These words are from the heart of God … for the heart of God.

Posts tagged “Jesus

Prayer Before Reading the Bible

Father, anoint me with your Holy Spirit,

so that as I read Your eternal word,

Your word may penetrate my whole being

and transform me.

Grant me the blessing to be a faithful disciple

in believing the Word of God

and that I may be a light shining

upon all who are in darkness.

Amen

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Prayer for Healing

Lord Jesus Christ, by Your patience in suffering

you hallowed earthly pain

and gave us the example of obedience to your Father’s will:

Be near me in my time of weakness and pain;

sustain me by Your grace,

that my strength and courage may not fail;

heal me according to Your will;

and help me always to believe

that what happens to me here

is of little account if You hold me in eternal life,

my Lord and my God. Amen.


Prayer for a Good Husband

 

O Jesus, lover of the young, the dearest Friend I have,

in all confidence I open my heart to You

to beg Your light and assistance in the important task of planning my future.

Give me the light of Your grace,

that I may decide wisely concerning the person

who is to be my partner through life.

Dearest Jesus, send me such a one

whom in Your divine wisdom

You judge best suited

to be united with me in marriage.

May his character reflect some of the traits of Your own Sacred Heart.

May he be upright, loyal, pure, sincere and noble,

so that with united efforts and with pure and unselfish love

we both may strive to perfect ourselves in soul and body,

as well as the family it may please You to entrust to our care.

Bless our friendship before marriage,

that sin may have no part in it.

May our mutual love bind us so closely,

that our future home may ever be most like Your own at Nazareth.

O Mary Immaculate, sweet Mother of the young,

to your special care I entrust the decision I am to make

as to my future husband.

You are my guiding Star!

direct me to the person

with whom I can best cooperate

in doing God‘s Holy Will,

with whom I can live in peace, love and harmony in this life,

and attain eternal joys in the next.

Amen.


A Family Blessing

Bless Our Family

All praise to You, Lord Jesus,

Lover of children:

Bless our family,

And help us to lead our children to You.

Give us light and strength,

And courage when our task is difficult.

Let Your Spirit fill us with love and peace,

So that we may help our children to love You.

All glory and praise are Yours, Lord Jesus,

Forever and ever.

Amen.


A Cleansing Blessing

The LORD is cleansing me

of all selfishness,

resentment and critical feelings

for my fellow beings

…as well as self-condemnation

and the misinterpretation of my life experiences…

…and more HE is bathing me

in generosity, appreciation, praise and gratitude

for my fellow beings

…and blessed me with self-acceptance

and an enlightened understanding of my experiences…


Popes: from St Peter to current

This list is compiled from articles in the Original Catholic Encyclopedia and is provided for your benefit.

The list is sortable by name (alpha) and by chronology.

Order Name Years Notes

1 Peter, Apostle, Saint Reigned 33-67

2 Linus, Saint Reigned c.67-76

3 Anacletus, Saint Reigned 76-88 aka Cletus

4 Clement I, Saint Reigned 88-97

5 Evaristus, Saint Reigned c.98- c.106 Aristus in the Liberian Catalogue

6 Alexander I, Saint Reigned c.106-115

7 Sixtus I, Saint Reigned 115-125 XYSTUS in the oldest documents

8 Telesphorus, Saint Reigned 125-136

9 Hyginus, Saint Reigned c.136-140

10 Pius I, Saint Reigned c.140-c.154

11 Anicetus, Saint Reigned c.157-168

12 Soter, Saint Reigned c.166-c.174

13 Eleutherius, Saint Reigned c.175-189

14 Victor I, Saint Reigned 189-c.198

15 Zephyrinus, Saint Reigned 198-217

16 Callistus I Reigned 218-c.222

17 Urban I Reigned 222-230

18 Pontian, Saint Reigned 230-235

19 Anterus, Saint Reigned 235-236 aka Anteros

20 Fabian, Saint Reigned 236-250

21 Cornelius Reigned 251-253

22 Lucius I, Saint Reigned 253-254

23 Stephen I, Saint Reigned 254-257

24 Sixtus II, Saint Reigned 257-258 XYSTUS in the oldest documents

25 Dionysius, Saint Reigned 260-268

26 Felix I, Saint Reigned 269-274

27 Eutychianus, Saint Reigned 275-283

28 Caius, Saint Reigned 283-296

29 Marcellinus, Saint Reigned 296-304

30 Marcellus I, Saint Reigned 308-309

31 Eusebius, Saint Reigned 309 or 310

32 Miltiades, Saint Reigned 311-314

33 Sylvester I, Saint Reigned 314-335

34 Mark, Saint Reigned 336 aka Marcus

35 Julius I, Saint Reigned 337-352

36 Liberius Reigned 352-366

37 Damasus I, Saint Reigned 366-383

38 Siricius, Saint Reigned 384-399

39 Anastasius I, Saint Reigned 399-401

40 Innocent I Reigned 401-417

41 Zosimus, Saint Reigned 417-418

42 Boniface I, Saint Reigned 418-422

43 Celestine I, Saint Reigned 422-432

44 Sixtus III, Saint Reigned 432-440 XYSTUS in the oldest documents

45 Leo I, Saint Reigned 440-461

46 Hilarus, Saint Reigned 461-468

47 Simplicius, Saint Reigned 468-483

48 Felix III (II), Saint Reigned 483-492

49 Gelasius I, Saint Reigned 492-496

50 Anastasius II Reigned 496-498

51 Symmachus, Saint Reigned 498-514

52 Hormisdas, Saint Reigned 514-523

53 John I, Saint Reigned 523-c.526

54 Felix IV (III) Reigned 526-530

55 Boniface II Reigned 530-532

56 John II Reigned 533-535

57 Agapetus I, Saint Reigned 535-536

58 Silverius, Saint Reigned 536-537

59 Vigilius Reigned 537-555

60 Pelagius I Reigned 556-561

61 John III Reigned 561-574

62 Benedict I Reigned 575-579

63 Pelagius II Reigned 579-590

64 Gregory I Saint Reigned 590-604

(the Great),

65 Sabinianus Reigned 604-606

66 Boniface III Reigned 607

67 Boniface IV Reigned 608-615

68 Deusdedit, Saint Reigned 615-618

69 Boniface V Reigned 619-625

70 Honorius I Reigned 625-638

71 Severinus Reigned 640

72 John IV Reigned 640-642

73 Theodore I Reigned 642-649

74 Martin I, Saint Reigned 649-655

75 Eugene I Reigned 655-657

76 Vitalian, Saint Reigned 657-672

77 Adeodatus, Saint Reigned 672-676

78 Donus Reigned 676-678

79 Agatho, Saint Reigned 678-681

80 Leo II, Saint Reigned 682-683

81 Benedict II Reigned 684-685

82 John V Reigned 685-686

83 Conon Reigned 686-687

84 Sergius I, Saint Reigned 687-701

85 John VI Reigned 701-705

86 John VII Reigned 705-707

87 Sisinnius Reigned 708

88 Constantine Reigned 708-715

89 Gregory II, Saint Reigned 715-731

90 Gregory III, Saint Reigned 731-741

91 Zachary, Saint Reigned 741-752

92 Stephen II Elected 752 died before his consecration; excluded from some lists

93 Stephen III (II) Reigned 752-757

94 Paul I Reigned 757-767

95 Stephen IV (III) Reigned 768-772

96 Adrian I Reigned 772-795

97 Leo III, Saint Reigned 795-816

98 Stephen V (IV) Reigned 816-817

99 Paschal I Reigned 817-824

100 Eugene II Reigned 824-827

101 Valentine Reigned 827

102 Gregory IV Reigned 827-844

103 Sergius II Reigned 844-847

104 Leo IV, Saint Reigned 847-855

105 Benedict III Reigned 855-858

106 Nicholas I, Saint Reigned 858-867

107 Adrian II Reigned 867-872

108 John VIII Reigned 872-882

109 Marinus I Reigned 882-884

110 Adrian III, Saint Reigned 884-885

111 Stephen VI (V) Reigned 885-891

112 Formosus Reigned 891-896

113 Boniface VI Reigned 896

114 Stephen VII (VI) Reigned 896-897

115 Romanus Reigned 897

116 Theodore II Reigned 897

117 John IX Reigned 898-900

118 Benedict IV Reigned 900-903

119 Leo V Reigned 903

120 Sergius III Reigned 904-911

121 Anastasius III Reigned 911-913

122 Lando Reigned 913-14

123 John X Reigned 914-928

124 Leo VI Reigned 928

125 Stephen VIII (VII) Reigned 929-931

126 John XI Reigned 931-936

127 Leo VII Reigned 936-939

128 Stephen IX (VIII) Reigned 939-942

129 Marinus II Reigned 942-946

130 Agapetus II Reigned 946-955

131 John XII Reigned 955-964

132 Leo VIII Reigned 964-965

133 Benedict V Reigned 964

134 John XIII Reigned 965-972

135 Benedict VI Reigned 973-974

136 Benedict VII Reigned 974-983

137 John XIV Reigned 983-984

138 John XV (XVI) Reigned 985-996

139 Gregory V Reigned 996-999

140 Sylvester II Reigned 999-1003

141 John XVII (XVIII) Reigned 1003

142 John XVIII (XIX) Reigned 1003-1009

143 Sergius IV Reigned 1009-1012

144 Benedict VIII Reigned 1012-1024

145 John XIX (XX) Reigned 1024-1032

146 Benedict IX Reigned 1032-1044

147 Sylvester III Reigned 1045

148 Benedict IX Reigned 1045

149 Gregory VI Reigned 1045-1046

150 Clement II Reigned 1046-1047

151 Benedict IX Reigned 1047-1048

152 Damasus II Reigned 1048

153 Leo IX, Saint Reigned 1049-1054

154 Victor II Reigned 1055-1057

155 Stephen X (IX) Reigned 1057-1058

156 Nicholas II Reigned 1058-1061

157 Alexander II Reigned 1061-1073

158 Gregory VII, Saint Reigned 1073-1085

159 Victor III, Blessed Reigned 1086-1087

160 Urban II, Blessed Reigned 1088-1099

161 Paschal II Reigned 1099-1118

162 Gelasius II Reigned 1118-1119

163 Callistus II Reigned 1119-1124

164 Honorius II Reigned 1124-1130

165 Innocent II Reigned 1130-1143

166 Celestine II Reigned 1143-1144

167 Lucius II Reigned 1144-1145

168 Eugene III Reigned 1145-1153

169 Anastasius IV Reigned 1153-1154

170 Adrian IV Reigned 1154-1159

171 Alexander III Reigned 1159-1181

172 Lucius III Reigned 1181-1185

173 Urban III Reigned 1185-1187

174 Gregory VIII Reigned 1187

175 Clement III Reigned 1187-1191

176 Celestine III Reigned 1191-1198

177 Innocent III Reigned 1198-1216

178 Honorius III Reigned 1216-1227

179 Gregory IX Reigned 1227-1241

180 Celestine IV Reigned 1241

181 Innocent IV Reigned 1243-1254

182 Alexander IV Reigned 1254-1261

183 Urban IV Reigned 1261-1264

184 Clement IV Reigned 1265-1268

185 Gregory X Reigned 1271-1276

186 Innocent V Reigned 1276

187 Adrian V Reigned July-August 1276

188 John XXI (XX) Reigned 1276-1277

189 Nicholas III Reigned 1277-1280

190 Martin IV Reigned 1281-1285

191 Honorius IV Reigned 1285-1287

192 Nicholas IV Reigned 1288-1292

193 Celestine V, Saint Reigned 1294

194 Boniface VIII Reigned 1294-1303

195 Benedict XI, Blessed Reigned 1303-1304

196 Clement V Reigned 1305-1314

197 John XXII Reigned 1316-1334

198 Benedict XII Reigned 1334-1342

199 Clement VI Reigned 1342-1352

200 Innocent VI Reigned 1352-1362

201 Urban V, Blessed Reigned 1362-1370

202 Gregory XI Reigned 1370-1378

203 Urban VI Reigned 1378-1389

204 Boniface IX Reigned 1389-1404

205 Innocent VII Reigned 1404-1406

206 Gregory XII Reigned 1406-1415

207 Martin V Reigned 1417-1431

208 Eugene IV Reigned 1431-1447

209 Nicholas V Reigned 1447-1455

210 Callistus III Reigned 1455-1458

211 Pius II Reigned 1458-1464

212 Paul II Reigned 1464-1471

213 Sixtus IV Reigned 1471-1484

214 Innocent VIII Reigned 1484-1492

215 Alexander VI Reigned 1492-1503

216 Pius III Reigned 1503

217 Julius II Reigned 1503-1513

218 Leo X Reigned 1513-1521

219 Adrian VI Reigned 1522-1523

220 Clement VII Reigned 1523-1534

221 Paul III Reigned 1534-1549

222 Julius III Reigned 1550-1555

223 Marcellus II Reigned 1555 (22 days)

224 Paul IV Reigned 1555-1559

225 Pius IV Reigned 1559-1565

226 Pius V, Saint Reigned 1566-1572

227 Gregory XIII Reigned 1572-1585

228 Sixtus V Reigned 1585-1590

229 Urban VII Reigned 1590

230 Gregory XIV Reigned 1590-1591

231 Innocent IX Reigned 1591

232 Clement VIII Reigned 1592-1605

233 Leo XI Reigned 1605

234 Paul V Reigned 1605-1621

235 Gregory XV Reigned 1621-1623

236 Urban VIII Reigned 1623-1644

237 Innocent X Reigned 1644-1655

238 Alexander VII Reigned 1655-1667

239 Clement IX Reigned 1667-1669

240 Clement X Reigned 1670-1676

241 Innocent XI Reigned 1676-1689

242 Alexander VIII Reigned 1689-1691

243 Innocent XII Reigned 1691-1700

244 Clement XI Reigned 1700-1721

245 Innocent XIII Reigned 1721-1724

246 Benedict XIII Reigned 1724-1730

247 Clement XII Reigned 1730-1740

248 Benedict XIV Reigned 1740-1758

249 Clement XIII Reigned 1758-1769

250 Clement XIV Reigned 1769-1774

251 Pius VI Reigned 1775-1799

252 Pius VII Reigned 1800-1823

253 Leo XII Reigned 1823-1829

254 Pius VIII Reigned 1829-1830

255 Gregory XVI Reigned 1831-1846

256 Pius IX Reigned 1846-1878

257 Leo XIII Reigned 1878-1903

258 Pius X Reigned 1903-1914

259 Benedict XV Reigned 1914-1922 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

260 Pius XI Reigned 1922-1939 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

261 Pius XII Reigned 1939-1958 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

262 John XXIII, Blessed Reigned 1958-1963 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

263 Paul VI Reigned 1963-1978 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

264 John Paul I Reigned 1978 (33 days) Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

265 John Paul II Reigned 1978-2005 Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia

266 Benedict XVI Reigned 2005-present Elected after the release of The 1914 Catholic Encylopedia


Catholic Prayers: Basic

Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

 

Prayers to Our Lady

 

The Rosary

The six fundamental prayers listed above are also part of the Catholic rosary, a devotion dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of God. (CCC 971) The rosary consists of fifteen decades. Each decade focuses upon a particular mystery in the life of Christ and his Blessed Mother. It is customary to say five decades at a time, while meditating upon one set of mysteries.

Joyful Mysteries

I. The Annunciation

II. The Visitation

III. The Birth of our Lord

IV. The Presentation of our Lord

V. The Finding of our Lord in the Temple

 

Sorrowful Mysteries

I. The Agony in the Garden

II. The Scourging at the Pillar

III. The Crowning with Thorns

IV. The Carrying of the Cross

V. The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord

 

Glorious Mysteries

I. The Resurrection

II. The Ascension

III. The Descent of the Holy Spirit

IV. The Assumption of our Blessed Mother into Heaven

V. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth

 

Hail Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our light, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 

Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we turn to thee, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To thee we come, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, do not despise our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen.

 

The Angelus

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. (Hail Mary . . .) Behold the handmaid of the Lord. R. Be it done unto me according to thy word. (Hail Mary …) And the Word was made flesh. R. And dwelt among us. (Hail Mary …) Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts; that, we to whom the incarnation of Christ, thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion and cross, be brought to the glory of his resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Daily Prayers

 

Prayer Before Meals

Bless us O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to Our Guardian Angel

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Morning Offering

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your sacred heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all the apostles of prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

Evening prayer

O my God, at the end of this day I thank you most heartily for all the graces I have received from you. I am sorry that I have not made a better use of them. I am sorry for all the sins I have committed against you. Forgive me, O my God, and graciously protect me this night. Blessed Virgin Mary, my dear heavenly mother, take me under your protection. St. Joseph, my dear guardian angel, and all you saints of God, pray for me. Sweet Jesus, have pity on all poor sinners, and save them from hell. Have mercy on the suffering souls in purgatory.

Generally, this evening prayer is followed by an act of contrition, which is usually said in conjunction with an examination of conscience. A daily examination of conscience consists of a brief recounting of our actions during the day. What sins did we commit? Where did we fail? In what areas of our lives can we strive to make virtuous progress? Having determined our failures and sins, we make an act of contrition.

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend thee, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.

 

Prayer after Mass

 

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, make me holy. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, fill me with love. Water from Christ’s side, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. Good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds, hide me. Never let me be parted from you. From the evil enemy, protect me. At the hour of my death, call me, and tell me to come to you that with your saints I may praise you through all eternity. Amen.

 

Prayers to the Holy Spirit

 

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe into me Holy Spirit, that all my thoughts may be holy. Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray

O God, who has taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Prayers to the Angels and Saints

 

Prayer to Saint Joseph

O glorious Saint Joseph, you were chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary, ever virgin, and the head of the Holy Family. You have been chosen by Christ’s vicar as the heavenly patron and protector of the Church founded by Christ.

Protect the Holy Father, our sovereign pontiff, and all bishops and priests united with him. Be the protector of all who labor for souls amid the trials and tribulations of this life, and grant that all peoples of the world may follow Christ and the Church he founded.

Dear St. Joseph, accept the offering I make to you. Be my father, protector, and guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me purity of heart and a love for the spiritual life. After your example, let all my actions be directed to the greater glory of God, in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and your own paternal heart. Finally, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.


Catholic Prayer: About

Prayer, the lifting of the mind and heart to God, plays an essential role in the life of a devout Catholic. Without a life of prayer, we risk losing the life of grace in our souls, grace that comes to us first in baptism and later chiefly through the other sacraments and through prayer itself (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2565). Through prayer we enter into the presence of the Godhead dwelling in us. It is prayer which allows us to adore God, by acknowledging his almighty power; it is prayer that allows us to bring our thanks, our petitions, and our sorrow for sin before our Lord and God.

While prayer is not a practice unique to Catholics, those prayers that are called “Catholic” are generally formulaic in nature. That is, the teaching Church sets before us how we ought to pray. Drawing from the words of Christ, the writings of Scripture and the saints, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, she supplies us with prayers grounded in Christian tradition. Further, our informal, spontaneous prayers, both vocal and meditative, are informed by and shaped by those prayers taught by the Church, prayers that are the wellspring for the prayer life of all Catholics. Without the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church and through her saints, we would not know how to pray as we ought (CCC, 2650).

As the prayers themselves witness, the Church teaches us that we should pray not only directly to God, but also to those who are close to God, those who have the power to intercede upon our behalf. Indeed, we pray to the angels to help and watch over us; we pray to the saints in heaven to ask their intercession and assistance; we pray to the Blessed Mother to enlist her aid, to ask her to beg her Son to hear our prayers. Further, we pray not only on our own behalf, but also on the behalf of those souls in purgatory and of those brothers on earth who are in need. Prayer unites us to God; in doing so, we are united to the other members of the Mystical Body.This communal aspect of prayer is reflected not only in the nature of Catholic prayers, but also in the very words of the prayers themselves. In reading many of the basic formulaic prayers, it will become apparent that, for the Catholic, prayer is often meant to be prayed in the company of others. Christ himself encouraged us to pray together: “For wherever two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).

Keeping in mind the aforementioned characteristics of Catholic prayer will enable you to appreciate and to understand the prayers listed below. While this list is certainly not an exhaustive one, it will illustrate the different kinds of Catholic prayers that help to form the treasury of prayers in the Church.


Anointing of the Sick

Today I greet you in the name of Jesus. I thank all of you for the welcome you have given me. I want you to know how I have looked forward to this meeting with you, especially with those of you who are sick, disabled or infirm. I myself have had a share in suffering and I have known the physical weakness that comes with injury and sickness.

It is precisely because I have experienced suffering that I am able to affirm with ever greater conviction what Saint Paul says in the second reading: “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8,38-39).

Dear friends, there is no force or power that can block God’s love for you. Sickness and suffering seem to contradict all that is worthy, all that is desired by man. And yet no disease, no injury, no infirmity can ever deprive you of your dignity as children of God, as brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

By his dying on the Cross, Christ shows us how to make sense of our suffering. In his passion we find the inspiration and strength to turn away from any temptation to resentment and grow through pain into new life.

Suffering is an invitation to be more like the Son in doing the Father’s will. It offers us an opportunity to imitate Christ who died to redeem mankind from sin. Thus the Father has disposed that suffering can enrich the individual and the whole Church.

We acknowledge that the Anointing of the Sick is for the benefit of the whole person. We find this point demonstrated in the liturgical texts of the sacramental celebration: “Make this oil a remedy for all who are anointed with it; heal them in body, in soul and in spirit, and deliver them from every affliction.”

The anointing is therefore a source of strength for both the soul and the body. The prayer of the Church asks that sin and the remnants of sin be taken away (cf. DS 1969). It also implores a restoration of health, but always in order that bodily healing may bring greater union with God through the increase of grace.

In her teaching on this sacrament, the Church passes on the truth contained in our first reading from Saint James: “Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the Church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5,14-15).

This sacrament should be approached in a spirit of great confidence, like the leper in the Gospel that has just been proclaimed. Even the desperateness of the man’s condition did not stop him from approaching Jesus with trust. We too must believe in Christ’s healing love and reaffirm that nothing will separate us from that love. Surely Jesus wishes to say: “I will; be clean” (Mt. 8,3); be healed; be strong; be saved.

My dear brothers and sisters, as you live the Passion of Christ you strengthen the Church by the witness of your faith. You proclaim by your patience, your endurance and your joy the mystery of Christ’s redeeming power. You will find the crucified Lord in the midst of your sickness and suffering.

As Veronica ministered to Christ on his way to Calvary, so Christians have accepted the care of those in pain and sorrow as privileged opportunities to minister to Christ himself. I commend and bless all those who work for the sick in hospitals, residential homes and centers of care for the dying.

I would like to say to you doctors, nurses, chaplains and all other hospital staff: Yours is a noble vocation. Remember it is Christ to whom you minister in the sufferings of your brothers and sisters.

I support with all my heart those who recognize and defend the law of God which governs human life. We must never forget that every person, from the moment of conception to the last breath, is a unique child of God and has a right to life. This right should be defended by the attentive care of the medical and nursing professions and by the protection of the law. Every human life is willed by our heavenly Father and is a part of his loving plan.

No Province or State has the right to contradict moral values which are rooted in the nature of man himself. These values are the precious heritage of civilization. If society begins to deny the worth of any individual or to subordinate the human person to pragmatic or utilitarian considerations, it begins to destroy the defenses that safeguard its own fundamental values.

Today I make an urgent plea to this nation. Do not neglect your sick and elderly. Do not turn away from the handicapped and the dying. Do not push them to the margins of society. For if you do, you will fail to understand that they represent an important truth. The sick, the elderly, the handicapped and the dying teach us that weakness is a creative part of human living, and that suffering can be embraced with no loss of dignity. Without the presence of these people in your midst you might be tempted to think of health, strength and power as the only important values to be pursued in life. But the wisdom of Christ and the power of Christ are to be seen in the weakness of those who share his sufferings.

Let us keep the sick and the handicapped at the center of our lives. Let us treasure them and recognize with gratitude the debt we owe them. We begin by imagining that we are giving to them; we end by realizing that they have enriched us.

 

May God bless and comfort all who suffer.

And may Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world and healer of the sick,

make his light shine through human weakness as a beacon for us and for all mankind. Amen.

 

The Anointing of the Sick is the Sacrament given to seriously ill Christians, and the special graces received unite the sick person to the passion of Christ. The Sacrament consists of the anointing of the forehand and hands of the person with blessed oil, with the minister saying, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.”

Origen of Egypt in his Homilies on Leviticus described Anointing for healing the sick and forgiveness of sins in the third century. St. Thomas Aquinas stated that Extreme Unction, as the Anointing of the Sick was once called, is “a spiritual remedy, since it avails for the remission of sins, and therefore is a sacrament” (James 5:15). The ecclesial effect of this sacrament is incorporation into the healing Body of Christ, with a spiritual healing of the soul, and at times healing of the body. The sacramental grace helps us to accept sickness as a purifying cross sent by God, and the grace even to accept death if that is God’s will.

Jesus healed the blind and the sick, as well as commissioned his Apostles to do so, such as the following sources.

 

“So they (the Twelve Apostles) went off and preached repentance.

They drove out many demons,

and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.”

Gospel of Mark 6:12-13

 

“Is any among you sick?

Let him call for the presbyters of the Church,

and let them pray over him,

anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;

and the prayer of faith will save the sick man,

and the Lord will raise him up;

and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

James 5:14-15


Holy Orders: Priesthood

My dear brothers, candidates for the priesthood: for you Christ today renews his prayer to the Father: Consecrate them in truth, your word is truth” (Jn. 17,17). This consecration makes you even more a “new creation.” It sets you apart from the world, so that you may be completely dedicated to God. It gives you a mission to act as Christ’s ambassadors in reconciling the world to God. It was for this purpose that Jesus came from the Father and was born of the Virgin Mary. And it is this same mission which Christ entrusted to his disciples: “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world, and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth” (Jn. 17,18).

At this important moment of your lives I say to you young men: Realize how deeply Jesus desires you to be consecrated as he himself is consecrated. Realize how closely the bond of priesthood joins you to Christ. Be worthy of the privilege you are going to receive of bringing God’s gifts of love to his people and offering to God the people’s prayerful response.

You must be men of God, his close friends. You must develop daily patterns of prayer, and penance must be a regular part of your life.

Prayer and penance will help you to appreciate more deeply that the strength of your ministry is found in the Lord and not in human resources.

You must try to deepen every day your friendship with Christ. You must also learn to share the hopes and joys, the sorrows and frustrations of the people entrusted to your care. Bring to them Christ’s saving message of reconciliation. Visit your parishioners in their homes. This has been a strength of the Church in England. It is a pastoral practice that should not be neglected. Teach your people boldly about the faithful love of God. And do not forget all those with special needs, particularly those who are in prison, and their families. In the gospel Christ identifies himself with prisoners when he says, “I was in prison, and you visited me.” And remember that he did not specify whether they were innocent or guilty. Because you represent Christ, no one can be excluded from your pastoral love. I ask you, together with your brother priests, to take my greetings to all the prisons in Britain, especially the large one in Manchester. Christ Jesus went to offer peace of conscience and the forgiveness of all sins. Through Jesus Christ offer hope. Through you, in your heart, Jesus Christ wants to love those for whom he died. You must show that you believe in that faithful love by the fidelity with which you live your own life. You must proclaim the Gospel with your life.

When you celebrate the sacraments at the decisive moments of their lives, help them to trust in Christ’s promised mercy and compassion. When you offer the redeeming Sacrifice of the Eucharist, help them to understand the need for transforming this great love into works of charity.

My brothers be aware of the effect on others of the witness of your lives.

Your ordination is a source of consolation for those who have already given many years of priestly service, large numbers of whom are present today. The Lord is grateful for their labor and today he blesses them with the assurance that he will continue to provide for the future of the Church.

May all these priests be renewed in the joyful enthusiasm of their early call, and may they continue to give generously of themselves in Christ’s priestly work of reconciling the world to the Father.

I know of the many priests who could not be here because of old age or infirmity. To them also I send the expression of my love in Christ Jesus.

Their prayers, their wisdom, their suffering are rich treasures for the Church, from which will come forth abundant blessings.

And what of your contemporaries? Undoubtedly your acceptance of Christ’s mission is a clear witness for those who are not yet sure what the Lord wants of them. You show them that being ordained for God’s service is a noble vocation that demands faith, courage and self-sacrifice. I am sure that such qualities are to be found among the young people of Great Britain. To them I say: Be certain that Christ’s call to the priesthood or religious life is addressed to some of you. Be certain that if you listen to his call and follow him in the priesthood or religious life, you will find great joy and happiness. Be generous, take courage and remember his promise: “My yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt. 11,30).

Finally, I wish to greet the parents and families of those about to be ordained. I say in the name of the Church, in the company of my fellow Bishops, thank you for your generosity. It was you who brought these men into the world. It was you who first gave them the faith and the values that have helped to lead them to God’s altar today. The Church, too, must be a family, bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity, supporting each other and sharing with each other the individual gifts given by God. Every priest relies on the faith and talents of his parish community. If he is wise he will not only know the joy of dispensing God’s grace, but also of receiving it abundantly through his parishioners as well. The partnership between priests and people is built upon prayer, collaboration and mutual respect and love. That has always been the tradition of these islands. May it never be lost.

Through this ordination the Lord really and truly continues the work of his “new creation.” And he continues to send forth his message over all the earth and to speak personally to those who will be ordained:

“‘Go now to those to whom I send you

and say whatever I command you.

Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to protect you’

—it is the Lord who speaks!” Amen.

(Jer. 1,7-8).

 The Sacrament of Holy Orders began with the Last Supper, when Christ Jesus commissioned his Apostles to continue the Eucharistic celebration. He also commissioned his Apostles following the Resurrection to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8). Thomas Aquinas makes the point that only Christ is the true priest, the others serving as his ministers (Hebrews 8:4). St. Ignatius, Bishop of Syria around 100 AD, in his Letter to the Magnesians (6), established the hierarchy of bishop, priest, and deacon for the early Churches, the pattern which still exists today. Bishops are the successors of the Apostles, and priests and deacons are his assistants in rendering service. Men are ordained to the priesthood in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, as the sacrament confers upon – in persona Christi.

Holy Orders is the sacrament of Apostolic ministry. As in the Pastoral Epistles, the rite consists of the Bishop’s laying on of hands on the head of the priest-candidate with the consecrating prayer asking God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the gifts of the ministry. There are three dimensions to ministry, that of Bishop, Priesthood, and the Diaconate. See Matthew 16:18-19, John 21:15-17, Romans 10:14-15, 2 Timothy 1:6, and Titus 1:5 as well as the following:

“Do this in memory of me.”

Gospel of Luke 22:19 and 1 Corinthians 11:25

 

“Now be solicitous for yourselves and for the whole flock in which

the Holy Spirit has appointed you as bishops to pasture the Church of God,

which He purchased with his own blood.”

Acts of the Apostles 20:28

 

Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.

First Letter of Paul to Timothy 4:14

 

“Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 2:4-5