Earlier this month I posted a piece regarding Catholic devotional life and the direction my prayer has taken over the years. I invited comments from people regarding the structure and form of their prayer and devotional life. As mentioned last week, I've converted my prayer book into an electronic file, mainly so I could print it out and have a text that was easy to read. In the comments box to that post, Gregg the obscure expressed interest in seeing some of the prayers. So I thought I would post some.
As I explained in that first post, my prayer book has a thematic, 12-part structure. Many of the prayers would be familiar to you; I tried to use traditional prayers of the Church where possible so as to have a link to the prayers of Catholics throughout the ages. So I won't bother posting those; you can find plenty of them at sites like EWTN and others on the Web. A fair number of prayers were written by me. Some because I couldn't find an appropriate prayer on the subject (e.g., prayers regarding certain saints); others because of a particular concern of mine or burden on my heart. Anyway, for what it is worth, here is a sample:
O Jesus, good Lord, protect and keep safe all who profess and teach the true faith of your holy Catholic Church. Holy God, guard us from all who wish that we turn away from the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic faith. Merciful Christ Jesus, turn Thine eyes of mercy on all, especially those who have strayed from your Church; may your Church be ready and eager to embrace and kiss them on their return. O Holy Spirit, escort all who proclaim the Lord Christ Jesus as their savior safely back to the one true fold. Amen
Prayer to Sts. James, Greater and Lesser
Sts. James, Greater and Lesser, apostles of our beloved Savior, pray for us that we might follow Christ Jesus always and stand ready to suffer persecution meekly and gladly for Him. Son of thunder, one of the favored three, share with us the rich lessons of the miraculous raising of Jairus’s daughter, the Transfiguration, and Christ’s sorrowful agony in the garden. Brother of the disciple whom Jesus loved, pray for all who share your zeal, ambition, and temper that the Holy Spirit would take reign over these traits and place them at the service of the Kingdom of God. Brother of St. Jude, O James the Just, pray for the faithful that we might, because of Christ, patiently persevere adversity and that we might let our faith in Christ both fill and motivate good works. Amen
Prayer to St. Andrew
St. Andrew, disciple of John the Baptist, and blessed apostle of our Lord Jesus, pray for us that we might follow Christ every moment of our lives. O great introducer, upon recognizing Jesus as the Messiah you raced to introduce your brother, St. Peter, the first Vicar of Christ, to our Savior. With that same eagerness, introduce to Christ Jesus those souls here on earth who have yet to encounter with open eyes the love God always has poured out for us. O enticer of miracles, it was you who mentioned to Jesus that there was a boy nearby with five loaves and two fish, even though you could not see how those meager provisions could feed five thousand. Taking the loaves and fish into His sacred hands, Jesus replaced frustration in the lack of worldly solutions with hope in the almighty power of God. St. Andrew, present to the Lord those petitions for miracles heard daily from all the ends of the earth. Amen
O Loving Jesus, as I approach you, hidden but truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, bestow upon me the perspective of Holy Simeon, the just and devout man of Jerusalem whose life would not end until his eyes had beheld You. Like Simeon, may I be in awe that my hands are permitted to hold my Savior. May I rejoice in Your gift to us of Your very Self and persevere in prayer until the day that I may be with You in the glory of Heaven. Amen.
O My Lord, how weak am I! Have I truly so little devotion to You that I cannot go even one full day without committing some sin? Lord, I am dependent on Your grace and Your mercy. For without Your grace, I can do nothing and would surely fail. For without Your mercy, I would have no hope! Lord, forgive me and take pity on me. Help me to turn away from sin and live a life pleasing to You. Amen
O Merciful Father, strengthen the bishops who serve You through Your Holy Catholic Church. Each day, may they rise and renew their commitment to be good shepherds of Your people, treasuring them as their very wealth. May they rise early to seek Your Wisdom, eager to be instructed and to heed Your laws. Make Your bishops wise in Your ways and courageous witnesses to the Truth, willing to bring the message of salvation to all, with boldness, honesty and love. Rescue them from the temptation to be held in esteem by a world that has deceived itself into believing evil is good. Amen
My Lord and my God, let me join Your prayer that all Your people may be one. Christ Jesus, I pray for all my separated brothers and sisters in Christ, who do not see what I now see, may their faith be strong, with eyes focused on You. In their search for a church that preaches Your Word, may they one day ask You which church You founded, and discover Your Holy Catholic Church. Never again will they feel that they have no home! In their search for members of Your Body with whom they can pray, may they one day remember Your humble servants, the Saints, on whose constant intercession we rely for help. Never again will they feel alone in prayer! In their search to know you, O Lord, may they one day realize that you are with us always, present – body, blood, soul and divinity – in the most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Never again will they feel that God is not near! Amen.
Prayer to St. Christopher
St. Christopher, Holy Helper, strong, simple and kind, after your conversion you sought a way to use your talents for the greater glory of God. Having no gifts for preaching, fasting or prayer, you gave of your strength by carrying travelers across the dangerous currents of a river. Pray for us that we too might place all our gifts, whatever they might be, at the service of the Kingdom. Christ-bearer, dedicated to serving the Lord by serving your fellow man, pray that we not fail to show charity to those strangers we meet each day, knowing that hidden within each we may find Christ, the One who created the world. Amen.