Prayer-sharing time again. The Prayers I am about to share are taken from the book,”Prayers and Heavenly Promises” by Joan Carroll Cruz. As I have said, the prayers in this book and information on the devotions has transformed my prayer life because of the promises attached to them.
I will touch on the subject of reparation. What is reparation anyway and why is it necessary? Just as in the natural world, if we do something wrong, the general idea is that we would try to make up for it by making things right again as best we can. If a child hits a baseball through the window of a neighbor, he may apologize for that, but it is the parents who usually have to fix things by paying for a new window. If it were our own child who had broken the window, we may take the opportunity as Catholic parents to require him to take part in making things right. He may not have the money to give to pay for the new window, but he can offer the neighbor his services, such as lawn mowing and performing household chores for the neighbor free of charge for a period of time. During that time he will not recieve an allowance from his parents to make up for breaking the window.
Now, in the spiritual world we must also do the same. Making reparation or restitution for our sins is imperative. If we commit a sin, we must not only be sorry and ask for forgiveness, we must show our sorrow in our actions. Helping to repair the damage our sin has caused is something God expects of us. We cannot just get away with saying “sorry” without putting our money where our mouth is. Reparation is part of our penance.
In confession, our priests gives us our penance, or prayers that we are required to say, or something that we must do to make up for our sins. To me, in thinking about this, just saying some prayers seems so small a price for the kinds of sins we commit. (Praise the Lord for this wonderful sacrament, as it can make us into saints!) This is where we can think of ways to make up for our own sins and the sins of others even, before God. You could liken it to a bank account. Each time you commit a sin, it is a withdrawal. Making up for our sins ”balances the books”. If we commit more sins, but do not think to make up for them and repair the damage, we will be spiritually bankrupt, laying ourselves bare and without merit, not to mention the fact that by our sins, we are wounded. If we do not confess our faults and sins and make restitution, the sin takes root in us and grows and is harder to overcome. An ”attachment” to sin is then established.
Sin wounds the heart of God, because it means that we purposely turn from the love of God to selfishness and that places the sin in greater importance in that time than God. Now God knows that we are weak human beings, and that we need help. The sacraments are our help. Receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and The Holy Eucharist frequently can aid greatly in helping us to overcome our sins. Can we be sinless? I believe we can. In the Mass, after praying the Our Father, the priests says in petition to God, “KEEP US FREE FROM SIN and protect us from all anxiety, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.” We know that the Saints were sinless, or they wouldn’t be in Heaven with God when they died! It IS possible to be sinless and that should be our goal. It takes thoughtfulness and contemplation, knowing Our Lord is with us in every moment of every day. Remain prayerful, pray always without ceasing, St. Paul says to us, the Church, not just the church of his day, but to US in OUR day (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ).
Praying for the grace to truly repent is a good practice to get into. I pray for this grace during the Rosary in the Sorrowful Mysteries, particularly the Agony in the Garden, where Our Lord sees all of us and the sins we have committed (and will commit over and over again), and the suffering He will endure to redeem us from it. He is filled with repugnance at the thought of those who are lukewarm, and indifferent, not caring that they sin, and not thinking about and caring that our sins have consequences. In the Divine Mercy Devotion, on the Ninth Day of the Novena, here is what Our Lord told Saint Faustina:
“Today bring to Me the
Souls who have become Lukewarm,
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most
painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives
because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this
cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is
to run to My mercy.”
I will tell you that I was one of those lukewarm souls many years ago, and because of my mother’s prayers for me, I had a very powerful conversion experience that I will write about in a future blog posting. When I look back, I have to marvel at God’s Mercy and how He brought me back from “dead man’s bones”, to RESURRECTION. All is grace! I pray that God’s grace sustains me from ever becoming that way again! Revelation 3:16 tells us that the Lord will spit us out of his mouth because we are not hot or cold, but lukewarm. Lukewarmness is NOT desirable, as we have seen.
Now, here are the prayers of reparation that I use: (These are Prayers revealed to the three shepherd children of Fatima)
My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee! (When the priest holds up the Host at the Consecration, I pray this prayer.)
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer to You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the World, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and INDIFFERENCE by which He is offended. And through the Infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners. (I pray this after Holy Communion)
Eternal Father, I offer You all the Wounds of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the pains and agonies of His Most Sacred Heart, and His Most Precious Blood, which gushed forth from all His Wounds, in reparation for my sins, the sins of my family and those of the whole world. (This is from the Devotion to the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ)
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son Jesus, in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today for all the Holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and those in my family. (This I pray at the Elevation of the Chalice during the Consecration). Each time this prayer is prayed, 1,000 souls are released from Purgatory, according to St. Getrude the Great, (source: The Pieta Prayer Book).
Prayer for Daily Neglects
Eternal Father, I offer You the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with all its love, all of its sufferings and all of its merits, first to expiate all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life…pray a Glory Be.
Second, to purify the good I have done poorly this day and during all my life..pray a Glory Be
Third, to supply for the good I ought to have done and that I have neglected this day and during all my life…pray a Glory Be.
This Prayer for Daily Neglects, I pray at bedtime. There is a story about a Poor Clare nun in the history of this prayer. After she had died, she appeared to her Abbess who was praying for her, and said: “I went straight to Heaven because I paid all my debts by virtue of this prayer.” I must warn you though, that there is a disclaimer. This prayer does NOT mean that we can exclude the practice of confession, (especially if we have committed mortal sins!) it means that we are offering to God the Heart of Jesus to make up for our sins and omissions. This is certainly excellent propitiation! Propitiation means to reconcile and make up for us for what we are lacking, which is what the Heart of Jesus does for us with the Father.
Now, the Prayer I referred to in my headline, about making reparation even while we sleep. This is a prayer requested by Our Lord. It is wonderful because when we pray this prayer and then go to sleep, we are making reparation to God! Here are the words:
Eternal Father, I desire to rest in Your Heart this night. I make the intention of offering to You every beat of my heart, joining to them as many acts of love and devotion. I pray that EVEN WHILE I AM ASLEEP, I may bring back to You souls that offend You. I ask forgiveness for the whole world, especially for those who know You, yet sin. I offer to You my EVERY BREATH AND HEARTBEAT AS A PRAYER OF REPARATION. Amen.(emphasis mine). This Prayer is from Our Lord given to Sr. Josefa Menendez.
How simple and profound at the same time, that by our prayers we can do this! This is truly consecrating our lives for the salvation of many, many souls, including our own!
Let us keep in mind that doing penance and making reparation are extremely necessary for our salvation because Our Lord warns us that if we do not do this, we may perish etenally. (Luke 13:3) Our Lady of Lourdes said to St. Bernadette; “Penance, penance, penance!” I don’t think she would have said this were it not an issue and not needed! Our Lord has given us the means “to work out our salvation”. (Phillipians 2:12) Let us do so with trepidation, because we cannot take our salvation for granted, (we must always be concerned about it), but also with love and confidence in our hearts for God, who loves us and lets us know what we must do to care for the vineyard of our souls!
Blessings to all,