Courtesy of Our Catholic Prayers
'This Universal Prayer has been attributed to Pope Clement XI from the 18th century. This prayer provides a good outline of what we need to do we strive for sanctity and Eternal Life, as “citizens-in-training” for Heaven.
Does all this seem to be too tall an order? You’ve heard that even the just man sins seven times a day? Don’t lose hope! As you can tell, Pope Clement is not shy in asking God for His assistance to “obtain heaven”. And there’s good news! Our Lord wants very much to help you in your journey (and at times your struggle) towards sanctity. (So does our Blessed Mother Mary, whom St. Alphonsus Liguori once called the “dispenser of all divine graces”!)
As Jesus Himself said most famously in the Gospels “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without me you can do nothing” (emphasis added) (John 15:5). You weren’t meant to “go it alone”, to achieve your salvation without Divine assistance, in part through prayers like this one above.
In fact, our Church calls the idea that one can achieve salvation without God’s help Pelagianism, a heresy! Just remember Our Lord has given us His Church, prayer and the Sacraments to help us receive His graces. And we are all sinners in need of God’s mercy. Don’t be afraid to ask Him for it, especially in the sacrament of Penance!
Note also, in the reference to “the nothingness of this world”, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive to achieve success, hopefully using whatever talents God gave you, and to be able to raise a family and have friends and the like. Just don’t get too attached to anything created rather than to our Creator. It all comes and goes quicker than any of us realize! And, as St. James once wrote “What is your life? It is a mist that appears for a while, and then vanishes” (Jas 4:15). Or, as the Prophet Isaiah said “All flesh is grass” (Is 40:6).
But don’t despair about that, either! The important thing, in all your work, is to give glory to God in love and obedience. When things go well, thank God for His blessings. When things go badly, as they do for so many these days, ask God for His help in getting through the tough times.
And remember always that, however crooked or straight, bumpy or smooth, the path to Heaven is for each of us, the end of this road takes us to a whole new glorious place! An eternity free of sickness, sadness, hatred, and all that ails us here on earth, one overflowing with God’s peace and love, real love! As St. Paul wrote “Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9).'