Year of Prayer 2015

Essential Catholic Prayers

Angelus

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
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.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. Hail Mary . . .

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. Hail Mary . . .

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, 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.

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 sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; 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.

Year of Prayer HandsConfiteor

I confess to almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

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.

Grace Before Meals

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

Hail Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, 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.

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 death. Amen.

Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

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.

Prayer to St. Michael

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 hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Suggestions for Engaging in Year of Prayer 2015

  • Order, read, and study Archbishop Carlson’s pastoral letter on spiritual formation. You can download it for free here or purchase a hard copy here.
  • Read Part 4 of the Catechism, which is devoted to prayer. An online Catechism can be found here.
  • Learn the Prayer Process developed by Dynamic Catholic
  • Join a Bible study (inqure at your parish)
  • Encourage someone who is thinking of becoming Catholic to enter RCIA
  • If you are not going to Mass every Sunday, the Church and your parish want you back.
  • If you have not gone to Confession in awhile, find Confession times here, and download our free guide to Confession brochure
  • Attend Eucharistic Adoration.
  • Learn to pray the Rosary 
  • Subscribe to a monthly prayer resource, such as Magnificat or Word Among Us
  • Pray for the Archdiocese and for the fruitfulness of Dynamic Catholic, Alive!
  • Learn the essential Catholic prayers
  • Listen to Lighthouse Catholic Media CDs on prayer
  • Consider finding a spiritual director
  • Attend daily Mass
  • Pray for an increase in vocations
  • Join a rosary group
  • Learn Lectio Divina
  • Reflect on the daily readings
  • Pray before all meals
  • Make 1 degree of spiritual progress this week
  • Attend a retreat
  • Memorize the Mass responses, including the Nicene Creed
  • Stay after Mass to pray
  • Make time for silence
  • Practice all various expressions of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, contemplation
  • Practice the four forms of prayer: blessing and adoration, petition, intercession, thankfulness
  • Pray the family Rosary
  • Spend a few minutes on spiritual reading
  • Attend the Stations of the Cross during Lent
  • Practice fasting or abstinence
  • Start your day with prayer
  • Make a list of everything you are grateful for
  • Read a book on the saints
  • Pray the Liturgy of the Hours
  • Reflect slowly on the words of the Our Father
  • Learn about the Catholic Mass
  • Offer up your suffering to the Lord
  • Do a daily Examen before bed
  • Display a crucifix at your house or workplace
  • Pray for someone you know is suffering
  • Limit distractions to prayer: noise, TV, radio, internet, movies, etc.

 FIRST FRIDAY DEVOTIONS TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

From the writings of St. Margaret Mary who Our Lord appeared to:

"On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to His unworthy slave, if I mistake not: "I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment."

 With regard to this promise it may be remarked:

-that the nine Fridays must be consecutive

 -that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord;

 -that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end;

The First Friday of each month was designated by our Savior Himself as a day to be consecrated to honoring His Sacred Heart…. As the object of this devotion is to make our Savior Jesus Christ ardently and perfectly loved, and to make reparation for the outrages offered to Him in the past, as well as for those which he daily receives in the Blessed Eucharist…Jesus Christ merits our love at all times, but alas! He is despised and outraged in the Sacrament of His love at all times, and so people should at all times make reparation to Him.  

We should then adore Jesus Christ in this august Sacrament, make a fervent act of love to Jesus in the tabernacle, thank Him for having instituted this Mystery of love, express our sorrow at seeing Him so abandoned, and resolve to visit Him as soon as possible and love Him unceasingly.  
       
Attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is assuredly the best means of honoring and loving the adorable Heart of Jesus. 

The Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

1. "I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life."  
2. "I will establish peace in their homes."  
3. "I will comfort them in their afflictions."  
4. "I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death." 
5. "I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings." 
6. "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."  
7. "Tepid souls shall grow fervent."  
8. "Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."  
9. "I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored."  
10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."  
11. "Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out."  
12. "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

 DEVOTION OF THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS OUR LADY OF FATIMA

 Our Lady's request regarding the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays of the Month.

  1. Confess and receive Holy Communion 

On February 15, 1926 the Child Jesus alone came to visit Sr. Lucia and asked if the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was being propagated. Sr. Lucia spoke of a difficulty some people have in confessing on the first Saturday, and asked if they might be allowed eight days in order to fulfill Our Lady's requests. Jesus answered: "Yes, even more time still, as long as they receive Me in the state of grace. , Christ explained to Lucia that this confession could be made a week before or even more, and that it should be offered in reparation.

      2,    Recite the Rosary

Five decades of the Rosary may be recited at any time or place; yet, since one will be attending Mass in order to receive Holy Communion, a very desirable time and place would be before or after Mass in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The Rosary is a vocal prayer said while meditating upon the mysteries of Our Lord’s life and Passion and Our Lady’s life. To comply with the request of our Blessed Mother, it must be offered in reparation and said properly while meditating on the mysteries.

        3.  "Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary."

The question is often asked: Does the meditation while reciting the Rosary fulfill this condition, or is there required an additional fifteen minutes of meditation? That an additional 15 minutes of meditation is required was recently confirmed by Sr. Lucia of Fatima.

This meditation should be the richest of any meditation, because Our Lady promised to be present when she said “...those who keep me company....” The meditation embraces one or more mysteries; it may even include all, taken together or separately, according to individual attraction or devotion; but it is preferable to meditate on one mystery each month.

Like the Rosary, this meditation may be made any time or place during the first Saturday. Yet again, like the Rosary, a very fitting time and place would be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament before or after Mass. The time could be spent reading meditatively on one of the fifteen mysteries, which is a form of mental prayer that involves reading with frequent pauses to reflect on the matter read.

To those who faithfully follow Our Lady’s requests for the Five First Saturdays, she has made a wonderful promise which she, as Mediatrix of All Graces, will certainly fulfill: “I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation.” This means that our Blessed Mother will be present at the hour of death with the actual grace of final perseverance, (which after the gift/grace of Faith), is the most important grace.

All of the conditions should be fulfilled with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the occasion of the visit of the Child Jesus to Sr. Lucia (Feb. 16, 1926), she asked: "My Jesus, what about those who forget to make the intention?" Jesus answered: "They can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to Confession."

After completing the Five First Saturdays, one may continue the devotion simply to console the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady. A tender love of our Blessed Mother will lead one to do all he can to make reparation for the sins which pierce her Immaculate Heart.

LECTIO DIVINA

"Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us.

In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo's description remains fundamental.  He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer but the passage should not be too long.

The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.

The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.

The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice.

As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.

These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Its natural movement is towards greater simplicity, with less and less talking and more listening.

Gradually the words of Scripture begin to dissolve and the Word is revealed before the eyes of our heart. How much time should be given to each stage depends very much on whether it is used individually or in a group. If Lectio Divina is used for group prayer, obviously more structure is needed than for individual use.

In group prayer, much will depend on the type of group. Lectio Divina may involve discussing the implications of the Word of God for daily life but it cannot be reduced to this. The movement of the prayer is towards silence. If the group is comfortable with silence, more time could be spent resting in the Word.

The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.

SUGGESTED NEW TESTAMENT READINGS FOR STARTERS FOR LECTIO DIVINA

MATTHEW 8: 5-13 THE CENTURION'S SERVANT

MATTHEW 11:20-30 MY YOKE IS EASY AND BURDEN LIGHT

MATTHEW 25:31-46 THE LAST JUDGEMENT

MARK CHAPTER 4 PARABLES OF SOWERS AND SEEDS

MARK 5:24-34 IF I BUT TOUCH THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT

MARK 6:34-44 THE FEEDING OF FIVE THOUSAND

MARK 10:16-32 THAT I MIGHT SEE

LUKE 1:26-38 BE IT DONE TO ME ACCORDING TO THY WORD

LUKE 4:38-44 JESUS MUST PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL TO ALL PEOPLE

LUKE 5:1-11 FISHERS OF MEN

LUKE 7:36-50   GOD'S MERCY

LUKE 15:11-32 THE PRODIGAL SON

JOHN 1:43-51 RABBI, YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD

JOHN 3:1-15 A MAN MUST BE BORN AGAIN IN THE SPIRIT

JOHN 3:22-4:3 I MUST DECREASE HE MUST INCREASE

JOHN 4:42 THE WOMAN AT THE WELL

JOHN 6:22-59 BREAD OF LIFE DISCOURSE REAL PRESENCE (EUCHARIST)

JOHN 10:3-14 I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD

JOHN 13:3-14 AS I HAVE DONE SO SHOULD YOU

JOHN 15:1-12 I AM THE TRUE VINE

I CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 12 THE BODY OF CHRIST

I CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 13 LOVE IS THE GREATEST

2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-12 A THORN IN THE FLESH