Beautiful Prayer For Before Or After Mass

I am reading a fascinating book called An Infinity Of Little Hours.  It is about 5 Carthusian novices just before Vatican II. I found the following prayer offered by a Carthusian Solemn at the end of Mass:

Most holy Trinity, may my act of worship be pleasing to you.  Accept this sacrifice of praise which I, your unworthy servant, have offered to you.  May it draw down your mercy upon myself, and upon all those for whom I have offered it, even to the gift of eternal life.

How perfect.


Advice Needed — Putting Together A Holy Hour Program

Last Sunday, I began a commitment to adoring Christ in the Holy Eucharist at St. John Neumann’s perpetual adoration chapel.  I was a regular adorer between 2:00 and 3:00 AM at the Diocese of Lansing’s perpetual adoration chapel many years ago.  So I thought that I could easily adore between 6:00 and 7:00 AM on Sundays.  Well, age has taken its toll.

I sat there in front of the Almighty Master of the Universe and drew a complete blank.  I prayed some traditional prayers, but they made me sleepy.  I prayed some free form prayers, but they made me sleepy.  I tried silent prayer, i.e., “Lord, I have no idea what to pray, but pray for me,” but that made me sleepy.  I read the Almighty Master of the Universe’s Word in Holy Scripture, but that made me sleepy.  I then reflected on His infinite mercy, especially how I needed that — somehow I could focus easily on that.

Upon leaving, I resolved to offer a better act of worship.  Rather than focusing on myself — how desperately I needed His mercy and how sleepy I was –, I want to focus more and more and then entirely on Him and to forget myself, especially when He is physically present.  So I decided to put together a Holy Hour program.  I think the structure will guide me through the distraction and help focus me.  So I am asking any of our dear readers for advice.  What works?

Here is what I have resolved so far:

  • I will get more sleep.  Last Sunday was unusual since my teenage daughter went to her first Homecoming Dance.  Sleep was not on the agenda.  Practical prudence increases the capacity for spiritual virtue.
  • Most advice I read about Holy Hour practices suggest breaking them into four sections of 15 minutes each. Although people break them down differently, the standard that I’ve used is A.C.T.S. — Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  This makes sense to me.
  • For adoration, I am planning to begin with the “Here I Am To Worship” and that particular Sunday’s Liturgy of the Hours — Lauds.  There may be a little more time — if so, my thought is to pray the Te Deum and another contemporary praise and worship song.  Do you think I’d be OK to pull out my Zune and listen to/pray along with the Te Deum?  Any thoughts?
  • For contrition, my thought is to begin by contrasting the wonderfulness (if that’s a word one can use in reference to the Almighty Master of the Universe) of the Lord with how, during the previous week, I have let Him down.  It’s funny sin is less and less a matter of ‘missing God’s mark’ for me and more and more a sense of receiving something wonderful and responding with ingratitude; a sense that God deserved so much better from me.  Then I will pray an Act of Contrition, Psalm 130. . .but what else? A formal examination of conscience? Other readings? Ideas anyone?
  • Thanksgiving.  This follows from the previous two.  Adoration reminds me about God’s greatness and my dependence on Him and contrition reminds me that God deserved better from me.  Thanksgiving is simply gratitude for the blessings God has bestowed, even though I let Him down through sin.  Any thoughts?  Anyone know of any prayers that express this for you? Psalms?  Contemporary praise and worship songs?
  • Supplication.  Here I plan to begin with the Heroic Act of Charity for the Holy Souls (scroll down for the explanation) for the upcoming week.  I’ve come to believe (intellectually) that the only way to receive graces is to give them away — Christ says that we reap what we sow.  Well, what if I sow grace?  What does it profit me (so to speak) if I give money which is finite and perishable, but hog grace which is infinitely precious?  Isn’t that the supreme act of trust and faith — to say to Christ ?  What if my offering brings some poor soul to the fullness of the Beatific Vision — even at the price of my confinement?  Isn’t that the supreme act of love, of laying down one’s life for one’s friend?   “For it is in giving that we receive.”  From then on, I will focus on temporal supplications from the center of my life — my wife, my family, friends, associates etc.  I will close with an appropriate novena.  I figure that if I pray the novena nine straight Sundays, that ‘counts’ as an acceptable offering (after all, it’s the repetition that please the Lord).


Would You Like To See Jesus?

Here is something to consider from St. John Chrysostom that is presented at The Real

“How many of you say: I should like to see His face, His garments, His shoes. You do see Him, you touch Him, you eat Him. He gives Himself to you, not only that you may see Him, but also to be your food and nourishment.”

– St. John Chrysostom


General Thanksgiving by the President of the United States of America — A Proclamation

His Excellency G. Washington issued the following Proclamation in the city of New York past October 3rd:

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houfes of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of thefe States to the fervice of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all fovereigns and nations (especially fuch as have shewn kindnefs unto us); and to blefs them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increafe of fcience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind fuch a degree of temporal profperity as he alone knows to be beft.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.


(signed) G. Washington