Monthly Archives: May 2010

Devotion to Mary is not about “Works” but Relationship with Mary–St. Louis de Montfort

From St. Louis de Montfort’s Secret of the Rosary:

Whatever you do, do not be like a certain pious but self-willed lady in Rome, so often referred to by speakers on the Rosary. She was so devout and fervent that she put to shame by her holy life even the strictest religious in the church.

Having decided to ask St. Dominic’s advice about her spiritual life, she made her confession to him. For penance he gave her one Rosary to say and advised her to say it every day. She excused herself, saying that she had her regular exercises, that she made the Stations of Rome every day, that she wore sackcloth as well as a hair-shirt, that she gave herself the discipline several times a week, that she often fasted and did other penances. Saint Dominic urged her over and over again to take his advice and say the Rosary, but she would not hear of it. She left the confessional, horrified at the methods of this new spiritual director who had tried so hard to persuade her to take up a devotion for which she had no taste.

Later on, when she was at prayer she fell into ecstasy and had a vision of her soul appearing before the Supreme Judge. Saint Michael put all her penances and to her prayers on one side of the scale and all her sins and imperfections on the other. The tray of her good works were greatly outweighed by that of her sins and imperfections.

Filled with alarm, she cried out for mercy, imploring the help of the Blessed Virgin, her gracious advocate, who took the one and only Rosary she had said for her penance and dropped it on the tray of her good works. This one Rosary was so heavy that it weighed more than all her sins as well as her good works. Our Lady then reproved her for having refused to follow the counsel of her servant Dominic and for not saying the Rosary every day.

As soon as she came to herself she rushed and threw herself at the feet of Saint Dominic and told him all that had happened, begged his forgiveness and promised to say the Rosary faithfully every day. By this means she rose to Christian perfection and finally to the glory of everlasting life.

You who are people of prayer, learn from this the power, the value and importance of this devotion of the holy Rosary when it is said with meditation on the mysteries.

Few saints have reached the same heights of prayer as Saint Mary Magdalen, who was lifted up to heaven by angels each day, and who had the privilege of learning at the feet of Jesus and his holy Mother. Yet one day, when she asked God to show her a sure way of advancing in his love and arriving at the heights of perfect, he sent the archangel St. Michael to tell her, on his behalf, that there was no other way to reach perfection than to meditate on our Lord’s passion. So he placed a cross in the front of her cave and told her to pray before it, contemplating the sorrowful mysteries which she had seen take place with her own eyes.

The example of Saint Francis de Sales, the great spiritual director of his time, should spur you on to join the holy confraternity of the Rosary, since, great saint though he was, he bound himself by vow to say the whole Rosary every day as long as he lived.

Saint Charles Borromeo also said it every day and strongly recommended this devotion to his priests and clerics in seminaries and to all his people.

Blessed Pius V, one of the greatest popes who have ever ruled the Church, used to say the Rosary every day. Saint Thomas of Villanova, Archbishop of Valencia, Saint Ignatius, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Francis Borgia, Saint Teresa, and Saint Philip Neri, as well as many other great men whom I do not mention, were greatly devoted to the Rosary.

Follow their example; your spiritual directors will be very pleased, and if they are aware of the benefits which you can derive from this devotion, they will be the first to urge you to adopt it.

Order The Secret of the Rosary from the Rosary Center

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins,
Mother of Mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy tender heart
whilst thine only Son,
Christ Jesus, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee,
grieving in thy grief,
whilst from His cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection
of His beloved disciple, St. John,
take pity,  I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me
in all my infirmities and miseries,
of what kind soever.

Thou art the Mother of Mercies,
the sweet comforter
and only refuge of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and afflicted.
Cast, therefore,
an eye of pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since,
in just punishment of my sins,
I find myself encompassed by a multitude of evils,
and oppressed with much anguish of spirit,
wither can I fly for more secure shelter,
O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than under the wings of thy maternal protection?

Attend, therefore,
I beseech thee,
with an ear of pity and compassion,
to my humble and earnest request.

I ask it,
through the bowels of mercy of thy dear Son;
Through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and whom,
after the expiration of nine months
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit the world,
and bless it with His presence.

I ask it,
through that anguish of mind
wherewith thy beloved Son,
our dear Saviour,
was overwhelmed on the Mount of Olives,
when He besought His eternal Father
to remove from Him, if possible,
the bitter chalice of His future passion.

I ask it,
through the threefold repetition
of His prayers in the garden,
whence afterwards,
with dolorous steps and mournful tears,
thou didst accompany Him to the doleful theatre
of His death and sufferings.

I ask it,
through the welts and bruises of His virginal flesh,
occasioned by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged,
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it,
through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted;
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience. 

I ask it,
through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it,
through the blood which trickled
from His royal and Sacred Head,
when struck with the scepter of a reed
and pierced with His crown of thorns.

I ask it,
through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with gross nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it,
through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it,
through His dereliction on the cross
when He exclaimed,
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it,
through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending
His precious soul and spirit
into the hands of His eternal Father
before He expired, saying, “It is consummated.”

I ask it,
through the blood mixed with water,
which issued from His Sacred Side
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace
and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it,
through His immaculate life,
bitter passion and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the Temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and moon. 

I ask it,
through His descent into hell,
where He confronted the Saints
of the old law with His presence,
and led the captivity captive.

I ask it,
through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and the rest of His Disciples;
when in thine and their presence
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it,
through the grace of the Holy Spirit,
infused into the hearts of His Disciples,
when

St. Louis de Montfort on the Rich Holiness of the Rosary

The Riches of Holiness Contained in the Prayers and Meditations of the Rosary

Never will anyone be able to understand the marvelous riches of sanctification which are contained in the prayers and mysteries of the Holy Rosary. This meditation on the meditation on the mysteries of the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ is the source of the most wonderful fruits for those who make use of it.

Today people want things that strike and move them, that leave deep impressions on the soul. Now has there ever been anything in the history of the world more moving than the wonderful story of the life, death, and glory of our Savior which is contained in the holy Rosary? In the fifteen tableaux, the principal scenes or mysteries of his life unfold before our eyes. How could there be any more prayers more wonderful and sublime than the Lord’s Prayer and the Ave of the angel? All our desires and all our needs are expressed in these two prayers.

The meditation on the mysteries and prayers of the Rosary is the easiest of all prayers, because the diversity of the virtues of our Lord and the different situations of his life which we study, refresh and fortify our mind in a wonderful way and help us to avoid distractions. For the learned, these mysteries are the source of the most profound doctrine, while simple people find them a means of instruction well within their reach.

We need to learn this easy form of meditation before progressing to the highest state of contemplation. This is the view of Saint Thomas Aquinas, and the advice that he gives when he says that, first of all, one must practise on a battlefield, as it were, by acquiring all the virtues of which we have the perfect model in the mysteries of the Rosary; for, says the learned Cajetan, that is the way we arrive at a really intimate union with God, since without that union contemplation is nothing but an illusion which can lead souls astray.

If only the Illuminists or Quietists of these days had followed this piece of advice, they would never have fallen so low or caused such scandals among spiritual people. To think that it is possible to say prayers that are finer and more beautiful than the Our Father and the Hail Mary is to fall a prey to a strange illusion of the devil, for these heavenly prayers are the support, the strength and the safeguard of our souls.

I admit it is not always necessary to say them as vocal prayers and that interior prayer is, in a sense, more perfect than vocal. But believe me, it is really dangerous, not to say fatal, to give up saying the Rosary of your own accord under the pretext of seeking a more perfect union with God. Sometimes a soul that is proud in a subtle way and who may have done everything that he can do interiorly to rise to the sublime heights of contemplation that the saints have reached may be deluded by the noonday devil into giving up his former devotions which are good enough for ordinary souls. He turns a deaf ear to the prayers and the greeting of an angel and even to the prayer which God has composed, put into practice, and commanded: Thus all you pray: Our Father. Having reached this point, such a soul drifts from illusion to illusion, and falls from precipice to precipice.

Believe me, dear brother of the Rosary Confraternity, if you genuinely wish to attain a high degree of prayer in all honesty and without falling into the illusions of the devil so common with those who practice mental prayer, say the whole Rosary every day, or at least five decades of it.

If you have already attained, by the grace of God, a high degree of prayer, keep up the practise of saying the holy Rosary if you wish to remain in that state and by it to grow in humility. For never will anyone who says his Rosary every day become a formal heretic or be led astray by the devil. This is a statement which I would sign with my blood.

On the other hand, if God in his infinite mercy draws you to himself as forcibly as he did some of the saints while saying the Rosary, make yourself passive in his hands and let yourself be drawn towards him. Let God work and praying you and let him say your Rosary in his way, and that will be sufficient for the day.

But if you are still in the state of active contemplation or the ordinary prayer of quietude, or the presence of God, affective prayer, you have even less reason for giving up the Rosary. Far from making you lose ground in mental prayer or stunting your spiritual growth, it will be a wonderful help to you. You will find it a real Jacob’s ladder with fifteen rungs by which you will go from virtue to virtue and from light to light. Thus, without danger of being misled, you will easily arrive at the fullness of the age of Jesus Christ.

Order The Secret of the Rosary from the Rosary Center

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins,
Mother of Mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy tender heart
whilst thine only Son,
Christ Jesus, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee,
grieving in thy grief,
whilst from His cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection
of His beloved disciple, St. John,
take pity,  I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me
in all my infirmities and miseries,
of what kind soever.

Thou art the Mother of Mercies,
the sweet comforter
and only refuge of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and afflicted.
Cast, therefore,
an eye of pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since,
in just punishment of my sins,
I find myself encompassed by a multitude of evils,
and oppressed with much anguish of spirit,
wither can I fly for more secure shelter,
O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than under the wings of thy maternal protection?

Attend, therefore,
I beseech thee,
with an ear of pity and compassion,
to my humble and earnest request.

I ask it,
through the bowels of mercy of thy dear Son;
Through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and whom,
after the expiration of nine months
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit the world,
and bless it with His presence.

I ask it,
through that anguish of mind
wherewith thy beloved Son,
our dear Saviour,
was overwhelmed on the Mount of Olives,
when He besought His eternal Father
to remove from Him, if possible,
the bitter chalice of His future passion.

I ask it,
through the threefold repetition
of His prayers in the garden,
whence afterwards,
with dolorous steps and mournful tears,
thou didst accompany Him to the doleful theatre
of His death and sufferings.

I ask it,
through the welts and bruises of His virginal flesh,
occasioned by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged,
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it,
through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted;
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience. 

I ask it,
through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it,
through the blood which trickled
from His royal and Sacred Head,
when struck with the scepter of a reed
and pierced with His crown of thorns.

I ask it,
through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with gross nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it,
through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it,
through His dereliction on the cross
when He exclaimed,
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it,
through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending
His precious soul and spirit
into the hands of His eternal Father
before He expired, saying, “It is consummated.”

I ask it,
through the blood mixed with water,
which issued from His Sacred Side
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace
and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it,
through His immaculate life,
bitter passion and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the Temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and moon. 

I ask it,
through His descent into hell,
where He confronted the Saints
of the old law with His presence,
and led the captivity captive.

I ask it,
through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and the rest of His Disciples;
when in thine and their presence
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it,
through the grace of the Holy Spirit,
infused into the hearts of His Disciples,
when

G. K. Chesterton on St. Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc was not stuck at the cross-roads, either by rejecting all the paths like Tolstoy, or by accepting them all like Nietzsche. She chose a path, and went down it like a thunderbolt. Yet Joan, when I came to think of her, had in her all that was true either in Tolstoy or Nietzsche, all that was even tolerable in either of them. I thought of all that is noble in Tolstoy, the pleasure in plain things, especially in plain pity, the actualities of the earth, the reverence for the poor, the dignity of the bowed back. Joan of Arc had all that and with this great addition, that she endured poverty as well as admiring it; whereas Tolstoy is only a typical aristocrat trying to find out its secret. And then I thought of all that was brave and proud and pathetic in poor Nietzsche, and his mutiny against the emptiness and timidity of our time. I thought of his cry for the ecstatic equilibrium of danger, his hunger for the rush of great horses, his cry to arms. Well, Joan of Arc had all that, and again with this difference, that she did not praise fighting, but fought. We know that she was not afraid of an army, while Nietzsche, for all we know, was afraid of a cow. Tolstoy only praised the peasant; she was the peasant. Nietzsche only praised the warrior; she was the warrior. She beat them both at their own antagonistic ideals; she was more gentle than the one, more violent than the other. Yet she was a perfectly practical person who did something, while they are wild speculators who do nothing. It was impossible that the thought should not cross my mind that she and her faith had perhaps some secret of moral unity and utility that has been lost. And with that thought came a larger one, and the colossal figure of her Master had also crossed the theatre of my thoughts.

Psalm 17, Blessing Psalter

17 For a grave and unjust accusation, 3 times a day for 3 days
1 Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

2 From you may my judgment come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.

3 You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong.
/4 My words are not sinful as are men’s words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
5 I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.

6 I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them.

8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
10 Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly.
11 They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
12 as though they were lions ready to claw
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

13 Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down!
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
14 let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men,
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring
and leave their wealth to their children.

15 As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

The Rosary is a Means of Perfection

Meditation on the Mysteries of the Rosary is a great means of perfection.

The saints made our Lord’s life the principal object of their study; they meditate on his virtues and his sufferings, and in this way arrived at Christian perfection.

Saint Bernard began with this meditation and he always kept it up. “At the very beginning of my conversion,” he said, “I made a bouquet of myrrh fashioned from the sorrows of my Savior. I placed this bouquet upon my heart, thinking of the lashes, the thorns and the nails of his passion. I applied my whole mind to the meditation on these mysteries every day.”

This was also the practice of the holy martyrs; we admire how they triumphed over the most cruel sufferings. Where could this admirable constancy of the martyrs come from, says Saint Bernard, if not from the wounds of Jesus Christ, on which they meditated so frequently? Where was the soul of these generous athletes when their blood gushed forth and their bodies were wracked with cruel torments? Their soul was in the wounds of Christ and those wounds made them invincible.

During her whole life, our Savior’s holy Mother was occupied in meditating on the virtues and the sufferings of her Son. When she heard the angels sing their hymn of joy at his birth and saw the shepherds adore him in the stable, her heart was filled with wonder and she meditated on all these marvels. She compared the greatness of the Word incarnate to the way he humbled himself in this lowly fashion; the straw of the crib, to his throne in the heart of his Father; the might of God, to the weakness of a child; his wisdom, to his simplicity.

Our Lady said to Saint Bridget one day, “Whenver I used to contemplate the beauty, modesty, and wisdom of my Son, my heart was filled with joy; and whenever I considered his hands and feet which would be pierced with cruel nails, I wept bitterly and my heart was rent with sorrow and pain.”

After our Lord’s Ascension, our Blessed Lady spent the rest of her life visiting the places that had been hallowed by his presence and on his terrible passion.

Saint Mary Magdalen continually performed the same religious exercises during the last thirty years of her life, when she lived at Saint-Baume. Saint Jerome tells us that this was the devotion of the faithful in the early centuries of the Church. From all the countries of the world they came to the Holy Land to engrave more deeply on their hearts a great love and remembrance of the Savior of mankind by seeing the places and things he had made holy by his birth, his work, his sufferings, and his death.

All Christians have but one faith and adore one and the same God, and hope for the same happiness in heaven; they know only one mediator, who is Jesus Christ; all must imitate their divine model, and in order to do this they must meditate on the mysteries of his life, of his virtues and of his glory.

It is a great mistake to think that only priests and religious and those who have withdrawn from the turmoil of the world are supposed to meditate upon the truths of our faith and the mysteries of the life of Christ. If priests and religious have an obligation to meditate on the great truths of our holy religion in order to live up to their vocation worthily, the same obligation is just as much incumbent on the laity, because of the fact that every day they meet with spiritual dangers which might cause them to lose their souls. Therefore they should arm themselves with the frequent meditation on the life, virtues, and sufferings of our Blessed Lord, which are presented to us in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

Order The Secret of the Rosary from the Rosary Center

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins,
Mother of Mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy tender heart
whilst thine only Son,
Christ Jesus, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee,
grieving in thy grief,
whilst from His cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection
of His beloved disciple, St. John,
take pity,  I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me
in all my infirmities and miseries,
of what kind soever.

Thou art the Mother of Mercies,
the sweet comforter
and only refuge of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and afflicted.
Cast, therefore,
an eye of pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since,
in just punishment of my sins,
I find myself encompassed by a multitude of evils,
and oppressed with much anguish of spirit,
wither can I fly for more secure shelter,
O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than under the wings of thy maternal protection?

Attend, therefore,
I beseech thee,
with an ear of pity and compassion,
to my humble and earnest request.

I ask it,
through the bowels of mercy of thy dear Son;
Through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and whom,
after the expiration of nine months
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit the world,
and bless it with His presence.

I ask it,
through that anguish of mind
wherewith thy beloved Son,
our dear Saviour,
was overwhelmed on the Mount of Olives,
when He besought His eternal Father
to remove from Him, if possible,
the bitter chalice of His future passion.

I ask it,
through the threefold repetition
of His prayers in the garden,
whence afterwards,
with dolorous steps and mournful tears,
thou didst accompany Him to the doleful theatre
of His death and sufferings.

I ask it,
through the welts and bruises of His virginal flesh,
occasioned by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged,
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it,
through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted;
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience. 

I ask it,
through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it,
through the blood which trickled
from His royal and Sacred Head,
when struck with the scepter of a reed
and pierced with His crown of thorns.

I ask it,
through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with gross nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it,
through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it,
through His dereliction on the cross
when He exclaimed,
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it,
through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending
His precious soul and spirit
into the hands of His eternal Father
before He expired, saying, “It is consummated.”

I ask it,
through the blood mixed with water,
which issued from His Sacred Side
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace
and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it,
through His immaculate life,
bitter passion and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the Temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and moon. 

I ask it,
through His descent into hell,
where He confronted the Saints
of the old law with His presence,
and led the captivity captive.

I ask it,
through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and the rest of His Disciples;
when in thine and their presence
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it,
through the grace of the Holy Spirit,
infused into the hearts of His Disciples,
when

Psalm 17, Blessing Psalter

17 For a grave and unjust accusation, 3 times a day for 3 days
1 Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

2 From you may my judgment come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.

3 You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong.
/4 My words are not sinful as are men’s words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
5 I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.

6 I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them.

8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
10 Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly.
11 They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
12 as though they were lions ready to claw
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

13 Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down!
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
14 let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men,
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring
and leave their wealth to their children.

15 As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

Psalm 17, Blessing Psalter

17 For a grave and unjust accusation, 3 times a day for 3 days
1 Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

2 From you may my judgment come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.

3 You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong.
/4 My words are not sinful as are men’s words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
5 I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.

6 I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them.

8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
10 Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly.
11 They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
12 as though they were lions ready to claw
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

13 Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down!
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
14 let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men,
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring
and leave their wealth to their children.

15 As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

Psalm 17, Blessing Psalter

17 For a grave and unjust accusation, 3 times a day for 3 days
1 Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

2 From you may my judgment come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.

3 You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong.
/4 My words are not sinful as are men’s words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
5 I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.

6 I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them.

8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
10 Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly.
11 They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
12 as though they were lions ready to claw
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

13 Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down!
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
14 let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men,
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring
and leave their wealth to their children.

15 As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

Explanation of the Hail Mary by St. Louis de Montfort

The Hail Mary — Explanation

Are you in the miserable state of sin? Then call on the divine [1] Mary and say to her: Ave, which means “I salute thee with the most profound respect, thou who art without sin” and she will deliver you from the evil of your sins.

Are you grouping in the darkness of ignorance and error? Go to Mary and say to her: Hail Mary; which means “Hail thou who art bathed in the light of the Sun of Justice”- and she will give you some of her light.

Have you strayed from the path leading to heaven? Then call on Mary, for her name means “Star of the Sea, the North Star which guides the ships of our souls during the voyage of this life,” and she will guide you to the harbor of eternal salvation.

Are you in sorrow? Turn to Mary, for her name means also “Sea of Bitterness which has been filled with sharp pain in this world but which is now turned into a Sea of the Purest Joy in heaven,” and she will turn your sorrow to joy and your afflictions into consolation.

Have you lost the state of grace? Praise and honor the numberless graces with which God has filled with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and she will give you some of these graces.

Are you all alone, having lost God’s protection? Pray to Mary, and say: “The Lord is with thee – and this union is far nobler and more intimate than that which He has with saints and the just – because thou art one with Him. He is thy Son and His Flesh is thy flesh; thou art united to the Lord because of thy perfect likeness to Him and by your mutual love – for thou art His Mother.” And then say to her: “The Three Persons of the Godhead are with thee because thou art the Temple of the most Blessed Trinity,” and she will place you once more under the protection and care of Almighty God.

Have you become an outcast and have you been accursed by God? Then say to Our Lady: “Blessed art thou above all women and above all nations, by thy purity and fertility; thou hast turned God’s maledictions into blessings for us,” and she will bless you.

Do you hunger for the bread of grace and the bread of life? Draw near to her who bore the Living Bread Which came down from heaven, and say to her: Blessed be the Fruit of thy womb Whom thou hast conceived without the slightest loss of thy virginity, Whom thou didst carry without discomfort and to Whom thou didst give birth without pain. Blessed be Jesus Who has redeemed our suffering world when we were in the bondage of sin, Who has healed the world of its sickness, Who has raised the dead to life, brought home the banished, restored sinners to a life of grace and Who has saved men from damnation.” Without doubt, your soul will be filled with the bread of grace in this life and of eternal glory in the next. Amen.

Then, at the end of your prayer, pray thus with Holy Mother Church:

    “HOLY MARY
    Holy in body and in soul
    Holy because of thy incomparable
    And eternal devotion
    To the service of God–
    Holy in thy great rank
    Of Mother of God
    Who has endowed thee
    With eminent holiness,
    A worthy attribute
    Of this great dignity.
    MOTHER OF GOD–
    And our Mother–
    Our Advocate and Mediatrix
    Thou who art the Treasurer of God’s graces
    And who dost dispense them
    As thou seest fit-
    Oh, we beg of thee
    Obtain for us
    Soon
    The forgiveness of our sins–
    And grant that we may be reconciled
    With God’s infinite Majesty.
    PRAY FOR US SINNERS–
    Thou who art always filled with compassion
    For those in need–
    Thou who wilt never despise sinners
    Or turn them away–
    For but for them
    Thou woulds’t never have been
    Mother of the Redeemer,
    Pray for us
    NOW,
    During this short life
    So fraught with sorrow and uncertainty.
    Pray for us now,
    Now — because we can be sure of nothing
    Except the present moment.
    Pray for us now
    That we are being attacked night and day
    By powerful and ruthless enemies . . .
    Pray for us now
    AND AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH,
    So terrible and full of danger,
    When our strength is waning
    And our spirits are sinking
    And our souls and bodies
    Are worn out with fear and pain
    Pray for us then
    At the hour of our death
    When the devil is working
    With might and main
    To ensnare us and cast us into perdition.
    Pray for us
    At the turning point
    When the die will be cast once and for all
    And our lot for ever and ever
    Will be heaven–
    Or hell.
    Come to the help of thy poor children,
    Gentle Mother of pity:
    And, oh, Advocate and Refuge of Sinners,
    Protect us
    At the hour of our death
    And drive far from us
    Our bitter enemies,
    The devils of our accusers,
    Those with frightful presence
    Fills us with dread.
    Light our path
    Through the valley of the shadow of death.
    Please, Mother
    Lead us
    To thy Son’s Judgment Seat
    And do not forsake us there.
    Intercede for us
    And ask why Son to forgive us
    And let us into the ranks of the blessed
    Thy elect
    In the realm of everlasting glory.
    AMEN. So be it.”

No one could help admiring the beauty of the Holy Rosary which is made up of two heavenly things: the Lord’s Prayer and the Angelic Salutation. How could there possibly be any prayers more pleasing to Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin, or any that are easier, more precious or more helpful than these two prayers? We should always have them in our hearts and on our lips to honor the Most Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ and our Savior, and His Most Holy Mother.

In addition, at the end of each decade it is very good to add a Gloria Patri [2] . . . that is to say: “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.”

[1] …the word divine may be used without attributing the nature of divinity to the person or thing thus qualified. We speak of our own prayers, whether addressed to God or to His saints, as a divine service. The Psalmist speaks of us all as being gods and sons of the Most High; and yet no one takes offense, because the sense given to the words uttered is understood. Mary may be called divine because divinely chosen for the divine office of Mother” of a divine Person, Jesus Christ (Cardinal Vaughan, preface to “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary” by St. Louis de Montfort).

[2] The “Gloria Patri” was a happy innovation in the recitation of the Rosary. It is quite probably that it can be attributed to Saint Louis de Montfort himself.

Order The Secret of the Rosary from the Rosary Center

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins,
Mother of Mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy tender heart
whilst thine only Son,
Christ Jesus, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee,
grieving in thy grief,
whilst from His cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection
of His beloved disciple, St. John,
take pity,  I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me
in all my infirmities and miseries,
of what kind soever.

Thou art the Mother of Mercies,
the sweet comforter
and only refuge of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and afflicted.
Cast, therefore,
an eye of pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since,
in just punishment of my sins,
I find myself encompassed by a multitude of evils,
and oppressed with much anguish of spirit,
wither can I fly for more secure shelter,
O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than under the wings of thy maternal protection?

Attend, therefore,
I beseech thee,
with an ear of pity and compassion,
to my humble and earnest request.

I ask it,
through the bowels of mercy of thy dear Son;
Through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and whom,
after the expiration of nine months
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit the world,
and bless it with His presence.

I ask it,
through that anguish of mind
wherewith thy beloved Son,
our dear Saviour,
was overwhelmed on the Mount of Olives,
when He besought His eternal Father
to remove from Him, if possible,
the bitter chalice of His future passion.

I ask it,
through the threefold repetition
of His prayers in the garden,
whence afterwards,
with dolorous steps and mournful tears,
thou didst accompany Him to the doleful theatre
of His death and sufferings.

I ask it,
through the welts and bruises of His virginal flesh,
occasioned by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged,
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it,
through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted;
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience. 

I ask it,
through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it,
through the blood which trickled
from His royal and Sacred Head,
when struck with the scepter of a reed
and pierced with His crown of thorns.

I ask it,
through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with gross nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it,
through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it,
through His dereliction on the cross
when He exclaimed,
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it,
through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending
His precious soul and spirit
into the hands of His eternal Father
before He expired, saying, “It is consummated.”

I ask it,
through the blood mixed with water,
which issued from His Sacred Side
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace
and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it,
through His immaculate life,
bitter passion and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the Temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and moon. 

I ask it,
through His descent into hell,
where He confronted the Saints
of the old law with His presence,
and led the captivity captive.

I ask it,
through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and the rest of His Disciples;
when in thine and their presence
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it,
through the grace of the Holy Spirit,
infused into the hearts of His Disciples,
when

Psalm 17, Blessing Psalter

17 For a grave and unjust accusation, 3 times a day for 3 days
1 Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

2 From you may my judgment come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.

3 You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong.
/4 My words are not sinful as are men’s words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
5 I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.

6 I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them.

8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
10 Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly.
11 They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
12 as though they were lions ready to claw
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

13 Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down!
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
14 let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men,
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring
and leave their wealth to their children.

15 As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

Psalm 17, Blessing Psalter

17 For a grave and unjust accusation, 3 times a day for 3 days
1 Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

2 From you may my judgment come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.

3 You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong.
/4 My words are not sinful as are men’s words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
5 I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.

6 I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them.

8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
10 Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly.
11 They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
12 as though they were lions ready to claw
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

13 Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down!
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
14 let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men,
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring
and leave their wealth to their children.

15 As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

Psalm 17, Blessing Psalter

17 For a grave and unjust accusation, 3 times a day for 3 days
1 Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

2 From you may my judgment come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.

3 You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong.
/4 My words are not sinful as are men’s words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
5 I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.

6 I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them.

8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
10 Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly.
11 They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
12 as though they were lions ready to claw
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

13 Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down!
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
14 let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men,
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring
and leave their wealth to their children.

15 As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

The Rosary wins us graces in Heaven

Happy Exchange

It is written: “Give and it shall be given unto you.” [1] To take Blessed Alan’s illustration of this: “Supposing each day I give you one hundred and fifty diamonds, even if you were my enemy, would you not forgive me? Would you not treat me as a friend and give me all the graces that you were able to give? If you want to gain the riches of grace and of glory, salute the Blessed Virgin, honor your good Mother.” “He that honoreth his mother (The Blessed Virgin) is as one that layeth up a treasure.” [2] So every day do give her at least fifty Hail Mary’s–for each one is worth fifteen precious stones and they please Our Lady far more than all the riches of this world put together.

And you can expect such great things from her generosity! She is our Mother and our friend. She is the empress of the universe and loves us more than all the mothers and queens of the world have ever loved any one human being. This is really so, for the charity of the Blessed Virgin far surpasses the natural love of all mankind and even of all the angels, as Saint Augustine says.

One day Saint Gertrude had a vision of Our Lord counting gold coins. She summoned the courage to ask Him what He was doing. He answered: “I am counting the Hail Marys that you have said; this is the money with which you can pay your way to Heaven.”

The holy and learned Jesuit, Father Suarez, was so deeply aware of the value of the Angelic Salutation that he said that he would gladly give all his learning for the price of one Hail Mary that had been said properly.

Blessed Alan de la Roche said: “Let everyone who loves you, oh most holy Mary, listen to this and drink it

    Whenever I say
    Hail Mary
    The court of heaven rejoices
    And the earth
    Is lost in wonderment.
    And I despise the world
    And my heart is brim-full
    Of the love of God
    When I say
    Hail Mary;
    All my fears
    Wilt and die
    And my passions are quelled
    If I say
    Hail Mary;
    Devotion grows
    Within me
    And sorrow for sin
    Awakens
    When I say
    Hail Mary.
    Hope is made strong
    In my breast
    And the dew of consolation
    Falls on my soul
    More and more-
    Because I say
    Hail Mary.
    And my spirit
    Rejoices
    And sorrow fades away
    When I say
    Hail Mary . . . .

For the sweetness of this blessed salutation is so great that there are no words to explain it adequately, and even when its wonders have been sung, we still find it so full of mystery and so profound that its depths can never be plumbed. It has but few words but is exceeding rich in mystery; it is sweeter than honey and more precious than gold. We should often meditate upon it in our hearts and have it ever upon our lips so as to say it devoutly again and again.”

Blessed Alan says that a nun who had always had a great devotion to the Holy Rosary appeared after death to one of her sisters in religion and said to her: “If I were allowed to go back into my body, to have the chance of saying just one single Hail Mary – even if I said it quickly and without great fervor – I would gladly go through the sufferings that I had during my last illness all over again, in order to gain the merit of this prayer.” (Blessed Alan de la Roche, De Dignitate Psalterii, Chapter LXIX) This is all the more compelling because she had been bedridden and had suffered agonizing pains for several years before she died.

Michael de Lisle, Bishop of Salubre, who was a disciple and co-worker of Blessed Alan’s in the re-establishment of the Holy Rosary said that the Angelic Salutation is the remedy for all ills that we suffer as long as we say it devoutly in honor of Our Lady.

Order The Secret of the Rosary from the Rosary Center

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins,
Mother of Mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy tender heart
whilst thine only Son,
Christ Jesus, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee,
grieving in thy grief,
whilst from His cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection
of His beloved disciple, St. John,
take pity,  I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me
in all my infirmities and miseries,
of what kind soever.

Thou art the Mother of Mercies,
the sweet comforter
and only refuge of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and afflicted.
Cast, therefore,
an eye of pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since,
in just punishment of my sins,
I find myself encompassed by a multitude of evils,
and oppressed with much anguish of spirit,
wither can I fly for more secure shelter,
O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than under the wings of thy maternal protection?

Attend, therefore,
I beseech thee,
with an ear of pity and compassion,
to my humble and earnest request.

I ask it,
through the bowels of mercy of thy dear Son;
Through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and whom,
after the expiration of nine months
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit the world,
and bless it with His presence.

I ask it,
through that anguish of mind
wherewith thy beloved Son,
our dear Saviour,
was overwhelmed on the Mount of Olives,
when He besought His eternal Father
to remove from Him, if possible,
the bitter chalice of His future passion.

I ask it,
through the threefold repetition
of His prayers in the garden,
whence afterwards,
with dolorous steps and mournful tears,
thou didst accompany Him to the doleful theatre
of His death and sufferings.

I ask it,
through the welts and bruises of His virginal flesh,
occasioned by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged,
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it,
through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted;
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience. 

I ask it,
through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it,
through the blood which trickled
from His royal and Sacred Head,
when struck with the scepter of a reed
and pierced with His crown of thorns.

I ask it,
through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with gross nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it,
through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it,
through His dereliction on the cross
when He exclaimed,
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it,
through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending
His precious soul and spirit
into the hands of His eternal Father
before He expired, saying, “It is consummated.”

I ask it,
through the blood mixed with water,
which issued from His Sacred Side
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace
and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it,
through His immaculate life,
bitter passion and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the Temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and moon. 

I ask it,
through His descent into hell,
where He confronted the Saints
of the old law with His presence,
and led the captivity captive.

I ask it,
through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and the rest of His Disciples;
when in thine and their presence
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it,
through the grace of the Holy Spirit,
infused into the hearts of His Disciples,
when

Psalm 17, Blessing Psalter

17 For a grave and unjust accusation, 3 times a day for 3 days
1 Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips.

2 From you may my judgment come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.

3 You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong.
/4 My words are not sinful as are men’s words.

I kept from violence because of your word,
5 I kept my feet firmly in your paths;
there was no faltering in my steps.

6 I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
7 Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them.

8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the violent attack of the wicked.

My foes encircle me with deadly intent.
10 Their hearts tight shut, their mouths speak proudly.
11 They advance against me, and now they surround me.

Their eyes are watching to strike me to the ground,
12 as though they were lions ready to claw
or like some young lion crouched in hiding.

13 Lord, arise, confront them, strike them down!
Let your sword rescue my soul from the wicked;
14 let your hand, O Lord, rescue me from men,
from men whose reward is in this present life.

You give them their fill of your treasures;
they rejoice in abundance of offspring
and leave their wealth to their children.

15 As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.

G. K. Chesterton on the novelty of Orthodoxy

“I have often had a fancy for writing a romance about an English yachtsman who slightly miscalculated his course and discovered England under the impression that it was a new island in the South Seas.” –G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Ch. 1