but above all from every sin, great and small. Deliver him from vain fear, from depression and discouragement, and give him a firm trust in You. Jesus the Deliverer, deliver Your priest from every evil. Amen.

AMEN.
O Jesus, the High Priest according to the order of Melchisedech, O Amen, faithful and true, may Your priest ever be an AMEN to You,
may all His life be an AMEN to the petitions of Your prayer.
May its principles be his politics, his practice, his rule and guide and model.
Make him an AMEN, to You, FAITHFUL AND TRUE. Amen.

FRIDAY. FOR A SINNER.

OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN,
who are this moment in the heaven of my soul, I wish to make You reparation for this poor sinner, who by his own fault has driven You from the heaven of his soul, where You did delight to dwell. Remember, O Father, that even still his soul is made to be Your heaven, Your most chosen dwelling place.
“In us is His homeliest home, and His endless dwelling.” (Mother Julian of Norwich).
Give him, then, the grace of repentance, that he may once more have You to dwell with him, in him, and restore to him the joy of Your salvation, that light and joy and peace which along with grace, he has forfeited. Our Father, Who are in heaven, come back to the heaven of his soul, draw him, touch him, lead him back to You. Amen.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME.
I offer You Yourself, Your Son, whom I now hold in my heart, to make amends to You for this poor sinner, who by his evil life dishonours Your Name, who makes the name of Christian and Catholic a reproach by his infidelity. May Your Name be once more hallowed in him, may he be converted to You, and give You tenfold more glory than he has robbed You of during the time he dwelt in sin. Lord, the longer he remains in sin, and out of grace, the more is Your Name dishonoured in him. Restore then, to Yourself Your own glory, which he is robbing You of, and turn his heart to You. Your Kingdom come in him. Amen! Amen!

THY KINGDOM COME, once more, in him.
Once You did rule in his heart as King, bring back then this happy time, and for Your own sake, reign once more in him. Your kingdom come, the kingdom of Your grace and Your love in this poor, empty, lonely heart. You alone are Lord, You are all-powerful, You alone can work this wonder of a change of heart. “The heart of the king is in Your hand.” (Proverbs 21:1) Lord, all hearts are in Your hand, You can bend as it pleases You, the most obdurate, and soften the most stubborn. Arise, O Lord, and let the evil ones be scattered from this their stronghold. Amen.

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
Lord, You can do all things. Do Your own Will in him and save him. I offer You Your own Sacred Heart, where the will of Your Father was ever most perfectly done, to make You amends and reparation for his rebellion, and resistance.
Your Will be done in him, dear Lord! FIAT. FIAT. (Let it be done. Let it be done!)

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.
See how this poor sinner faints and fails and falls, deprived of You, O You Bread of Life! Give him, then, once more the bread of Your grace, and grant him the grace of repentance, that he may return to You, the True and Only Food of his hungry soul which perishes among the husks of swine. For he strays far from You amidst this world’s vain joys and pleasures. Give him the grace he needs this day, this moment, the light that will this day save him, and bring him back to You. Amen.

FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES,
AS WE FORGIVE THEM THAT TRESPASS AGAINST US.
Ah, Lord, what is there this poor sinner needs more than forgiveness? Speak then, to his poor soul, his heart, Your sweet words of pardon — Your invitations to repentance, those secret words which melt and touch and enkindle the heart, which are irresistible, which none but You, O Word of the Father, can speak, and win him back to You. Teach him, touch him, wound him, and win him unto You. Amen.

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.
How great, Lord, is the danger of temptation to this poor sinner, for by his many infidelities he deprives himself of a claim to Your grace in his daily temptations. Have mercy on him, for he is weak; he has strayed like a sheep that is lost, and he needs Your care more than the ninety-nine just who are safe in Your fold. Permit him not to be tried beyond his strength. Send him Your angels to help him in the hour of need, that he may not heap up guilt in Your sight. Give him grace to call upon You in the evil hour of temptation, Amen.

BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL. AMEN.
Deliver him, we beseech You, O Lord, from his sinful and unhappy state. May he this day arise, and return to You, His Father, Whom he has so long slighted, refused, resisted. Without You he cannot move a step to repentance, but, Lord, all hearts are in Your hands, You can bend, as it pleases You, the most stubborn, and soften the most obdurate. Save him and deliver him from all evil, deliver him above all, O Father, from the dreadful evil of final impenitence, from despair.

May he be converted to You and live, You who will not the death of the sinner, but that he should be converted and live the life of grace and friendship with You. May Your patience lead him to repentance.

Convert him, O God, Our Saviour. Show him Your mercy and give him Your salvation. Deliver him from evil. Amen.

SATURDAY. IN HONOUR OF OUR LADY.

“Thus says the AMEN, Faithful and True, the beginning of the creatures of God.”
(See Apocalypse 3:14).
(By accommodation, we can apply these words to Mary.)

“Thus shall you pray,” says Jesus, the Master of Prayer,
and Mary, His AMEN, repeats to us, “Thus shall you pray,”

OUR FATHER, WHO ART TN HEAVEN.
My soul is now Your heaven, for Jesus Your Son, Your AMEN, is within me.
And His Mother, O God our Father, Your own peerless Daughter, though not within my soul, must be close by me, for to her I commend my preparation for Your visit. I wish to offer You, O God our Father, Your Son Jesus, that Offering beyond all gifts, in thanksgiving for the gift to us of Your Mother.
Never was a human soul, O Jesus, more a heaven for You, (and we know that our soul is made to be God’s dwelling-place as Mother Julian of Norwich teaches), as was hers.
Blessed be You, O God our Father, who has created one of us, our Sister, having a nature in all things like to our own, so lovely, so peerless, so stainless, so surpassingly perfect. We are Your guilty children, O Father, but she is Immaculate, glorious, resplendent, all-fair. She is the Queen, the Sovereign Lady of Your resplendent heaven; she is the Queen of the heaven of our souls, and she is our own tender, merciful Mother, the most loving, lovely and best-loved of all mothers. May my soul, which is this moment blessed by Your Presence, be ever as a fair, pure, resplendent heaven for You, O God Our Father! My Jesus, do You love and praise Your Mother for me in the heaven of my soul, wherein at this moment You dwell. And you, O fairest Queen of the heaven of Our Father, praise, love and thank Jesus for me. Stay with me, and teach me how to say “Our Father, who are in heaven.”

You are ever His Heaven, may we too be His heaven!

HALLOWED BE THY NAME.
As You, my Jesus, are the AMEN to God, so is Mary the AMEN, as You Yourself are, to every petition of this Your own prayer, O my Lord!
Before ever You had taught us Your prayer, she first of all of us had said “My soul does magnify the Lord (that is, does hallow His Name) because Holy is His Name.” With this, your own song of praise, O my Mother, I bless the Name of God Our Father, and with you, sweet Lady, I rejoice in Jesus, yes in God my Saviour, and vehemently do I rejoice in His merciful salvation.
Blessed be You, O God Our Father, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, and blessed be You for Our Mother — this most blessed Gift to Your children. I unite myself to the canticles, which are hers.

My soul is now knit to the Soul of Jesus, Your Son and Mary’s, and in union with Your Sacred Soul, O Jesus, and with Your Mother, I magnify You, O my God, I hallow Your Name, which is above every Name; blessed above all for ever. Blessed be God! Blessed be His Holy Name! Blessed be Jesus, true God and true Man! Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy!

THY KINGDOM COME.
When You did first come among us, O beloved Saviour, You did come through Your Mother. She was the Morning Star, the herald of the Sun of Justice. She was more, for He, the true Divinity, came into her, He came by her, He was One with her. She was the means of the Great Coming of Your Kingdom, when You, O King of Peace, did descend from heaven as the Dew upon the Fleece. “Sicut pluvia in vellus descendisti.” (‘As the dew descended upon the fleece’, a reference to Judges 6:36-40, is used by the Church in the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin.)
And so now, that Your Kingdom may come in me, she must come to me, she must bring You, she must intercede for me. She is the Mediatrix of all graces; she is the Mother of Divine Grace; she is the Mother of fair love. Pray for me, then, my Mother, that Your Son may reign now in me as King, as Sovereign Lord and Master, as He reigned in you, through you, by you. ‘That Your Kingdom may come, may the reign of Mary soon come’. “Ut veniat regnum tuum, adveniat regnum Mariae!

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
When You were about to come among us, O beloved Saviour, You did wait, and all heaven waited for the “FIAT” of Your Mother, the Little Maiden of Nazareth. (Let it be done.)
And she was the first to say the Christian “FIAT.”
She said “FIAT.”
She said: “Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” for she said, “Fiat, be it done unto me according to Your Word.”
Your Will. She anticipated Your petition, “Your Will be done.” And all through her life, in time and in eternity, she has been the one perfect example among creatures of the perfect accomplishment of Your Will. Never did she swerve one hair’s breadth from that path of conformity to the Divine Will; never for one instant did she cease to do Your Will as it is done in heaven.
She was the perfect “AMEN” to FIAT VOLUNTAS TUA. (Be it done unto me according to Your Will and Word.) Teach me, O my Mother, to love and to do God’s Will as you did. May every word and act of mine be in keeping with God’s Will. May I never resist His Will, never be unfaithful to the smallest inspiration.
Virgin most Faithful, AMEN FAITHFUL AND TRUE make me too an AMEN FAITHFUL AND TRUE to Jesus, Your Son.

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.
O Mother, it is through your hands that we have received Jesus, the Bread of Life, our Heavenly Manna, the Food of our souls. He came to you in Bethlehem, the House of Bread. In your womb was this heavenly Bread prepared for us. Give Him to us now, every day of our lives, and when You give Him to us, teach us how to receive, how to welcome Him, how to thank Him, for we offer to Him your own pure heart as His welcome. Obtain from Him, by your prayers, those holy inspirations day by day, which feed our spiritual life. Mother, give us this day and every day our daily bread.

FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE.
Through you, O Mother of Our Saviour, we have received the pardon of our sins; for you did give us our Redeemer, who has washed away our sins in His Precious Blood. You did stand beneath the Cross on which He won our pardon and paid our debts. From that Cross He gave you to us to be Our Mother, O Virgo clemens (O Virgin most clement). Mother of Mercy, O Refuge of Sinners, obtain for us the pardon of our sins, our daily faults.

And obtain for us, in our turn, a forgiving spirit, for your Son has said to us, “forgive and you shall be forgiven.” Mother, you know how hard we find it to forgive, keep then in our minds all day these words, in our moments of wounded pride, fierce anger and resentment. You have forgiven us the sorrow and suffering we caused your Son; teach us to forgive even as you have forgiven us. Amen.

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.
Alas, Lord our life on earth is but a temptation. Even after having received You into the heaven of our souls, we must at once go forth and be tempted. For we must live in the world, we must live with our fellow men, with our own bodies, our own concupiscences. We must bear the attacks and suffer the snares of the Evil One, even as You did endure them when on earth. But having You within us, we fear not. Even if we should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, You are with us. You are our Protector, our Rock of refuge.

And Mary, the Queen of Martyrs, the Queen of Confessors, and of Virgins, is with us. For the Lord is with you, O most mighty Queen and Sovereign Lady, and if He is with us, we are with you too. You to the demons are terrible as an army in battle array. Lead us, then as you did lead the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Confessors, the Virgins, for we, following you, can never go astray, and never will you lead us into temptation. Be with us when the tempter whispers his evil suggestions, and, Queen of Angels, send your angels to protect us in the hour of combat, and to lead us forth triumphantly out of temptation. Amen.

BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL. AMEN.
You did come on earth, O Jesus our Deliverer, to deliver us from evil, from sin and everlasting death! By Your help and grace, and by the prayers of Your Mother and ours, we now firmly trust that we shall be delivered from all evil this day and every day of our lives, and above all from the dreadful irremediable evil of final impenitence. You have given us Our Mother as the Help of Christians, the Refuge of Sinners, the Health of the Sick, and the Consoler of the Afflicted, that is, as our helper in all evils. May she ever deliver us from evil. Amen.

AMEN.
O Jesus, the Great AMEN, be it so to us as You have taught us in Your Prayer.
May every petition be fulfilled in us, that at the hour of our death we, too, may say AMEN to all You do ask for us.

May we indeed, each one of us, be at that hour an “Amen, Faithful and True,” as You Our Lord and Master and Model, to Your Father, and as Your Mother, the most Faithful Virgin, was an Amen to You.
Amen, Lord, now and forever, Fiat. Be it done unto us according to these the words of Your own most blessed prayer. Amen. Alleluia.

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