First, since Magister Christianus tagged me over a month ago, is the Favorite Prayer Meme you have probably heard so much about and probably already done yourself. The rules, which I intend to break, are as follows:
"Name your three favourite prayers, and explain why they're your favourites.Then tag five bloggers - give them a link, and then go and tell them they have been tagged. Finally, tell the person who tagged you that you've completed the meme. The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here. I'm more interested in people's favourite devotional prayers."
The part I'm going to break is the "tagging other people" thing, especially since most of the bloggers I read regularly have already done this one. However, if you haven't done this one and want to, consider yourself tagged.
Of course, the Mass is the perfect prayer, but the rules make it clear that the Mass is off limits. I ought, then, as a good Catholic to list the rosary, the Way of the Cross, and the Divine Mercy chaplet--all of which I do really appreciate and enjoy praying. But I'm sure many other people have listed and waxed poetic about these beautiful prayers, so I'm going to go off the beaten path a little and talk about three prayers I say every day, without fail, even in those seasons of my life when my daily rosary becomes a daily decade (if that) and I forget how to start the Divine Mercy chaplet.
The first of these is the one posted on my sidebar, the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
The version I memorized long ago has slightly different words ("safeguard" instead of "protection," and "cast" instead of "thrust"). And I do usually pray it in English, though the Latin version posted in my sidebar is pretty cool, too.
Why is this one of my three favorites? Because St. Michael rocks, of course. He's always been a particular favorite of mine, for his instant cry of indignation against Lucifer's mutiny: "Who is like God?" and his ceaseless efforts since then to stand against the powers of Hell and protect a lot of silly humans who must annoy him terribly with the weakness and vacillating nature of our own faith and loyalty to God. But he protects us anyway--not by his own power, but by the power and the will of God. In these days when people think of the devil as some silly medieval throwback or disturbance of the psyche or some such thing, it's good to know that St. Michael stands between us and diabolical influences.
The second prayer I pray daily is this one:
- Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,
- that never was it known that anyone who fled to Thy protection,
- implored Thy help or sought Thy intercession,
- was left unaided.
- Inspired by this confidence,
- I fly unto Thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother;
- to Thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
- O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
- despise not my petitions,
- but in Thy mercy, hear and answer me.
My love for our Lady is the reason why this is the third prayer I say daily without fail:
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Magister, better late than never, I hope? :)