Thursday, 19 August 2010

Prayers of an Irish Mother

I found this lovely little book in the Sacristry yesterday and flicked through it. Okay, I 'borrowed' it. I must say it is really a very beautiful prayer book and a heartfelt collection of traditional Catholic prayers, poems and consoling petitions, compiled by Mary Teresa Dolan, the eternal rest of whose soul readers are requested at the beginning to pray.

The prayers are for all times and for perhaps all time. Here one which exemplifies the rich Catholicism of the time in which she wrote:

'When Genuflecting.

We adore Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, and we bless Thee here and at all the Tabernacles all over the world, because by Thy Holy Cross and Passion Thou has redeemed the world.'

Have we in the UK and in Ireland lost that beautiful prayerfulness before the Tabernacle? You betcha! Here is another:

Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart

'O Sacred Heart of Jesus! We adore You with all the powers of our souls and we consecrate them to You forever with all our thoughts, words and actions. Why cannot we, O Divine Heart, render You as much praise, love adoration and glory as Thou Thyself dost give to the Eternal Father! Be Thou the repairer of our faults, the protector of our lives and our refuge at the hour of death! We beg the same grace for all poor sinners, the afflicted, the agonising and the dying, in a word, Our Saviour, for all mankind, that the price of Your Precious Blood may not be lost on us and also that it may be applied to the suffering souls in Purgatory. This is what we ask of You, O Adorable Heart of Jesus, with all the aspirations of our hearts, our veins, even to the last breath of our lives. Amen.'

And this is a lovely Prayer for your Priest:

'O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep this Thy holy one within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart where none may touch him. Keep unstained his anonited hands which daily touch Thy Sacred Body. Keep unsullied the lips empurpled with Thy Precious Blood. Keep pure and unearthly a heart sealed with the sublime mark of Thy glorious Priesthood. Let Thy holy love surround him and shield him from the world's contagion. Bless his labours with abundant fruit and may they to whom he has ministered be here below his joy and consolation and in Heaven his beautiful and everlasting crown. Amen.'

Yes, as the organisers of the Papal Visit appreciate only too well, modernism is shallow and ugly, sorely lacking in spiritual depth and the beauty of traditional prayer that has served the Church well for centuries. The organisers of the visit unwittingly show us time and time again that modernism and liberalism is the enemy of the souls of the Faithful and that the old prayers are the best.

The Church in Ireland has come in for a huge kicking over the last year or two and rightly so, for it is not just the trust of the young that was lost in the period of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. The great Irish Catholic traditions of reverent, holy, trustful prayer and respect for the holy took a good kicking too. The blame for that, too, has to be levelled at the hierarchy, for it is Shepherds who lose sheep, not sheep who lose their Shepherds. I've looked for it on Amazon and it doesn't appear to be available. Like so much that is has always held us in good stead, so much that is good and holy, it appears to be 'out of print'. Saddening.

By the way, I wonder whether the Bishops of England and Wales could tell us whether any plenary indulgence is granted to the Faithful pilgrims who see the Holy Father at Hyde Park. Perhaps they are just assuming that we all know that without telling us?

We are, in this delightful little book, encouraged to make some 'exterior act of reverence when passing a Church or Chapel in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, an indulgence of 100 days each time - Pius X, June 28th, 1908.

Finally, for those of us who are scraping by, who know that even if we don't hit the jackpot money wise, that we may yet hit the jackpot of Grace...

God's Workers
'Who does God's work will get God's pay,
However long may seem the day,
However weary be the way,

Though powers and princes thunder "Nay!"
No human hand God's Hand can stay;
Who does His work will get His pay.

God hurries not, nor makes delay;
Who works for Him will get His pay
Some certain hour, some certain day.

He does not pay as others pay,
In gold or land or raiment gay,
In goods that perish and decay.

But God's high wisdom knows a way.
And this is sure, let come what may,
Who does God's work will get God's pay.'

Is that cheque, cash, or by BACS? Joking!


Irish catholic said...

Most Irish Catholic mothers I know prayed they wouldn't get pregnant again, that their drunken husbands would't come home and force them into having sex, that they could have access to contraception so they could support the children they already had.

The Bones said...

Sure, to be sure.

There, there. Getting enough attention now?

Keep commenting, you make yourself look really clever.

jake said...

Check the price £106!

The Bones said...

Let's flog it!

Unknown said...

I am interested in getting a copy of this prayerbook. Is this something your church provides or was it in their library? Any information on the publisher would be appreciated. I have a 50 year old copy that my mother gave me when I left Ireland and I would like to find one for my daughter-in-law who is converting to catholocism at Easter. Thank you, Kathleen Frohnert

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