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Pray this beautiful litany when you can’t sleep

A woman standing by a window at night, covering her face with one hand

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Morgane Afif  - published on 01/14/24

Unite yourself to Christ during his night of prayer and suffering in Gethsemane, interceding for all those who are in literal or figurative darkness.

“Lord Jesus, You who spent your nights in prayer, interceding with the Father for all men; on this night when we watch and pray with You, hear our prayer for all our brothers and sisters.” So begins the “Litany for those who are in the night,” a moving prayer of intercession written by Fr. Jean-Miguel Garrigues, O.P., for all those who suffer during the night; for those in distress, and those struggling against the darkness of the world or against their own torments.

Christ-oliviers-delacroix
Christ in the Garden of Olives, Eugène Delacroix, 1827.

Among the people mentioned are the dying, thieves, aggressors and their victims, those in anguish, and insomniacs.

As Bernanos wrote in his sublime Dialogue of the Carmelites: “In the Garden of Olives, Christ was no longer master of anything. Human anguish had never risen higher, nor will it ever reach that level again. It had covered everything in Him, except that extreme point of the soul where divine acceptance was consummated.”

It’s a prayer we can turn to when we are praying in the night, asking Jesus’ intercession for ourselves and so many others who are in need. Here’s a translation/adaptation of his prayer.

Litany for those who are in the night

Lord Jesus, You who spent your nights in prayer,
interceding with the Father for all men and women;
on this night when we watch and pray with You,
hear our prayer for all our brothers and sisters.

For your Church, which awaits you as your Spouse in the night of this world,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For your people Israel according to the flesh, who listen to your Word in the night, hoping for the dawn of your Kingdom,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For the nations that do not know you, who grope for you in the night,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For the peoples upon whom the night of totalitarian ideology and the oppression of lies have fallen,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for your Name and hide in the night to pray to you, for those who are torn from their homes in the middle of the night, for their persecutors who are blinded by hatred and know not what they do,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For all those who don’t love us and whom we don’t know how to love, for our enemies and for all those who wish us ill,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For the sick, for those in hospitals who spend the night suffering, for those who are agonizing and dying in this night, whose eyes will not see the new day,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For the anguished who cannot sleep and whose night is interminable, for those tempted to commit suicide and whom the night subjects to the power of the Prince of Darkness,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For prostitutes, bought in the darkness of night, for those trapped by vice or drugs in the darkness,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For thieves, murderers, and criminals who do evil with the complicity of the night,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For those in prison, for those who are tortured and degraded in the secrecy of the night, for those condemned to death who await the night of their execution,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For the poor and homeless, for those who wander alone in the night, amidst the indifference of others,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For those who seek you in the night without finding you, for the old who suffer and fade away in the night of their solitude,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For little children in the night of their mother’s womb, for those who will never see the light of day because of other people’s choices,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For the blind whose night has no end, for the mentally ill in the night of their suffering,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For those who labor and toil in the night, for those who travel in the insecurity of the night,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For husbands and wives who love each other, for homes that rest peacefully, for women who give birth to their children on this night,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For the inhabitants of this city and diocese who sleep this night, for our brothers and sisters, relatives, and friends whom you protect in their sleep,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

For our deceased brothers and sisters who have not yet entered the light of your Glory,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

And for us sinners, who in the night advance towards the light of your unfading Day,

Lord Jesus, through the night of your Passion when you suffered for us, we pray to you.

Let us pray: Look, we beg you O Lord, upon your family: it was for their sake that Jesus Christ our Lord did not refuse to be delivered into the hands of the wicked, nor to suffer the torment of the cross. He reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

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