Redemptorist Meal Prayers

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Escudo2


Responsible
Serafino Fiore, C.Ss.R.

Rome 2008

Introduction

A meal was a privileged moment in the mission of Jesus the Redeemer: at table he forgave sins, met with friends, instituted the Eucharist and manifested his glory.

The meal is also an important moment in Redemptorist apostolic life. At table Redemptorists come together as a community, welcome guests, foster the joy of fraternal life, are nourished with the resources necessary for the mission and give thanks to God for his wondrous deeds.

The Constitutions and General Statutes of the Congregation continue to be an inexhaustible source of spirituality, at the service of every aspect and instance of our apostolic life, including the sharing of meals. The prayers offered in this text draw from this great source and the even greater wealth of the Word of God in the hope of rendering a useful service to Redemptorist communities around the world, as also – with suitable adaptations – for those religious families and the laity who share our spirituality and mission.

A prayer before lunch and supper is provided for each day of the month, while the concluding prayer remains the same for both lunch and supper. Every community can integrate these texts into their own customs by, for example, combining them with the recitation of the Our Father, reading a biblical passage or singing a short hymn, etc.

The first part offers prayers for every day of the month. The second part proposes alternative prayers for Sundays in Ordinary Time, for the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter and also for the special feasts in the Redemptorist tradition and liturgical calendar.

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PART I

Prayers
for every day
of the month

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Day 1

Before Lunch [Ps. 27,8; Const. 81]
You are the strength of your people, O Lord, the refuge of salvation for your consecrated ones. Bless the food which we are about to share, may we be abundantly nourished by your Word and constantly meditate on the mystery of salvation, so that the problems of the world may evoke sympathy in our hearts and find a response in our actions. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Ps. 27,9; Rm. 5,5; Const. 81]
Preserve your people, O Lord, and bless your inheritance. You sustain us once again with the food that you place on our table today. Feed our spirit also with your Gospel, so that moved by a bright and living hope, we may base our lives in that charity which does not deceive. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Mat. 6,25 Const. 83]
Lord Jesus, you have taught us that life has greater worth than food: may our whole life be nourished by the wisdom of your Gospel, so that we may know how to witness and proclaim it faithfully to the men and women today. You who live and reign for even and ever.

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Day 2

Before Lunch [Const. 2]
Lord, thank you for making us experience at this table the joy of communion based on our religious profession that forms us into one missionary body. Bless this food, so that today and every day we seek in you the true motive of our brotherhood. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Const. 6]
Blessed be your name forever, O Lord. May you be blessed through this food that you grant us this day. May it make us humble and courageous servants of the Gospel of Christ, the Redeemer and Lord, the head and model of a renewed humanity. He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

Conclusion [1Ki 19,8; Const. 27]
For us, O Lord, as for your prophets, may this food be nourishment for renewed service of your Kingdom. Grant that we may seek your presence in daily life and in the principal signs of salvation, so that we might always accomplish your will. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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Day 3

Before Lunch [Deu. 2,7; Const. 20]
Lord, bless the work of our hands, and accompany our journey through the desert of the world. Bless this food, so that strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, aware of our weakness and persevering in prayer, we may follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy, and proclaim his mystery with simplicity of life and language. He who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Before Supper [Ps. 113,26; Const. 19]
We, the living, bless you O Lord, now and forever. We give you thanks for the gift of this meal. Bestow also your grace on us, so that we know how to proclaim to all people of good will that, following Christ, the perfect human being, they too will attain the full realization of their vocation. Through the same Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [2Cor. 4,10; Const. 41,1]
Thank you, Father, for the food we have shared. Grant us the gift of that interior freedom which brings unity and harmony to our whole life: so that, through love and by the example of Christ we might spend our lives for others. Through the same Christ our Lord.

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Day 4

Before Lunch [1John 4,10; Rev. 21,1; Const. 6]
We thank you, Father, for your plentiful Redemption, for having first loved us and sent your Son to be the expiation for our sins. Bless this food and, with your help, may it enable us to transform all values in Christ and with him journey toward a new earth and a new heaven. This we ask through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Const. 15]
Praise and glory to you, Father, for the food you place on our table. Grant that we may be free and unimpeded for your work of salvation, continuously seeking new apostolic initiatives, with the desire of bringing your Gospel to every creature. This we ask through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [1Cor. 9,22; Const. 49]
We thank you, all-powerful God, for having nourished us with the gifts of your providence; accompany us always with your grace, so that, renouncing ourselves and all we possess, we may become followers of Christ, and make ourselves all things to all people. Through Christ our Lord.

Divider2Day 5

Before Lunch [Const. 1]
Blessed be the Lord for this food which we are about to share. With it you sustain our bodies and so render more generous our participation in the mission given to the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation. Renew our missionary fervour, so that we may proclaim to the most abandoned the wonders of your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Ps. 135,25; Const. 11]
Eternal, O Lord, is your mercy, through which you grant nourishment to every living being. Bless this food. Confirm us as “apostles of conversion” so that, firmly, yet gently, we might lead men and women of our age to a radical choice in favour of Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Conclusion [Const. 2]
May thanks be given to you, O Lord, for having called us as companions and ministers of Jesus Christ in the great work of redemption. Grant us the same spirit as the apostles, make us zealous like the example of our Saints and Blessed, so that – attentive to the signs of the times – we may serve you in our brothers and sisters. This we ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

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Day 6

Before Lunch [Const. 3]
O Lord, there are still many people who do not know of your saving power. There are so many who have never heard your message, or received it as “Good News”. Bless this food which we receive today from your goodness, so that our missionary service might be more generous. This we ask through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Luke 4,18; Const. 3]
Lord Jesus, on many occasions and in diverse ways you sought out the poor, the weak, and the oppressed, and announced to them a year of grace. With these you sought to identify yourself. We ask you to bless this food, and also help us every day life to recognize you in the most abandoned of our sisters and brothers. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Const. 38]
Thank you, good Father, for gathering us around this fraternal table. Give us unity of purpose in Christ and strengthen our mutual respect, so that we may readily reach a decision on what the common good requires, both in regard to the practice of brotherly charity and the exercise of our missionary work. This we ask through Christ our Lord.

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Day 7

Before Lunch [Const 1]
We thank you, Father, for having called us to share in the mission of Jesus Christ, your Son, by preaching your Word of salvation to the poor. Bless this food of which we are about to partake, may it help us be more generous in our service to your Church. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Mat. 18,20; Const. 34]
Lord Jesus, you have said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. With this meal nourish that Gospel friendship which gives life to our apostolic community and make us a faithful sign of your love in the world. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [1John 4,19; Const 56]
O Lord, you who do not allow any of your children to lack their daily bread, give us the strength of the Holy Spirit so that we spare no effort to arrive at a total gift of ourselves, in response to you who first loved us. You who live and reign forever and ever.

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Day 8

Before Lunch [Luke 15,2; Const. 12]
Lord Jesus, very often you sat at table with sinners, to announce God’s mercy to them. We thank you for sharing this meal with us, which we bless in your name. May we celebrate your love through the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, thus building up the Christian community, a sign of your presence in the world. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Const. 10]
Praise to you, Father, for inviting us to collaborate in the mystery of redemption: together with this food that we bless in your name, grant us your Holy Spirit, who has command of every situation and, for our mission, puts the most appropriate words on our lips, those that open the way to the heart. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Ps. 143,2; Const. 60]
Thank you, Lord, our grace and strength, our refuge and our deliverer. Once again today you nourish our bodies. Fill our spirits also with your presence, so that truly loving one another as brothers, we will be faithful to our consecration to you who live and reign for ever and ever.

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Day 9

Before Lunch [Rm. 8,29; Const. 7]
Lord, in spite of being sinners, you have chosen, redeemed and gathered us together in Christ. Great is the mission to which you have called us: to proclaim the great dignity and destiny of the individual and of the whole human race. Bless the food that we share today and with it grant us the joy to encounter you where you are already present and at work in your own mysterious way. We ask this through Christ the Lord.

Before Supper [Ps. 103,7; Const. 9]
Every living creature waits to receive from you, O Lord, its food at the opportune moment. We thank you for the gifts that we share today, may they help us grow closer to every brother and sister. With your help, patience, prudence and confidence, we will prepare the way for your Son who comes to us. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Conclusion [Const. 13]
May you be praised, O Lord, for this meal we have shared. May it help us do our missionary work with serious commitment and courageous initiative. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Divider1Day 10

Before Lunch [Const 5]
We bless you, Father, for the food you have once again placed on our table this day. May it support our work of evangelization, so that with your help we never tire in our efforts for the liberation and salvation of the whole human person. And by our solidarity with the poor may we promote their fundamental rights to justice and freedom. This we ask through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Ps. 110,5; Const 10]
Day after day you remember your covenant, O Lord, and you provide food for those who fear you. Bless this meal, so that it will help us carry out our mission in the Church: the explicit proclamation of your Word, for the sake of conversion to you, who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Conclusion [1Pet. 2,5; Const. 12]
We thank you, Lord, for the food you have given us. Give us also your grace, so that we can raise up and develop communities of the faithful who will walk worthily in the priestly, prophetic and royal vocation together with Jesus Christ your Son who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reign forever and ever.

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Day 12

Before Lunch [Const. 19]
Father, may your blessing come upon this food we are about to eat. May we be deeply aware of and concerned about the problems that men and women struggle with today, so that in these we discover true signs of your presence and your plan of salvation, and thus may we better serve your Church with our work. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Luke 11,3; Const. 41,1]
Lord Jesus, you have taught us to ask each day for the bread we need to sustain us. Bless this food. Help us to overcome every from of egoism and to open our hearts generously to our brothers and sisters, according to the demands of our apostolic vocation. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Ps. 110,4-5; Const. 64]
Good and merciful Lord, once again you have given us a sign of your marvellous care. While we thank you for this food, we pray: may we be committed to the law of labour, so that we fulfil our obligations and contribute with our efforts to our own livelihood and that of others. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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Day 13

Before Lunch [John 6,27; Const. 19]
Father, may your love for us be ever magnified. Again this day you grant us a meal to be shared. Make us seek also the food that does not perish, your Incarnate Word, whose mystery illumines the true vocation of every man and woman. He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Before Supper [1Chr. 29,10-11; Gen. St. 01]
Yours, O Lord, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendour and glory, for all in heaven and on earth is yours. Yours also is the food you offer us today: may it help us to carry out our mission by becoming the leaven of the Gospel in the world and devoting ourselves wholeheartedly to proclaiming your salvation. This we ask through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Ps. 118,12-14; Const. 58]
Blessed are you, Lord. In following your commands we find our joy, more than in any other good. Consecrating ourselves to you we have shared your love for the world. Fill our hearts with your presence, so that we may concern ourselves wholeheartedly with the things of the Lord, so as to better love and serve our neighbour. Through Christ our Lord.

Divider3Day 14

Before Lunch [Gen. 24,27;Const. 18]
Blessed are you Lord, God of our father Abraham, because you never fail to show goodness and fidelity toward us. Bless this food we are about to eat and help us serve Christ in our brothers and sisters, so that working with the local and universal Church we might build a world pleasing to you. We ask you this through Christ, our Lord.

Before Supper [Const. 43]
Send down your blessing, Lord, on this food. Make our community open to the world in such a way that through human contact we might learn to understand the signs of the times and of places and be more willing to embrace the demands of evangelization. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [2Cor. 8-9; Const. 61]
As we thank you for this food, we also pray, Lord, that we may faithfully embrace the spirit and the vow of poverty, with Jesus as our model, who, “being rich, became poor for our sakes, that by his poverty we might become rich.” He is God and lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

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Day 15

Before Lunch [Ps. 144,16; Gen. St. 09]
You open your hand, Lord, and satisfy the hunger of every living being. Thank you for the food you offer us today. Never allow us to be deaf to the cry of the poor and the oppressed, but may we seek to help them in every possible way, so that they will be able to overcome the evils that oppress them. We ask you this through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Const. 43]
Lord, you nourish all the living beings, bless this food we are about to eat. And give us your grace, so that we are able to share with others the joy of the Gospel, and become a leaven in the world, living witnesses of hope. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Tit . 2,12-13; Const. 42]
While we thank you for the gifts you have so generously lavished upon us, Lord, grant us also to live seriously, with justice and holiness in this world, turning our hearts unceasingly to your Word of salvation. You live and reign forever and ever.

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Day 16

Before Lunch [Ps. 103,15; Gen. St. 015]
Thank you, Lord, for wine that gladdens the heart, oil that makes the face shine and bread that sustains strength. Together with this food, give us the strength to educate your people in the faith and help us to overcome the difficulties we face in the situations of daily life. May we never lose heart, especially when our efforts seem useless. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Mark 3, 14; Acts 2, 42-45; 4, 22; Const. 22]
Come Lord Jesus, to share this meal with us, as you did so often with your disciples. Nourish a relationship of sincere friendship among us, so that combining our prayers and deliberations, labours and sufferings, successes and failures, and our material goods as well, we may better serve your Gospel. You live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Const. 71]
We thank you, Father, for your generosity. Grant that we too may make available to our brothers and sisters the energies of mind and will, the gifts received from nature and grace, in order to faithfully discharge the tasks assigned to us. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

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Day 17

Before Lunch [Const. 23]
O Lord, bless this food we are about to take and eat. May it give us the energy necessary to continue the redeeming mission of Christ in the world, making his person the centre of our life, and leading us to enter ever more intimately into communion with him. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Mat. 6,26-28; Const. 55]
Lord, you wisely care for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. Bless this food and our community. May we never stop feeling that we are true missionaries, regardless of age or circumstances, whether healthy or ill, with others or alone. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Tob 8,5; Const. 59]
Blessed are you, God of our fathers, and blessed be your name for all generations. The heavens and all creatures bless you in every age. We bless you for the gifts you have showered upon us. And we thank you for having called us to perfect chastity. May we call on you each day to renew this gift, so that we make a better response to your love. We ask this of you though Christ our Lord.

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Day 18

Before Lunch [Tob. 13,18; Const. 24]
Blessed are you, God of Israel, and blessed be those who praise your holy name. With this food you sustain our bodies. Cultivate in us also a spirit of contemplation, so that we know how to embrace, in its true light, your plan of salvation, distinguishing reality from illusion. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Mat. 4,4; Const. 24]
Praise to you, Lord, for the food which sustains our bodies. Help us to live by every Word that comes from your mouth, so that with the help of your Spirit we may recognize your presence every day in people and events. You who live and reign for ever and ever.

Conclusion [Const 41,1]
Thank you, Lord, for having manifested your goodness in the gift of this food. Grant us also the gifts of fidelity and vigilance, so that by continuously purifying our way of judging and acting, we might seek your will in all things. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

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Day 19

Before Lunch [Ps. 27,8; Phil. 2,5ss; Const. 25]
We bless you, Lord, strength of your people and refuge of salvation for those consecrated to you. May you be praised for this food that gladdens our table. And we give you thanks because, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you work unceasingly to conform us to Christ, producing his same sentiments in us. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Before Supper [Rom. 14,17; Gen. St. 021]
Father, your kingdom is not a question of food and drink, but of justice, peace and joy in the Spirit. While we give thanks for this nourishment, may it also help us work for the integral salvation of the whole person, producing those works that favour human and social advancement, especially of the poorest. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [John 6, 38; Mat. 20,28; Const. 71]
Lord God, creator of the universe, by your grace every season produces its fruit. We thank you for the meal we have just shared. Grant us your help so that, following the example of Christ, we may fulfil your will and give our life for the redemption of many. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

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Day 20

Before Lunch [Tob. 3,11; Const. 21]
Blessed are you, God of all mercy, and blessed be your name forever. May all your marvellous works bless you forever. As we prepare to eat this meal, we bless you, especially for the essential law of our apostolic life, which is to live in and work out of community. Grant that we find in our community life not only a material union of persons, but also a brotherly union of spirits. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Const. 53]
O Lord, you who never allow your children to lack food, bless this table and keep us united to you, so that perseveringly and single-mindedly we may seek your glory through missionary charity. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Const 23]
Praise and glory to you, Lord, for the food that once again today you have placed on our table. Make present at the heart of our community the Redeemer himself, so that he may form it and sustain it with his Spirit of love. The closer our union with Christ, the stronger will be the fraternal union among us. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

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Day 21

Before Lunch [Wis. 17,26; Const. 28]
Magnificent is the gift of the food you allow us to share once again today, Lord. But even more wonderful is the gift of your Word, with which you offer true sustenance to your Church, and for all of us is food for the soul, a pure and endless source of spiritual life. Grant that we may interiorize this Word, so that it will be for all of us the beginning of new life. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Const. 47]
Blessed are you, O Lord, who, in the one bread that is broken and shared, strengthen the unity of your children. Confirm us in the joy of our baptismal consecration and religious profession, so that as ministers of the Gospel we might make the mission of Christ more effective in the world today. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Conclusion [Ps. 67,36; Const. 26]
We thank you, Lord God of Israel, who gives strength and vitality to your people. With this food, give us also the gift to pray always, the same gift that inspired our founder, St. Alphonsus, so that following his example we might place all our energies at the service of your Kingdom. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

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Day 22

Before Lunch [John 6,27; Const. 29]
Bless, O Lord, the food which we receive once again today from your generosity. Increase our faith and love for the Eucharist, the food that nourishes us for eternal life. Grant that in it, the source and summit of our whole apostolic life and the sign of our missionary solidarity, we encounter and renew the mystery of Christ, the Saviour of all people. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Before Supper [John 4,34; Const. 31]
Pour out your blessing, Lord, upon this food. Nourish us with your Holy Spirit, so that above all else, through mental prayer and the contemplation of the mysteries of Redemption, we may make your will our daily bread, in imitation of Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

Conclusion [Mat. 10,38; Const. 51]
Thanks be to you, O Lord, the dispenser of all good things. Strengthen us in total dedication to the mission of Christ, so that by making his cross our own, with virginal freedom of heart, we might make ourselves available for the salvation of the world. Through Christ our Lord.

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Day 23

Before Lunch [Const. 46]
God of all goodness, bless us and these your gifts. Make us more faithful to the definitive choice by which we have dedicated our whole life to the proclamation of the Gospel and the perfect practice of apostolic charity. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Wis. 16,20; Const. 41,1]
Blessed are you, God of our fathers, who fed your people in the desert with manna, the food of angels. May you also be blessed for this food, and may your help never fail us, so that each day we will make every effort to putting on the new self, made in the image of Christ crucified and risen from the dead. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Conclusion [Luke 1,68; Const. 73,1 ]
Blessed are you, Lord God of Israel, for you have visited and redeemed your people, and because once again today you have nourished our bodies. We implore you to send your Holy Spirit, so that by means of fraternal dialogue we might seek your will, which speaks through the voices of people and the signs of the times, and make every effort to accomplish it. Through Christ our Lord.

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Day 24

Before Lunch [Wis. 11,26; Const. 52]
All things are yours, Lord, Lover of Life. We bless you for the food that you once again offer us today. Make our apostolic charity ever stronger and the unifying principle of our whole life, so that, following Christ the Redeemer, we might fulfil your will for the salvation of the world. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Before Supper [John 3,27; Const. 11]
No one can claim anything except but what is granted him from heaven. Therefore, we thank you, Father, for these gifts, signs of your goodness. Fill us with missionary zeal and may we know how, in our preaching, to move women and men firmly and gently to a decision for Christ, by means of a radical and decisive choice. Through the same Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Dan. 3,26; Const. 65]
Blessed are you God of our fathers. Your name is worthy of praise and glory forever. Thank you for the meal we have just eaten. Confirm us in missionary charity and style of life that is really poor, so that in solidarity with the poor we may become a sign of hope for them. You who live and reign forever and ever.

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Day 25

Before Lunch [Col. 4,3; 1Pet. 3,15; Const. 10]
Lord, bless this food. Grant us your wisdom, so that we know how to discern the moment when you open for us the door for preaching; may we always be ready to give witness to the hope that is in us, Christ your Son, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns forever and ever.

Before Supper [John 1,3; Gen. St. 035]
Everything that exists is a gift of your providence, Lord. Bless this food and reward with you grace all those who have been and are good to us: our parents, relatives, collaborators, friends and the benefactors of our Congregation. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Sira. 32,13; Const. 83]
We bless you, O Lord, for you have created us and filled us with your blessings. Grant that our faith, nourished by your Word, helps us to always seek you, to recognize the signs of the times, to see Christ in all people and to judge correctly the values of the world. We ask this of you through the same Christ our Lord.

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Day 26

Before Lunch [Tob. 4,19; Const. 10]
We bless you, Lord, in all circumstances and we ask you to guide our lives. Be blessed too for the gift of this food that you provide us today. Assist us by your grace that we know how to proclaim the mystery of Christ with confidence and constancy. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Before Supper [John 3,17; Const. 19]
Father, you have sent your Son into our midst not to judge the world but rather that it might be redeemed through him. Together with this food that we bless in your name, grant us the wisdom to understand and dialogue with the world, and thus collaborate with your ministry of redemption. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Ps. 27,7; Const. 82]
Lord, our strength and our shield, we place our trust in you; we give you thanks for this meal. Help us to assume our share of responsibility for the Congregation, so that it might be formed and developed without hindrance, always ready to respond to the demands of people today. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

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Day 27

Before Lunch [Tob. 4,19; Const. 17]
It is you, Lord, who endow us with all that is good and permit our desires to come to a virtuous end. Pour out your blessing upon this food. Give us the courage we need to renew our apostolic methods, retaining what is still valid, modifying what is inadequate and abandoning what is no longer useful, so that we may better respond to what is expected of us by the Church and the world. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [John 15,11; 2Tim. 3,16; Const. 28]
Lord Jesus, everything you said to your disciples was said so that your joy would be in them and their joy would be complete. Be present also today at this meal and enliven our faith so that we might become more effective apostles in every good work. You who live and reign for ever and ever.

Conclusion [Luke 10,2; Const. 80]
Lord, source of every gift, we thank you for this meal. Grant us also the gift of your Spirit, so that we may know how to discern the gift of vocation with which you continue to call so many young people. Lord of the harvest, provide labourers for your church, so that many will choose to follow in the footsteps of Christ the Redeemer. You who live and reign forever and ever.

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Day 28

Before Lunch [Tob. 8,16; Const. 144b]
We bless you, Lord, because you give us joy and treat us according to your great mercy. Pour out your blessing on this meal, and grant that while we occupy ourselves with obtaining the means necessary for our sustenance and work, we may do so without worrying too much about it, entrusting ourselves to the providence of our Father. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Luke 20,38; Gen. St. 036]
You, O Lord, are not the God of the dead, but of the living, because all things live through you. Bless this food which sustains our bodies and grant eternal life to our deceased confreres who have preceded us in the journey of faith and have given their lives for plentiful redemption. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Ps. 23,6; Const. 142]
Behold the generation that seeks your face, God of Jacob. We give you thanks for this meal. Communicate your wisdom to us, so that we know how to deal with life’s problems and difficulties with fraternal unity of mind and heart, so as to find a common solution that is in the best interest of the Church. Through Christ our Lord.

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Day 29

Before Lunch [Deut. 8,3; Const. 139]
Lord, you made your people experience hunger and then nourished them with manna, to make them understand that man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from your mouth. Bless this food. Inspire in our Superiors the wisdom and meekness of the Good Shepherd and in each of us a spirit of service, so that we unite all our efforts for the work of evangelization. Through the same Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Phil. 2,7; Const. 48]
May your blessing come upon this food, O Lord. Strengthen us in pastoral charity, in imitation of Christ who “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant”, and submitting himself to your will, fulfilled with his whole life the work of redemption. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Conclusion [Gen. St. 011]
Thank you, Lord, for sustaining our life with the fruits of the earth and of our own labour. Give us also your grace, so that we feel as our first and greatest obligation the mission to preach the Gospel to all who do not yet know the message of Christ and his saving mercy. Through the same Christ our Lord.

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Day 30

Before Lunch [Ps. 71,12; Gen. St. 044]
O Lord, you liberate the poor who cry to you and the miserable who find no help. We bless you for this meal, and pray you make us sensitive to the poverty of the world and to the grave social problems afflicting practically all peoples today. We also pray you will lead us to make our own the legitimate aspirations of the poor. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Gen. St. 046,1]
We can never thank you enough, Lord, for the community which supplies us with all that we need. Bless this food, and renew the fraternal communion among all Redemptorists of the world, so that wherever they may be, they give glory to you who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [1Th. 5,19; 1Cor. 12,31; Gen. St. 049a]
Great and wonderful are your works, O Lord. Again today you supply us with all we need in life. Give us your wisdom, so that we examine all things and retain what is good, bearing in mind that the “higher charisms” are directed to charity, as to a “more excellent way”. You who live and reign forever and ever.

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Day 31

Before Lunch [Luke 12,42; Const. 90]
In your providence, Lord, grant us our share of food at the opportune time. Bless this meal and help us each day to improve our missionary activity, constantly renewing our spiritual, scientific and pastoral life. You live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Luke 22,30; 1Cor 12,7; Const. 92]
Lord Jesus, you have promised your disciples a place at your heavenly banquet. Remain with us always, help us to play an active and responsible role in the life of the Congregation, making available, for the common good, the particular manifestation of the Spirit entrusted to each of us. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [John 4,34; Const. 103]
Lord Jesus, you said: “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to complete his work.” May your Spirit dwell within us and help us examine ourselves about the correct understanding of our office within the community, and whether we exercise it adequately for the service of our mission. You who live and reign forever and ever.

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Part II

Alternative Texts

For particular
seasons and occasions

Divider2Advent Season

Before Lunch [Tit. 2,12-13; Const. 40]
Grant us, Father, together with the food that we bless in your name, to live with sobriety, justice and holiness so that our community might be constantly renewed, awaiting in joyful hope the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ. He is God and lives and reigns forever and ever.

Before Supper [Const. 68]
Bless this food, Lord. May your grace help us, so that we prepare for the coming of your Son with a spirit of poverty, a life of moderation, work and detachment from earthly riches. And above all else, may we search for and experience your fatherly love. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Ps. 26,8; Const. 45,2]
All our life, O Lord, is lived in waiting for your coming. While we thank you for this food, we ask that the various moments of our days, working and praying, in solitude and fraternal dialogue, studying, resting or celebrating, will help us to always seek your face. Through Christ our Lord.

Divider3Christmas Season

Before Lunch [Const. 74]
Praised be to you, Lord Jesus, who by your birth desired to make yourself our brother. Bless this food we are about to eat. Make us faithful to the supreme norm of our Congregation, which is to follow you, Word of God made flesh and redeemer of all humanity. You live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Const. 10]
Lord, all powerful God, who made the light of salvation shine on the world through your Word made flesh, bless this food we are about to eat, and make us courageous proclaimers of the mystery of Christ. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Conclusion [John 6,38; Const. 74]
We give you thanks, Father, for showing us your providence again today. We praise you and give you thanks for sending your Son into the world to redeem it. Help us to carry on the mission of Christ, who came down from heaven not to do his own will, but the will of you who sent him. You who live and reign forever and ever.

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Lenten Season

Before Lunch [Const. 42]
Lord, may we live this season of Lent as a time of penance and conversion. May your blessing come down on this meal and lead us to a more generous response to your Word. You live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Const. 3]
Father, may our Lenten pilgrimage be guided by your presence. May you be blessed through the meal that we are about to share in your name. Give to us and to those you call us to serve; the strength of faith and the joy of conversion, so that we may bear witness in everyday life to your fatherly love. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Const. 37]
We thank you. Father, for this food. Nurture also the life and enthusiasm of our community, so that during this Lenten season you will prepare us to celebrate worthily the Paschal mystery of your Son, who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Divider2Easter Season

Before Lunch [1Pet. 1,3; Const. 73,1]
Praise be to you, Lord, who in your great mercy have given us rebirth and living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Bless the food we share and make us ever more co-responsible and mutually dependent in carrying out the apostolic mission of the Congregation. We ask this of you through Christ our risen Lord.

Before Supper [Const. 71]
Bless this meal, Lord. Grant that we may participate intimately in the paschal mystery of Christ, which is the mystery of obedience, so that united to your will, we know how to seek your Kingdom above all things. We ask this of you through Christ our risen Lord.

Conclusion [Const. 50]
Thank you, Lord, for having called us to follow the same path walked by Christ, the way of virginity, poverty and obedience, the way of service and self-sacrifice unto death. May we participate in his paschal mystery, so that we never hesitate to offer you all our energies in building up your Kingdom. Through the same Christ our Lord.

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Ordinary Time – I

Before Lunch [Const. 4]
Lord, who by means of the Sunday Eucharist call to your table people from all over the earth, bless our food and above all else, grant that the poor and the oppressed do not lack what is necessary for a dignified human life. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Gen. St. 028]
O Lord, you have chosen bread and wine, fruit of our labour, to signify the Eucharist, the mystery of faith. Bless this food we are about to eat, and grant us, following the example of our Founder and our other saints and blessed, a profound and loving devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Gen. St. 017]
May you be blessed, Father, on this day in which we celebrate the victory of Christ over sin and death. While we give thanks for this meal, we ask you the grace to collaborate generously in the work of Redemption that Jesus Christ, through his ministers, continues to make effective in the world without interruption. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

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Ordinary Time – II

Before Lunch [Const. 12]
Father, bless the food we consume on this Sunday that is consecrated to you. You build up your Church through the Eucharist, grant that we might be a sign of your presence in the midst of your people, and strong and humble proclaimers of your salvific Word. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Const. 27]
Praise to you, Father, who by raising your son Jesus from the dead have given the world a hope that never grows dim. Bless this meal on the day in which we celebrate the memorial of his death and resurrection, and nourish our community life with the teaching of the Gospel, the sacred liturgy, and particularly the Eucharist. Through the same Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Mat. 5,13-14; Const. 54]
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Sunday, when your people solemnly celebrate the work of salvation accomplished by you in Christ. Nourish the pastoral charity that gives and unity and form to our life, eliciting new ministries among your people, so that the Church may continue as the salt of the earth and light of the world. Through Christ our Lord.

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Ordinary Time – III

Before Lunch [Const. 36]
On this memorial day of your Easter resurrection, Lord, you invite us to experience joy and rest. Make our meal joyful with your presence, so that accepting and respecting one another, we might know how to develop truly fraternal relationships in community. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Const. 87]
O Lord, in the liturgy you offer your people the source and summit of Christian life. Blessed are you for the food we receive on this memorial of your passage from death to life. May we be continually transformed into the image of Christ, the eternal High Priest. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Conclusion [Const. 12]
We bless you, Lord Jesus, for having strengthened the faith of the apostles in breaking bread with them after your resurrection. May you be blessed for this food and for your presence in our midst. Nourish us with your Word so that we give witness with apostolic generosity. You live and reign forever and ever.

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Ordinary Time – IV

Before Lunch [Const. 51]
Again today, O Lord, you have gathered your Church to celebrate the memorial of the Paschal mystery of Christ. Bless our food, and grant that, while we announce new and eternal life, we might also be signs and witnesses of the power of Christ’s resurrection. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Before Supper [Const. 81]
Thank you, O Lord, for having today once again broken the bread of the Eucharist for your people. Bless this food and animate us with unwavering faith, so that being prepared for the temptations of loneliness and the uncertainties of apostolic ministry, our fraternal communion might be stronger as we await the coming of your Kingdom. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Gen. St. 028,1]
Lord, we acknowledge your love for us, which has not failed to provide for us even today. May the mystery of death and resurrection that your Church has celebrated today in the Sunday liturgy express and construct our community through the daily celebration of Eucharist. You live and reign forever and ever.

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When guests are visiting

Before Lunch [Gen. St. 031]
Praise to you, O Christ, who for our salvation made yourself a guest and pilgrim in our midst. Bless this food we are about to share and help us show concern for one another, especially for those beset with difficulties. And while we thank you for the visit of our brother(s)/sister(s), N.N., help us to construct each day a community of fraternal solidarity. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Luke 10,38]
We thank you, Lord Jesus, for being in our midst today, like when you once shared a meal with your friends in Bethany. Thank you for your gifts of bread and fraternity. Thank you for the visit of our brother(s)/sister(s),N.N. Be with him/her/them and with us today and always. You who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.

Conclusion [Eph. 1,3; Gen. St. 032]
Blessed are you God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ. Praise and thanks to you for this food and for the guests with whom we have shared it. Strengthen our personal relationships of evangelical friendship, by which we build up our community and the Church. Through Christ our Lord.

Divider2On feasts in honour of the
Blessed Virgin Mary

Before Lunch [Luke 1,46; Const. 32]
May your love for us increase, O Lord, on this day dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Bless the food we are about to eat. Help us to proceed, like her, in the journey of faith, and to embrace wholeheartedly your saving will. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Const. 32]
Lord Jesus, by being born of he virgin Mary, you made yourself our brother. Remain with us as we eat this meal. Following the example of Mary, your mother, may we dedicate ourselves completely to the mystery of redemption. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Const. 32]
We thank you, Lord, for the meal we have received on the feast of your mother, Mary. Grant that, experiencing her tender, motherly love, we may cooperate effectively with the mystery of redemption. You who live and reign forever and ever.

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January 5th
St. John Nepomucene Neumann

Before Lunch [Const. 5]
Bless, O Lord, this food on the feast of the holy bishop John Nepomucene Neumann. Help us to follow his example in giving preference to situations where there is greatest pastoral need and to find, in the evangelization of the poor, our reason for existing in the Church. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Gen. St. 05]
We thank you, Lord, for having raised up in the Church St. John Nepumecene Neumann, model of pastoral zeal. Bless this food, and through his example and intercession grant us the necessary courage to also give our lives for our brothers and sisters. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Const. 5]
Thank you, Lord, for the food that we have eaten on this day in memory of St. John Nepomucene Neumann. Grant that, like him, we may have missionary dynamism and a preference for situations where there is pastoral need, together with the choice in favour of the poor, the very reason why the Congregation exists in the Church, and the badge of its fidelity to the vocation it has received. Through Christ our Lord.

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January 14th
Blessed Peter Donders

Before Lunch [Ps. 74,2]
We invoke your name and tell of your wonders, Lord. We give you thanks for the meal in which we take part today in memory of Blessed Peter Donders, who consecrated his life to the service of slaves, lepers and the marginalized. Following his example, may we always renew our efforts to respond generously to our mission. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Const. 4]
We praise you, Lord, for the food that you place on our table today. Following the example of Blessed Peter Donders, grant that we may always seek to give special attention to announcing the Gospel to the poor, the weak and the oppressed with whom Christ, in every way, wished to identify himself. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion
Thank you, Lord, for the food you have allowed us to share today. Through the intercession of Blessed Peter Donders, make us attentive to the spiritual needs and also the material necessities of our brothers and sisters. Through Christ our Lord.

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March 15th
St. Clement Mary Hofbauer

Before Lunch [Ps. 131,15; Gen. St. 05]
Lord, you bless all the provisions and satisfy your poor with bread. Bless this table on the day when we remember St. Clement Maria Hofbauer, renowned propagator of the Congregation. Make us, like him, attentive to the needs of the most abandoned. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Gen. St. 09]
We give you thanks, Father, for having called St. Clement to our Congregation. Bless this food, and following his example, lead us to seek tirelessly for those who are more deprived of spiritual help, especially those who are poor, powerless and oppressed, and to serve them with pastoral charity. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Gen. St. 010]
O God, creator and provider, who again today have nourished our bodies, help us to follow the example of St. Clement in listening to the cry for salvation that rises up especially from those who live in loneliness in our cities, experiencing new forms of poverty and abandonment. Through Christ our Lord.

Divider3June 27th
Mother of Perpetual Help

Before Lunch [Luke 1,46; John 2,1ss]
Our spirit magnifies your name, Lord, on this feast in honour of Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help. Bless the food that we are about to eat and grant that we, like those invited to the feast in Cana, may enjoy her maternal intercession. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Acts 1,14; Gen. St. 056]
Send down your blessing, Father, on this meal, as we venerate Mary under the title of Mother of Perpetual Help. And grant us, as you did to the apostles and to Mary in the upper room, the grace to serve your church with all our strength. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Gen. St. 05]
We thank you Lord, for the food we have shared today. We also thank you for having given our Congregation the privilege propagating devotion to Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help. Grant that we may experience her powerful intercession, both in favourable moments and in adversity. Through Christ our Lord.

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June 28th
Blessed Nicola Charnetsky
and companions

Before Lunch [2Th. 1,4]
You have made your Church bear much fruit, O Lord, through the blood of martyrs. Bless this food as we honour the memory of Blessed Bishop Nicola and his martyred companions, Basil, Zenon and Ivan. Through their intercession grant us a steadfast faith in all the trials of life. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Rev. 12,11]
Bless this food, O Lord, which we receive in your name as we honour the memory of the blessed martyr Nicola Charnetsky and his companions. Through the blood of the Lamb they have shared his victory over sin and death. May they intercede for us and make our mission fruitful. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Gen. St. 034]
We thank you, O Lord, for this food, as we recall the martyrdom of Blessed Nicola Charnetsky and his companions. With their assistance, may we be always more attentive to our sick and aged confreres, and to all who seek in us the witness of your love. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Divider2June 30th
Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli

Before Lunch [Gen. St. 05]
We praise you, Lord, on this feast in honour of Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, faithful companion of St. Alphonsus. Grant us, with this food we bless in your name, the joy of Gospel friendship at the service of our particular mission. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper
Father, may the food we bless in your name be a motive for festive joy in honour of Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli. Make us, like him, always attentive to the new demands on our missionary dedication. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion
Again today, all-powerful and merciful God, your providence provides us with the food we need. May we too, like Blessed Gennaro Sarnelli, experience your care for us as we serve you in our sisters and brothers. Through Christ our Lord.

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III Sunday of July
Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer

Before Lunch [2Th 1,3]
We ought always to thank you, Father, because you make us grow in faith and increase our charity. But we give you special thanks today for having given us Jesus, the Redeemer, the light of the nations and ransom from sin and death. Grant that this meal, which we enjoy in your name, will be a source of fraternal happiness and gratitude to you who called us to this Congregation. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Gen. St. 05]
Bless this meal, O Lord, on this day in which we celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Redeemer, the titular patron of our Congregation. Help us understand more deeply the mystery of our salvation, so that we know how to proclaim it to our brothers and sisters with all our strength. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Gen. St. 023]
May you praised, Father, for the food we have shared on the feast of the Most Holy Redeemer. Grant us a passion for the study of the divine and human sciences, so that we know how to impart to your people the nourishment necessary for salvation in their everyday lives. Through Christ our Lord.

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August 1st
Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

Before Lunch [Const. 79]
On this day, when we celebrate the liturgical feast of St. Alphonsus, our Founder, we thank you, Lord, for having called him to your service. Bless the food we are about to receive, and confirm in us love and appreciation for our mission, and may we feel the absolute necessity of promoting vocations to our religious family. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Before Supper [Const. 1]
Praise to you, Lord, for the food we are about to share on this feast of our founder. Help us to understand the richness of our apostolic life, so that through the intercession of St. Alphonsus we may live fully a life specially dedicated to you and a life of missionary work. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Const. 33]
Blessed are you, O God, for this food you have placed on our table again today. May we, in light of the needs of our time, imitate the apostolic zeal of our Founder in giving service to the Church. We ask this of you through Christ our Lord.

Divider2August25th
Blessed Methodius Dominic Trčka

Before Lunch [1Pet. 5,1]
May you be blessed, O Lord, for the food which we are about to eat on this day in which we honour the memory of blessed Methodius Dominic Trčka. With your grace you have made him a witness to the sufferings of Christ, may all of us participate in his glory. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Before Supper [Gen. St. 015]
Praised be your love for us, Father, who with this food provide us with all that is necessary for life. You who supported Blessed Methodius Dominic Trčka through the unspeakable sufferings of martyrdom, grant us strength to persevere in our difficulties. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion
Thank you Lord, for the food we have eaten as brothers. Through the intercession of Blessed Methodius Dominic Trčka, let us experience your paternal love especially in the difficult moments of our ministry. You who live and reign forever and ever.

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September 26th
Blessed Gaspar Stanggassinger

Before Lunch [Ps. 112,3; Gen. St. 05]
From the rising of the sun to its setting may your name be praised, O Lord. Thank you for this food that we are about to eat in memory of Blessed Gaspar Stanggassinger, and lead us, following his example, to dedicate ourselves tirelessly to the promotion of priestly and religious vocations. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper
Thank you, Father, because with this food you allow us to serve you with renewed generosity. Following the example of Blessed Gaspar Stanggassinger, help us to proclaim to all, beginning with young people, your love that sustains all life. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [1Chr. 29,13]
We thank and praise your glorious name, O Lord our God. May the food you have placed on our table again today lead us to serve you in simplicity of life and with constant zeal, after the example of Blessed Gaspar Stanggassinger. You who live forever and ever.

Divider1October 5th
Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos

Before Lunch [Const. 1]
O Father, you accompany our lives with your great providence. We bless you for this food, and thank you for having given us in Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos an example and an intercessor. Grant that, by following Christ the Redeemer as he did, we too might know how to give our lives for our brothers and sisters. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Before Supper [Ps. 64,10; Gen. St. 013]
Creator of the universe, you visit the earth and shower it with your riches, bless this food on the memorial of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. Through his intercession, give us a spirit of service, sincere self-denial, humility and goodness, so that we might cooperate in making redemption more plentiful. Through Christ our Lord.

Conclusion [Mat. 9,36; Gen. St. 011a]
We praise you, O Lord, for the food that we have enjoyed in memory of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. Through the intercession and example of our Saints and Blessed, make us feel compassion for the multitudes still in need of your Word. Make us generous before so much work yet to be done in the missionary field. Through Christ our Lord.

Divider2October 16th
St. Gerard Majella

Before Lunch [Const. 89]
On this feast of St. Gerard Majella, O Lord, pour out your blessing on this food, a gift of your goodness. May we, like him, live intimately the mystery of Christ, so that we know better how to proclaim it with our works and witness to our brothers and sisters. Through the same Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Eph. 4,7; 1Cor. 12,4; Const. 25]
Bless this food, Father, and grant that, guided by the one Holy Spirit, may we live the example of St. Gerard in service to the community, using the talents you have entrusted to each one, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. He lives and reigns forever and ever.

Conclusion []Gen. St. 05]
We thank you, Lord, for the meal we have shared, and also for having given us St. Gerard as a model for our Redemptorist Brothers, past and present. Continue today to call generous youth to be Brothers in our Congregation, and help us all to be brothers to one another. Through Christ our Lord.

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December 8th
Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

Before Lunch [Ps. 144,10; Gen. St. 05]
May all your works praise you, O lord, and may your people bless you on this solemn day when we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Mary. We thank you for having placed our Institute under her maternal protection. Bless the food we are about to eat and together with it give us your love. Through Christ our Lord.

Before Supper [Gen. St. 05]
Blessed are you, Father, for having given us the Immaculate Mary as the official patron of our religious family. May we share this meal in brotherly joy and give you glory in all things. You live and reign forever and ever.

Conclusion [Gen. St. 011a]
Thank you, Lord, for this food. Through an exceptional privilege you exempted the Virgin Mary from sin; grant that through her intercession we may struggle against every form of evil and announce to the world your saving mercy. Through Christ our Lord.

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