Litany of the Love of God

May 23, 1993
Brother John Raymond

	During his pontificate Pope Pius VI wrote a beautiful litany on
 the Love of God. Born in Cesena, Italy, on December 27, 1717, he
 studied at a Jesuit college, decided to become a priest and was
 ordained at the age of thirty-seven. In 1755 he became secretary to
 Pope Benedict XIV. Pope Clement XIV made him a Cardinal in 1773. Two
 years later he became Pope. Pope Pius VI died on August 29, 1798. He
 had been Pope for twenty-four years which, up to his time, was the
 longest pontificate since that of St. Peter. 
	As we read each line of this litany the by Pope Pius VI we see
 his ardent desire to love God unconditionally. Litanies such as this
 are not only good to pray but are a good source of meditation. It
 makes us reflect on our own love for God. Could we love God a little
 more? I think the answer for many of us is "yes." The Pope himself,
 in all humility, ends this Litany with a prayer asking God to
 perfect his love. It is only by God's help that we can grow to
 perfect love of Him. But first we must realize in all humility,
 which is nothing but the truth, that our love for God has some room
 for growth. By acknowledging ourselves sincerely as we are before
 God we can be sure, by this act of humility, that God will help us.
 This childlike sincerity is what draws God's graces down upon us.
 The Apostles of Jesus give us many examples of this type of
 simplicity. One such example is when they asked Jesus, "Lord, teach
 us how to pray." The Apostles acknowledged their need for growth in
 prayer. And what did Our Lord do? He immediately responded by
 teaching them the "Our Father." So let us pray this Litany in all
 humility begging God to help us love Him more and more.

Litany of the Love of God 

Lord have mercy on us. 
	Christ have mercy on us. 
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. 
	Christ, graciously hear us. 
God the Father of Heaven, 
	Have mercy on us. 
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, 
	Have mercy on us. 
God the Holy Spirit, 
	Have mercy on us. 
Holy Trinity, One God, 
	Have mercy on us. 

You Who are Infinite Love, I love You, O my God. 
You Who did first love me, I love You, O my God. 
You Who did command me to love You, etc. 
With all my heart, 
With all my soul, 
With all my mind, 
With all my strength, 
Above all possessions and honor, 
Above all pleasures and enjoyments, 
More than myself and all that belongs to me, 
More than all my relatives and friends, 
More than all men and angels, 
Above all created things in Heaven or on earth, 
Only for Yourself, 
Because You are the sovereign Good, 
Because You are infinitely worthy of being loved, 
Because You are infinitely perfect, 
Even had You not promised me Heaven, 
Even had You not menaced me with Hell, 
Even should You try me by want and misfortune, 
In wealth and in poverty, 
In prosperity and in adversity, 
In health and in sickness, 
In life and in death, 
In time and in eternity, 
In union with the love by which all the Saints and all the Angels love You in Heaven, 
In union with that love by which the Blessed Virgin Mary loves You, 
In union with that infinite love by which You love Yourself eternally, 

Let us Pray 

	My God, Who does possess in incomprehensible abundance all that
 is perfect and worthy of love, annihilate in me all guilty, sensual
 and undue love for creatures; kindle in my heart the pure flame of
 Your love, so that I may love nothing but You or in You, until,
 being entirely consumed by holy love of You, I may go to love You
 eternally with the elect in Heaven, the country of pure love. Amen.
 (reproduced with permission, copyright (c) 1964, of Catholic Book
 Publishing Co. New York, NY. All rights reserved.)