Praying for Ourselves and Others

Father Girardey concludes his discussion of the objects of prayer by explaining how we ought to pray for ourselves and others.

First, as for ourselves, “we must pray unconditionally for our spiritual wants and for the necessaries of life; conditionally for what pertains to our temporal welfare.”

Secondly, “we are bound to pray for the following, whether living or dead: our parents, relatives, benefactors, friends, enemies, all who have injured, pained, persecuted, calumniated us, as our divine Saviour enjoins; all who have recommended themselves or been recommended to us, all for whom we have promised to pray, or who pray for us.”

Thirdly, we should pray for the Church and her ministers, and for those entrusted to govern us. We should pray for “zeal for the clergy, strict regular observance for religious, perseverance of the just, fervor for the lukewarm, conversion for sinners.” We should pray for those who are to die this day. “We ought to pray God to give protection to the innocent, the forsaken and the persecuted; the divine assistance to those who are tempted, or in danger of being led astray, to the children that they may properly be reared and brought up in our holy faith, to those who are in danger of either soul or body, to parents in bringing up their children, help to the poor, relief for the sick, consolation to the afflicted, the spirit of charity to the rich, means of salvation to the abandoned, grace to know and follow their vocation to all who have not chosen their state of life, and fortitude and confidence to the despairing.”

Finally, we ought to pray for the souls in purgatory. Father Girardey remarks: “Although we all hope and expect to go to heaven after our death, we can hardly expect to go there without previously passing a long time in purgatory for our neglect in avoiding little faults, in doing adequate penance for our sins. Oh, how we shall then long for the prayers of the living, that our pains may be diminished and the time we shall have to spend in purgatory be shortened! He who is merciful towards the souls in purgatory during his life, may with right expect that when he shall be of the number of the suffering souls, he will also experience help and relief from the prayers and good works of charitable souls on earth. For with what measure we measure unto others, it shall be measured unto us again, as our divine Saviour Himself declares (Lk 6:38).”

Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).

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