Prayers of Saint Alphonsus
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
God has set His Heart on
Saving us. "He Wants all Men to be Saved" - 1Timothy 2:4. And He
is Ready-to Give all the Help necessary-for Salvation, but as Saint
Augustine says, "He Gives, only-to those who Ask". Thus, it is a Common Opinion-of Theologians, that
Prayer is necessary-for Adults, as a means-of Salvation. A Person, who does not
Pray, and who Neglects to Ask-for the Help,
Required-to Overcome-Temptations, and to Preserve-Graces already
Received, cannot be Saved.
On the other hand, Our Lord cannot Refuse-to Give Graces to those
who Ask-for them, because He has 'Promised' to do so: "Call to Me, and I will Answer
you" - Jeremiah 33:3. Ask Me, and I will not
Fail-to 'Hear' you. This 'Promise' is not to be Understood, with Reference-to Temporal Goods, because God
only gives these, when they are for the Good of the Soul. But,
He has 'Promised' Absolutely-to give Spiritual Graces, to anyone who
Asks Him, and having 'Promised' it, He is Obliged-to give them to us.
Notice that, while on God's Part, Prayer is a 'Promise', on our-Part,
it is a 'Binding-Precept': "Ask, and you will Receive" (Matthew 7:7). "He told them a Parable on
the Necessity of Praying always" - Luke 18:1. These Words convey a Command, which is Binding-for our
Whole Life, but especially, when a Man is in Danger-of Death,
or of Falling-into Sin; for if he does not-then, have
Recourse-to God, he will Certainly be Lost.
And he who has already Fallen, commits another Sin, when he
does not Turn-to God, for Help.
But will God 'Hear' him, while he is still-in Sin? Yes!!!,
He does 'Hear', if the Sinner
Humbles himself, and Prays-for Pardon; for it
is Written-in the Gospel, "Whoever Asks, Receives" - Luke 11:10. God,
then, has Promised-to 'Hear', all who Pray-to Him,
whether they are Just or Sinners. In another place,
God says, "Call upon Me in Time of Distress; I will Rescue you" - Psalm 50:15.
No, there will be no-Excuse, on the Day-of-Judgment, for anyone who Dies-in Mortal
Sin. It will be of no-use for him to Say, that he did not have the Strength-to Resist the Temptation
which Troubled him, because Jesus Christ will Answer:
If you did not have the Strength, why did you not Ask for it? I should certainly have Given it to you.
You see, then, that if you Want to be Saved and keep yourself in the Grace-of-God,
you must often Pray-to Him. The Council-of-Trent declares that, for a
Man to Persevere in God's Grace, it is not-enough that he should have
only that General Aid, which God gives to all Men; he must also have that Special Assistance, which can
only be Obtained-by Prayer. For this Reason, all the Doctors-of-the-Church, say that everyone is 'Bound', under
Serious Sin, to Pray-often, to God.
It is also most useful to-Practice, some Particular Devotion-to the Mother of God,
who is called the Mother-of-Perseverance. A Person who does not have this
Special Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, will find it very
Difficult-to Persevere; for Saint Bernard says that all Divine
Graces, and especially this One of Perseverance, come-to us through
Therefore, I repeat: If you Wish to be Saved, Pray continually-to
the Lord, to give you Light and
Strength, not-to Fall into Sin. Every Morning, ask
Him to Keep you from Sin during that day. And when any
Bad Thought or Occasion of Sin, presents itself-to your
Mind, immediately have Recourse-to Jesus Christ and the
Blessed Virgin, and say, "Jesus, Help me! Most Blessed Virgin, come to my Aid!"
It is enough at such a Time, to utter the Names-of Jesus and Mary,
and the Temptation may Vanish; but, should the Temptation
continue, Persevere-in Seeking the Assistance-of Jesus and
Mary, and you will be Victorious.