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A Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, Fruitful Vine, Splendour of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succour me in this necessity; there are none that can withstand your power.
O, show me herein you are my Mother, O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3 times)
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. (3 times)

Courtesy of here.  Today is her feast day.

 

Prayers to St. Benedict

A Prayer to Saint Benedict for Protection

Dear Saint Benedict, I thank God for showering you with His grace to love Him above all else and to establish a monastic rule that has helped so many of His children live full and holy lives.

Through the cross of Jesus Christ, I ask you to please intercede that God might protect me, my loved ones, my home, property, possessions, and workplace today and always by your holy blessing, that we may never be separated from Jesus, Mary, and the company of all the blessed.  Through your intercession may we be delivered from temptation, spiritual oppression, physical ills, and disease.  Protect us from drug and alcohol abuse, impurity and immorality, objectionable companions, and negative attitudes.  In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Prayer in Honor of Saint Benedict

Dear God, we praise and thank You for Who You are: The Creator and Master of the Universe, and our Father who loves us and has sent Your Son Jesus to save us from our sins.

Dear Father, You provided your holy monk, Benedict, as a leader and master in the spiritual life for a countless number of followers.  Filled as he was with the spirit of all the just, You flooded him with the splendor of Your light.  In the intense radiance of this light his mind was freed of hindrance and he was able to discern how incomplete all things are here below.  Because of this the entire monastic company in every part of the world sings out its joy, and the Virtues on high, with all the angels, continuously praise Your glory in song.

Stir up in your Church, O Lord, the spirit that animated our Father Benedict.  Fill us again with Your Holy Spirit, in order that we may learn to love what he loved and practice what he taught.  As You filled Saint Benedict with the spirit of all the righteous, grant us, your servants, who celebrate his life and all the good You have accomplished through him, his followers, and his holy Rule, to be filled with his spirit, that we may faithfully accomplish Your complete Will.  We ask all this through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who with You lives and reigns, one God, world without end.  Amen.

–courtesy of here.  Benedict of Nursia was the founder of Western monasticism.  Today is his feast day.

A Prayer to St. Maria Goretti

Saint Maria Goretti

Heroic and angelic Saint Maria
Goretti, we kneel before you to
honor your persevering fortitude and
to beg your gracious aid. Teach us
a deep love for the precepts of our
Holy Church; help us to see in them
the very voice of our Father in Heaven.
May we preserve without stain
our white baptismal robe of
innocence. May we who have lost
this innocence kneel humbly in Holy
Penance, and with the absolution of
the priest, may the torrent of
Christ’s precious Blood flow into our
souls and give us a new courage to
carry the burning light of God’s love
through the dangerous highways of
this life until Christ our king shall call
us to the courts of Heaven. Amen.

–Courtesy of here.  Today is her feast day.  A novena to St. Maria Goretti can be found here.

A Prayer for the Feast of the Visitation

The Feast of the Visitation–when Mary visits her kinswoman Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:39-45)–is celebrated on May 31st.  In the liturgical calendar in use before the Second Vatican Council, though, it was celebrated on July 2nd.  Many Traditionalist groups, such as the Priestly Society of St. Peter (FSSP), still use the old calendar.  I’m not a Traditionalist, though I’m sympathetic to some of their perspectives (and unsympathetic to others).  Still, it’s a good excuse to post these prayers for today–they’re appropriate regardless of the calendar one uses.  Plus, in the icon above, St. Joseph’s hat really rocks! The prayers below are courtesy of here.

Description:

We remember today the visiting of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth and the wonderful prayer of the Magnificat.

Prayer:

Reading Having begotten God in her womb, the Virgin hastened to Elizabeth, whose child understood the greeting and rejoiced with leapings as with songs, crying to the Mother of God:

Rejoice, O flower of unwithering stem! Rejoice, O gift of an incorruptible fruit! Rejoice, O fountain of the source of life, the lover of humanity! Rejoice, O Mother of the Son of God the Father! Rejoice, O field, a harvest of mercy! Rejoice, O banquet, a feast of purity! Rejoice, O flower, a meadow of delights! Rejoice, O guide, the harbor of souls! Rejoice, O acceptable incense of prayers! Rejoice, O purification of the universe! Rejoice, O goodness of God toward the dead! Rejoice, O boldness of dead toward God! Rejoice, O unwedded bride! (Akathist Hymn)

Responsory

Verse: When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, she said: Response: “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

The Lord’s Prayer

Blessing Blessed be you, God of mercy and compassion, for you inspired Mary, the humble maiden of Nazareth, to visit her cousin Elizabeth and to assist her in her earthly needs. Help us, that following Mary’s example we may remain always open to the needs and sufferings of others. Strengthen us with the nourishment of this meal, and bring us one day to love’s eternal feast in your kingdom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer Source: Table Blessings: Mealtime Prayers Throughout the Year by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette, Ave Maria Press, 1994

Quote for the Week

Ceux-là qui aiment à se faire craindre, craignent de se faire aimer, et eux-mêmes craignent plus que tous les autres; car les autres ne craignent qu’eux, mais eux craignent tous les autres.

Those who love to be feared fear to be loved, and they themselves are more afraid than anyone, for whereas other men fear only them, they fear everyone.

–The Spirit of Saint Francis de Sales, ch. 7, sct. 3 (1952); courtesy of Wikiquote

A Prayer to St. Justin Martyr

O God, who through the Cross
wondrously taught Saint Justin the Martyr
the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ,
grant us, through his intercession,
that, having rejected deception and error,
we may become steadfast in the faith.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Today is St. Justin Martyr’s feast day.

A Novena to Simone Weil

A little bit of a preface.  A novena is a Catholic devotion in which a certain set of prayers–typically directed to a saint, but sometimes to one of the persons of the Trinity–is repeated for nine consecutive days.  Generally, the novena is said for a particular intention, though some are more general.  There are many novenas addressed to many saints.  Go to a Catholic bookstore, or poke around online, and you can find them by the droves, as well as books containing compendiums of novenas.  Regular readers will know that I occasionally post novenas here.

Recently as part of my series “Your Own Personal Altar“, I wrote on Simone Weil, the French philosopher.  I won’t reiterate what I said there.  Rather, I want to fill a gap here.  Weil, though probably baptized before her death, was never officially received into the Church, though she was Catholic by conviction for the last six years or so of her life.  As I said in my post on her, she’ll never be canonized as an “official” saint.  Then again, the Church also allows prayers in a personal and private context to any given departed (e.g. a parent or other kin) with whom one has a connection and who might be an exemplar of faith.  In her own eccentric and unusual way, Simone Weil, I think, was indeed an exemplar of faith.  Thus, I think a novena to her is not inappropriate.

I searched the web, wondering if anyone had composed such a novena, and came up with no results. Thus, I have taken in upon myself to compose just such a novena.  I hope you will find it of spiritual benefit.  Sancta Simone, ora pro nobis!

A Novena to Simone Weil

 Daily Prayer:  O God, you always raise up for us holy men and women in all ages to witness to us in ways appropriate to the age.  The 20th Century was a time of war and confusion, secularism and loss of faith, oppression and totalitarianism; and also a time of progress, change, and hope.  Your servant Simone Weil fought for peace and justice for all people, for solidarity with workers, and against totalitarian regimes.  She saw the importance of fighting for justice; but more importantly, she sought the truth and kept searching until she found You.  Despite all the difficulties she encountered and the ways in which she was misunderstood, she held fast to her experience of Your love, and waited for You throughout her life.  Hear us now, we pray, and through the intercession of St. Simone, we beseech you to grant this favor (mention intention).  Through her intercession, grant us also the patience and courage to wait for You through all the struggles and challenges of life.  Amen.

Day 1:  St. Simone, you always lived in solidarity with the poor, the oppressed, the victims of war, and those in need, denying yourself for their sake.  Help us to see Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters, and to live our lives in solidarity with them.  Through your intercession, give us the strength to sacrifice and to practice asceticism for the sake of others.  Amen.

 Day 2:  St. Simone, you “hungered and thirsted after righteousness”.  Help us to open our eyes to see the ways in which injustice is perpetuated.  Give us the zeal for righteousness and justice that you had, and the strength not to weary or lose heart in pursuing them.  Through your intercession, give us discernment so that we can best act in accordance with God’s will.  Amen.

 Day 3:  St. Simone, you saw God active everywhere, in the lives of all, and in the traditions and faiths of all people of good will throughout the world.  Help us to see God in places we would least expect.  Through your intercession, give us the discernment to see the good in all cultures and belief systems, and help us to work together with our brothers and sisters of all faiths to make the world a better place.  Amen.

 Day 4:  St. Simone, you were born of the Jewish people.  Help us to see the Jewish people as our elder brothers and forebears in the faith of the One God.  Through your intercession, help us to bring peace and reconciliation between Jews and Christians, and an increase in knowledge of God for us all.  Amen.

 Day 5:  St. Simone, you spent much time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  You said that the Eucharist is the only perfect purity in this world, and that through it we may be cleansed.  Help us to have a stronger faith in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  Through your intercession, stir up in us a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration, and a firm resolve to receive the Eucharist worthily as often as possible.  Amen.

 Day 6:  St. Simone, help us to see the presence of Christ in our brothers and sisters who are autistic, mentally ill, or non-neurotypical.  Help them and strengthen them in all their trials and needs, and give us the patience and understanding to be of service to them.  Through your intercession, may we all come together as God’s children, praising and serving Him in diverse ways and loving each other in all our differences.  Amen.

 Day 7:  St. Simone, you rejected all totalitarian systems and you knew well how human sinfulness can corrupt even the best of institutions.  You abhorred the kind of false zeal that turns the love and mildness of Christ into oppression and coercion.  Help us to do the same.  Through your intercession, may we be more effective witnesses for Christ, and may we lovingly work to make the Church on earth a more effective sign of the Kingdom of God.  Amen.

 Day 8:  St. Simone, you lived through a time of economic depression, war, and genocide, and yet you did not lose hope.  Help us to keep a firm grasp on the virtues of faith and hope, no matter what personal or societal difficulties we may encounter in our lives.  Through your intercession, give us the strength and courage to face whatever challenges God sends us, and final perseverance in the faith.  Amen.

 Day 9:  St. Simone, you said that we do not have to search for God, but only change the direction we are looking, and that is for Him to search for us.  You patiently waited all your life for God, living in openness to His will and seeking His inspirations when and how He chose to send them.  Give us the same openness and patience.  Through your intercession, give us the fortitude to wait for God, no matter how difficult we may find it; the patience to endure; the openness and discernment to receive everything that God wishes to communicate to us; and the obedience to carry it out.  Amen.

 Concluding prayer:  Good and gracious God, you have given us your servant Simone as an example and an inspiration for us all.  Through her intercession, help us to imitate her virtues, especially her openness to Your will and her patience in difficult times.  Guide us through life as you did your servant Simone, and bring us at last to full fellowship with your saints in the world to come.  Amen.

The Breastplate of St. Patrick for Trinity Sunday

I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
By power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan River;
His death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the Cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour;
The service of the Seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the Prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death-wound and the burning
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Translation: Cecil Frances Alexander; courtesy of here.

A Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

Courtesy of here.  Today is also the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker.

 

Your Own Personal Altar: Index

This index is not actually for religious-oriented stuff, at least not specifically.  I have an ongoing series, Your Own Personal Canon, in which I look at various books, both religious and secular, that have been a big influence in my life.  In a related vein, here I want to look at individuals–men and women–who have been influential to me, or who are personal heroes, or whom I hold in great respect.  I debated what title to give this series.  I thought about something to do with saints; but there will be non-religiously oriented individuals here, and certainly many who are not “official” saints.  I thought about “Hall of Fame”, but that sounds crass.  Finally, I thought of the shrine tables of many cultures on which the images not only of saints, bodhisattvas, deities, and such are placed, but also the images of illustrious ancestors and culture heroes.  Such tables are most accurately described as “shrines”, but they’re often referred to in contemporary discourse as “altars”.  That’s not really correct, since an altar implies a sacrifice; but I decided just to go with it.  Thus, here I will give links to articles on the various worthies about whom I will write in future posts.

Omar Khayyám

Simone Weil

Joshu

Hypatia of Alexandria