Authentic Scriptural Meditations and Explanations of Traditional Catholic Prayers

05/10/2000
Themes:
Charles Pritchard

Our traditional Catholic prayers are deeply rooted in Scriptures and by praying these prayers daily for various petitions, so too will our understanding of God’s Word strengthen in us. Sometimes we pray these words without realising their significance or living the words we pray. The authentic Bible [1] verses listed in this article will help clarify the deeper meaning of these powerful prayers, in particular the Apostles Creed, the Our Father and the Hail Mary prayers.

The Apostles Creed

The Apostles Creed has been passed down through the generations in the Catholic Church. This prayer is summarized below with additional Scriptural references.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

“In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

“For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” (John 3:16)

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.

“Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 1:18)

“To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.” (Luke 1:27)

He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

“Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him unto them to be crucified.” (Matthew 27:26)

He descended to the dead.

“In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison [2]: Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3:19−20)

On the third day he rose again.

“He is not here, but is risen. Remember how he spoke unto you, when he was in Galilee, saying: The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” (Luke 24:6−7)

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

“And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:9)

"Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Romans 8:34)

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

“I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:1)

“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” (2 Maccabees 12:46)

A gift hath grace in the sight of all the living, and restrain not grace from the dead.” (Ecclesiasticus 7:37)

“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower hell, unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4)

“For thy mercy is great towards me: and thou hast delivered my soul out of the lower hell.” (Psalms 85:13)

“And I saw a great white throne, and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell gave up their dead that were in them; and they were judged every one according to their works.” (Revelation 20:11−14)

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

“And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one.”  (John 5:7)

the holy Catholic Church,

“Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: let his praise be in the church of the saints.” (Psalms 149:1)

“The heavens shall confess thy wonders, O Lord: and thy truth in the church of the saints.” (Psalms 88:6)

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned [3], whether by word, or by our epistle.” (2 Thessalonians 2:14)

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15)

the communion of saints,

The saints in heaven are praying for us:

“And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients [4] fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” (Revelation 5:8)

For example, Machabeus had a vision of the deceased saints, Onias and Jeremias, praying for the Jews who were in battle:

Now the vision was in this manner: Onias who had been high priest, a good and virtuous man, modest in his looks, gentle in his manners, and graceful in his speech, and who from a child was exercised in virtues, holding up his hands, prayed for all the people of the Jews: After this there appeared also another man, admirable for age, and glory, and environed with great beauty and majesty: Then Onias answering, said: This is a lover of his brethren, and of the people of Israel: this is he that prayeth much for the people, and for all the holy city, Jeremias the prophet of God.” (2 Maccabees 15:12–14)

Also, there are many Biblical references of heavenly angels helping people throughout the ages. In particular, St Michael, St Raphael and St Gabriel the archangels are mentioned by name [5].

the forgiveness of sins,

“To open their eyes, that they may be converted from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and a lot among the saints, by the faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:18)

the resurrection of the body,

“And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken by God, saying to you: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:31−32)

and the life everlasting. Amen.

“And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:16−17)

The Our Father Prayer

In the words of Jesus Christ:

“Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9−15)

Our Father who art in heaven

“That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)

Hallowed be thy name

“He hath sent redemption to his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever. Holy and terrible is his name.” (Psalms 110:9)

Thy kingdom come

We are calling Jesus Christ and his heavenly kingdom of saints to come:

“Now of these Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying: Behold, the Lord cometh with thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to reprove all the ungodly for all the works of their ungodliness, whereby they have done ungodly, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against God.” (Jude 1:14−15)

“When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:10)

For God’s kingdom to come, we need to fervently pray with the saints for this world, for the sinners and nonbelievers to repent, and come to Jesus before it is too late.

We are also invoking God’s kingdom to come and help us in spiritual warfare, led by Blessed Mother Mary, the Queen of Heaven, the canonized saints, the forgotten saints, and all the angels with St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael at the forefront of the battle for souls.

Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven

Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

Give us this day our daily bread

We are asking God to “Give us this day our supersubstantial bread” (Matthew 6:11), the Holy Eucharist, which our Father makes available to many around the world in daily Holy Masses around the world, yet very few people today make an effort to receive Jesus worthily in daily Mass.

“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you. For him hath God, the Father, sealed.” (John 6:27)

“Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.” (John 6:54−59)

“For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily [6], shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:26−29)

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

We are actually asking our Father to not forgive us if we don’t forgive others, so letting go of anger, bitterness or resentment towards others and praying for our enemies, as Jesus did on the cross, must be the highest priority in our lives if we are to find peace of Christ in our hearts and enter his heavenly kingdom.

“But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.” (Matthew 6:15)

As Jesus instructed his Apostles, his first bishops and priests, in John 20:23, “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained,” so he continues the same call today in his Catholic Church.

“He that hideth his sins, shall not prosper: but he that shall confess, and forsake them, shall obtain mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13).

“And the priest shall pray for him and for his sin before the Lord, and he shall have mercy on him, and the sin shall be forgiven.” (Leviticus 19:22, cf James 5:14−16)

By doing penance through the Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation or Confession), we bring alleviation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is profusely pierced as a result of our sins (Hebrews 6:6), our sins are remitted and we are truly set free to become the saints we were created to be:

And he said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46−47)

“But all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Christ; and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18)

And lead us not into temptation

“Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh weak. (Matthew 26:41)

But deliver us from evil. Amen.

“And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: freely have you received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7−8)

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

The Hail Mary Prayer

The Hail Mary prayer has been part of the Catholic Church for many hundreds of years, the power of which has been confirmed by Christ through his saints, messengers, and countless miracles. Mother Mary prays for us to her Son Jesus, and then Jesus intercedes to the Father (Romans 8:34, John 14:6).

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

“And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace [7], the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” (Luke 1:28)

“I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope [8]. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth [9], in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb. My memory is unto everlasting generations.” (Ecclesiasticus 24:24−28)

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

“And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:46−48)

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Mother Mary, created by God the Father, is the Mother of God the Son, the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ.

“To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed, and who hath known her wise counsels? To whom hath the discipline of wisdom been revealed and made manifest? And who hath understood the multiplicity of her steps? There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful king, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, and is the God of dominion. He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw her, and numbered her, and measured her. And he poured her out upon all his works, and upon all flesh according to his gift, and hath given her to them that love him [10].” (Ecclesiasticus 1:6–10)

The precursor to the Virgin Mary, the chaste Judith [11], was also implored to pray for Israel and, as a result, through the power of God, she single-handedly saved Israel in their hour of most need − as Mother Mary will do for all of humanity in time to come.

“Now therefore pray for us, for thou art a holy woman, and one fearing God.” (Judith 8:29)

The Rosary, the Weapon of our Times

The Holy Trinity and Mother Mary are asking us, through their messengers, to pray the Rosary every day. The Rosary is a powerful petition through Mother Mary to her Son Jesus. The 20 meditations bring to life the Scriptures and allows the Holy Spirit to talk to you in the depths of your heart. It truly is the weapon of our times, through which God has granted countless miracles throughout the ages.

When Adam and Eve first sinned, God prophesied the war between Satan, the dragon, and the Mother of the Saviour of the world, the woman:

“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

Jesus’ first-recorded miracle was as a result of his Mother, the woman’s request:

“And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.” (John 2:3−5)

On the cross, Jesus gifted his Mother, the woman, to us:

“When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.” (John 19:26)

And the perfect one, the woman full of God’s grace, over whom Satan is powerless, remains at the forefront of the battle:

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man child.” (Revelation 12:13)

“And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17)

“One is my dove, my perfect one is but one [12], she is the only one of her mother [13], the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?” (Song of Solomon 6:9−10)

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament [14] was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail. And a great sign [15] appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Revelation 11:19–12:1)

“Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified.” (Psalms 131:8)

Soon Mother Mary will crush the serpent’s head and the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph, but to do this she needs our prayers!

 

[1] The Douay-Rheims Bible, used here, is the most accurate English translation of the fourth-century Latin Vulgate. The Latin Vulgate, commissioned by St Pope Damasus and primarily attributed to St Jerome, is a direct translation of the most reliable manuscripts at the time (which have since disintegrated) and has been in use for more than 1,600 years by the Catholic Church. In 1546, at the Council of Trent, it was the only Bible to ever be decreed as authentic by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has used the Douay-Rheims Bible for more than 300 years and it is recommended for anyone seeking to understand the Word of God. To understand why the Douay-Rheims Bible is the most reliable English translation of the original Word of God, where other Bibles have been changed, and why the confusion, ssee “Where Most Bibles in Circulation Today Have Been Changed to Suit Man Not God” in “Resources” on www.alpha-omega.org.za.

[2] These spirits in prison are the souls in purgatory awaiting to be released into heaven, as referred to in Matthew 5:25, too: “... and thou be cast into prison. Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.”

[3] The Catholic Church came before the Apostles started writing the sacred texts, so the traditions and truths learned from Christ, carried through from the first Apostles, by the workings of the Holy Spirit, form part of divine revelation too.

[4] These are amongst the powerful saints in heaven.

[5] See the stories of Archangel Raphael helping Tobias and Sara (Tobit 12); Archangel Gabriel explaining Daniel’s vision (Daniel 8), prophesying the coming of Christ (Daniel 9), appearing to Zachary and the Virgin Mary (Luke 1); and the great prince, Archangel Michael at the forefront of the battle against evil (Daniel 10:21, Daniel 12:1, Jude 1:9, Revelation 12:7).

[6] By justifying certain sins and not making an effort to be in a state of grace through the Sacrament of Penance is very hurtful to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

[7] Mother Mary is the only person in the Bible, with the exception of Christ (in John 1:14) to be called “full of grace” prior to being baptized, and remained so, sin-free throughout her life, making her the most sanctified in heaven.

[8] Mother Mary has many titles all over the world but most importantly, she is the Mother of the Saviour of the world.

[9] In Mother Mary is all the grace of Jesus Christ: “Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

[10] Mother Mary has been gifted to us by the Father. We cannot love Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and not love his Blessed Mother. It goes against God’s commandment of honouring our father and mother.

[11] Compare Luke 1:28 with Judith 13:23.

[12] Mother Mary was born without sin and never sinned, which is why she is the perfect one and why Satan is terrified of her and completely powerless over her.

[13] Referring to St Anne. Mother Mary’s parents are St Anne and St Joachim.

[14] Mother Mary is the Ark of the New Testament, the New Covenant in Jesus Christ.

[15] On 31/12/1987 our Blessed Mother Mary confirmed to her messenger, Fr Stefano Gobbi (Marian Movement for Priests), that this “great sign” was the Miracle of the Sun in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal, which was witnessed by more than 70,000 people.