Sunday, December 22, 2013

Virtues Sought by Daughters of St. Philip Neri

It is also appropriate for us to consider the virtues proper for a member of the Secular Oratory and to seek them through our special patron St. Philip Neri.  The Holy Father Pius IX, by a rescript of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences, dated May 17, 1852, granted -

AN INDULGENCE OF FIFTY DAYS; to be gained once a day for saying with a contrite heart the following prayers, each on its appointed day, in order to obtain thereby the intercession of St. Philip Neri for the acquisition of certain special virtues.


FOR SUNDAY.
Prayer to obtain the virtue of Humility.
St, Philip, my glorious Patron, who on earth didst so love humility as to count the praise and even the good esteem of men as dross; obtain for me also this virtue by thy prayers. Thou knowest how haughty I am in my thoughts, how contemptuous in my words, how ambitious in my doings. Ask for me humility of heart; that my mind may be freed from all pride, and impressed with the same low esteem of self which thou hadst of thyself, counting thyself the worst of all men, and for that reason rejoicing when thou didst suffer contempt, and seeking out for thyself occasions of enduring it.  Great Saint, obtain for me a true humble heart and the knowledge of my own nothingness; that I may rejoice when I am despised, and resent not when others are preferred before me; that I may never be vain when I am praised, but may ever seek only to be great in the eyes of God, desiring to receive from Him alone all my exaltation.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.

FOR MONDAY
Prayer to obtain the virtue of Patience.
St. Philip, my Patron Saint, whose heart was ever so constant in time of trouble, and whose spirit was so loving under suffering, that, when persecuted by the jealous, or calumniated by the wicked who thought to discredit thy sanctity, or when tried by God with many long, painful infirmities, thou didst always bear thy trials with wonderful tranquillity of heart and mind; pray for me that I may have a spirit of true courage in every adversity.  Alas, how much I stand in need of patience!  I shrink from every little trouble; I sicken under every light affliction; I fire up at and resent every trifling contradiction; never willing to learn that the road to paradise lies amidst the thorns of tribulation. Yet this was the path our Diving Master deigned to tread, and this too, my Saintly Patron, was thy path also.  Obtain for me, then, this courage, that with good hearty will I may embrace the crosses which every day I receive from God, and bear them all with the same endurance and ready will as thou didst when thou wast on earth; that so I may be made worthy to enjoy the blessed fruit of sufferings with thee in heaven above.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.

FOR TUESDAY
Prayer to obtain the virtue of Purity.
St. Philip, who didst always preserve the white lily of thy purity unsullied, with such great honour to thyself that the brightness of this fair virtue dwelt in thine eyes, shone forth from thy hands, and cast its fragrance over thy whole body, causing it to emit so sweet a perfume that it gave consolation, fervour, and devotion to all who conversed with thee; obtain me from the Holy Spirit of God so true a love for that virtue, that neither the words nor bad examples of sinners may ever make any impression upon my soul.  Never permit me in any way to lose that lovely virtue; and since avoidance of occasions, prayer, labour, humility, frequent use of the Sacraments, were the arms with which thou didst conquer the flesh, which is our worst enemy, so do thou obtain for me grace to use the same arms to vanquish the same foe.  Take not away thy help from me; but be as zealous for me as thou wast during thy life for thy penitents, keeping them far removed from all sensual infection.  Do this for me, my holy Patron; and be ever my protector in respect of this fair virtue. 
Pater, Ave, Gloria.

FOR WEDNESDAY.
Prayer to obtain the Love of God.
St. Philip, I am filled with wonder at the great miracle which was wrought in thee by the Holy Spirit when He poured into thy heart such a flood of heavenly charity, that in order to contain it two of thy ribs were broken by the power of Divine love; and I am confounded when I compare thy heart with mine own.  I see thy heart all burning with love; and mine, all frozen and taken up with creatures.  I see thine inflamed with a fire from heaven, which so filled thy body that it radiated like flames from thy countenance; while mine is full of earthly love.  I love the world, which allures me and can never make me happy; I love the flesh, which ever wears me with its cares, and can never render me immortal; I love riches, which I can enjoy but for a moment.  O when shall I learn of thee to love nothing but God, my incomprehensible and only Good!  Help me, then, blessed Patron, that by thy intercession I may begin at once: obtain for me an efficacious love, manifesting itself by works; a pure love, making me love God most perfectly; a strong love, enabling me to surmount all obstacles hindering my union with God in life, that so I may be wholly united to Him for ever after my death.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.

FOR THURSDAY
Prayer to obtain the Love of our Neighbour.
Glorious Saint, who didst employ thyself wholly in the good of thy neighbour, thinking well of all, sympathising with all, helping all, who throughout thy whole life didst ever try to secure the salvation of all, never shrinking from labour or trouble, keeping for thyself no time or comfort, that thou mightest win all hearts to God; pray for me, that together with the pardon of my sins I may have charity for my neighbour, and be henceforth more compassionate to him in his necessities, and obtain for me grace that I may love every man with pure, unselfish love, as mine own brother, succouring each one, if I am unable to do it with temporal goods, at least with prayers and good advice. And teach me too on every occasion to defend the honour of my neighbour, and never to say to him a hurtful or displeasing word; but ever to maintain, even with my enemies, sweetness of spirit like thine own, whereby thou didst triumph over thy persecutors.  Blessed Saint, ask of God for me also this lovely virtue, which already thou hast gained for so many of thy clients; that so we may all one day come to praise our God with thee in an eternity of bliss.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.

FOR FRIDAY
Prayer to obtain detachment from temporal goods.
Great Saint, who didst prefer a poor and austere life to the comforts of thy home, despising the honour and glory of thy station; obtain for me grace ever to keep my heart detached from transitory goods of this life.  St. Philip, whose desire it ever was to become so poor as one day to have to beg thy bread, and find no charitable hand to offer thee a crumb wherewith to support life; ask of God for me such love of poverty that I may turn all my thoughts to goods which never fail.  St. Philip, who didst prefer to live unknown, to promotion to the highest honours of the Church; intercede for me, that I may never seek after dignities, but always content myself with that state where God has set me.  My heart is too
anxious for the empty fleeting things of earth; but thou - ah, what a maxim didst thou leave us by thy two words: "And then-" !  O wonder-working words! may they ever be deeply impressed upon my soul; that, despising the nothingness of earth, God alone may reign sole object of my affections and my thoughts.

Pater, Ave, Gloria.

FOR SATURDAY
Prayer to obtain perseverance in good works.
St. Philip, my holy Patron, who, ever constant in good works and full of merit, didst receive from Most High God the crown of glory in reward of all thy labours; obtain for me grace never to weary in His service.  St. Philip, who didst recompense those who loved thee by acquiring for them the gift of perseverance in good, ask of God this gift for me; stand by me, dear father, at the last moment of my life, and pray for me that I may depart this life strengthened with the grace of the Holy Sacraments.  Meanwhile intercede for me, that I may do penance for my sins, and deplore them bitterly all my days.  St. Philip, who from on high beholdest all my miseries, and the chains which yet bind me to my sins and to this earth; pray for me that I may be liberated from them, and be constantly devoted to my God.  Obtain for me an ardent desire to co-operate in my own salvation, and unshaken firmness in the good which I have begun; that so by thy intercession I may deserve to be for ever in thy company in an eternity of bliss.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.