Whatsoever tidings I may receive during the day, do Thou teach me to accept them calmly, in the firm conviction that all eventualities fulfill Thy holy will. Govern Thou my thoughts and feelings in all I do and say. When things unforeseen occur, let me not forget that all cometh down from Thee. Teach me to behave sincerely and reasonable toward every member of my family and all other human beings, that I may not cause confusion and sorrow to anyone. Bestow upon me, my Lord, strength to endure the fatigue of the day and to bear my share in all its passing events.
Guide Thou my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to suffer, to forgive, and to love. Evening Prayers And now as we lay down to sleep, O Master, grant us repose both of body and of soul, and keep us from the dark passions of the night. Subdue Thou the assaults of passions.
Quench the fiery darts of the Wicked One which are thrown insidiously at us; calm the commotions of our flesh and put away all thoughts about worldly and material things as we go to sleep. Grant us, O god, a watchful mind, chaste thoughts, a sober heart, and a gentle sleep, free from all the fantasies of Satan. And raise us up again at the hour of prayer, established in Thy commandments and holding steadfast within ourselves the remembrance of Thy judgments. Give us the words of Thy glorification all night long, that we may praise, bless, and glorify Thy most honorable and magnificent name, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
O eternal God! Ruler of all creation! Who hast vouchsafed that I should live even down to the present hour, forgive the sins I have committed this day by deed, word or thought. Cleanse, O Lord, my humble soul of all corporal and spiritual stain.
Thank God for Asia Bibi’s Freedom
And grant, O Lord, that I may during this night have a peaceful sleep, so that on rising from my humble bed, I should continue to praise Thy holy Name thoughout all the days of my life, and that I be victorious over all the physical and spiritual enemies battling against me. Deliver me, O Lord, from all vain thoughts that defile me, and from evil desires. O Lord our God, however I have sinned this day in word, deed or thought, forgive me, for Thou art gracious and lovest mankind.
Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send me Thy guardian angel to shield me and protect me from every evil; for Thou art the Guardian of our souls and bodies, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Bless me, save me and grant unto me everlasting life.
- Shadows of My Footsteps.
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And I believe that this is truly thine own immaculate Body, and that this is truly thine own precious Blood. Wherefore I pray thee, have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance; and make me worthy to partake without condemnation of thine immaculate Mysteries, unto remission of my sins and unto life everlasting.
Not unto judgement nor unto condemnation be my partaking of thy Holy Mysteries, O Lord, but unto the healing of soul and body. O Lord my God, I know that I am not worthy nor sufficient that thou shouldest enter under my roof into the habitation of my soul, for it is all deserted and in ruins, and thou hast not a fitting place in me to lay thy head. But as from the heights of thy glory thou didst humble thyself, so now bear me in my humility; as thou didst deign to lie in a manger in a cave, so deign now also to come into the manger of my mute soul and corrupt body.
As thou didst not refrain from entering into the house of Simon the leper, or shrink from eating there with sinners, so also vouchsafe to enter the house of my poor soul, all leprous and full of sin.
Thou didst not reject the sinful woman who ventured to draw near to touch thee, so also have pity on me, a sinner, approaching to touch thee. And grant that I may partake of thine All-holy Body and Precious Blood for the sanctification, enlightenment and strengthening of my weak soul and body; for the relief from the burden of my many sins; for my preservation against all the snares of the devil; for victory over all my sinful and evil habits; for the mortification of my passions; for obedience to thy Commandments; for growth in thy divine Grace and for the inheritance of thy Kingdom.
For it is not with careless heart that I approach thee, O Christ my God, but I come trusting in thine infinite goodness, and fearing lest I may be drawn afar from thee and become the prey of the wolf of souls. Wherefore I pray thee, O Master, who alone art holy, that thou wouldest sanctify my soul and body, my mind and heart and reins, and renew me entirely. Implant in my members the fear of thee, be thou my helper and guide, directing my life in the paths of peace, and make me worthy to stand at thy right hand with thy Saints; through the prayers and intercessions of thine immaculate Mother, of thy Bodiless Servitors, of the immaculate Powers, and of all the Saints who from all ages have been well-pleasing unto thee.
Must He prefer one of these sparsely populated worlds over a world in which multitudes believe in the Gospel and are saved, even though that implies that other persons freely reject His grace and are lost? This is far from obvious.
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So long as God gives sufficient grace for salvation to all persons He creates, God seems no less loving for preferring a more populous world, even though that implies that some people would freely resist His every effort to save them and be damned. Thus, the pluralist's second assumption is also not necessarily true, so that his argument is revealed to be doubly fallacious.
So neither of the pluralist's assumptions seems to be necessarily true. Unless the pluralist can suggest some other premises, we have no reason to think that 1 and 2 are logically incompatible. But we can push the argument a notch further. We can show positively that it is entirely possible that God is all-powerful and all-loving and that many persons never hear the Gospel and are lost. All we have to do is find a possibly true statement which is compatible with God's being all-powerful and all-loving and which entails that some people never hear the Gospel and are lost.
Can such a statement be formulated?
As a good and loving God, God wants as many people as possible to be saved and as few as possible to be lost. His goal, then, is to achieve an optimal balance between these, to create no more of the lost than is necessary to attain a certain number of the saved. But it is possible that the actual world which includes the future as well as the present and past has such a balance.
It is possible that in order to create this many people who will be saved, God also had to create this many people who will be lost. It is possible that had God created a world in which fewer people go to hell, then even fewer people would have gone to heaven. It is possible that in order to achieve a multitude of saints, God had to accept a multitude of sinners. It might be objected that an all-loving God would not create people who He knew will be lost, but who would have been saved if only they had heard the Gospel. But how do we know there are any such persons?
It is reasonable to assume that many people who never hear the Gospel would not have believed the Gospel even if they had heard it. Suppose, then, that God has so providentially ordered the world that all persons who never hear the Gospel are precisely such people. In that case, anybody who never hears the Gospel and is lost would have rejected the Gospel and been lost even if he had heard it.
But if only I had heard the Gospel, then I would have believed!
Prayers of St. Francis – Irish Franciscans
Therefore, my judgement of you on the basis of nature and conscience is neither unfair nor unloving. God has created a world which has an optimal balance between saved and lost, and those who never hear the Gospel and are lost would not have believed in it even if they had heard it. On this basis we are now prepared to offer possible answers to the three difficult questions which prompted this inquiry. To take them in reverse order:. Answer : It may not be feasible for God to create such a world. If such a world were feasible, God would have created it.
But given His will to create free creatures, God had to accept that some would freely reject Him and His every effort to save them and be lost. Answer : God wanted to share His love and fellowship with created persons. He knew this meant that many would freely reject Him and be lost. But He also knew that many others would freely receive His grace and be saved. The happiness and blessedness of those who would freely embrace His love should not be precluded by those who would freely spurn Him. Persons who would freely reject God and His love should not be allowed, in effect, to hold a sort of veto power over which worlds God is free to create.
In His mercy God has providentially ordered the world to achieve an optimal balance between saved and lost by maximizing the number of those who freely accept Him and minimizing the number of those who would not. Answer : There are no such people. God in His providence has so arranged the world that those who would respond to the Gospel if they heard it, do hear it.
The sovereign God has so ordered human history that as the Gospel spreads out from first century Palestine, He places people in its path who would believe it if they heard it. Once the Gospel reaches a people, God providentially places there persons who He knew would respond to it if they heard it. In His love and mercy, God ensures that no one who would believe the Gospel if he heard it is born at a time and place in history where he fails to hear it.
Those who do not respond to God's general revelation in nature and conscience and never hear the Gospel would not respond to it if they did hear it. Hence, no one is lost because of historical or geographical accident.
Anyone who wants or even would want to be saved will be saved. These are just possible answers to the questions we posed. But so long as they are even possible, they show that there is no incompatibility between God's being all-powerful and all-loving and some people's never hearing the Gospel and being lost. Furthermore, these answers are attractive because they also seem to be quite biblical as well. In his open-air address to the Athenian philosophers gathered on the Areopagus Paul declared:. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and.
From one man He made every nation of men , that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being Acts This sounds exactly like the conclusions to which I had come through purely philosophical reflection on the question! Now the pluralist might concede the logical compatibility of God's being all-powerful and all-loving and some people's never hearing the Gospel and being lost but insist that these two facts are nonetheless improbable with respect to each other.
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