Prayer for the Vocation Ascent
While climbing Il Gran Sasso mountain in central Italy during the summer of 2009, at 2,000 meters the founder of the Society of Ignatians came to a tiny chapel, Our Lady of the Snows.
It had been built by the soldiers of the Alpini [Alpinists] regiment who have often imperiled their lives on dangerous rescue-missions amid these peaks.
On one of the chapel walls they had placed a prayer – the “Preghiera dell’Alpino” – that became the inspiration for this “Prayer for the Ascent” since the priest by ordination is committed to put into action Christ’s plan for the rescue of fallen man from the greatest of dangers even at the cost of the greatest self-sacrifice.
As day dawns, I prepare to break trail.
I unite my heart and mind with you, my God ,
who have called me to be Alter Christus:
Send your Holy Spirit to guide me to the summit
following the ancient signposts.
Arm me with prayer, the sacraments and self-conquest:
the greatest defense against the avalanches of the world’s cynicism
and the ruthless ice of its political correctness.
May my ascent along the rough trails of life be steadfast;
May my eyes and heart be alert for the deceitful crevices of sin’s occasions especially against purity;
Give me a heart of flame to love every soul and a heart of steel to hate every sin;
Strengthen my arms to do battle with the “Axis of Evil” in defense of Holy Church and the Civilization of Truth and Love.
Holy Mother of God and my Mother,
Whiter still than the snows,
Grace me with your presence
as I follow in the footsteps of the hero-priests,
my older brothers,
who link me through the centuries in unbroken line
to the apostles
and to Jesus Christ, my Savior. AMEN!
Vocation Prayers to Our Lady
“As sailors are guided into port by the shining of a star, so Christians are guided to heaven by Mary.” (Saint Thomas Aquinas)
“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps.
“With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.” (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux)
“O Holy Virgin, to whose feet we are lead by our anxious uncertainty in our search for and attainment of what is true and good, invoking Thee by the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech Thee to come to our assistance, when, along the road of this life, the darkness of error and of evil conspires towards our ruin by leading our minds and our hearts astray.
“Do Thou, O Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the doubtful and the erring, that they be not seduced by the false appearances of good; render them steadfast in the race of the hostile and corrupting influences of passion and of sin.
“O Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from Thy Divine Son a great love of virtue,and, in the hour of uncertainty and trial, the strength to embrace the way that leads to our salvation.
“If thy hand sustains us, we shall walk unmolested along the path indicated to us by the life and words of Jesus our redeemer, and having followed freely and securely, even in the midst of this world’s strife, the Sun of Truth and Justice under they maternal star, we shall come to the enjoyment of full and eternal peace with Thee in the haven of salvation. Amen.” (Pope Pius XII)