The Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle

A Catholic Prayer Book and Study Guide

PART VII

SPEAK, Lord . . . Your Servant Listens

Prayer is, in the strictest sense, a humble religious petition of man to God to seek divine benevolence and benefits he needs for life, both temporal and eternal. It is a conversation with God, either by accepted prayer forms, or from the heart. Here, then, in conversational verse, is a hypothetical talk the Lord might have with us, His children..........

It is not necessary my child, to know much in order to please me much; it is enough that you love me fervently. Speak here to me then, as you would speak to your most intimate friend, to your mother, to your brother.

So, you want to ask me to do something for someone? Tell me his name. Is it your parents, your brothers, your friends? Tell me what you want me to do for them now. Ask much, very much: do not hesitate to ask. I love generous hearts who somehow can come to forget themselves to look after the needs of others. Speak sincerely to me then, of the poor you would console, of the sick you see suffering, of the strayed you yearn to see return to the right path, of those absent friends you want at your side again. Say at least one word for each, the ardent word of a friend. Remind me that I have promised to listen to every petition that arises from the heart, and is not a prayer for those whom your heart especially loves such a pray?

And for you: do you need a particular favour? Make a list, as it were, of your needs, and come and read it in my presence.

Tell me frankly that you are prone to anger, that you love sensuality and pleasure, that you are perhaps proud, variable, negligent . . . Ask me to come to the help of those efforts, many or few, which you undertake to free yourself from these faults.

Do not be ashamed, poor soul; there are in Heaven so many saints who had these same defects; but they prayed humbly, and little by little they saw themselves freed from them.

Do not hesitate to ask Me for spiritual and material goods; for health, memory, success in your work, enterprises and studies; all these I can give and I do give -- as long as they do not hinder, but rather assist your sanctification. Precisely today, what do you need? What can I do for you? If only you knew how much I would like to help you!

Do you have, right now, some project in mind? Tell me everything in detail. What preoccupies you? What are you thinking? What do you want? What do you want me to do for your parents, your brothers, your children, your superiors? What would you want to do for them?

And for me, do you feel an attraction for my glory? Do you not want to do something for those friends whom you love much but who perhaps live separated from me?

Tell me what in particular attracts your attention today, what you desire most ardently and what means you have of obtaining it? Tell me if your plans are not working and I will tell you the causes of your difficulties. Do you not want to interest me in your quest? My dear one, I am the Lord of hearts and I move them, without violating their freedom, to wherever I please.

Are you perhaps sad, or in bad humour? Tell me, tell me, you inconsolable soul, tell me your sorrows in all their details. Who wounded you? come close to my Heart, and find in it a refreshing balsam for the wounds in yours. Then, you will confess that, like me, you forgive everything, you forget everything. In appreciation, you will receive my consoling benediction.

Are you perhaps afraid? Do you feel in your soul those vague stirrings of sadness which, however unjustified, can be so tearing? Throw yourself in the arms of my Providence. I am with you. I am at your side. I see everything. I hear everything. I shall not abandon you for one moment.

Do you feel ignored by persons who loved you once but who now have forgotten you without cause? Pray from them and I will bring them back to you if they are not obstacles to your salvation.

And don't you have, perhaps, some joy to communicate to me? Why don't you let me share it with you, like a friend?

Tell me what has consoled and gladdened your heart since yesterday, since you last visited me. Perhaps you have had an agreeable surprise; perhaps you have seen grave doubts dissipated, or you have received good news -- a letter, or perhaps a gesture of love. Maybe you have overcome some difficulty, or come out of a trying situation. All of this is my work. I have obtained this for you. Why not show me your gratitude and say, like a child to its father, "Thank you, my Father, thank you." Gratitude brings forth new gifts since benefactors, as you know, like to see themselves appreciated.

Do you not have a promise to make to me? I read, you know, the bottom of hearts. Men are easily deceived, but not God. Speak to me, then honestly; do you have firm intentions of avoiding the occasion of sin? Of denying yourself that object that harmed your soul? Of not reading again that book which excited your imagination? Of avoiding that person who disturbed the peace of your soul?

Will you be kind to that person who, because he offended you, you have regarded as an enemy?

And now, my child return to your work, to your office, to your family, to your studies -- but do not forget these fifteen minutes of intimate conversation we have had in the privacy of the sanctuary. Keep as much as possible, silence, resignation, modesty, charity towards your neighbours. Love and honour my Mother, who is also your Mother. And please come again tomorrow with an even more fervent heart, to unite it to mine. In it you will find every day new love, new gifts, new consolation. Here I await you.

The Chaplet of Saint Michael

Sincere Act of

Contrition

CHAPLET of ST. MICHAEL

Saint Michael appearing one day to Antonia d' Astonac, a most devout Servant of God, told her that he wished to be honoured by nine salutations corresponding to the nine Choirs of Angels, which should consist of one Our Father and three Hail Mary's in honour of each of the Angelic Choirs.

Promises of St. Michael

Whosoever would practice this devotion in his honour would have, when approaching the Holy Table, an escort of nine Angels chosen from each one of the nine Choirs. In addition, for the daily recital of these nine salutations he promised his continual assistance and that of all the Holy Angels during life, and after death deliverance from Purgatory for themselves and their relations.

Method of Reciting the Chaplet

The chaplet is begun by saying the following invocation on the medal:

O God, come to my assistance.

O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

[ The chaplet beads resemble the Rosary, but differ in number of beads. The chaplet has 9 large beads with 3 smaller beads in between each of them. At the conclusion, there are 4 small beads that terminate at the St. Michael medal. After saying each of the following nine salutations, in honour of the nine Choirs of Angels, say one Our Father (on the large beads), followed by (on the three smaller beads) three Hail Mary's ] :

1

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim, may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen.

2

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim, may the Lord vouchsafe to grant us grace to leave the ways of wickedness to run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen.

3

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones, may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen.

4

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominions, may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and subdue our unruly passions. Amen.

5

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers, may the Lord vouchsafe to protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen.

6

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and suffer us not to fall into temptation. Amen.

7

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities, may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.

8

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels, may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works, in order that we gain the glory of Paradise. Amen.

9

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels, my the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted hereafter to eternal glory. Amen.

[ On the end four beads - leading from the medal - say one Our Father in honour of each of the following leading angels: ]

St. Michael;

St. Gabriel;

St. Raphael;

your Guardian Angel

The chaplet is concluded with the following prayers:

O glorious Prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the Heavenly Hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King, and our admirable conductor, thou who dost shine with excellence and superhuman virtue, vouchsafe to deliver us from all evil, who turn to thee with confidence, and enable us by thy gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

V. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ.

P. That we may be made worthy of His promises.

PRAYER

Almighty and Everlasting God, who by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel, St. Michael, Prince of Thy Church, make us worthy, we beseech Thee, to be delivered from all our enemies that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into the august presence of Thy Divine Majesty. This we beg through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(With Ecclesiastical Approval)

The Stations of the Cross A Short Form

AN ACT OF CONTRITION

O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry for all my sins, because by them I have offended Thee, Who art infinitely good. I will die rather than offend thee again.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee. FIRST STATION:

Jesus Is Condemned to Death

My Jesus, often have I signed The death warrant by my sins; save me by Thy death from that eternal death which I have so often deserved.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

SECOND STATION:

Jesus Bears His Cross

My Jesus, Who by Thine own will did take on Thee the most heavy cross I made for Thee by my sins, oh, make me feel their heavy weight, and weep for them ever while I live.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

THIRD STATION:

Jesus Falls The First Time Beneath The Cross

My Jesus, the heavy burden of my sins is on Thee, and bears Thee down beneath the cross. I loathe them, I detest them; I call on Thee to pardon them; my Thy grace aid me never more to commit them.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

FOURTH STATION:

Jesus Meets His Holy Mother

Jesus most suffering, Mary Mother most sorrowful, if, by my sins, I caused you pain and anguish in the past, by God's assisting grace it shall be so no more; rather be you my love henceforth till death.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross, Thou has redeemed the world.

FIFTH STATION:

Simon on Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry the Cross

My Jesus, blest, thrice blest was he who aided Thee to bear the cross. Blest too shall I be if I aid Thee to bear the cross, by patiently bowing my neck to the crosses Thou shall send me during life. My Jesus, give me grace to do so

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross, Thou has redeemed the world.

SIXTH STATION:

Jesus and Veronica

My tender Jesus, Who did deign to print Thy sacred face upon the cloth with which Veronica wiped the sweat from off Thy brow, print in my soul deep, I pray Thee, the lasting memory of Thy bitter pains.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross, Thou has redeemed the world.

SEVENTH STATION:

Jesus Falls Again

My Jesus, often have I sinned and often, by sin, beaten Thee to the ground beneath the cross. Help me to use the efficacious means of grace that I may never fall again.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have Mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

EIGHTH STATION:

Jesus Comforts the Women of Jerusalem

My Jesus, Who did comfort the pious women of Jerusalem who wept to see Thee bruised and torn, comfort my soul with Thy tender pity, for in Thy pity lies my trust. May my heart ever answer Thine.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have Mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

NINTH STATION:

Jesus Falls A Third Time

My Jesus, by all the bitter woes Thou did endure when for the third time the heavy cross bowed Thee to the earth, never, I beseech Thee, let me fall again into sin. Ah, my Jesus, rather let me die than ever offend Thee again.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us. P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

TENTH STATION:

Jesus Is Stripped Of His Garments and Given Gall to Drink.

My Jesus, stripped of Thy garments and drenched with gall, strip me of love for things of earth, and make me loathe all that savours of the world and sin.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, though the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

ELEVENTH STATION:

Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross

My Jesus, by Thine agony when the cruel nails pierced Thy tender hands and feet and fixed them to the cross, make me crucify my flesh by Christian penance.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

TWELFTH STATION:

Jesus Dies

My Jesus, three hours did Thou hang in agony, and then die for me; let me die before I sin, and if I live, live for Thy love and faithful service.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

THIRTEENTH STATION:

Jesus Is Taken From The Cross and Laid in Mary's Arms.

O Mary, Mother most sorrowful, the sword of grief pierced thy soul when thou did see Jesus lying lifeless on thy bosom; obtain for me hatred of sin because sin slew thy Son and wounded thine own heart, and grace to live a Christian life and save my soul.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.

P. Because by Thy holy cross Thou has redeemed the world.

FOURTEENTH STATION:

Jesus Is Laid In The Tomb

My Jesus, beside Thy body in the tomb I, too, would lie dead; but if I live, let it be for Thee, so as one day to enjoy with Thee in heaven the fruits of Thy passion and Thy bitter death.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....

V. Jesus Christ Crucified.

P. Have mercy on Us.

V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.

P. Amen.

LET US PRAY

O God, Who by the precious blood of Thine only-begotten Son did sanctify the standard of the cross; grant we beseech Thee, that we who rejoice in the glory of the same holy cross may feel everywhere the gladness of Thy sovereign protection. Through the same Christ our Lord...

Amen......

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