THANKSGIVING ~ The Five Simple Prayers.
Daniel A. Lord, S.J., Thanksgiving After Holy Communion, 1950’s
The following prayers are suggested as simple forms of prayer that are modeled on direct conversations with the Eucharistic Christ. Basically, they are acts by which the one who has received Holy Communion:
1. Thanks the Savior for three things.
2. Expresses sorrow for three things.
3. Asks Him for three things.
4. Talks three things over with Him.
5. Promises Him three things.
The form of the prayers is unimportant. The important thing is the calling of the Savior’s attention to matters of deep concern to us and hence to Him.
The number three is purely arbitrary and can be reduced or increased according to the wishes of the one making the prayer.
No words are necessary. A simple consideration of these points will lead easily and naturally into the conversational prayers suited to the thoughts aroused.
- “I Thank You.”
Lord Jesus Christ, present in my heart, I thank You for all You have done for me. Surely I am, almost beyond all others, Your favorite child. My life has been a succession of gifts from Your loving hands: my birth in a Catholic home and a Christian country; my adoption in Baptism as the child of Your Heavenly Father and as Your brother (sister); the care and protection and love that surrounded my infancy; the health and training and soundness of mind and body that marked my growing years.
You gave me yourself in the joy of my first Communion, as You gave me the Holy Spirit to be my strength and light in Confirmation. And when I sinned against You, You forgave me in Confession and took me back into Your love and grace. I have been fortunate in my friends, happy in my associations.
Catholic education and training have been mine. And to my natural life You have added the far more important supernatural life of my soul. This moment I am part of Your Mystical Body. For all this I am grateful from my heart. But this morning I thank You especially for these favors:
1. [Mention some favor recently received.]
- [Mention a favor that came to your family, to some close friend or relative.]
- [Mention some favor lately given to the world, the Church, or some group of people.]
2. “I Am Sorry.”
Yet, in spite of your great generosity to me, I am deeply conscious of the fact that I have been ungrateful, cruel, ungracious, mortally sinful. By my sins I have used Your gifts of mind and heart and tongue and hands to offend You. Through my fault Your kingdom upon earth has been retarded and kept back in its advance.
I know very well that I have deserved the endless pains of hell. Surely I never deserved the eternal joys of heaven. Because of my sins I should spend long years in Purgatory and merit punishment on earth. But not for any of these reasons do I now tell you my sorrow for sin.
I am sorry because Your gifts have failed to win my heart. I am sorry, because You have been so good and I so ungrateful and criminal. I am sorry because my sins have crucified You, my best friend and most generous benefactor.
My sins of the flesh have scourged Your back; my sins of the mind have crowned You with thorns; my sins of tongue have cried aloud for Your crucifixion; my sins of pride have put a red rag upon Your shoulders and a reed into Your hand; my sinful loves have driven the lance into Your side; my dishonesty has nailed Your hands to the cross. Forgive me for what I have done to You, Who are so good and merciful. But this morning I am especially sorry for the following:
1. [Beg pardon for some recent sin of your own commission.]
2. [Beg pardon for some one sin of your past life.]
- [Beg pardon for some sin common throughout the world to-day, or for some sin committed by a member of your own family who does not repent.]
3. “I Ask You.”
Never during Your life on earth, Blessed Savior, did You refuse any request. Your goodness to me personally is just another guarantee that that generosity is as true today as it was then.
Largely through my own fault, and because I have neglected the graces You gave me and because I have sinned, I am weak and poor and needy in soul and body. But You are infinitely rich and powerful, and You love me.
May I ask again? Your generosity is bounded only by our willingness to accept and use Your favors. Dear and generous Savior, You know better than I the things that I most need and that are for my good. In Your wisdom grant me these.
You know, too, the things I desire for myself, for others, for the Church, for the sinful world. If they are for our good, grant them, O Lord.
Especially I beg virtue for my soul, strength against temptation, a closer union with You through grace, more faith and hope, firmer strength. And watch over my life, that it may be lived in accord with Your wishes and Your law. But this morning I am asking especially for these things:
1. [Ask for some favor for yourself.]
2. [Ask for some favor for those dear to you or connected with you through friendship or dependency.]
- [Ask some important favor for the Church, or for the world.]
4. “May I Talk It Over With You?”
Blessed Savior, life is full of problems, and difficulties. There are temptations to be met, decisions to be made, work to be done. There are the difficulties that arise from association with people, from misunderstanding, neglect, unpleasant dispositions.
There is the need of walking through the attractive world without falling in love with it. In all these things I need Your wise counsel and direction, Your strength, Your constant help and support.
Unaided, I make recurring mistakes. I decide unwisely and with unfortunate results.My work is spoiled or half done because of my limitations of mind and heart and body.
So I come to you as to my wisest friend and best counselor, asking You what I am to do and how I am to do it. I know You are interested in my life, its problems and successes. You are concerned with my doing well the things You have entrusted to me.
You want my conduct to be a help and not a hindrance to others. And in your life upon earth You met and solved all the problems that ever could be mine. You see just how I can overcome temptation and what decisions I should make. Give me Your guidance and light.
And give it, too, to the world’s leaders, to those who hold the destiny of the Church in their keeping, to my friends and associates. Especially this morning I wish to consult You about the following things
l. [Discuss some temptation or trouble and how to overcome it.]
2. [Discuss some problem or decision connected with family, friends, associates.]
3. [Discuss some problem connected with your work.]
5. “I Promise.”
Lord Jesus Christ, my life in the past has been continuously disappointing and unsatisfactory. I have failed again and again, seen my best resolutions dissipated, my best plans collapse.
But the strength and light gained from this Holy Communion gives me hope for the future. Give me greater hope for what lies ahead. I have drawn my strength from You, the source of all strength; I shall not fail again.
You have given me new light and courage: I cannot but do better. It is my hope to live my life worthy of Your gifts and Your love. I want to go back to my daily life carrying You with me in my heart. Let me take You with me to my work and play, my home and occupation, among my friends and associates, everywhere and with whomever I go.
My work shall be done for You; my friends shall be loved for You; my amusements shall be worthy of You. I promise You I shall first of all avoid the occasions of sin. I promise to make my morning offering faithfully, so that the day, with all its actions, may belong to You.
I promise to make my life more like Yours. In this I cannot fail, since I have held You in my heart. And in my association with people I shall try to live so perfectly that through me they will be drawn to You, to the Faith, to goodness. Especially this morning I promise You these things:
1. [Promise something regarding sin and its occasions.]
2. [Promise something regarding your attitude toward home or friends.]
3. [Promise something regarding your work or casual associates.]
The truly religious wife finds God at Mass and from Him receives the strength to become the ideal helpmate to her husband. She does not leave God at church but keeps Him with her every minute of the day in every nook and cranny of her home. Each menial, repetitious task she must perform is a work of love for her husband and children, and through them, a work of love for her Creator. – Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J. 1950’s
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Reflections on Purgatory By Rev. F.X. Lasance. A Complete Prayer-book Including Special Prayers and Devotions in Behalf of the Poor Souls in Purgatory Imprimatur, 1922, 442 page book. Originally printed by The Benziger Brothers. A Rare and Unusual Book! It is hoped that this book will cultivate a special devotion to the holy souls in Purgatory. This devotion, while it solaces the Holy Souls, in whose behalf it is directly exercised, is eminently pleasing to God, and beneficial to ourselves. It is hoped that the “Reflections” contained in the first part of this little book will stimulate the pious reader to make frequent use of the prayers and devotions which are found in the second part for the solace of the suffering souls in Purgatory.
This is an excellent prayer book.
Originally published in 1908 by the venerable Benziger Bros., this book has everything–all the basic prayers, litanies and Order (now known as Extraordinary Form) of the Mass. It also has excellent meditations for Eucharistic meditation and prayers for reception of Holy Communion.
The distinguishing feature of this prayer book, however, is that it is chock-full with helpful meditations and inspiring quotes for living the full Christian life. Father Lasance was obviously a very wise man and a holy priest. -T. Berry