Prayer to Jesus, asking help to make good use of the holy season of Lent
by St John Eudes
Let each of us give ourselves to Our Lord, while saying with heart and mind what I am about to express in words. May God grant me the grace, too, to say it more with my heart than with my mouth.
Oh Jesus, king of the ages and sanctifier of time, You are the author of the holy season of Lent and the source of all its holiness. I adore, oh my God, all that your providence has in store for Your Church, this spiritual family, and myself in particular during this time. It is a period of special grace and blessing during which You undoubtedly desire, oh my Savior, to bestow special grace upon me if I am receptive. Grant that I may cooperate, I beseech You with all my heart. Destroy in me whatever is opposed to Your will and grant me the dispositions necessary to cooperate perfectly with You. With all my strength, oh my Lord, I regret my sins because they stand in the way of my love for You. I renounce all disordered self-love, and my own will whenever it corresponds more to fallen humanity than to Your perfect love. I offer myself to You instead to do and to experience whatever is pleasing to You for the rest of my life, and especially during this holy season of Lent.
Oh my God, I wish to treat this Lent as if it was the last one of my life. Therefore, I dedicate and consecrate to You all my actions during this time, with the intention of doing, saying, or thinking nothing which does not contribute to Your glory. I desire to fulfill all my obligations with the utmost perfection, with the help of Your grace which I earnestly request for this goal.
Oh my Jesus, I desire to spend this Lenten season with You and Your holy Mother, imitating as much as possible the way You lived out the first Lent during Your life on earth. I picture You spending 40 days in solitude, isolating Yourself from the society of other humans, even from the sweet company of Your most holy Mother. You remained in perpetual silence and continual prayer, fasting, sleeping on the ground, and enduring many other inward and outward hardships in the desert. I adore You, oh my God, in all these things and especially in the interior dispositions of Your holy soul as you underwent them. I give myself to You that I may accompany and imitate You in these penances to whatever extent You desire of me. I wish to love solitude, silence, prayer, and penance; to love them with You and because of You. Grant me the grace, I beseech You, to shun vain and pointless conversations, to abstain from all bad and idle speech, to find pleasure in conversing with You in prayer, and to perform all my actions in a spirit of prayer and reflection, thus to do penance for love of You.
Oh my Savior, I offer You my fasts and abstinences during this Lent. Join them together with all the fasts and other mortifications of Your holy Chruch, Your saints, and Your holy Mother. Unite them with Your own fasts and penances, to make up for what I cannot do, and thus to accomplish Your divine will within Your holy Church, this spiritual family, and especially within my own soul.
Oh Mother of Jesus, I offer myself to you. Grant that I may share in the holy dispositions with which you spent these forty sacred days.
Oh angels and saints of Jesus, pray for me and obtain for me, I beseech you, the grace to use this time and all the rest of my life in the service of my God, according to His divine will.