The Great Means of
Salvation and of Perfection



Prayer in the Garden - by RICCI, Sebastiano - from Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The Angelic Doctor says that the devotion consists not in feeling, but in the desire and resolution to embrace promptly all that God wills. Such was the prayer that Jesus Christ made in the Garden of Olives; it was full of aridity and tediousness, but it was the most devout and meritorious prayer that had ever been offered in this world. It consisted in these words: "My Father, not what I will, but what Thou wilt".

 

To the Incarnate Word

The Beloved of the Eternal Father,
The Blessed of the Lord,
The Author of Life,
The King of Glory,
The Savior of the World,
The Expected of Nations,
The Desire of the Eternal Hills,
The Bread of Heaven,
The Mediator between God and Man,
The Master of Virtues,
The Lamb without Spot,
The Man of Sorrows,
The Eternal Priest,
The Victim of Love,
The Home of Sinners,
The Fountain of Graces,
The Good Shepherd,
The Lover of Souls,

Alphonsus the sinner consecrates this Book

 

The Great Means of
Salvation and of Perfection

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Doctor of the Church
1759

 

Using his gifts and talents, yet always aware of his faults and weaknesses, Alphonsus developed a special kinship with the poor people of the countryside of Naples. He experienced the anguish of the uneducated rural people who often felt abandoned by the Church during life and who seemed to be at the mercy of a tyrannical God at death. The central message of Alphonsus' preaching and writing became a proclamation that the redemption offered by Jesus Christ is available to all those who pray. This was liberating good news, especially for the lower classes. Alphonsus taught that salvation is available to all who pray, that everyone has the grace to pray, and that those who choose not to pray are choosing not to be saved, since "ordinarily all adults are saved by prayer" and "we ought also to take for granted that everyone has sufficient aid from God...to pray".

 

Prayer

Dedication to Jesus and Mary

O INCARNATE WORD, Thou hast given Thy Blood and Thy Life to confer on our prayers that power by which, according to Thy promise, they obtain for us all that we ask. And we, O God, are so careless of our salvation, that we will not even ask Thee for the graces that we must have if we should be saved! In prayer Thou hast given us the key of all Thy Divine treasures; and we, rather than pray, choose to remain in our misery. Alas! O Lord, enlighten us, and make us know the value of prayers, offered in Thy name and by Thy merits, in the eyes of Thy Eternal Father. I consecrate to Thee this my book; bless it, and grant that all those into whose hands it falls may have the will to pray always, and may exert themselves to stir up others also to avail themselves of this great means of salvation.

To thee also do I recommend my little work, O Mary, great Mother of God: patronize it, and obtain for all who read it the spirit of prayer, and of continual recourse in all their necessities to thy Son, and to thee, who art the Dispenser of graces, the Mother of mercy, and who never leavest unsatisfied him who recommends himself to thee, O mighty Virgin, but obtainest from God for thy servants whatever thou askest.

Amen

 

 

Note Bene: Bible verses quoted in these sermons are from the English Douay-Rheims translation commissioned by the Catholic Church. 

 

PART I: THE NECESSITY, POWER,
AND CONDITIONS OF PRAYER

The Necessity of Prayer

The Power of Prayer

The Conditions of Prayer

 

PART II: THE GRACE OF PRAYER GIVEN TO ALL
AND THIS GRACE'S ORDINARY MODE OF OPERATION

God Wishes All Men to be Saved

God gives to all the Just the Grace necessary for observance of the Commandments and to all Sinners the Grace necessary for Conversion

 

PART III: MENTAL PRAYER

Mental Prayer is Morally Necessary for Salvation

Mental Prayer is Indispensable in Order to Attain Perfection

The Ends of Mental Prayer

Principal Subjects of Meditation

The Place and the Time Suitable for Meditation

The Manner of Making Mental Prayer

Distractions and Aridities

Prayers of Saint Alphonsus Liguori

 

 

This World's Most Powerful Prayers

70x7vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the world's most powerful prayer, during which we re-enact Jesus' bloody sacrifice on the Cross and offer ourselves to Him. Attend daily Mass piously and as often as humanly possible.
70vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) The world's second most powerful prayer is the Stations of the Cross, during which we tearfully remember Jesus' horrible sufferings for our redemption. Say the Stations of the Cross often; contemplate His sufferings throughout your day.
7vela-c2.gif (2466 bytes) During the Holy Rosary we contemplate the Joyful, Glorious, Luminous and Sorrowful Mysteries of Our Lord. Recite the Holy Rosary daily; fifteen minutes well spent.