A Prayer in Time of Debt
ALMIGHTY, everlasting God, we beg of You to help us soon to pay off our debts to our fellowmen. Give us strength and courage to persevere until the last penny is paid. Give patience to those to whom we are in debt, and let them not treat us unjustly. Help us have great confidence in You and in the workings of Your providence, trusting that You will always direct things to our greatest good.
Make us also fully realize that no debt to our fellowmen can begin to equal the debt that we owe You on account of our sins, to say nothing of the immense debt we owe You for the gifts of Your divine grace. These we could never pay at all but for the coming of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. To Him be all honor and thanksgiving, now and forever. Amen.
A Prayer to the North American Martyrs
DEAR Saints Isaac Jogues, John Brebeuf, Noel Chabanel, Gabriel Lalemant, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, Rene Goupil and John Lalande, we beg of you, pray for the people of this vast country ours.
You are the first canonized saints of the United States and Canada. We are glad to have you. We are happy to honor you. You know our country and its needs, and we know you are in heaven praying for us.
There is one very special favor we wish to ask of you. Dear Saints of North America, pray God to send us another saint, or better still, a number of them. Ask Him to have soon–a man or a woman, a boy or a girl from this country of ours raised to the honors of the altar. Let it be a farmer or a laborer, a housewife or a schoolboy, born and bred in these United States. Let it be some one who lived his whole life here–a Saint Joseph of Carville County, or a Saint Mary of Middletown, or a Saint William of New York.
We do not wish to displace you in our affections, but to add to your glorious number. You understand our desires in this, and we feel sure that we will obtain this great blessing for the salvation of the people of this land. Remember us now, and obtain this great blessing for us from God. Help us always to cooperate with the graces that God so richly and generously gives us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer in Autumn for Country Living
GOOD and generous Lord, You have once more brought the year full circle, through planting and growing and ripening to harvest time, and autumn.
We thank You for the sun and the wind, the rain and the dew, the minerals of the earth and all the plants that grow and all the beasts and birds of farm and field. We marvel at Your wonderful ways of bringing food from the earth for man’s good.
Dear God, help us to use Your rich gifts as You want us to. Teach us to share them with our neighbor when he is in need. Make us see, in the marvelous succession of sea sons, and in the growth and ripening of our crops, the merciful, generous hand of Your divine providence.
Help us to realize, too, that if we keep Your commandments and live according to the inspirations of Your grace, we shall also reap a plentiful harvest in the autumn of our lifetime: a harvest that we will be able to enjoy for ever and ever, where no rust can destroy, nor blight spoil any least part of it. Amen.
A Prayer to the Holy Guardian Angels (Feast, October 2)
DEAR Angel at my side, my good and loyal friend, you have been with me since the moment I was born. You are my own personal guardian, given me by God as my guide and protector, and you will stay with me till I die. He who created you and me gave me to you as your particular charge. You assisted in great joy at my baptism, when I became part of the Mystical Body of Christ, and was made a member of the household of God and an heir of heaven. You saw the dangers that beset my path, and, if I sinned, it was in spite of you. You envied me when Christ came to me in Holy Communion. Even though you probably were there among the angels that adored Him the night that He was born, you have not been able to receive Him as I can.
O, help me to appreciate these gifts! Help me to realize, as you do, with every fiber of my being, that to serve Christ is to be a King! Help me steadfastly to avoid evil and do good and always guard my soul from sin. Protect me as well from physical evils as I go about my daily work. You will be with me all my life, and at the hour of my death. Help me to face death bravely, patiently, with great love of God, knowing that it is only through death that I can come to Him in heaven! Then, come with me to my Judge, and when the hour of my salvation comes, take me home to my Father, God. Amen.
A Prayer to Saint Luke for the Family Doctor (Feast, October 19)
GOOD Saint Luke, we are told that before you met our dear Lord and became a follower of His and a writer of His Gospel, you were a doctor. We beg you this day to bless and help and protect our doctor. Obtain for him the graces he most needs to do his work well and serve God generously. Help him to be strong and gentle, prudent and charitable, understanding and self-sacrificing. Give him great skill in the care of our bodies, so that, blessed with physical strength and health, we may more faithfully perform our daily tasks.
Help us all, good Saint Luke, to imitate very closely the life and virtues of our Blessed Mother Mary, about whom you wrote so beautifully, and of Him whom she bore into this world, Jesus Christ our Lord and our God, who lives and is King for ever and ever. Amen.
A Prayer to Christ the King (Feast, Last Sunday before Advent)
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, after You had created heaven and earth, and all the living beings, plants and animals, then You created man. You made him king of Your whole creation. You put everything in the whole round world at his disposal. You gave to him alone, of all the creatures on this earth, the power to think and the power to will. Everything else was made to serve man.
Then, when man sinned, You sent Your Son to be the King of mankind, and the Redeemer of the human race. He is now King, not only of mankind, but of the whole universe. He is the “firstborn of every creature.” He is our King, and everything that we have is made and given us to serve Him. We are to use it, not in selfishness and greed, but in gratitude and generosity, realizing that we are all subjects of the great King Jesus.
Help us to keep this in mind, as we plough His fields, lent to us for a time, and as we reap His crops, given to us by His generous hand. Help us to use with care the goods He here gives us, so that we may gain the eternal goods that He has won for us. Help us always and everywhere to be good, loyal subjects of Christ, our King, so that we may be with Him, our victor and King, forever in heaven. Amen.
A Prayer to All the Saints (Feast, November 1)
TODAY, dear friends in heaven, we celebrate your feast. We celebrate again the feasts of all the saints we know, and whom we honor day by day through the year. But we also honor today all the saints in heaven whom we do not know. We can not help thinking, on this day, that no one of us lacks a model to follow in one of you. We look around us at the familiar persons and things and activities that fill our every day lives, and we find that they are little different from the persons, things, and activities that filled your lives. We have the same human nature, wounded by the sin of Adam and Eve, but strengthened marvelously by grace, and fed and sanctified by the sacraments and prayer. We have exactly the same sacraments that you had, we have the same Christ, the same Blessed Mother, the same trials, sickness, pain, temptation, the same joys, pleasures, and happiness that crowded your lives.
Then it must be true that, with the same means, we should be able to work out our lives in the same holiness and sanctity as yours, dear saints. Help us to do this. Help us to see the opportunities for holiness that fill our everyday lives. Obtain for us, by your prayers, the deep understanding and appreciation of spiritual things that were yours. Help us to see, too, in the beauty of the world in which we live, some slight mirroring of the eternal beauty which you now see, as you gaze on God. But let us not be deceived into thinking that this earthly beauty, this worldly pleasure, is an end in itself. Let us use it wisely and moderately, our hearts always yearning to come at last to the final beauty and joy, the possession of God Himself, with you, in heaven. Amen
A Prayer in a Country Cemetery (All Souls Day, November 2)
DEAR Lord, here lie in their last rest, the boys and girls, the men and women that worked on the land. They knew the meaning of hard work. They knew the joy and peace that is the product of labor. Now we trust they know the peace and happiness of everlasting life with You.
They watched the sun rise often, winter and summer, over these hills and fields. They worked hard by its light, and turned willingly to their rest at its setting. Now they walk in the light of a Sun that knows no setting. Lord, if they are still in the waiting room of heaven–in purgatory–bring them speedily to the light of Your peace and the happiness of Your presence.
These men and women all their lives long labored to supply the food and drink necessary to sustain human life. Now, or soon, they enjoy in all its fullness the life that You, Lord, came down to earth to give men, and to give more abundantly.
Dear Lord, bless us who labor now in the fields and hills where these dear dead have worked. Grant that we may remember them with charity and kindness, walking reverently in the ways that they have left behind them. Grant, too, that we may finally meet these men and women, these boys and girls, in the eternal mansions that You are even now preparing for us. Amen.
A Prayer for Protection against Fires
ALMIGHTY and eternal God, we ask Your protection against destroying fire. Fire is so very necessary for our existence, and yet, when it gets out of control, it can be more damaging than anything else. Keep our homes and buildings and woods and fields safe from this scourge. Help us always to be most careful in our use of it. Help us especially in the winter time when need and use it most. For then, if our homes are destroyed by fire, we suffer more than ever.
Give us, too, we humbly pray You, a saving fear of the fires of passion, and the help of Your grace to control them. Help us also to fear the fires of hell, that we may always keep away from serious sin, and live lives of goodness and virtue, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer Of Thanksgiving For God’s Blessings (Last Thursday of November)
LORD, I am grateful that I am a farmer. I am glad to live close to the earth that You have made. I am happy to spend so much of my time in the open air, under the bright sun, the symbol of Your own justice and light. I am grateful for the rain and for the freshness that it brings–the rain, a symbol of Your rich and undying blessings.
I am happy to cooperate with You in Your work of continuous creation, by growing the food that men need to sustain life. By Your almighty power You make grow seeds I plant. You fill the earth with minerals, You send the rain and the sun, the wind and the snow–and the dry, hard seeds I plant are raised to soft, green life. You have given men great wisdom and cleverness to build machines that make the labor of the farmer much less burdensome.
Dear Lord, I am in Your almighty hands. I depend upon You for everything. If I sow the seed and cultivate the young plants, and You do not see fit to give me a good harvest, I will be satisfied. You are the Lord and master and creator of all things. You know what is good for me and what would do me harm. I trust You, absolutely and without question.
I thank You again for calling me to a farmer’s life. I beg of You never to let me forget its great advantages of closeness to You, absolute trust and confidence in You, and the fullness and richness of my life, close to the earth that You have made and have so marvelously blessed.
Lord, I am grateful that I am a farmer. Amen.