Catholics can deepen their experience of the Year of Faith by strengthening their prayer lives, says the bishop who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.
Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., offers “10 Prayers for the Year of Faith” as a way of drawing Catholics more deeply into the Year of Faith. Pope Benedict XVI called for the Year of Faith, which began in October and ends on Nov. 24. The prayers the bishop suggests are:
• The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
• The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
.• The Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death. Amen.
• The Glory Be
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
• The Magnificat
The Magnificat, the Canticle of Mary in the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55), gives a glimpse of the faith of someone who trusted God so much that he entered the world through her.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.
• The Canticle of Zechariah
Also found in Luke (1:68-79), this prayer is a testament of faith from someone experiencing God’s goodness at work in the world.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people.
He has raised up a horn for our salvation within the house of David his servant, even as he promised through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old: salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful of his holy covenant and of the oath he swore to Abraham our father, and to grant us that, rescued from the hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our Gods by which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
• The Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine 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. Amen.
• Acts of Contrition, Faith, Hope and Love
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend thee, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; I believe that your divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths the holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.
Act of Hope
O my God, relying on your almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of your grace and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and redeemer. Amen.
Act of Love
O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me, and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen.
• The Angel prayers
Children learn the prayer to their guardian angel, and adults learn the prayer to St. Michael the archangel. Both are reminders of the need to ask for God’s protection and guidance every day.
Prayer to Guardian Angel
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, rule and guide. Amen.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
• Prayer for the New Evangelization
Heavenly Father, pour forth your Holy Spirit to inspire me with these words from Holy Scripture. Stir in my soul the desire to renew my faith and deepen my relationship with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ so that I might truly believe in and live the Good News.
Open my heart to hear the Gospel and grant me the confidence to proclaim the Good News to others.
Pour out your Spirit, so that I might be strengthened to go forth and witness to the Gospel in my everyday life through my words and actions.
In moments of hesitation, remind me: If not me, then who will proclaim the Gospel? If not now, then when will the Gospel be proclaimed? If not the truth of the Gospel, then what shall I proclaim?
God, our Father, I pray that through the Holy Spirit I might hear the call of the New Evangelization to deepen my faith, grow in confidence to proclaim the Gospel and boldly witness to the saving grace of your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
More prayers are at: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/year-of-faith/prayer-in-the-year-of-faith.cfm.