A Universal Prayer

For All Things Necessary to Salvation

(Composed by Pope Clement XI, A.D. 1721.)


O my God, I believe in Thee; do Thou strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee; do Thou secure them. I love Thee' teach me to love Thee daily more and more. I am sorry that I have offended Thee, do Thou increase my sorrow.

I adore Thee as my first beginning; I aspire after Thee as my last end. I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor; I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector.

Vouchsafe*, O my God! To conduct me by Thy wisdom to restrain me by Thy justice, to comfort me by Thy mercy, to defend me by Thy power.

To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings; that henceforward I may think of Thee, speak of Thee, refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint.

Lord, I desire that in all things Thy will may be done because it is Thy will, and in the manner that Thou willest.

I beg of Thee to enlighten my understanding, to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul.

Give me strength, O my God! To expiate my offenses, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, and to acquire the virtues proper for my state of life.

Fill my heart with tender affection for Thy goodness, hatred of my faults, love of my neighbor, and contempt of the world.

May Thy grace help me to be submissive to my superiors, condescending** to my inferiors, faithful to my friends, and charitable to my enemies.

Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification, avarice by alms-deeds, anger by meekness, and tepidity by devotion.

O my God! Make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in dangers, patient in affliction, and humble in prosperity.

Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers, temperate at my meals, diligent in my employments, and constant in my resolutions.

Let my conscience be ever upright and pure, my exterior modest, my conversation edifying, and my comportment regular***.

Assist me, that I may continually labor to overcome nature, to correspond with Thy grace, to keep Thy commandments, and to work out my salvation.

Make me realize, O my God! the nothingness of this world, the greatness of heaven the shortness of time, and the length of eternity.

Grant that I may prepare for death; that I may fear thy judgments, and in the end obtain heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Universal Prayer is quoted from Rev. F. X. Lasance, My Prayer Book, Benziger Brothers, (copyright 1908) on pp. 601-602. Imprimatur: Most Rev. John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York, September 19, 1908.

* "Vouchsafe": grant or bestow.
**This use of the word means something very negative today. However, the dictionary also defines condescending to mean: "To descend to the level of one considered inferior; lower oneself". We have the notion that everyone is equal, but in his time the idea of rank based on one's birth was very important. The King's son could not play with just anyone, but only with a noble of nearly equal rank. In this sense, one should lower oneself and deal with the other person as though you had equal rank.
***"Comportment": bearing, how one conducts oneself. "Regular": proper, with discipline.

Definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary.

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