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Prayers to Grow in Faith and Virtue

Posted by Julie Cragon on 5/30/16 7:00 AM

candles, religious We have a tendency to believe that we need to be in control of our lives and, oftentimes, of the lives of our family, our coworkers, and our neighbors. We build up burdens upon ourselves and when we are completely stressed, then we run to God.

But God says, “come to me,” “trust in me,” “have faith the size of a mustard seed,” before you are worried and weak. He wants it all. He can handle it and he can give us the grace we need and the strength we need to follow his will. Trust in him and, above all, have faith. 

Letting Go

True surrender requires unwavering faith and humility. We are called by God to trust completely. We are called to let go and allow him to take control. He will send us all we need and we must humbly accept the help of others.

Lord, as I confront the challenges of my day, help me to know that together we can handle anything. All worry and all stress I lay in the palms of your hands.

Lord, lift the weight of the day from my shoulders. Help me to remember to allow others to help. You gave us community so that we would not have to do it all ourselves.

Teach me humility. I do not have to do this alone. Take this day into your hands, and show me your way. Give me the grace I need to let go. 

In Times of Great Doubt and Despair 

Do not lose your peace. Continue to embrace our crucified Lord, and give him your heart and consecrate your mind to him with your affections just as they are, however languid they may be. —St. Francis de Sales

Lord Jesus, I need you now more than ever. I have hit bottom. I cannot trust myself or anyone else. Take my hand. Pull me from this present darkness.

I need you. Lord, I need you.


In Serious or Chronic Illness

Over and over we pray, thinking we are not heard as we grow weaker. We contemplate the Sorrowful Mysteries and all we can do is unite ourselves with the sufferings of Jesus and pray.

Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done. Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. —Luke 22:42, 43

Lord, I am questioning where you are in all of this. Give me faith. Give me strength. If it is your will, take this burden from me, for I am weak and tired, and I need to feel your healing touch. If I must endure this pain, help me to accept each day with grace and dignity.

Help me to feel your presence. Help my unbelief.


For Healing of Family Relationships 

Many of us struggle with family relationships. In our relationships with family, we must learn to admit our failings and ask forgiveness. And we must learn to forgive in return. For only then can relationships heal.

Lord, family is a special gift, but even the best families at times can struggle with one another. Now is our time. We should be building one another up, but life has turned us around, and we are hurting one another.

Help us to forgive quickly so that we do not waste life in regret. Holy Spirit, guide us in mind and in heart. Help us to let go of our pettiness and heal our family.

Lord, you have made me part of this wonderful family filled with differences of opinion and strong wills. Help me to let go of my self-righteousness. Help me to forgive first. Teach me your virtues of humility and charity and kindness, so we may live in peace and unconditional love.

Holy Spirit, be our guide and our healer.

 

Prayers to Grow in Virtue

The proper ordering of lesser loves places us in a position to receive and embody a greater love for both God and our neighbor. Turning away from vice allows the growth of virtue. Virtue is not only the fruit of our discipline and effort but the fruit of our relationship with Christ himself. —Ralph Martin

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that virtue “allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself ” (CCC, 1803).

As we give our best, as we turn to God in faith and hope and love, and as we learn to detach ourselves from the things of the world, we grow in virtue. As we grow in virtue, we grow in our relationship with Jesus.


For Courage (against Fear)

Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit. —St. John of the Cross

Lord, give me courage in my everyday life. Courage to speak your truth and to defend the faith. Courage to follow your commandments and to live your beatitudes.

Courage to live a moral life, even if it means losing friends. Courage to pray. Courage to love others, especially the poor. Courage to visit the sick and the lonely.

Lord, may I not fall back in fear, but may I do your will, strengthened by your love.


For Compassion (against Harshness)

Often the world pushes us to be tough, to go against our natural instincts of gentleness and kindness. We are called to help calm the storms—and transform the world through love.

Lord, preserve my gentle spirit, especially in the midst of chaos.

The world pushes, and I want to push back. Help me to be more like you: forgiving and loving, yet strong. Teach me kindness and gentleness in all I do and say. Give me the strength to handle the ways of this world with love.

Lord, I trust in your ways. Come Holy Spirit, fill me with compassion for others. Ignite in me the fire of God’s love. Help me to reach out to those who will cross my path today. I want to participate in your compassion. 

I want to reach out with your heart, with your power of mercy and love. I want to do more. Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart, so that it may overflow with compassion for all I meet today.


For Charity (against Self-Centeredness) 

Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. —Luke 6:30–31

Lord, teach me true charity. So often I give when it’s easy to give or when I know others see. I want to be more than that to others.

Teach me your way. Show me how to give without being asked, how to let go without wanting in return.

Help me to treat others as I wish to be treated, with respect, with kindness, with love. Lord, help me to see your face in those in need today.


For Patience (against the Need to Control)

Be patient, not only under the great and heavy trials which come upon you, but also under the minor troubles and accidents of life.   —St. Francis de Sales

Jesus, I have very little patience. Teach me your ways. Your apostles struggled to trust you. You showed them patience. 

The Sadducees and the Pharisees tried to trick you. You showed them patience. The scribes and Pharisees brought you the woman caught in adultery. You showed them patience.

Help me to be patient with those who question my actions or who purposefully misquote my directions or judge me. Show me your ways, Lord, that I may be a good example to my coworkers, my neighbors, my friends, and my family.


For Trust in God (against Distrust)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  —Proverbs 3:5–6

How often do we question ourselves when we are trying to do the right thing? How often do we find ourselves fearful of the consequences of our actions despite our best efforts? In the words of St. John Paul II, “Do not be afraid!”

The God who loves us enough to die for us, can be trusted to care for our every need. All he asks in return is acknowledgment. 

Offer this little prayer of St. Faustina Kowalska’s.

Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you.


For Wisdom (against Ignorance)

Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Long life is in her right hand; in her left are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy. —Proverbs 3:13–18

Lord, I seek wisdom.

Teach me your ways and guide me to do your will. Help me to be persistent, to be salt and light, strong in my beliefs so that I can witness to the faith.

May what I learn change lives, bring peace and understanding to the world, and bring glory to you, O Lord.


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Minute Meditations

Topics: Prayer, Saints, Catholic Prayers