Indulgenced Prayer Before a Crucifix
BEHOLD, O kind and sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul I pray and beseech Thee to impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, with true repentance for my sins and a most firm desire of amendment: whilst with deep affection and grief of soul I consider within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five most precious Wounds, having before mine eyes that which David, the prophet, long ago spoke in Thine own person concerning Thee, my Jesus: They have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones [Psalm 21, 17, 18].
I learned this prayer in 1995. Or was it 1996?
Committing prayers to memory provides a storehouse, a filing cabinet of prayers and thoughts, prayers to pull out, to recite, to pray, to rely on when things feel sad. Or tough. Teaching prayers to children passes on those memories. From one generation to the next. I like that thought.
I pray this prayer in every Mass .
Most certainly not because I am holy or good. Quite the reverse. I pray more simply because I am weak. I pray, I remember the words of St Paul ~ For when I am weak, then am I powerful ( 2 Corinthians 12:10)
There is value in this liturgical, traditional prayer .
C.S. Lewis wrote about mistrusting spontaneous prayers in church. How can you pray along with someone, he asked, when that person may be spouting wrong theology?
One can recognize that for most of church history, Christians have relied on liturgical, memorized prayer. And, in fact, most of the prayers included in the Bible, including all of the Psalms, had a liturgical use.
So I pray, in communion with others who pray and others who have prayed this prayer.
I pray when I have one of those weeks.
I eat junk and drink wine.
I remember that To love at all is to be vulnerable. C.S. Lewis