AN EASY WAY TO BECOME A SAINT By Fr Paul O’Sullivan, OP
Chapter 8 - THE PRINCIPAL DUTIES OF THE DAY - 2
2. OUR DAILY PRAYERS.
Our first and most important prayer is the Morning Offering. Immediately on arising,
we should fall on our knees and make this offering, slowly and deliberately, as
already explained last month.
Morning and evening prayers are most important factors in human life. Far from
being a matter of minor importance, they are the most urgent of our daily obligations.
If well said, they obtain for us all needful graces and protect us from the many evils
that may be awaiting us in the course of the day.
If badly said or omitted, we expose ourselves to grievous calamities. Many fall
victims to disease or are killed by accidents or meet with premature deaths because
they had not prayed.
There is certainly one peril that we have to face every day of our lives, which comes,
as St. Peter and St. Paul warn us, from the fearful malice of the devil, who is ever
using his keen angelic intelligence to work our ruin. We are as defenseless as children
in his hands. Woe to us if we have not God's help in this daily conflict with our
implacable enemy! That infallible help is obtained by prayer.
Many Catholics seem to have little fear of the devil. They take no precautions against
his attacks. He is the greatest evil and the most terrible danger that menaces us during
all our life and most especially at the hour of death. For this last moment he reserves
his most awful attack. He hates us with a malignant hate, for we are destined to
occupy the glorious throne in Heaven which he has lost. This thought lashes him into
fury. He has made a careful study of us and knows our every weakness; he notes our
evil inclinations and when we are off our guard, as a result of having omitted our
prayers, he redoubles his temptations.
Many fall in this unequal combat, and if death surprises them in this state, they are
plunged into Hell for all eternity.
Such is the oft-recurring story of thousands of lost souls. This fact alone should be
enough to make us careful in saying our daily prayers well.
But there is a far more powerful incentive to make us love prayer, and this is that our
prayers are the expression of our filial love for our dear Heavenly Father, they are our
loving homage and adoration to our Creator.
Morning prayers as found in prayerbooks are five, viz., the Our Father, the Hail
Mary, the Apostles' Creed, the Confiteor and Hail Holy Queen.
At night we add to these a short examination of conscience with a fervent Act of
Contrition. Had we the misfortune to fall into mortal sin, we must redouble our
contrition and go to Confession as soon as possible.
By mortal sin we expel God from our souls and give His place to the devil.
These prayers must be said slowly, reverently, on our knees and in our bedroom. In
this room we spend a third part of our lives, and here we shall probably die.
Therefore, it is well to sanctify it by our daily prayers.