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The Prayers and Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica
By Raymond Arroyo
Doubleday ReligionCopyright © 2010 Raymond Arroyo
All right reserved.
prayers & personal devotions
O God, Holy Ghost,
Who didst inspire the author of this book with Thy light, and art, thus teaching us and permitting us to hear Thy voice and also Thy divine instructions, grant us the grace to understand them rightly, that relishing them and practicing them in all our actions, for Thy greater honor and for our progress in perfection, we may know Thee, O God, more perfectly and love Thee more ardently.
O Blessed Virgin Mary, implore for us this grace. Amen.
—Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration Prayer Book
I stand before You, Lord God, a sinner. In all the realms of Your creation no one is more undeserving of Your love than I. This is why I dare approach Your Presence. Your power is at its best in weakness, Your love is more gratuitous to the ungrateful, and Your mercy more sublime to the undeserving.
At The Start of Day
Prayer in the Morning
Good morning, Jesus. I want to give You this day with all my love. I want to unite my every thought and action with every thought and action of Your earthly life. Help me to be kind and patient. It lookslike a difficult day—a day of decision and I’m not sure of the right course to take. A day of pain and I feel weak, a day of uncertainty and I tend to lose hope. Don’t let me forget Your Abiding Love and Providence today. Walk beside me and when I hesitate put Your arms around me and steady my faltering steps. Guide me in Your paths and give me that assurance that comes with Faith; Faith in Your Promises, Faith in Your Love.
Prayer Before Work
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
To Thy love, O my God, I consecrate all the work and actions of this day, in union with those of Thy beloved Son whilst here on earth, and with His purest intentions. I offer them through the Immaculate Heart of Mary to Thy greater glory and in the spirit of adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Hail Mary . . . (PCPA Prayer Book)
An Offering of Work
My Father, accept the work of my hands today in union with the labor of Jesus during His life. I offer to You the fatigue and tension of this day in union with the weariness of Jesus as He walked from town to town. My actions are imperfect, my motives are often selfish, but everything I do this day I unite with the most pure motives of Jesus and His perfect life. I desire to please You alone and to love You with the love of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer at Work
Lord God, show me Your Will in my life. Give me the work that is best suited to the talents You have given me. Bless me with fellow workers who will help me stay close to You. Grant that my work may not be a source of disturbance or temptation. Give me the strength to do it well and enthusiastically and bless my efforts to witness to Your love. Give me a just wage and do not permit me to desire more than I deserve. Bless my employer and give him the wisdom to use the gifts You have given him for Your honor and glory. Lord Jesus, do not permit me to lose sight of Your Presence in my soul today. Quiet the noise around me so I may hear the soft whisper of Your Voice.
Humility and Pardon
A Prayer for Humility
You’ve got to watch your own thoughts. When you are conscious of an unloving, unkind, critical, or hateful thought against anyone; whether present or elsewhere, check it immediately. Strike your breast and say:
“Jesus, if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. Be merciful to me, a poor sinner.”
Humble yourself, and you’ll be surprised how good that other person looks. It’s because we’re not humble that we have the effrontery to tear other people down.
To Be Humble of Heart
In the world, my Lord, one must be great to speak to the great but with You one must be small and of little account. It is only when I think of Your greatness and majesty that I realize how pride must offend You. How can a small, created being rear its head in defiance of Omnipotence? It is truly a manifestation of Your Mercy and Love that You do not annihilate me when I defy Your Law and reject Your Love. O Humble God, make me humble of heart.
Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.
—St. Ignatius Loyola
Prayer for Pardon
Lord God, I ask pardon for all our sins: For all the times we’ve offended You in thought, word, or deed; for the selfishness in our lives and the ego that blocks You out of our minds and hearts. I ask pardon for the distractions that keep leading us away from You. I ask Your mercy upon us, and on the whole world. Prepare our hearts and minds, Lord, for what is to come. Prepare our souls, our thoughts, our will, and give us strength to fight the good fight. Give us communal love, Lord, the kind that will bind us together as one in the heart of Jesus. We ask Lord, small and insignificant as we are, that we may give you comfort and love. We ask for pardon, Lord, for those who crowned you with thorns by their pride and arrogance. We ask pardon for those who scourge you at the pillar by their immorality. Lord, we ask pardon for those who strip You of Your garments by their greed and ambition for worldly things. We ask pardon for all priests and religious who have been nailed to the cross with vows and have not been faithful. We ask pardon for all mankind, for the whole world, for all of our sins. Be merciful to us, Lord. We praise and glorify Your name, for You are holy, You alone. Glorify Your justice, Lord and Your mercy. We praise and bless You. Amen.
Prayer for Kindness
Dear Jesus, make me kind. I look at Your life and Your kindness stands out like a lone star on a dark night. No matter how tired You were You always had time for the sick, poor sinners, children, and all those in need. Your Heart had sympathy for their weaknesses and You reached out to them with loving compassion. When I feel impatient with the frailties of my neighbor, Lord Jesus, grant that I may not only think of Your kindness but stop for a moment and enter into it; let me feel Your kindness in the depths of my soul so that my prayer will not be empty. I need to participate in Your kindness if I am to be kind. I cannot do it on my own. My poor soul tends to be critical of others and this makes me impatient and unkind. You understood human nature so well that You gave everyone an opportunity to repent. You never picked out the trivial faults of Your Apostles or demanded exterior perfection. The only time You corrected them was when the faults they committed were deeply interior and endangered their union with You and the Father. Jealousy, ambition, and greed were the faults that You quickly brought out into the open so You could cleanse the Apostles of these dangerous temptations. Give me the grace, Lord Jesus, to distinguish between faults of character that form part of my neighbor’s temperament and evil tendencies that destroy grace in his soul. Help me to endure the former with love and to correct the latter with courage. Help me to love the sinner but never condone his sin. Please, dear Jesus, let me first remove the beam from my own eye before I even see the splinter in the eye of my neighbor.
Gratitude and Self-knowledge
Lord Jesus, I feel so sad every time I think of the nine lepers who never returned to say “Thank You.” It is hard to conceive of anyone so selfish, and yet how often do I remember to thank You for all the gifts and graces You have given to me? It is so easy to see faults in other people and completely overlook my own. Are the faults I see in others a mirror of my own soul? Gentle Jesus, I recoil at the prospect that what I see in others must be in me. If this is true, and I fear it is, would not this be a step toward self-knowledge?
To Forgive and Forget
Lord, I need Your help—help to love those who do not love me in return. I find this so difficult. What must You feel when You love me and I turn away! I need Your grace to forgive and forget. Injustice cries out for revenge and old memories bring back old wounds that smart and sting. Cover my poor soul with the healing balm of love and compassion. Make me unselfish sweet Jesus, so I will be content with just loving and count it a privilege to forgive even seventy times seven.
Prayer to Obtain Favors
This prayer comes from the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration Prayer Book that Mother used as a young sister. It is believed that those who recite this prayer fifteen times daily from the feast of St. Andrew (November 30) until Christmas will receive what they ask.
Hail! and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin in Bethlehem, at midnight, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayers and grant my desires, through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ and of His Virgin Mother. Amen.
A Prayer of Supplication
Knowing Your Infinite Goodness, I dare to ask for all the material and spiritual things I need to live on this earth and to safely arrive in the Kingdom. I ask for work and the strength to accomplish it well. I ask for health when that condition is necessary for my well-being. I ask for pain when it will prune my soul or prevent me from walking the path of sin. I ask for good friends—friends that love me for myself and will stay by me in success and failure. I ask for peace in my family—the kind of peace that is built on love and forbearance. I ask for the forgiveness of my sins and the sins of the whole world. I ask for virtue, especially that particular virtue that will help me overcome my predominant fault—the fault that is the cause of most of my failures. I ask that You bless my enemies, especially those who have offended me out of jealousy or hatred. Do not permit them to live or die in that state of misery but give them the grace to see the light and turn to You in true repentance. Console those whom I have offended, hurt, or displeased, Lord Jesus. I am sorry for all those weaknesses in me that are a stumbling block to my neighbor. Do not permit him to waver or lose faith on my account. I ask for all the things I think I need and for all the things You know I need.
The reason why sometimes you have asked and not received, is because you have asked amiss, either inconsistently, or lightly, or because you have asked for what was not good for you, or because you have ceased asking.
A Prayer during Financial Hardship
Praise and bless You in Your Holy Name. Lord, we ask that you bestow upon us the funds so that we may continue to know and love and serve You. You know Your Enemy is after us and after Your work—so that it might fail. Lord, we ask that You help us, that You will give us the peace and joy that comes from total trust in Your loving providence. We place this in Your hands. You know what we need. You know what it costs to sustain us every day, every week, every month. Bless us with Your bountiful generosity. We ask this in the name of the Father and in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer during a Moment of Transition
Mother composed this prayer in the year 2000 for sisters about to take their solemn vows and progress in their religious life. But it applies to anyone who finds themselves in transition.
Lord Jesus, it has been a long time arriving at this special day. Years have passed, crosses have been borne, doubts have been conquered, temptations fought. The years that at times seem so long, have at last come to fruition. Your Providence led the way, Your Compassion made the path, Your Mercy carried me through and at last, I have arrived, at this day of all days.
Bring to my mind, Sweet Lord of my Heart, all that I have learned, fought for, and conquered, so that the rest of my life I may ever remember Your Love and carry out Your Will, lovingly and cheerfully, to the end of my days.
Thank You for Your Grace and let me ever be Your faithful disciple. Amen.
A Prayer to Recognize God in the World
Give me the grace, dear Jesus, to see You in my neighbor, to see Your Purity in the smile of a child, Your Power in the accomplishments of men, Your Providence in daily events, Your Wisdom in the aged, and Your Goodness in my neighbor. Let youth portray Your Joy and the whole world witness to Your Love. Grant, sweet Jesus, that I, too, may manifest You to the world.
For the Country and Its Leaders
Lord God, bless my Country and all those who lead its people. The temptations of those who hold office are great and the Enemy uses the glory of this world to choke Your Word from their minds. Look upon this great Country with mercy and compassion. Grant that only those men who are capable of authority may possess that power. Give the people of this land the light and grace to seek first the Kingdom and put their trust in You rather than the things of this world. Take away from us all greed and worldly ambitions and make us a people full of love, mercy, and compassion. Let this Nation always live under Your Law and guidance and under the principles Your Son gave us. In You, Lord God, we put our trust.
A Prayer for Families
Lord Father, bless our families. Make each family in this great Nation a beautiful image of the Trinity. Inspire husbands and fathers to imitate Your Compassion and Mercy. Let them be humble servants who seek only Your Glory and the good of their loved ones. Let them be good guides, protectors, providers, and, most of all, builders of holy lives. As Head of the Family give them loving hearts that they may never be domineering over those You have placed under their care.
Inspire wives and mothers, Lord Father, with a deep realization of their role as the heart of their family. Give them the fortitude to be an example of self-sacrifice and a means of reconciliation. Let them portray the gentleness of Jesus and the love of the Holy Spirit. Give them the Gift of Counsel so they may have that special intuition to discern Your Will in their family situation. Let them be a source of strength to their husbands and a source of understanding to their children.
Inspire the children of our families to be obedient members of a love-filled household. Let them be thoughtful and loving to parents and humbly learn from the experience and wisdom of the old. Grant, dear Lord, that the families of this Nation may be bound together by a self-sacrificing love and may grow in Your Grace by united prayer. Give them the light to face their problems with courage and let them manifest the image of Your Trinity in their lives.
Prayer before Travel
Lord Jesus, protect me as I travel today. Give me the alertness to see danger and the wisdom to avoid it. Let me be cautious and patient with fellow-travelers. Let me radiate You to all I meet and let the car, train, or plane be filled with Your Presence so I may carry You wherever I go.
Prayer for the Wayward
O God, those I love have turned away from You. They go down a dangerous path and my words are without power. I am helpless to give them light, but You, oh God, desire all men to be saved and in Your hands is the power to touch the most hardened hearts. Bring them back to the right path and give them the grace to love You with their whole hearts and to desire nothing but You. Tell me, my Lord, what can I say to them? How can I reach them?
Say to them: “Take courage, my children, call on God: He will deliver you from tyranny, from the hands of your enemies; for I look to the Eternal for your rescue, and joy has come to me from the Holy One. In sorrow and tears I watched you go away, but God will give you back to me in joy and gladness forever.”
My children, patiently bear the anger brought on you by God. Your enemy has persecuted you, but soon you will witness his destruction and set your foot on his neck.
—Baruch 4:21–23, 25
A Prayer for Enemies
Lord, bless my enemies. Give them the grace to see the light, and if I am the cause of their hatred, give me the light to see my weaknesses. I wish them the blessings of this life and the next. Let my forgiveness merit for them more grace, and grant that I may forgive with all my heart. Let us all meet one day in Your Kingdom where all those personality weaknesses will be gone and we shall see each other in You alone.
For Trust in Old Age
Every day, my Jesus, I feel and see myself getting older. Sometimes it frightens me and at other times I rejoice. I am frightened because I fear the pain and disappointments of old age. I rejoice because I am closer to the Kingdom and to that beautiful day when we will see each other face-to-face. I need trust, dear Lord, to put every moment of my life in Your hands. I need that confidence that looks to the Spirit within me—the Spirit that is and will be forever young and full of joy. Teach me, my Jesus, that You have kept the best wine till now and that the latter years of my life can be the most powerful because I have more time for You, more time to pray, more time to think of Your Attributes and Your Kingdom. Dispel my doubts, increase my faith, and grant that the Hope You have instilled into my soul may blossom out into trust and confidence in Your promises.
Listen to me. . . . You who have been carried since birth, whom I have carried since the time you were born. In your old age I shall still be the same. When your hair is gray I shall still support you. I have already done so. I have carried you; I shall still support and deliver you.
—Isaiah 46:3, 4
Follow your own way of speaking to our Lord sincerely, lovingly, confidently, and simply, as your heart dictates.
—St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Prayer When Waiting
Lord Jesus, make me patient. I get so irritated when waiting is demanded of me. I wait for appointments, doctors, clerks, and red lights. I wait for my neighbors to express themselves and change bad habits. I wait for morning to come and when it comes I find myself waiting for night. I wait for my own faults and weaknesses to be overcome and for sickness to pass. I wait for each season to come and go and I reluctantly wait as old age overtakes me. It seems, dear Lord, that I spend half my life waiting for something or someone, and mostly I wait in an ill-mannered and ill-tempered way. Give me the patience that was such a beautiful part of Your life on earth, the kind that waits with love and serenity. I need patience that uses every spare moment to speak to You, love You, and meditate upon Your attributes. Let me look upon these moments as precious jewels presented to me by Your Hand. Let me use this valuable time to say all the prayers I never have time for, to recall Your words in Scripture, to see Your face in creation and to recognize Your plan in my life. Let me see “waiting” as extra time allotted to me to worship and love You. Let me be peacefully and lovingly patient so I may radiate Your Compassion.
Prayer for the Good Use of Time
Thank You, Holy Trinity, for Your Goodness to me. You care for me as if I were alone in the world. Give me the grace to see Your Providence and solicitude in every detail of my life. As I look forward to “tomorrow” never let me forget it is always “today.” I have already begun the eternal “now” that shall never have an end. Holy Father, let me see time as a precious commodity that must be used well and never wasted. Give me the right perspective on time so I will realize how quickly it passes. Give me the discernment to invest it wisely so it will reap rich dividends for Eternity. Do not permit it to run through my fingers like sand falling to the ground, without purpose or strength. Increase my gift of time that I may reap a hundredfold. God of Power, who drew me out of nothingness, mold me into a perfect image of You so the world may see Your Holiness.
Excerpted from The Prayers and Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica by Raymond Arroyo Copyright © 2010 by Raymond Arroyo. Excerpted by permission.
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