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Archive for the ‘Catholic Prayers’ Category

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Introductory Prayer:

In you, Lord, I find all my joy and happiness.
How could I offend you by chasing after fleeting success and lifeless
trophies? I believe in you because you are truth itself. I hope in
you because you are faithful to your promises. I love you because you
have loved me first. I am a sinner; nevertheless, you have given me
so many blessings. I humbly thank you.

Petition: Lord, make me more aware of the people around me who need
my help.

1. Nice Isn´t Enough –  The rich man in the Gospel story of Luke 16 is the
proverbial “nice guy.” His good qualities abound. He does, after all,
accept his fate meekly. He doesn´t ask to be released from hell; he
asks for only a drop of water to quench his thirst. And when he
can´t get even that much relief, he begs for a special messenger in
the hopes of sparing his own brothers a similar fate. He at least
thinks of the welfare of others. Yet, all that niceness didn´t save
him from eternal punishment. Do I ever think that just being a
“nice” person will get me to heaven? Might I be using my own
standards to judge my worthiness, rather than using God´s standards?

2. The “O” Word The rich man never seemed to be bothered by
Lazarus. The poor man was doubtlessly a pitiful sight to behold. Some
people would have been quick to send servants to chase the beggar
away. But not the rich man; no, he deliberately left the beggar
alone. And that is where the rich man erred. His was a sin of
omission. The rich man lost his soul not for what he did, but for
what he failed to do. Am I much better? Is there someone in need,
right under my nose, who I routinely ignore? Is there something I
could be doing to end an evil? Do I help the pro-life effort? Do I
contribute to the poor? Do I dedicate time to a needy child or
sibling or in-law?

3. Late Love The rich man, now condemned, shows concern for his
five brothers. They, presumably, are living it up — and
destined for the same end as their hapless sibling. The rich man´s
concern is well-placed, but his timing is late. If only he had shown
concern for his brothers´ souls when he was alive — then he
might have made an impact. Caring for family members, helping them
reach heaven, is the most loving thing we can do for them. Everything
else will be meaningless if our own behavior (or omission) prevents
others from attaining salvation. Does that prompt me to pray
constantly for family members? To offer up sacrifices for them? Do I
try to help others grow in their faith?

Conversation with Christ:

Lord, my time in this world is short.
Too many people suffer the unexpected death of loved ones and then
regret that they didn´t do more for them. Let me not make that same
mistake. Help me see that each day is a gift, and each encounter with
another person is an opportunity to show your love to them.

Resolution:

I will do an act of charity for someone whom I have
been taking for granted

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We praise you O God, we acknowledge you to be the Lord; all the earth now worships you, the Father everlasting. To you all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein; to you cherubim and seraphim continually do cry: Holy, holy, holy. Holy Lord, God of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory.

The glorious company of the apostles praise you, the goodly fellowship of the prophets praise you, the noble army of martyrs praise you, the holy Church throughout all the world does acknowledge you: the Father of an infinite majesty, your adorable, true, and only Son, also the Holy Spirit, the counselor.

You are the King of glory, O Christ. You are the everlasting Son of the Father.When you took upon yourself to deliver man, you humbled yourself to be born of a virgin. When you had overcome the sharpness of death, you opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You sit at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.

We believe that you will come to be our judge.We therefore pray you help your servants, whom you have redeemed with your precious blood. Make them to be numbered with your saints in glory everlasting. O Lord save your people and bless your heritage.

Govern them and lift them up forever. Day by day we magnify you, and we worship your name, world without end.Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. O Lord have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.

O Lord, let your mercy be upon us, as our trust is in you. O Lord, in you have I trusted, let me never be confounded.

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Holy Father in Prayer

Let us Pray with the Holy Father:

February 2011

 
General Intention: That the family may be respected by all in its identity and that its irreplaceable contribution to all of society be recognized.

Missionary Intention: That in the mission territories where the struggle against disease is most urgent, Christian communities may witness to the presence of Christ to those who suffer.

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This morning I could not find my book of prayers with the Liturgy of the Hours to do my morning prayer … I read some Psalms instead and tried to take some time to pray and praise God in the morning, soon after getting up and saying my morning offerings.

I have already posted an entry on the Divine Office here, but today I felt I wanted to write a new post, I think more to remind myself than anyone else, that as a Catholic, I am called to join the greater Church in the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours, the Public Prayer of the Church which, after the Holy Mass, is our most important form of Worshiping the Lord.

Many times I fail to set time aside to recite the Divine office and worship the Lord in the quiet of my mind or with beautiful chants and readings. In the midst of all that goes on in the day, maybe because I am not very good at keeping my schedules or just because I might forget…  May God forgive me for not blessing Him enough.

A rich prayer life is a great remedy for the maladies of the soul. May God help me and all of us to elevate our thoughts to Him at least Seven times a day, as did David. Amen!

 

 The Liturgy of the Hours

Traditional Roman Breviary

By the end of the fifth century, the Liturgy of the Hours was composed of a Vigil or Night Service and seven day offices, of which Prime and Compline seem to be the last to appear, since the fourth-century Apostolic Constitutions VIII, iv, 34 does not mention them in the exhortation: “Offer up your prayers in the morning, at the third hour, the sixth, the ninth, the evening, and at cock-crowing”.[3]

These eight hours are known by the following names:

  • Matins (during the night), sometimes referred to as Vigils or Nocturns, or in monastic usage the Night Office; in the Breviary of Paul VI it has been replaced by the Office of Readings
  • Lauds or Dawn Prayer (at Dawn)
  • Prime or Early Morning Prayer (First Hour = 6 a.m.)
  • Terce or Mid-Morning Prayer (Third Hour = 9 a.m.)
  • Sext or Midday Prayer (Sixth Hour = 12 noon)
  • None or Mid-Afternoon Prayer (Ninth Hour = 3 p.m.)
  • Vespers or Evening Prayer (“at the lighting of the lamps”)
  • Compline or Night Prayer (before retiring)

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This is such a beautiful prayer that I thought it is about time I posted a video featuring it here…

Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
ad te clamamus exsules filii Evae,
ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.

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I think The Prayer of the Hours, The Divine Office or Breviary, is a great Catholic tradition that seems to be going through a ‘revival’ among lay people in  recent days.  As a result, some parishes have (re)-introduced this practice in their community (morning & evening prayer), so people may come to church to say the daily Prayer of the Hours,  and practise a tradition which has been somewhat ‘restricted’ to consecrated religious people and clergy. Many people, however, recite the Divine Office at home with their families.

The Divine Office is the public prayer of the Church. This beautiful Catholic tradition has its roots in the Psalm and ancient daily prayer of the Jewish people, and has developed throughout the history of the Church in monasteries, cathedrals and parishes, in the more present day. The Acts of the Apostles give frequent testimony to the fact that the Christian community prayed with one accord. [See Acts 1:14, 4:24, 12:5 and 12. See also Eph 5:19-21.] The Divine Office used to be prayed in Latin, but in the past 3 decades modern languages have also been introduced by parishes.

So where does this Tradition originate from?

In Psalm 118 (119), a Psalm ascribed to King David, we read: ‘Seven times a day I will praise you’, this originated the tradition of  regularly reciting sets of prayer throughout the day. The Divine office is comprised, therefore, of seven sets of prayers to be recited through the day. These are:

1- Matins or Lauds ( Midnight prayer)
2-Prime ( the name comes from the start of the Roman day, 6 am)
3-Terce (the third Roman hour, 9 am)
4-Sext (the sixth Roman hour, 12 am)
5-None ( the ninth Roman hour, 3 pm)
6- Vesper (evening prayer)
7- Compline ( night prayer)

The chanting of psalms makes up a major portion of each of the hours of prayer. Each of the prayers have a particular theme according to the time of the day they are meant to be prayed, for instance the Morning Prayer is a prayer of praise, consecrating the day to God. It has a strong theme of  ‘Offering our day to God’, whereas the Night Prayer has a theme of thanksgiving.  For instance, the traditional structure of  the Morning prayer is:

Hymn
First Psalm
Old Testament Canticle
Second Psalm
Scripture Reading
Responsory
Benedictions ( Gospel Canticle)
Intercessions
Our Father
Concluding Prayer

In this way each of the prayers should follow a particular structure with some varying components. These components may change according to the Calender of the Church or seasons, such as during Lent, Christmas, Eastertide, Solemn Feasts and so on…

Why is the Prayer of the Hour called the Church’s Prayer?

Because the Divine Office is prayed throughout the Church it must follow some very specific rules as to how and when each Psalm should be prayed, where even particular postures (sitting or standing) have to be observed for each specific component of the prayer. But more importantly, the Church establishes the proper themes,  Psalms, canticles and readings for each period or season which are organized in periods of 4 weeks Psalter, which are tied up with the liturgical year of the Church.

The Church’s calendar include, besides the main sections (such as Lent, Eastertide, Advent, and so on), a general 34 weeks every year. Each of these sections has a particular Sunday on which they start – first week of Advent (when the Baptism of Our Lord is celebrated [the first week of the year], first week of Lent and Easter Sunday).  Each of these correspond with the first week of the four-week Psalter. The cycle then repeats itself so that there is always a relationship between the Sunday of the year and the week of the Psalter.

There are various informative websites where one can learn more about reciting the Divine office and using a prayer-book.  Once one gets familiar with the different prayers and learn how to place the various markers for each particular time of the year,  it becomes a great enjoyment to be able to unite with the whole of the Church in prayer to praise God and give Him thanks. I find that reciting the liturgy of the hours has been a wonderful way to enhance my prayer life.

 For further help and info on the Divine Office please check these:

www.ebreviary.com

www.universalis.com

 

 

 

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