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An Act of Charity
O God, I love you with my whole heart above all things,
because you are infinitely good;
and for your sake I love my neighbor as I love myself.
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An Act of Contrition
Oh 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 art 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.
An Act of Faith
O God, I firmly believe all the truths that you have revealed, and that you teach through your church, for you are truth itself and can neither deceive nor be deceived.
An Act of Hope
O God, I hope with complete trust that you will give me,
through the merits of Jesus Christ,
all necessary grace in the world and everlasting life in the world to come,
for this is what you have promised,
and you always keep your promises.
An Advent Wreath
Blessed are you God, our Father, King of the ages.
You revealed your love to all
when Christ came in poverty.
Keep us in your constant care
as we await his manifestation in glory.
May this wreath remind us of your faithfulness
which refreshes us,
and of Christ your Son,
the light who leads us.
For the Gift of Understanding
Lord Jesus Christ, grant me the gift of understanding. Help me to understand the feelings of others, the desires of others, the goals of others. At the same time, help me to understand myself in my actions and reactions. Widen my vision beyond my own small world to embrace with knowledge and love the worlds of others.
Help me, Lord, to always see you at work in my own life and in the lives of others. Bless me with insight, acceptance and love that is tempered by you who are all things to all men. Help me to understand, Lord.
Invitations to Pray
Come! Let us raise a joyful song to the Lord, A shout of triumph to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come into God’s presence with thanksgiving, And sing God’s psalms of triumph. Psalm 95
Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.
Come with me, by yourselves, to some lonely place where you can rest quietly.
Let every creature
in heaven, on earth,
in the sea and in the depths,
give praise, glory, honor,
and blessing to Him
Who suffered so much for us,
Who has given so many good things,
And Who will continue to do so for the future.
For He is our power and strength,
He Who alone is good,
Who is most high,
Who is all-powerful, admirable, and glorious:
Who alone is holy, praiseworthy, and blessed
throughout endless ages.
St. Francis, Letter to the Faithful
I invite you to the groans of prayer
through Christ crucified, through whose blood
we are cleansed from the filth of vice
so that you do not believe
that reading is sufficient without unction,
speculation without devotion,
investigation without wonder,
observation without joy,
work without piety,
knowledge without love,
understanding without humility,
study without divine grace,
reflection as a mirror without divinely inspired wisdom.
St. Bonaventure, The Soul’s Journey to God
Meditate constantly on the mysteries of the cross and the agonies of His Mother standing at the foot of the cross. Pray and always be vigilant.
Let us pray to God for one another, for by carrying each other’s burden of charity in this way we will easily fulfill the law of Christ.
St. Clare, Letter to Ermentrude
Prayer for Vocation
O Mary, Queen of the Order of Friars Minor: Guide and direct us that we may make known your name and mercies to all nations and peoples. Bless our humble efforts for your Divine Son, King of the Universe. We beseech you to inspire noble and chosen souls among the youth for a life in Christ in the spirit of our holy Father Saint Francis. With motherly benevolence foster and strengthen many vocations for the Order of Friars Minor so that seraphic love, labor and sacrifice will ever continue to flourish in this land of yours. Amen.
Prayer of St. Clare
Place your mind before the mirror of eternity!
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!
Place your heart in the figure of divine substance!
And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead
Itself through contemplation.
enlighten the darkness
of my heart, and give me, Lord
a correct faith,
a certain hope,
a perfect charity,
sense and knowledge,
so that I may carry out
Your holy and true command.
Prayer of St. Francis
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, your joy.
Master, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled, as to console
to be understood, as to understand
to be loved as to love with all my being.
For it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in giving selflessly that we receive,
and it is in dying
that we are born to eternal life.”
Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi
Brother Francis, when the times were
growing cold, God sent you into the
world as a witness to God’s warm love
for all. Intercede for us that our hearts
may catch fire and we may become
instruments of your peace and healing
to the world. Amen.
Prayers Before Meals
Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts,
which we are about to receive from your goodness
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Father, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of your Son,
prepare our hearts to receive him today and every day of our lives. You have blessed us with many wonderful things. As you nourish us with these gifts of the earth, nourish us further so that we may be effective witnesses of gospel life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Father, the good news of our Savior’s birth was announced first to the poor shepherds. As we give you thanks for the fruit of the earth, make us aware of the cries of those who are poor and in need. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Father, through this season of penance grant that we may be true pilgrims and strangers in this world. As we give thanks for the gifts of creation, strengthen us through our sharing in this meal, that we may be nourished on our journey of repentance and conversion. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessed are you, Lord our God.
Your Son’s Easter greeting to us is: “Peace be with you.”
As we offer you praise and thanks for this food,
may we live out our thanks by being instruments of your peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit fills the Church with joy.
It is this same Spirit that gathers us together
to praise your name in Jesus, our Lord.
As we share this meal,
we ask that the Holy Spirit consume our lives
in the fire of your love.
May you be blessed and praised, now and for ever.
Father, as we gather to enjoy these gifts,
fill us with the spirit of thanksgiving
so that we may offer you praise and thanks in sharing this meal.
May you be blessed now and forever.
Father, all good things are of your making.
As we share these gifts of creation,
make us aware of your constant presence in our lives.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Father, as you call us together at this table
and provide nourishment for us.
May this food give us strength in mind and body
so that we may do your work more effectively.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Clare’s Second Letter to Agnes
What you hold, may you always hold.
What you do, may you always do and never abandon.
But with swift pace, light step,
and unswerving feet,
so that even your steps stir up no dust,
securely, joyfully, swiftly,
on the path of prudent happiness,
which would dissuade you from this resolution
or which would place a stumbling block for you on the way,
so that you may offer your vows to the Most High
in the pursuit of that perfection
to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again 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.
The Canticle of Brother Sun
Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
all praise, glory, honor and blessings are yours.
They belong to you alone, Most High,
for no one is worthy to mention your name.
Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun.
He is the day and through him you give us light.
He is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,
and bears your likeness, Most High One.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars.
You formed them in heaven clear and beautiful.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
through the heavens –cloudy and serene —
and through every kind of weather.
Through them you give sustenance to your creatures.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water.
She is very useful, humble, precious and chaste.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Fire.
Through him you light up the night;
he is beautiful, cheerful, robust and strong.
Praised be you, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth.
She sustains and governs us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Praised be you, my Lord, through those who forgive out of love for you,
and through those who bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace; you, Most High, will crown them.
Praised be you, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
no living person can escape her.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin;
blessed are those who die in your most holy will,
for the second death shall not harm them.
Praise and bless my Lord.
Give him thanks and serve him with great humility.
Glory to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in beginning, is now, and
will be for ever. Amen.
The Hail Mary
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
The Lord’s Prayer
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.
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,
I fly unto thee, O virgin of virgins, my mother.
To thee I come;
before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions;
but in thy clemency, hear and answer me.
The Road Ahead
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
you will lead me by the right road though I may not know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will not leave me to face my perils alone.