Conrad Noel Prayers of the Catholic Crusade



Introduction

This section contains selections from three booklets issued by Conrad Noel's Catholic Crusade in the first half of the twentieth century, the only one bearing an imprint date shows it to be a revised edition of 1934. Much of this material -- long out-of-print -- strikes me as still highly relevant, and, in its emphasis on the social content of the Christian faith, a healthy corrective to the ivory tower pietism of too many "Anglo-Catholic" devotional manuals currently available. Some of it, of course, is dated, and it contains language and images [like the unfortunate name of the group itself] that Anglo-Catholic Socialists would not want to perpetuate today. In particular, Noel and the Catholic Crusade could sometimes embrace an emotional -- and largely rhetorical -- attachment to violence that we may find troubling. In fairness, it is very doubtful that Noel grasped the concept of non-violent resistance. As he died in 1942, he had probably never even heard of it. For him, "pacifism" meant passive acquiesence in the face of violent injustice, and anything was preferable to that. As a couple of Anglican Left comrades have pointed out, Gandhi probably would have agreed with him, maintaining that it was better to fight with a sword than to submit to injustice with craven cowardice. Perhaps some kind soul will take on the task of compiling material similar to the Crusade's for our own times and circumstances. Until that happens, the following are offered both for their historical interest and as models which readers are encouraged to revise and adapt for their own use.

"Sins and their Cure", incidentally, formed the basis of the confession manual of the Society of the Catholic Commonwealth, "The Sacrament of Penance". That later version, with a new introduction, is available on the web at Project Canterbury.

-- Ted M


Prayers for Comrades


MY RULE

AS A MEMBER OF THE GROUP I OWE IT TO MY COMRADES:--

  1. To join in the group worship at Mass every Sunday.
  2. To make my confession before Christmas, and Lent or Easter, before Whit-Sunday, and the Feast of the Dedication or All Saints Day.
  3. To pray regularly morning and evening; and when possible at other times in Church, and to meditate.
  4. To unite with my comrades in Prayer for the New World at the Daily Mass when possible.
  5. To support the Church through the Freewill Offering Fund.
  6. To be a good comrade outside the Church, taking the spirit of the group into all my activities, and to help others to look for the New World.

MORNING PRAYER
(If time is short use some of the prayers)

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

In silence think of God -- the source of all life in whom we live and move and have our being -- and join with angels and archangels and all the company of Heaven saying Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Glory be to Thee, O Lord most High.

Our Father, etc.

Hail Mary, full of grace, our Lord is with Thee, blessed art Thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Most Holy Trinity, one God in three persons, spirit of love, of justice, of comradeship and of freedom, we believe that Thou art here present in us and around us. I adore Thee with deep humility; teach me to love Thee with all my heart. I desire above all to be united to Thee in Thy purposes of love and goodness for all mankind.

Holy Father we thank thee for all that thou art in thyself; for thy love in creating us; for thy power upholding all things; for all our needs supplied by Thee; for life and health; for sleep and food, and for this new day. Thanks be to God.

Jesus, I resolve and will try this day to imitate Thy perfect human example: to be like Thee, loving, humble, pure, manly and courageous: to strive after comradeship, justice and freedom, resenting and resisting all that is unjust, unloving and ugly: to be zealous for the building of Thy kingdom on earth. I will try not to fall this day into any of those sins which I have fallen into in the past and which I want to forsake. Help and strengthen me in my resolve.

Come, Holy Ghost, and fill the hearts of Thy faithful people and kindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy spirit and we shall be made and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Take of the things of Christ and show them unto us and lead us unto the knowledge of all truth.

Bless, O Lord, Thy holy Church throughout the world, her Bishops. Priests and People, and specially the members of our own group. Help us to be true to one another and to Thee. Bless all whom I love. Grant returning health to the sick, Have mercy on those who are in poverty and need, and may the souls of the faithful rest in peace.

Lord Jesus, our Leader, we give ourselves to Thee, for the cause of Thy glorious kingdom. For joy or for sorrow, for success or for failure, for life or for death; now and for evermore.

And, Jesus, by Thy courage and endurance we beseech Thee have mercy on those who are persecuted for righteousness sake and who suffer for the cause of justice.

O Lord, as each day returns and brings us to the petty round of irritating concerns and duties, help us to perform them with laughter and kind faces, and grant that the spirit of the world may never possess us; fill us with Thy spirit of love and joyfulness; help us to see the good in others and give us energy and perseverance in serving Thee all this day, for Jesus Christ's sake.

Keep me, Lord Jesus, in Thyself, in fellowship with Thy saints, and help me to see Thee in all others, that I may serve and love Thee in them and do Thy will.

MID-DAY PRAYERS

The Prayer "O Lord, our Redeemer," on page 18, and "The Angelus" on page 17 in "Catholic Crusade Devotions"

PREPARATION FOR RECEIVING COMMUNION
(To be said the day before),

Psalms 84 or 130 may be learnt by heart and said as acts of devotion.

Most gracious God, incline Thy merciful ear to our prayers and enlighten our hearts with the grace of Thy holy spirit, that we may worthily approach Thy holy mysteries and love Thee with all everlasting love, May He lead us as Thy Son hath promised, into all truth, may the power of the Holy Ghost be with us to cleanse and purge our hearts from all evil that Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ when He c cometh may find in us a mansion prepared for Himself,

Think:

Am I fit to have fellowship with the group and to unite myself to my leader Christ and His cause?
When did I last make my Confession ?
Do I owe it to my comrades to make it before this Communion?
Will any comrade feel that I ought not to be making my Communion? If so, why?
Am I in love and charity with others ?
Do I sincerely desire to identify myself with Christ and his army in fighting for His cause? Have I let my comrades down by slackness or apathy?
Am I prepared to suffer if need be for His cause? .
What hinders me from being one with the group and with Christ?

Father I am sorry that I have sinned so much and failed to do my duty as Thy friend. Especially I pray Thee to forgive . . . . Give me Thy grace and more conscious union with Thyself that I may not fail again. Fill me with Thy spirit and with such zeal for Thy cause that all other attractions may lose their strength, as I seek the coming of Thy kingdom on earth, and give myself to it even unto death. Jesus, I offer Thee myself, my life, my all, to be identified with Thy cause and with all for which Thou didst live and work and die. Fill me withThy spirit of indignation and of love, of sure confidence and of dependence, of sternness and of mercy, of justice and of pity, and make me worthy to draw near to this holy sacrament. Make me realize the fellowship of love which makes us all one in Thee. and that I am part of Thy body working for Thy cause.

Jesus, my Lord, I Thee adore,
On Thy throne of Glory,
On Thine altar in the form of bread and wine,
In the tabernacle in Communion with Thy saints.
Help me to see Thee in every human body, poor, hungry, homeless, crucified,
In the Body of Thy Church,
In all things and above all things.
Blessed for evermore. Thanks be to God.

Grant, O Lord, that Thy Body and Blood which I desire to receive may be to all of us for the healing.and renewing.of the whole spirit, mind and body of the Church, that we may know our unity with one another in Thee, and in comradeship may seek Thy kingdom on earth.

PRAYERS BEFORE MASS.
(To be said in Church).

Note:

  1. Always prepare carefully for Communion,
  2. Keep the rule of the Church, not to eat or drink anything before Communion,
  3. Be in good time for the Mass, and when in Church kneel and use the following prayers.

Let us think of our Lord, present in each one of us: think of ourselves in fellowship with Him and with one another, and with all the heroes of the past and with all faithful people of all colours and all races. As the Body of Christ we are to offer our gifts of food and drink in the spirit of service, we are to break the bread in the spirit of fellowship. He again will say "This is my Body" and "This is my Blood," We are to share in His gifts -- both for Body and Soul -- His very Life, food, and drink given by Him to be shared in the spirit of justice,

Think of our Lord giving His whole life and soul and body even to the death on the Cross, for the cause of his kingdom: and of ourselves united to Him, with our comrades in His cause, by eating His Body and drinking His Blood.

Holy Father, in whom we live and move, and have our being, help us to realise our unity and fellowship with all the saints and heroes of the past and with all the faithful people throughout the world, as we hold up before Thee the perfect life of Thy dear Son -- our one Holy offering, our sacrifice, which we worship and which we ask Thee to accept,

Lord Jesus, help me in this Mass to give and to contribute my fullest offering of comradeship, of worship, of prayer, and of joy, that our worship may be acceptable to 'Thee and that we may help to make the spirit of this service a foretaste of Thy kingdom which shall be here on earth.

O Holy Spirit of God, possess and fill our hearts in t.his service t.hat all the love and joy and goodness, and hunger for justice and freedom, and all the determination and courage and true manliness of Christ may find expression in us that we may truly be His Body and do His Will.

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THANKSGIVING AFTER COMMUNION
(Which may be said after your Communion while others are communicating or after the Service or in the Evening).

Jesus my Lord, I adore Thee. I make me love Thee more and more. I adore Thee, I worship Thee, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, would that all might glorify Thee in this mystery of Thy love. Grant O Lord that as I have now shared in Thy spirit of justice and common sharing, in comradeship, with these Thy Brethren, I may continue in that spirit in all my dealings with them and with all others with whom I have to work, that Thy spirit may overcome the injustice and inequalities of this world and make it Thy kingdom.

Pray:

For the Catholic Crusade, for this parish and its work.
For the sick, those in prison, the unemployed, the poor.
For the victims of Imperialism. native races.
For the raising up of a courageous and wise leadership for the workers.

O God, who in a wonderful Sacrament has left us a memorial of Thy passion, grant us ,we beseech Thee so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood that we may ever see within ourselves the fruit of Thy redemption Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit one God ,world without end.

Jesus, I thank Thee for the common offering for the good of all in which I have joined. Help me to do my work in this spirit of service.

Jesus, I have acted as part of Thy Body in the breaking of the bread. Help me to work with others for the coming of Thy kingdom on earth.

Jesus, I have shared in common at Thine altar. Help me to strive for justice in sharing food and drink, and for fulness of life for all.

Jesus, I have seen Thee in the Bread and Wine, and in my comrades who fed on Thee. Help me to see Thee in all and above all and to serve Thee in my fellow men.

Jesus, I have known Thee in the comradeship of this Holy meal. Help me to strive against all that destroys comradeship amongst men.

Jesus, I have seen Thee crucified -- Thy body broken -- Thy blood shed for the cause of Thy glorious kingdom. I have offered my soul and body for Thy cause and have united myself to Thee by eating Thy body and drinking Thy Blood. Help me to persevere and to be prepared to suffer in Thy service.

Behold, O Lord Jesus Christ, I now possess Thee, who dost possess us all in one body. Keep my heart from a.all evil, from all pride and envy, from jealousy and self-seeking and quarrelsomeness, from desire of praise and thanks, f.rom all fruitless lust and wrong affection, from love of money and many possessions. On Thee alone may our hearts be fixed and where our treasure is there let our hearts be also.

Remember, O Lord, what Thou hast wrought in us and not what we deserve, and as Thou hast called us to Thy Service, make us worthy of our calling for Jesus Christ's sake.

O praise God in His holiness etc. (Psalm 150 or 103).

Lord, new lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, etc.

* * * * * * *

Note: Here follow sections on Confession and Absolution, How to Confess, and Thanksgiving after Absolution. These have been omitted, at least for now, as the topic of confession -- which Conrad Noel valued highly -- with be covered extensively in "Sins and their Cure". -- Ted M.

* * * * * * *

EVENING PRAYERS

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. ,

Abide with us, O Lord, for it is towards evening :and the day is far spent.

Come ye yourselves apart and rest awhile.

Lord teach us to pray.

Our Father, etc.

Hail Mary, etc.

Holy Father I thank Thee for Thy love in creating me ; and for taking care of me all this day, I thank Thee for the joy of work, for comradeship and for the hope of Thy coming kingdom, Blessed be Thy Holy Name for ever.

O Holy Spirit give me light to see my sins. How have I failed to be like Jesus and to serve Him in and with my fellow men?

  1. Have I failed in comradeship or in justice to others?
  2. Have I let down my comrades or unfitted myself to serve with them in Christ's cause?
  3. Have I stood for freedom and truth and upheld the spirit of Christ? ,
  4. Have I been faithless, depressed, cowardly ,lazy, or given way to a low ideal of life and character?
Father, I am very sorry that I have sinned so often and so much. Make me penitent, that I may confess my sins and truly amend my life, and so find pardon and peace, and be worthy to share with my comrades in 'Thy fellowship and in the service of Thy kingdom.

Lord Jesus, our Leader, we give ourselves to Thee, for the cause of Thy glorious kingdom; for joy or for sorrow, for success or for failure, for life or for death, now and for evermore.

Jesus, I thank Thee with all my heart for Thy Holy Church of which I am a member. Bless her priests and people and specially those of our own group. Give us a great love for her as Thy Body. Help me to be true to my responsibilities to all other members, to worsjip with them regularly at Thine Allar, to contribute my share of love and forgiveness that Thy spirit may live amongst us, in Thy Body. May Thy Holy Spirit lead us into all truth and strengthen us for service in Thy cause and give us grace to persevere unto the end

Prosper Thy work, O Lord, in heathen lands and in the far parts of the earth. Give courage and wisdom to all who are striving to bring the knowledge of the truth to unbelievers, d freedom and justice to tile subject and oppressed nations of the earth; and hasten the coming of Thy kingdom on earth, that true freedom, peace and joy may be to all people.

Bless all those whom I love .-- have mercy on those in need -- the sick -- those in prison -- and give me grace to tight against all evil.

Forgive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the apostasy and corruption of Thy Church, her pandering to the rich and respectable, her lack of objective. Give her penitence and true humility that again she may seek first Thy kingdom and its justice, and unite all Christians in Thy cause, that in unity of the Faith and with one heart they may seek to overcome the world and establish that kingdom on earth, to Thy honour and glory who with the Father and the Holy Ghost art one God for ever,

May the fellowship and prayers of Blessed Mary, of Saint . . . . and of all the Saints strengthen and inspire us and may my guardian angel keep watch over me this night and may the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace, AMEN,

OTHER PRAYERS AND PRAISES.

Blessed be God,
Blessed he His Holy Name. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man,
Blessed be His new world of comradeship and justice,
Blessed be Jesus in the Common Meal of fellowship,
Blessed be the Holy Ghost firing men to courage.
Blessed be the Great Mother of God, dragging down tyrants,
Blessed be Mary of Galilee, exalting the humble,
Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints,
Blessed be God.

FOR THE SICK
Them that are sick, O Lord, of Thy people visit in Thy pity and mercy and heal them. Turn from them and from all of us sickness and infirmity, drive from us the spirit of weakness, raise up again them that are lying in long sickness, heal them that are vexed with evil spirits, O Thou great Physician of souls and bodies, Jesus Christ our Lord.

O God, my very life, one source of all character within me, and in all the world; give me greater courage to speak out bravely when I see wrong and to challenge injustice and snobbery and selfishness. Help me to overcome shyness and fear and all indifference to social wrongs. Give me a deeper sincerity. gracefulness to accept rebukes and to amend my life and ways; an iron hand on self, so that I may the better take my place amongst my fellow men an serve Thee in them. Keep me from love of money, of position and of praise and help me to be humble and faithful and true in all I undertake for Thee, that it may be for Thy glory and the advancement of Thy kingdom.

FOR THE DEAD
Rest eternal grant to him, 0 Lord, and let light perpetal shine upon him.
Absolve, 0 Lord, the soul of Thy servant from all his sins and grant him light and peace and the joy of serving Thee in Thy kingdom. Amen.

MEDITATION.

The purpose of the Church is to work with our Leader, Jesus, to establish His kingdom on earth. He has given us the principles of that kingdom and the methods of attaining it in His teaching which is in the gospels. It is essential therefore that we should study His life and teaching and seek the guidance of His spirit that we may understand them, and so base all our efforts on them. We can do this and should do it often in meditation. It is best to meditate in the quiet Church. Take your Bible and find a passage in the Gospels -- a few verses of Jesus' teaching. Kneel and THINK FIRST of God -- all the universe -- in you and around you. the source of all wissdom, power and goodness, working unceasingly to bring His kingdom on earth. THEN THINK of yourself. His child -- his life in you -- don't think of your limitations or failures, but of yourself as God meant you to be and as He dwells in you that you may be -- of yourself with complete power in you to overcome all fear and all sense of weakness and all difficulties. Then read the passage from the Gospels slowly and think what it means -- how it is to be applied in your life and in the world. THEN BE QUITE STILL and silent -- rest in God and let His spirit sink into your soul, and teach you His way of looking at things, till you come to see God as the biggest and most certain fact in life, and yourself made by Him to co-operate with Him in His purposes. During this time you can pray simply to God in your own words if you feel you want to, but Meditation is the only way in which we give God a chance to speak to us.

I,-CONTEMPLATION OF GOD.

FIRST try to get into the stillness and quietness of God's presence.

THINK. "Do not. I fill Heaven and Earth, saith the Lord," Jeremiah xxiii, 2.1. God is all; His presence fills all space, He is in all and above all. "In the beginning was God," nothing else, He is the the original substance of all and has made all out of Himself, and all is within Himself. All creation is a universe, and I am part of it.

GOD IS CREATIVE LIFE, ALL LIFE comes from Him. .

GOD IS CREATIVE SPIRIT; that is mind, intelligence, energy, purpose, love, justice, equality, freedom, beauty, goodness, friendship, order, etc,

GOD IS CREATIVE:, that is, He produces out of Himself, that which will express Himself, or some thing which is within Him.

So GOD has been ever, and is creating all things that He may express Himself through His Creation,

HIS CREATIVE SPIRIT is seen in action in the beauty and form and colour and scent of a rose, or in the purple heather, in the life and activity of the fish, in the song of the bird, in the mother love of the animal, in the strong and healthy bodies of men and women,

HIS CREATIVE SPIRIT is seen in the intelligence of animals, and in their love, but most of all in men, in the spirit of their lives, Best of all it is seen in MAN at his highest and his best in JESUS.

IN PERFECT MAN GOD IS SEEN FUL,LY, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,"

GOD'S PURPOSE is, one day, when His creation is finished, to express Himself in and through His whole Creation, in a perfected and redeemed natural order, and in a redeemed human race, in which the whole human family will fully express His Spirit of love, justice, equality, freedom, and enter into that fullness of Life which God wills men to have,

THINK QUIETLY OF OF THE FOLLOWING FACTS WHICH ARISE OUT OF THE ABOVE.

  1. The whole Creation is a unity, and I am part of it, one with God,
  2. My organic life is a manifestation of God's life,
  3. My life and spirit are made to expres God's life and Spirit,
  4. God ever works to express His own perfection in all and so in me.
  5. God life's is in me, so there is in me the source of all health and strength, the power to heal, and the will to redeem body and soul.
"I am in the Father and ye in Me and I in you,"

"' I can do all things through Him that strengtheneth me,"

" If ye have faith the things that I do shall ye do, and greater things shall ye do,"

" Whatsoever thing are true, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are good, think on these things."

So THINK.

Godis in me and around me alwys, In me in the source of the abundant and over-mastering Life. .

I can overcome all that hinders the expression of that Life in and through me, because God can, and God wills to do so.

Try to make these thoughts real to your subconscious mind by thinking them deep down into your whole being.

2--PRAYER FOR HEALTH.

FIRST, try to relax your whole body, and to rest in God's presence,

"It is in Him that we live and move and have our Being,"

Make real to yourself these truths:

I am ln in God, and God in me, He is in me, and around me like the water is round a. fish,

I am part of God as my finger is part of my hand.

God is Health ... and activity ... and strength ... and Life ... and power ... and perfection ...,..and perfect love,

Because He is all this, and He is in me, so I can be all these. All these are in me, and God is wanting to express them through me, "Be ye perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect,"

Because my whole life and mind and body are made by God to express His Nature, so His will and plan for me must and will be worked out in me.

So I shall attain to perfection of life both for spirit and mind and body,

Let the body and all the material things drop away, and let God's recreating health giving life in you rest and heal you,

End your prayer by trying to rest in God, in complete confidence in His love and good will for you,

A LINE OF THOUGHT TO LEAD UP TO PRAYER.

Think of something lovely in Nature, A hilltop covered with heather. An apple tree in bloom, Beech trees in spring. There is God's creative Life in action, producing all the loveliness in form and colour and scent,.

Think of tbe birds on a spring morning, singing, making their nests. There is God's life in action, giving them activity, producing all their joy of song, and their intelligence,

Think of Jesus, the splendour of His whole Life and character, His love for men, His courage, His sympathy, His true manliness. There is God's life in action, producing His Spirit, and His whole character;

Think of some splendid men and women whom you know of, St. Paul, St, Francis, and others whom you know personally. There is God's creative Life showing itself in all their splendid character and in the whole spirit of their lives.

Think of yourself, made by God to express His creative Life, with all its health and strength, and vitality, and perfection. Now rest in God, knowing that His Life is in you and around you, ever working to do His will, and to pour out His love upon you.

You can go on from this line of thought to think of others who need His help, those who are sick, those in poverty, etc.

The aim of all your prayers should be to know God truly, to live in consciousness of His presence, and to have confidence in Him, and to offer yourself to Him for His cause,

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