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The Universal Prayer

March 16, 2017

To my mind, one of the most remarkable prayers ever written was one attributed to Clement XI, who was pope from 1700-1721. Many have never heard it. The prayer is called “universal” because of its sweeping themes. Upon completing it one might well ask if anything at all was left out!

If you are looking for a prayer to set on your night stand, this is surely a good one. I often pray this when my mind is dull. I admire its beauty and style; it is deeply personal and humble. It is not trite but neither is it stuffy. One of my favorite sections is this one:

Let me love you, my Lord and my God,
And see myself as I really am:
A pilgrim in this world,
A Christian called to respect and love
All whose lives I touch,
Those under my authority,
My friends and my enemies
.

As beautiful and helpful as the Universal Prayer is, it is nearly unknown. It is a bit long to reproduce in its entirety, but is available for viewing and download here: The Universal Prayer.

Here is a video in which the prayer is recited. Now off to prayer with you!

Filed in: Prayer

Comments (2)

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  1. Daniel Gallup says:

    Thank you for offering this gem! It truly is a universal prayer for all Christians. Why haven’t I heard this before, or seen it quoted in books and blogs? What a gift you offer us, Msgr Pope, and my deepest appreciation.

  2. JohnR says:

    Thank you for this prayer. It is exactly what I want. I must say it myself more often.