Transform Me O Jesus….
Transform me into yourself,O Jesus,that I may be a living sacrifice and pleasing to you.I desire to atone at each moment for poor sinners.The sacrifice of my spirit is hidden under the veil of the body;the human eye does not perceive it,and for that reason it is pure and pleasing to You.O my Creator and Father of great mercy,I trust in You,for You are goodness itself.Souls,do not be afraid of God,but trust in Him,for He is good and His mercy is everlasting
O Jesus,how sorry I feel for poor sinners.Jesus,grant them contrition and repentance.Remember Your own sorrowful Passion.I know your Infinite mercy and cannot bear it that a soul that has cost you so much should perish.Jesus,give me the souls of sinners;let your mercy rest upon them.Take everything away from me,but give me souls.I want to become a sacrificial host for sinners.Amen
~Prayer based off the Diary of St.Faustina
This is probably my favorite Spiritual Warfare prayers.It is not a short prayer but it is very beautiful and a very powerful prayer.
Reign with your Son over the Enemy.
Queen of Angels,
Summon the heavenly hosts to war.
New Eve of the New Creation,
Crush the head of the Serpent.
Our Lady of Victory,
Come to our aid in battle.
Help of Christians,
Be our comfort and strength.
Virgin Most Powerful,
Guard us from all harm.
Holy Mother of God,
We fly to your protection.
O Mary, powerful Virgin, you are the mighty and powerful protector of the Church; you are the marvelous help of Christians; you are terrifying as an army in battle array; you alone have destroyed every heresy in the whole world. In the midst of our anguish, our struggles, and our distresses, defend us from the power of the Enemy, and at the hour of our death, receive our souls in paradise. AMEN.
We fly to your protection, O holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. AMEN. Most holy Virgin, who was pleasing to the Lord and became His mother, immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on the wretched ones who implore your powerful patronage. The wicked Serpent, against whom was hurled the first curse, continues fiercely to attack and ensnare the unhappy children of Eve. So then, O Blessed Mother, our queen and advocate, who from the first instant of your conception crushed the head of the Enemy, receive the prayers which, united with you in our single heart, we implore you to present at the throne of God; so that we may never fall into the snares that are laid out for us, and may all arrive at the harbor of salvation. And in so many dangers, may the Church and Christian society sing once again the hymn of deliverance and of victory and of peace. AMEN. O Queen of Angels, Bane of Devils: The proud spirits of wickedness were humiliated by your perfect humility; their rebellion was scattered by your perfect obedience. Your fiat overthrew Eve’s baleful consent to the ancient Serpent, crushing his head, exposing his deceits, and healing the wounds inflicted by his venom, through the Son you conceived, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Come to our aid, Our Lady of Victory! When the battle rages, when our strength fails, when the Enemy wounds us, when defeat seems certain: With your mantle, cover and protect us; with your bright banner above us, dispel the darkness; so that we may rally again in combat through the invincible power of your Son. Then, when our warfare is complete, and our victory won, lead us from the battlefield to His glorious Throne, so that we may join you there in a glad song of everlasting triumph! AMEN. 4 O holy Virgin, Mother of God, my mother and patroness, I place myself under your protection; I throw myself with confidence into the arms of your compassion. Be to me, O Mother of Mercy, my refuge in distress; my consolation in suffering; and my advocate with your Son, who is worthy to be adored, now and at the hour of my death. AMEN. O Mother of God, we take refuge in your loving care. Do not let our plea to you pass unheeded in the trials that beset us, but deliver us from danger, for you alone are truly pure, you alone are truly blessed. AMEN. My Queen and my Mother, I give myself entirely to you; and in proof of my affection, I give you my eyes, my ears, my tongue, my heart, my whole being without reserve. Since I am your own, keep me and guard me as your property and possession. AMEN. August Queen of Heaven! Sovereign Mistress of the angels! You who from the beginning have received from God the power and mission to crush the head of Satan: We humbly beg You to send your holy legions of angels so that, under your command and by your power, they may pursue the evil spirits, encounter them on every side, resist their bold attacks, and drive them away from here into the abyss of eternal woe. O good and tender Mother, you will always be our love and hope! O Mother of God, send your holy angels to defend us and to drive far away from us the cruel Enemy. Holy angels and archangels, defend us, guard us! AMEN. Mary, Mother of Grace, Mother of Mercy,protect me from the Enemy and receive me at the hour of death. AMEN. We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers. O glorious and blessed Virgin. AMEN. Allow me to praise you, Virgin, most holy; give me strength against your enemies! Tender heart of Mary, be my safety!Amen
Thoughts on the Misery of Man
Wherever you are, wherever you go, you are miserable unless you turn to God. So why be dismayed when things do not happen as you wish and desire? Is there anyone who has everything as he wishes? No — neither I, nor you, nor any man on earth. There is no one in the world, be he Pope or king, who does not suffer trial and anguish.Who is the better off then? Surely, it is the man who will suffer something for God. Many unstable and weak-minded people say: “See how well that man lives, how rich, how great he is, how powerful and mighty.” But you must lift up your eyes to the riches of heaven and realize that the material goods of which they speak are nothing. These things are uncertain and very burdensome because they are never possessed without anxiety and fear. Man’s happiness does not consist in the possession of abundant goods; a very little is enough.
Living on earth is truly a misery. The more a man desires spiritual life, the more bitter the present becomes to him, because he understands better and sees more clearly the defects, the corruption of human nature. To eat and drink, to watch and sleep, to rest, to labor, and to be bound by other human necessities is certainly a great misery and affliction to the devout man, who would gladly be released from them and be free from all sin. Truly, the inner man is greatly burdened in this world by the necessities of the body, and for this reason the Prophet prayed that he might be as free from them as possible, when he said: “From my necessities, O Lord, deliver me.”
But woe to those who know not their own misery, and greater woe to those who love this miserable and corruptible life. Some, indeed, can scarcely procure its necessities either by work or by begging; yet they love it so much that, if they could live here always, they would care nothing for the kingdom of God.
How foolish and faithless of heart are those who are so engrossed in earthly things as to relish nothing but what is carnal! Miserable men indeed, for in the end they will see to their sorrow how cheap and worthless was the thing they loved.
The saints of God and all devout friends of Christ did not look to what pleases the body nor to the things that are popular from time to time. Their whole hope and aim centered on the everlasting good. Their whole desire pointed upward to the lasting and invisible realm, lest the love of what is visible drag them down to lower things.
Do not lose heart, then, my brother, in pursuing your spiritual life. There is yet time, and your hour is not past. Why delay your purpose? Arise! Begin at once and say: “Now is the time to act, now is the time to fight, now is the proper time to amend.”
When you are troubled and afflicted, that is the time to gain merit. You must pass through water and fire before coming to rest. Unless you do violence to yourself you will not overcome vice.
So long as we live in this fragile body, we can neither be free from sin nor live without weariness and sorrow. Gladly would we rest from all misery, but in losing innocence through sin we also lost true blessedness. Therefore, we must have patience and await the mercy of God until this iniquity passes, until mortality is swallowed up in life.
How great is the frailty of human nature which is ever prone to evil! Today you confess your sins and tomorrow you again commit the sins which you confessed. One moment you resolve to be careful, and yet after an hour you act as though you had made no resolution.
We have cause, therefore, because of our frailty and feebleness, to humble ourselves and never think anything great of ourselves. Through neglect we may quickly lose that which by God’s grace we have acquired only through long, hard labor. What, eventually, will become of us who so quickly grow lukewarm? Woe to us if we presume to rest in peace and security when actually there is no true holiness in our lives. It would be beneficial for us, like good novices, to be instructed once more in the principles of a good life, to see if there be hope of amendment and greater spiritual progress in the future.
~The Imitation of Christ~
“There is a beautiful supplication, a quick prayer that our Lord gave to Sister Maria Consolata Betrone. It says- ‘Jesus and Mary, I love Thee. Save souls.’ It is very simple, but oh it carries a lot of weight.” (Mother M Angelica)
Jesus went on to say “I do not call you for more than this: act of continual love”, Sister Consolata began to thus repeat this one prayer, over and over again, during all her waking hours, in every form of work as she went about her daily duties. For it was Christ himself, who instructed her in the practice of what He called the “unceasing act of love” expressed in the words- “Jesus, Mary, I love Thee! Save souls!”
Concerning this prayer, our Lord said, “Tell me, what more beautiful prayer do you want to offer me? —‘Jesus, Mary, I love Thee! Save souls!’— Love and souls! What more beautiful prayer could you desire? Think, One act of love can determine eternal happiness for a soul. Therefore, be careful never to omit one ‘JESUS, MARY, I LOVE THEE, SAVE SOULS:’ Lose no time-every act of love is a soul.”
Words of Our Lady: “Only in paradise will you realize the value and the fruitfulness of saving souls. The act of love is especially meritorious as one of reparation.”
“One JESUS, MARY, I LOVE THEE, SAVE SOULS atones for thousands of blasphemies.”
“Put together all victuous acts of today that you can perform, and put them beside a day uninterrupted in acts of love – and I will take the love-filled day in performence to anything else you have done of offered Me. “JESUS, MARY, I LOVE YOU, SAVE SOULS:-Here with you offer Me everything.”
“Remain true to this act of love, and renew it from hour to hour, and I will grant you everything, Consolata.”
“Consolata, I will lead you to all heights of love and suffering, but repeat always: JESUS, MARY, I LOVE THEE, SAVE SOULS: Nothing more.”
“I prefer one act of love to all other prayers.
“JESUS, MARY, I LOVE THEE, SAVE SOULS” includes all – the souls in purgatory as those in the militant Church, the guilty and the innocent, the dying, the godless. Fear not: On the day you die, you will have reached the summit and finished your last act of love that Jesus wished from you, when He called you as a Victim of Love.” “JESUS, MARY, I LOVE YOU, SAVE SOULS” (300 days indulgence)
An Act of Holocaust as Victim of
God’s Merciful Love
“Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you my friends, because the hand of the Lord hath touched me. ” (Job 19:21).
A Polish prince who, for some political reason, had been exiled from his native country bought a beautiful castle and property in France. Unfortunately, he had lost the Faith of his childhood and was at the time of our story engaged in writing a book against God and the existence of a future life. Strolling one evening in his garden, he came upon a poor woman weeping bitterly. He questioned her as to the cause of her grief. “Ah! Prince,” she replied, “I am the wife of Jean [John] Marie, your former steward, who died two days ago. He was a good husband to me and a faithful servant to Your Highness. His sickness was long and I spent all our savings on the doctors, and now I have nothing left to get Masses said for his soul.” The Prince, touched by her grief, said a few kind words and, though professing no longer to believe in a future life, gave her some gold coins to have Masses said for her husband’s soul. Some time after, it was again evening, and the Prince was in his study working feverishly on his book. He heard a loud rap at the door and without looking up called out to the visitor to come in. The door slowly opened and a man entered and stood facing the Prince’s writing table. On glancing up, what was not the Prince’s amazement to see Jean Marie, his dead steward, looking at him with a sweet smile. “Prince, ” he said, “I come to thank you for the Masses you enabled my wife to have said for my soul. Thanks to the saving Blood of Christ, which was offered for me, I am now going to Heaven, but God has allowed me to come and thank you for your generous alms. ” He then added impressively: “Prince, there is a God, a future life, a Heaven and a Hell. ” Having said these words he disappeared. The Prince fell upon his knees and poured forth a fervent Credo ( I believe in God.. “).
~Source Read Me or Rue It
O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a pure virgin, assist us in our necessity! O Star of the Sea, help and protect us! Show us that you are our Mother!
(pause and mention petitions)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
Many were the secrets, shown by God, during her ecstasies to the holy and enlightened virgin, Lutgarde.He wished her to be, as it were, a channel, a trench, along which the stream of the divine graces might flow into the hearts of men. But Lutgarde, in her humility, held herself far too unworthy to be thus used as an instrument.Over and over did God show to her the dangerous state of the sinful world, and the punishments with which He ceaselessly visits sin, seeking to lead men to mend their ways in time, and thus turn the divine anger into mercy and compassion.
In truth, the saint was given the selfsame mission as was entrusted to Bridget, that holy widow, to the most enlightened Tauler, to the Blessed Father Amandus Suso, and to many others, by whose months God likewise told the sinful world of impending chastisements and calamities.
Painful indeed to the saintly Mother were such visions of miseries to come, and in every possible way she strove with all her faculties to avert the divine anger, and to prevent the threatened punishments from falling on the heads of men with so great promptitude and violence.
And thus it fell out that on a day when St. Lutgarde was speaking with a sister in religion on heavenly and spiritual matters, and searching for fresh means to appease the wrath of God, they were both overcome with so intense a longing for the salvation and rescue of sinners, that for very pity their hearts did faint away, and they were consumed with hot and fiery love for God and their fellowmen.
Even as they spoke together quickly and eagerly, they were both overpowered by ecstasy, and in that state lay as dead during four whole days. But while their bodies lay thus, they themselves were led in spirit into the clear light of eternal joy, and they saw the whole heavenly host, and the Most Holy, Undivided Trinity, and heard four Voices sound forth unto the world, three of which issued from the Mouth of the Three Divine Persons, but the fourth from the mouth of the Blessed Virgin.Of the Fourfold Voice in praise of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court (which St. Lutgarde heard in ecstasy)During the four long unbroken days when the holy servant of God and her spiritual sister lay on the ground as though dead, they heard first of all, a Voice from the Divine Mouth of the Heavenly Father, and these were the words spoken: “I will send a Prayer into Christendom, a Prayer which shall be uttered in My honour, and of which I Myself will be the Reward.”
From God the Son, our Redeemer and all our Blessedness, came likewise a Voice, and these were the words spoken: “I will specially guard the bodies and souls of all who seek to honour Me by this Prayer, and will shield them from every transgression and all shameful sins, and fill them to overflowing with My grace and comfort. With the streams of grace that flow from My innocent and bitter passion and death, and which avail for the forgiveness of every kind of sin, I will wash them clean from all their past misdeeds and adorn and enrich their souls with the beauty of goodness.”Similarly, fiery words came from the Divine Mouth of the Holy Spirit, and the words were these: “I will kindle the fire of My Divine love in all who say this Prayer which I now send into the world, and in all for whom it is said.”
Last of all Lutgarde and the Sister saw a clear light shine out from the Queen of Heaven, the glorious Mother of God, and her lips opened, and they heard these words: “All those who use this Devotion and teach others to use it, will I plunge, by means of my intercession, into the unfathomable ocean of mercy of my most dear Son.”
Moreover, as to David long ago (Psalm 83), to both was given a slight foretaste of the sweet joy of Heaven, with an intimation that the high degree of happiness prepared for all who should use this new Prayer surpassed the utmost comprehension of angels and of men.
The two devoted Sisters saw how the Heavenly Court was so exquisitely adorned and ordered with such beauty and regularity that their hearts were not able to grasp it nor their lips to express it.
They saw how the Most Holy Trinity lit up the whole of Heaven with an unutterably clear light; and how the noble Queen Mary, as Mother of the Eternal Wisdom, shone with a radiance incomparably more beautiful than does the hottest mid-day sun.And this all high and holy Court resounds with the most entrancing music, and with the songs of the dear Angels.
There the holy patriarchs and prophets, who had foretold the coming of the Redeemer and longed after it with so great a longing, lifted up their voices in right merry gladness.
There the holy Apostles sit as Judges, because they forsook all on earth to follow Christ, their Lord and Master; and beside them sit the Evangelists, who did so faithfully transmit to us the teaching, life, and miracles of Christ, leaving behind them a record for all future generations of men.There the glorious martyrs reign in triumph – they who yielded up their bodies to a thousand kinds of pain and martyrdom for love of Christ, and by the shedding of their blood deserved to win a heavenly crown.
There stand all glad and joyous the holy priests and confessors who witnessed to the Name of God openly and boldly; and by their side are all the holy virgins, who led down here a life austere and upright, chaste and mortified, silent and hidden.And all these together encircle the vast hall of Heaven like a garland of beautiful red roses and glorious white lilies, filling it with the sweetest perfume, all the while they sing to the Most High God their ceaseless hymn of praise.
Last of all, St. Lutgarde and the Sister saw a great company that no man could number, who by the earnest pursuit of good works had laid hold of salvation, and through the conquest of self, the world, and Satan, had deserved to enter the Heavenly Court, and to enjoy its endless happiness in the company of the blessed.
Now it was revealed to our Saints that in one particular quarter of the Holy City reigned the greatest joy of all the Heavenly Court. Here existed, as it were, a very overflow of happiness, for here the all-sweet odor of Divine love and of every conceivable goodness and virtue, was united to the most soul-entrancing music of the great Song of Praise.
The least little gleam from this spot surpasses all the gleam of a hundred thousand earthly suns. So far indeed does it surpass them, that it was quite useless to try to describe it.St. Lutgarde earnestly besought God that He would show her the Way of Prayer that pleased Him best of all, a very beautiful prayer was infused into her, which comprised in itself the whole of the life and sufferings of Christ. And forthwith her memory retained it so accurately that she repeated it every day with the greatest devotion. The Blessed Virgin told St. Lutgarde that she herself had begged the grace of this Prayer for her.
The Prayer, as recorded by Father Musaus, runs thus:
O, all-holy and all-merciful Redeemer, Source of all graces, and our most kind Jesus! Out of incomprehensible love for us poor children of Eve, has Thou left Thy seat on the right hand of Thy heavenly Father, and willed to clothe Thyself with our helplessness and poverty.
Nay, the more surely to win us to love Thee in return, Thou hast made Thyself helpless and poor beyond us all. No possible trouble, no possible toil, has Thou spared Thyself in order to save us from the wicked enemy, and make us the children of Thy Father in Heaven.
Bitterly do I grieve that up till now, I, a valueless and wretched worm of earth, have so little understood the excess of Thy Love, and have given Thee such poor thanks for all the hardships, pains and martyrdom Thou has borne for me.
And therefore do I now offer up to Thee this my unworthy prayer, in honour of Thy most holy life and sufferings and death, and of every year and day and hour Thou didst spend on earth for the salvation of lost and sinful men.
And I offer Thee too, from the inmost depths of my heart, all the myriad acts of praise and love and gratitude of the nine Choirs of holy Angels, and indeed of all creatures from the first moment of their creation until now, and all the acts made by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary with the greatest possible love and devotion since her Immaculate Conception to this very day, together with those she will not cease to make through all the instants of Eternity.
And I offer Thee these acts that I may thank Thee perfectly for All Thou has done for me:
1. For Thy choice from all Eternity of the Most Blessed Virgin MARY to be the Mother of GOD;
2. For her Immaculate Conception, and her preservation from every spot of original sin, in which all other mortals are conceived and born;
3. For the most pure nativity of Thy Immaculate Mother, which shed a light over the whole world and caused joy in Heaven;
4. For Thine own wonderful Conception by the power of the Holy Ghost in the virgin womb of Thy chosen Mother which was announced by the Archangel Gabriel;
5. For the first journey Thou didst take, hidden in the most pure womb of Thy Holy Mother, a journey over the hills to Thy cousin Elizabeth and her child John – John who, even as Thou didst, then lay hidden;
6. For Thy Holy Nativity, when Thou didst come into the world in the greatest poverty and wast born in a stable amid senseless beasts, without even a pillow on which to lay Thy Sacred Head, or clothes wherewith to warm and protect Thy tender limbs;
7. For the great honour Thou didst vouchsafe to receive from the Adoration of the Three Wise Men and from their costly symbolic gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh;
8. For Thy first blood-shedding at the Circumcision, which Thou didst suffer for our sakes and out of humble obedience to the Law of Moses;
9. For Thy most holy Presentation in the Temple at Jerusalem by Thy Blessed Mother, in accordance with the Law of Moses;
10. For the bitter persecution which began even with Thy tenderest years, and which drove Thee into the godless land of Egypt and kept Thee there for a long space of time;
11. For Thy most dear Mother’s search for Thee, and her joyful finding of Thee amid the doctors in the Temple, after she had sought Thee for three days with bitter grief and pain;
12. For the submission Thou didst show to Mary and Joseph at Nazareth rendering them all manner of humble filial services;
13. For all Thy teaching and preaching, for Thy hard and dangerous journeys, and especially for all the fatigue and toil Thou didst undergo for our salvation;
14. For Thy most holy fast of forty days, and Thy constant, fervent prayers in the desert;
15. For Thy great and glorious miracles, worked to convince the stubborn Jews;
16. For Thine agonized prayer and bloody sweat in the garden of Gethsemane, when shuddering and sorrowful unto death, Thou wert perfectly resigned to Thy Father’s Will;
17. For the false kiss with which the faithless Judas betrayed Thee and delivered Thee into the hands of wicked men;
18. For the painful bands and cruel cords of Thine infamous captors, and for their grievous dragging and pulling of Thee over stones and through water and briars;
19. For the many false accusations devised and brought against Thy most holy Person before Annas and Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod;
20. For the most painful treatment meted out to Thee when Thou wast ignominiously drawn from one unjust Judge to another;
21. For the hard and worse than blasphemous blow Thou didst receive on Thy most Holy Face from a servant of the High Priest;
22. For the copious and most painful blood-shedding when every part of Thy most holy Body was torn by the rods and scourges of the executioners;
23. For Thy nakedness, and the bitter shame Thou didst experience when most of Thy garments were torn from Thee and Thou wert thus bound to the pillar before all the crowd;
24. For the jeering, scoffing, and mock genuflections by which godless Jews ridiculed Thee to Thy holy Face;
25. For the sharp pressure on Thy sacred Head of the crown of thorns, which caused Thy Precious Blood to flow down over Thy Face;
26. For Thy piteous appearance before Pilate, who by his exclamation BEHOLD THE MAN tried to move the people to compassion;
27. For the sentence pronounced on Thee by Pilate, for the manner in which Thou wast led forth to die, and for the heavy weight of the Cross;
28. For Thy dolorous meeting with Thy sorrow-stricken Mother and the other holy women who had followed Thee on the Path to Calvary and shed tears of pity over Thee;
29. For the painful removal of most of Thy clothing to the renewal of Thy wounds, and for the merciless nailing to the wood of the Cross, as also for all the priceless words spoken on the Cross, and the final surrender of Thy Spirit;
30. For Thy glorious Resurrection on the third day after Thy sufferings, when Thou didst appear to Thy Mother, Thy Disciples and Apostles, and after that to many others;
31. For Thy wonderful Ascension into Heaven and glorious return to Thy Heavenly Father, when Thine earthly pilgrimage was ended and Thou hadst triumphed victoriously over the world and Satan;
32. For the wonderful fiery Descent of the Holy Ghost on Thy disciples and Apostles and Thy most beloved Mother on the holy Day of Pentecost;
33. For the lordly triumph Thou didst celebrate when Thou didst assume Thy beloved Mother, body and soul, into heaven;
34. For Thy festival of joy, in which were associated Father and Holy Ghost, at the exaltation of Thy most glorious Mother over all the Choirs of Angels, and at her Coronation as the Queen of Heaven;
For all these, and more especially for every beat of Thy Heart and every act of love, for all Thy thoughts and desires, for all the silent and the uttered prayers which Thou didst offer while on earth, and still dost offer in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar – for all these I tender Thee a thousand thanks, and ask Thee most humbly that Thou wouldst grant to me and to all who have commended themselves to my prayers, or for who I ought to pray, perfect contrition for our sins and a firm determination never again to offend Thy Divine Majesty, together with the grace of final perseverance. Grant that I and all men may enjoy Thy grace here, and after this toilsome life is over may be received into the company of Thine elect, and be united with them to the Source of Eternal Joy – which is none but Thou Thyself, O dearest Lord. And may we be permitted to gaze at last on Thy most holy Face, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
St. Lutgarde used to exhort those whom she instructed as to the aforesaid God-revealed Prayer, to say a thousand Paters and as many Ave Marias, and Glorias, in honour of each of the thirty-four mysteries, and this too she doubtless had from God. But because the Prayer thus said might easily degenerate into an empty, mechanical repetition, the Saint advised that with every thousand Paters, Aves and Glorias, a short meditation be made on one of the thirty-four mysteries into which she had divided the whole of the life and sufferings of our Lord: and she wished these mysteries to be contemplated in the selfsame order in which she had arranged them. (While your lips pronounce the words of the prayers, let your mind picture the Mystery.)
This contemplation of the mysteries of Jesus was repeatedly enjoined on the Saint in her intercourse with Heaven as being the very soul of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court. “If a man would take the direct path to my treasure-room,” said the Lord to her once, “let him exercise himself in meditating on My life and My love, and give up his own will. If a man would but consider what I have done for him and all I have given him, never again would he so rouse My anger.”
The Blessed Virgin revealed to our Saint that what she desired before all else in this Devotion was that men should contemplate therein the mysteries of her Son. And with these words did she begin her discourse: “Daughter, put on thy clothes, and fasten on thy collar—that is, the passion of my Son.”“Do thou fasten it on for me,” begged Lutgarde.“That will I do,” replied the Mother of God, “and I will tell thee of the sufferings wherewith my Son was clothed:” And forthwith Mary began to relate to the Saint all the mysteries of the life and passion of her Son in the very same order which Lutgarde, remembering her words, afterwards adopted, and at the end of each she added: “Contemplate this mystery, O my daughter, and keep it ever before thine eyes.” The Saint was also shown a soul who by meditating on the mysteries of Jesus Christ had been fired with a little spark of the Divine love, and had thereby attained to eternal happiness.
It followed as a matter of course that Lutgarde should before all things demand an inner, spiritual activity, before the Prayer revealed to her in honour of the mysteries of Christ could find favour with God. This spiritual activity on the part of those who said it, was to find its outlet in considerations and loving contemplations. And in this way the outward form and construction of the Prayer could by no means be called superfluous or insignificant. Again and again had the Saint heard various oral prayers offered aloud and in common by members of the Society of the Heavenly Court, such as the Te Deum, Pange Lingua, Glory be to the Father, with many another; she could not possibly, therefore, have attributed a purely subordinate importance to the oral prayers or outward form of the Devotion revealed to her.
Moreover, the Saint permitted an alteration to those who used the Devotion more frequently. Instead of the continued repetition of each thousand Our Fathers, they might either assist at a Holy Mass, or give an alms, or follow the Way of the Cross, or say the Psalter, or make a Novena; and in this wise, thirty-four Masses, gifts of alms, days of fasting, Ways of the Cross, Psalters, Novenas, and so forth, made with heartfelt devotion, would serve to merit the favors attached to the Prayer of the Heavenly Court.
Some wonders narrated by St. Lutgarde and others of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court
Once the holy Mother Lutgarde saw our.dear Lord Jesus Christ in a vision after the following manner: He hung on a Cross, and fresh Blood was streaming from all His Sacred Wounds. And men were turning towards this stream of the Precious Blood, in such fashion that some received That Which flowed from the Heart, and others again That Which flowed from the Feet of the Saviour. By means of this picture God taught the Saint that through the Prayer of the Heavenly Court many men should be saved and brought to eternal blessedness.
But a number of men despised these rivers of grace and turned away from them, and these the holy Mother saw hurled with ignominy into a deep abyss.A nun of the Order founded by St. Francis, presumably attached to the Convent of Wittichen, had grave doubts of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court and of its efficacy, and she besought God to enlighten her on the matter and to remove the temptation. And in truth her doubts were soon resolved by a secret and Divine communication, which she did indeed keep hidden, but which had the result that she afterwards took every opportunity of seeking out persons who would follow in common with her the Devotion of the Heavenly Court. She even made an occasion of speaking of this Prayer, so rich in graces, to the Abbess of a neighboring Convent, who, however, gave but little credence to her words. “In good sooth” (so ran her answer), “we have a number of more beautiful and more spiritual prayers in our Convent, and, my daughters can make use of these at choice; nor have we any time to devote to so long and troublesome a Prayer.”
But during the ensuing night, the Holy Mother of God appeared to the Abbess, reproved her for those words, and herself instructed her as to the great power of this Prayer.
The result was that not only did the Abbess and all her daughters make use of the Prayer from that day forth, but they did all that in them lay to induce others to do the same.
The Prayer of the Heavenly Court has extraordinary power and efficacy
Quite remarkable are the words in which our Lord revealed to His servant Lutgarde the merit and power of the Devotion of the Heavenly Court, and the exceeding great pleasure which He Himself took in it.
“Whosoever,” said He to her, “shall piously and devoutly recite this Prayer, to him will I in My great mercy give thirty-four human souls; that is to say, for his sake I will rescue from everlasting death, thirty-four human souls who had otherwise died in sin.
“For his sake too, I will release thirty-four souls from Purgatory. But as for the man himself who had made this Prayer, his reward shall be multiplied as the grass of the field, whose blades no one can number.
“And even should such a man have always acted in times past against My Will, yet as soon as ever he begins this Prayer with grief and contrition for his sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, I will forgive all his iniquities; nor will I ever remember his misdeeds in Eternity, but will utterly remit and forget them.
“And if such a man, during the course of this Prayer, should be called to depart from this transitory life, then will I come with My Angels to accompany him on his last journey, and to the sound of celestial music will conduct his soul to the threshold of Eternity, where I Myself dwell, and where he shall rejoice for ever in the company of My Mother, the constant Advocate of Sinners, and of all My Saints.”
THE PRAYER OF THE HEAVENLY COURT IS REVEALED TO OTHERS ALSO
It fell out that certain pious persons had banded themselves together for the serving of God with zeal. They cherished a heartfelt devotion to the Crucified Jesus, strove to follow His footsteps, and were indeed not only filled with care for their own salvation, but also with deep concern for the souls of their fellowmen. On this account, they sought by all manner of good deeds, and by humble and persevering prayer, to appease the anger of God aroused by the sins of the world, and to restore to all poor sinners the grace which they had lost.
Untiringly, they begged the Queen of Heaven to show them a means by which her beloved Son might be appeased, and the punishments so well deserved averted from men. And presently the Mother of Mercy heard their fervent, loving request, and obtained from her Son that one of that pious company should seem for a time to all appearance dead, though in reality she was rapt in ecstasy.
When she was come once more to herself, she sought out her companions and told them as follows: “Great is the wrath of God against all misdeeds and transgressions of men, and right severely does He intend to punish the world. God has shown me the pains and torments reserved for those who without confession or repentence sin on until their life’s end and die impenitent. And so great are these pains and torments that it were little wonder if they caused the hard rock itself to split in pieces and to sweat blood.
“But it was also given to me to see the joy of those who depart from this life in true penitence. So great is their joy that no Angel nor man can possibly understand it. And I have likewise seen how the Mother of Mercy never ceases to intercede with her Son for all mankind, and how once again her prayer is even now about to be granted.
“For last of all God spoke to me: ‘Thou shalt go back into thy body out of which I have called thee, and this shalt thou tell to men: That in My praise, in honour of My all-holy life and sufferings and death, and in grateful remembrance of all the insults, shame and scorn I bore from sinners—in honour of all this, they are to say thirty-four thousand Our Fathers, and as many Hail Marys, and Glory be to the Fathers. They may, however, instead of each thousand Our Fathers, etc., say or cause to be said a Holy Mass, or give an alms according to their means, or fast for a day with contrite devotion’.”
HOW THE HOLY EXERCISE ALREADY SO OFTEN REVEALED IS ANNOUNCED TO YET ANOTHER RELIGIOUS
From the time that God thus revealed the Devotion to one of the holiest of its members, the Prayer of the Heavenly Court was generally adopted by the aforesaid devout Society. Now there chanced to be in its number a certain nun of eighteen years standing, who served the Lord in all fervour. After she had for a long time known the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, and had used it with the greatest devotion, she also (as St. Lutgarde before Her) was favored with a revelation from God and was commanded to teach and explain the Prayer to others.
Accordingly, she addressed herself to a good friend and faithful, and besought him, since she herself was now very aged and severed from the world by her vows, to take upon himself the furtherance and propagation of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court. He promised her to do so, yet forgot, as it seems, to fulfill his undertaking, or was indeed little reminded to trouble himself about the new Devotion, which seemed to him overly difficult.
But one day, when he was assisting at an early Mass, all his strength suddenly left him, so that those around deemed him dead. In this state he remained until the hour of Vespers; but meanwhile, being of a truth in ecstasy and all astounded, the Prayer of the Heavenly Court was shown to him by God after this manner. It seemed to him that he saw an Altar, sparkling as it were with beautiful dark red gems, and at the Altar stood a Priest. A great company of people, some of whom were clad like Kings and Potentates and victorious Knights, others like Bishops, but very many like ordinary lay persons drew near to the Priest, who, standing at the Altar, gave his blessing to each division, and each, as it advanced, was greater than the preceding one.
The “good friend and faithful” of the holy nun was astonished beyond measure at this unexpected sight; but, at the bidding of God, his Guardian Angel thus explained the vision to him: “The Altar thou didst see is the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Which is ceaselessly filled with deepest longing and unquenchable thirst for the salvation of souls. From out this Most Pure Heart sprang the prayer which men call the Prayer of the Heavenly Court.
“The Priest Who stands at the Altar represents the Eternal and Divine Being Who blesses mankind. And they who draw near to the Altar signify those who use the Prayer. Among those are some who have gone through the Prayer once, others who have gone through it twice, others again who have gone through it many times. Therefore did these last bear themselves as Kings and Princes and the Mighty of the earth; those who have prayed it once as victorious Knights; while those who wear the guise of ordinary lay people, signify all who did indeed begin the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, but never reached the end.
“Those clad as Bishops are such as have applied themselves to spread the Devotion of the Heavenly Court, and to instruct others therein.”
Now, when the person to whom this befell came out of this ecstasy towards the hour of Vespers, he related all that he had seen and heard, adding: “The Prayer which the Lord God deigns to reward in such diverse ways is called in God the Father, ‘A Flowery Paradise’; In God the Son, ‘A Crown of Chivalry’; and in God the Holy Ghost, ‘A Benign and Ever-Open Place of Refuge and Consolation’.”
And henceforth this same man, once so full of ill-will and vexation concerning the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, busied himself in explaining to all, as far as lay in his power, the right manner in which to say it, and the glorious profit to be drawn from its use.
How by means of this Prayer a women frees her mother from Purgatory
Among many others to whom God disclosed the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, a certain woman who had under- taken it on behalf of her own mother, did most particularly experience its holy and wonderful power.For after she had finished the Prayer, she saw in spirit her dead mother in the midst of a great company of people, walking in a fair and spacious meadow wherein grew all manner of beautiful and fragrant flowers. And when she accosted her mother, she got this answer: “Speak to her who walks last of all in the company.” The daughter therefore, let all the happy crowd pass by, until she perceived at the rear of the procession a marvelously beautiful Queen, who shone with greater brilliance than the sun.
“O most wonderful and beautiful Queen!” cried the woman, with deepest humility, “let it not anger thee, I meekly pray, if I beg thee to tell me what people these may be whose footsteps cause no hurt at all to flowers or grass.”And the Queen of Heaven made answer: “These are they who have been saved by the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, and I conduct them myself into the Land of Eternal Life where their joy shall never end.”
“And, along with this vast company, I will come to the deathbed of every soul who has said this Prayer, or for whom another has said it. All such souls will I protect from evil spirits in their last hour, and will lead them to my dearest Son in the Land of Eternal Bliss, and He Himself will be their Everlasting Reward.”
To this, the Reverend Father Musaus adds: “O, if only men would prize as they deserve to be prized the merits of this Prayer and the joys which flow from it! Then, indeed, would they hold it in right high honour, nor would they so easily let slide many a time an opportunity of using it.”
The main purpose of this devotion then is to make Christ live in the lives of men. By contemplating the 34 Mysteries over and over again, the Life of Christ becomes a Reality, the main focus-point and a pattern for our lives.
For subject matter on the 34 Mysteries, use the Sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospels, “Way of Divine Love,” “Divine Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary,” “The Path to Glory,” etc.
THE HEAVENLY COURT
In giving this prayer to St. Lutgarde in 1246 Jesus said, “Whosoever shall piously and devoutly recite this Prayer, to him will I in My great mercy give 34 human souls; rescue from everlasting death 34 human souls who would other- wise die in sin . . . For his sake too, I will release 34 souls from Purgatory. As for the man himself who had made this prayer, his reward shall be multiplied as the grass of the field whose blades no one can number.”Dividing His life and suffering into 34 Mysteries Our Lord requested that we say 1000 Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory be’s for each Mystery and for the most spiritual merit picture in our mind the Mystery as we say the prayers. No time limit was set but our intention must be to complete it in our lifetime.