Find below the “Prayer for all things necessary to salvation”, a prayer attributed to Pope Clement XI and released in the Year 1721.
There is longer version, with the part starting with “All that I have asked for myself”. I have not posted it here, because I do not think the added part is original. Please show me the right link if I am wrong.
Note how Pope Clemens takes care to guide the faithful, through a long-winded prayer, along a rather complete path to salvation. All with set words, to be recited without variation time after time.
“Spontaneous” prayer was, evidently, not a favourite of this Pope, as he would otherwise not have bothered with such a long exercise. On the contrary, it is clear the late Pontiff wanted to give a prayerful “path” to the faithful on which they could meditate regularly, and that they could interiorise through months and years of faithful repetition. At the same time, the fact that the prayer came from a Pope gave the faithful – in those times Popes were very orthodox, you must know; the last clearly heretical Pope was around four centuries earlier – an iron security that nothing in the prayer was questionable, misleading, or not pleasing to God.
Apparently, all this is (and I quote) “outdated” now, as the modern, “beach ball on the altar”-bishops of Rome do not care much for this kind of repetition. They rather prefer the spontaneous outburst of the inhabitant of the favela with his uneducated conscience, praying all kind of rubbish for all kind of rubbish motives, and ending up believing in their own rubbish because that’s what their “conscience” has suggested to them. Francis, clearly, approves the mentality and the praxis. Actually, he encourages both.
You can do much worse than praying this prayer frequently (I have it in a smartphone app: very practical).
Outmoded practices save souls.
O My God, I believe in Thee;
Do Thou strengthen my faith.
All my hopes are in Thee;
Do Thou secure them.
I love Thee with my whole heart;
teach me to love Thee daily more and more.
I am sorry that I have offended Thee,
do Thou increase my sorrow.
I adore Thee as my first beginning,
I aspire after Thee as my last end.
I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor;
I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector.
Vouchsafe, O my God, to conduct me by Thy wisdom,
to restrain me by Thy justice,
to comfort me by Thy mercy,
to defend me by Thy power.
To Thee, I desire to consecrate all my thoughts,
words, actions and sufferings;
that henceforward I may think only of Thee,
speak of Thee,
refer all my actions to Thy greater glory,
and suffer willingly,
whatever Thou shall appoint.
Lord, I desire that in all things,
Thy will may be done,
because it is Thy will,
and the manner that Thou willest.
I beg of Thee,
to enlighten my understanding,
To inflame my heart,
to purify my body,
and to sanctify my soul.
Give me strength, O my God,
to expiate my offenses,
to overcome my temptations,
to subdue my passions,
and to acquire the virtues
proper in my state of life.
Fill my heart, with tender affection,
for Thy goodness,
hatred of my faults,
love of my neighbour,
and contempt of the world.
Let me always,
remember to be submissive to my superiors,
condescending to my inferiors,
faithful to my friends
and charitable to my enemies.
Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification,
avarice by alms deeds,
anger by meekness,
and tepidity by devotion.
O my God, make me prudent in my undertakings,
courageous in dangers,
patient in affliction,
and humble in prosperity.
Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers,
temperate at my meals,
diligent at my employments,
and constant in my resolutions.
Let my conscience be ever upright, and pure,
my exterior modest,
my conversation edifying
and my comportment regular.
that I may continually labour to overcome nature,
to correspond with Thy grace,
to keep Thy commandments,
and to work out my salvation.
Discover to me, O my God,
the nothingness of this world,
the greatness of heaven,
the shortness of time,
and the length of eternity.