Gifts God Wants to Give Us

A Prayer by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Gifts God Wants to Give Us

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The founder of the Redemptorists Order, St. Alphonsus was not healthy, to say the least; he received the Last Rites eight times during his long life. (He lived to be ninety-one.)

While he suffered from various afflictions, his greatest disability was the result of rheumatic fever, which left him at least partially paralyzed. The most notable evidence of this illness was a severely bent head that can be seen in some of his later portraits. It was so crooked that his chin created a deep sore on his chest and he was forced to drink through a straw. The only way he could say Mass was to support himself on a chair and allow an acolyte to help him raise the chalice to his lips. He also suffered from arthritis as well as being extremely myopic at a time when glasses and corrective lenses were hardly what they are today. Finally, in his later years, he went almost completely deaf.

Despite these physical problems, St. Alphonsus was a prolific author, compassionate pastor, and courageous founder of a religious order. His erudition, practical faith, and devotion to Mary led to his being named one of the doctors of the Church, and his pithy advice still brings comfort and consolation to many.

This beautiful prayer, written by him, is an example of his strong faith and trust in God.

Eternal Father, your Son has promised that you would grant all the graces we ask of you in his name. Trusting in this promise, and in the name of and through the merits of Jesus Christ, I ask of you five special graces:

First, I ask pardon for all the offenses I have committed, for which I am sorry with all my heart, because I have offended your infinite goodness.

Second, I ask for your divine light, which will enable me to see the vanity of all the things of this earth, and see also your infinite greatness and goodness.

Third, I ask for a share in your love, so that I can detach myself from all creatures, especially from myself, and love only your holy will.

Fourth, grant me the grace to have confidence in the merits of Jesus Christ and in the intercession of Mary.

Fifth, I ask for the grace of perseverance, knowing that whenever I call on you for assistance, you will answer my call and come to my aid;

I fear only that I will neglect to turn to you in time of need, and thus bring myself to ruin.

Grant me the grace to pray always, O Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus.

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The introduction to this article is taken from Facing Adversity with Grace: Lessons from the Saints by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker, which is available from the Word Among Us Press.

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