Thursday, April 9, 2015

Aperi Domine Explained

Aperi, Domine, etc.

The Scriptures warn us to prepare ourselves before prayer, that we be not "as a man that tempteth God" (Ecclus. xvii. 23.) Hence we read that certain of the Saints, as St. Charles Borromeo, spent some time in meditation before beginning the Office; and St. Bonaventure says it is natural that when the Office is begun without fervor, it is also ended coldly. 

An indulgence of 100 days was granted to the prayer Aperi, Domini by Pius X on Nov. 15, 1911.

Both the Divine Office and the Little Office of the  Blessed Virgin are preceded by this prayer, which, though not necessary as a part of the Office, is most suitable for placing ourselves in the divine presence and imploring the graces to say the Office well.

We may distinguish three parts in this preparatory prayer. First, we ask God to remove the obstacles to prayer, which may be in the desires of the heart; or in the worldly, dangerous or wandering thoughts of the mind. In the next place we seek the positive helps to prayer, which consist in the enlightening of the mind and the kindling of the will. Finally, we implore that our recitation of the Office may have the qualities of respect, attention and devotion, and thus obtain for us the favors we request.

Domine, in unione, etc.

We now unite our intention, while discharging the duty of saying the Office, to that with which Our Divine Lord, while on earth, offered His prayers to the Eternal Father.

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