Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Apostolate of Prayer

1. Everybody cannot be an apostle in the strict sense of the term. Not everybody can dedicate his whole life to the expansion of God's kingdom upon earth and to the conversion of pagans, heretics and sinners. Everybody can do a little in this cause, however. Perhaps you cannot leave your family, as the missionaries do, and travel to distant lands to extend the kingdom of God. Perhaps you cannot enter a convent or dedicate yourself to God as a priest or as a religious, because you have not received this high vocation from God. We know, however, that each of us has some responsibility for his neighbour and must help him whenever possible. "Go surety for your neighbour according to your means." (Ecclus. 29:20)

Now, the Association of the Apostleship of Prayer offers everybody a simple way of doing exactly this. Its object is to promote the glory of God and the salvation of souls, especially by means of prayer in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Besides prayer, we must offer the actions and sufferings of each day. Let us decide to join with all the faithful in offering the prayers, and actions and sufferings of each day to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We shall certainly receive a shower of graces, both for ourselves and our neighbour.

2. The Popes have blessed and endowed with favours and indulgences this Association which St. Pius X has gone so far as to call the most useful of all the pious Associations (Letter to the Director General of the Apostleship of Prayer, 9th April, 1911). If you are not already enrolled, therefore, become a member as soon as possible. By enrolling you undertake the obligations of living a good Christian life and of saying the following short prayer every day:

"Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You through the Immaculate Heart of Mary the prayers, actions and sufferings of this day."

In this way we unite ourselves to the vast outpouring of prayer and to the precious offering of action and sufferings presented by the whole Church in union with Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

3. When we enrol in the Apostleship of Prayer, we are sure that when we work, suffer, and pray, we are not alone in our efforts, but are united with the Church praying, working, and suffering. Our offerings, united with the prayers, labours and sufferings of many holy souls, find their way through the mediation of the Heart of Mary, our beloved Mother, to the Divine Heart of Jesus. He hears them without fail; He blesses them, and received them on our behalf in propitation for our sins and in supplication for graces for ourselves and for our neighbour.

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