Sunday the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Great Commandment: The Good Samaritan.

Sunday the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Great Commandment: The Good Samaritan.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Sunday the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Great Commandment: The Good Samaritan.

(Read Luke x, 23-37.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY what God desires of you by this precept. He commands that your heart, that is your will, be turned towards Him; that your desires follow no other law than the law of God. In one word, that you desire nothing better than to be united to God; that you rejoice in nothing else than the honour of God; that you grieve for nothing except what offends God; that you fear nothing but to incur the anger of God. Moreover, He desires that all the members of your body be employed in promoting the glory of God, and that your whole mind be directed towards God, so that whether you study, or whatever you do, you aim only at pleasing God. This precept is the first in importance, because it is the end of all the other precepts, and above all others in excellence. It raises us to real and intimate friendship with God.

APPLICATION. If God had not commanded you to love Him, you should unceasingly beseech Him to permit you to do so, so great is the privilege and the worth of this love. And how shall you not then love Him, now that He commands you to love Him?

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The Lord keepeth all them that love him: but all the wicked he will destroy. (Ps. cxliv, 20.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that you cannot perfectly fulfil this precept on earth, but only in heaven. Nevertheless, you should strive to fulfil it at least in part, by placing God before you as your final end in all circumstances, and above all things. Think of the miser who loves his money as his final end. Whatever happens he first thinks of putting his treasure into a place of safety, and never consents to be parted from it. Think even how much thought, labour, industry, and longing are directed towards keeping and adding to his money.

APPLICATION. Thus on a false god, such as is money, a miser ends by concentrating his whole being, esteeming that in his gold he has virtually all his good. Why cannot you succeed in doing as much for that true God, in Whom truly you find all your good?

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength. (Ps. xvii, 2.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY the principal means you should make use of to attain this love. One is to strive after an intimate knowledge of God by the consideration of His excellences. The saints love Him much because they know Him face to face, as it were. Strive therefore at least to know Him from afar off, in the benefits He has conferred upon you, in all His works of nature, of grace and of glory. The second is that you should exercise yourself in frequent acts of the love of God, and accustom yourself to do all your actions for love of God. The third and last is that in prayer you should beseech God to give you the grace to love Him. For God Who loves you infinitely desires nothing so much as to be loved in return by you.

APPLICATION. God loves you without any interest for Himself, and you too must strive to love Him without any thought of self-interest. Make use even of the fear of punishment and the hope of reward to incite you to love Him more.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I will extol Thee, O God my King, and I will bless Thy name for ever; yea, for ever and for ever. (Ps. cxliv, I.)

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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Of the Exercises of a good religious Man.

VI. About the time of the principal festivals we must renew our good exercises, and more fervently implore the prayers of the saints.
We ought to make our resolution from festival to festival, as if we were then to depart out of this world, and to come to the everlasting festival.
Therefore we ought carefully to prepare ourselves at times of devotion, and converse more devoutly, and keep all observances more strictly, as being shortly to receive the reward of our labours from God.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt VI.

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August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary

Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things


O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.

An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)

Copyright © 2013 – 2014. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.

Saturday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Temptation.

Saturday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Temptation.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Saturday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Temptation.

Begone Satan, for it is written: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore and Him only shalt thou serve. (Matt. iv, 10.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that when the demon tempts you to evil, he wishes to put his foot on your neck, and to trample upon you as on a vile slave. As, however, he can never force you or do you violence, he can but instigate and incite you. Therefore he strives to bend your will, and make you abase yourself by freely consenting to his wicked suggestions.

APPLICATION. What is to be thought of this shameful homage that, by sinning, you have perhaps so often paid to the devil? Are you not filled with confusion, in recalling that you have so often placed yourself under the foul feet of one whom you should rather have trampled upon?

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? (Ps. xii, 4.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that the devil has always the very worst designs upon you, though he seems to ask you only to bend and relax a little. For by so asking you merely for a beginning of evil, which does not seem great, or frighten you, such as a look at or a wish for forbidden fruit, as he did with Eve, it is afterwards easy for him to obtain all he wants, on account of the extraordinary facility we have of passing from a small evil to a greater one.

APPLICATION. Why then not make a determined resistance to the suggestions of your enemy? At least do not add that prostration of yourself before him, which is involved in the passing on to the commission of grave sin?

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord. To Thee have I fled. (Ps. cxlii, 9.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that from the act of prostrating oneself to be trampled upon by Satan, one passes on to the state of being a public highway whereon he is allowed to pass forward or backward at will. Such is the condition to which the sinner arrives at last, passing from actual sin to habitual sin. By actual sin, thou hast laid thy body on the ground, as the prophet Isaias says; by habitual sin, as a way to them that went over. (Isa. li, 23.) This is what Satan aimed at when he asked of you but one step. He wishes never to lift his foot off you, and to trample on you as his slave for all eternity.

APPLICATION. Do not be so senseless as to let him delude you into taking the first step, and afterwards becoming a highway to all that is evil. How many, alas! even among the good, have been tricked in this way, by giving way to very little in the beginning, and afterwards to the greater evil, and that without any remedy! Guard against yielding even one step before your sworn enemy and betrayer.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Keep me from the snare, which they have laid for me, and from the stumbling blocks of them that work iniquity. (Ps. cxl, 9.)

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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Of the Exercises of a good religious Man.

V. Those things which are not common are not to be done in public; for particular things are more safely done in private.
But take care thou be not slack in common exercises, and more forward in things of thy own particular devotion; but having fully and faithfully performed what thou art bound to, and what is enjoined thee, if thou hast any time remaining, give thyself to thyself according as thy devotion shall incline thee.
All cannot have the self-same exercise; but this is more proper for one, and that for another.
Moreover, according to the diversity of times, divers exercises are more pleasing; for some relish better on festival days, others on common days.
We stand in need of one kind in time of temptation, and of another in time of peace and rest.
Some we willingly think on when we are sad; others when we are joyful in the Lord.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt V.

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August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary

Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things


O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.

An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)

Copyright © 2013 – 2014. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.

Friday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Remembrance of Christ.

Friday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Remembrance of Christ.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Friday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Remembrance of Christ.

Do this for a commemoration of Me. (Luke xxii, 19.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that you should ever be diligent as the Apostle St. Paul counsels us (Heb. xii, 3-4), in thinking about Jesus Christ. He, our crucified Redeemer, is the remedy of all your ills. Let therefore your assiduous thought be to think diligently Who it is Who suffered for you. It is the King of glory Who indeed from the beginning of the world suffered in His saints, in Abel, in Joseph, in Jeremiah; but now He no longer suffers in His own servants only, but in Himself. And from whom does He suffer? Even from the very persons for whom He hung on the cross, from sinners. What does He suffer? A torment in every way most cruel, most ignominious and unjust.

APPLICATION. Enter into yourself in order to penetrate fully these truths. For you will thus gain great help in the small sufferings you have to endure.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Look upon the face of thy Christ. (Ps. lxxxiii, 10.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that nothing will so strengthen you to suffer, as to think often of the passion of Jesus Christ. Nothing so animates and invigorates a soldier as to see his king himself, covered with wounds and bathed in blood, in the front line of the battle.

APPLICATION. Yet perhaps you may think you do not need to strengthen yourself. Reflect a little how you so easily lose heart at every slight thing, and then neglect the service of your Lord.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. My hand shall help him, and mine arm shall strengthen him nor the son of iniquity shall have power to hurt him. (Ps. lxxxvii, 22-23.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY the confusion that all your own unworthiness should arouse in you, when you ponder on it at the foot of the cross. Your sin does not harm Christ, yet see how much He did on the Cross to deliver you from it. But to yourself sin does infinite harm. Yet, notwithstanding, what have you done to remove it far from you? Have you gone so far as to give even a drop of blood for it? Ah truly does the Apostle say: You have not yet resisted unto blood (ibid.)

APPLICATION. Reflect then that not only will you not shed a drop of your blood to atone for your sin, but neither will you bear any slight on your reputation, any injury to your health, nor will you deprive yourself of the least satisfaction. Is it not so? When St. Paul bids us resist and fight until the very end of the struggle, even unto blood, he means that we are not to tolerate sin, which Jesus shed the very last drop of His blood to destroy.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Ps. 1, 19.)

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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Of the Exercises of a good religious Man.

IV. If thou canst not continually recollect thyself, do it sometimes, and at least once a day, that is, at morning or evening.
In the morning resolve, in the evening examine thy performance, how thou hast behaved this day in word, work, or thought; because in these perhaps thou hast often offended God and thy neighbour.
Prepare thyself like a man to resist the wicked attacks of the devil: bridle gluttony, and thou shalt the easier restrain all carnal inclinations.
Be never altogether idle; but either reading, or writing, or praying, or meditating, or labouring in something that may be for the common good.
Yet in bodily exercises a discretion is to be used; nor are they equally to be undertaken by all.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt IV.

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August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary

Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things


O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.

An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)

Copyright © 2013 – 2014. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.

Thursday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Christ the Just Judge.

Thursday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Christ the Just Judge.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Thursday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Christ the Just Judge.

His fan is in His hand . . . He will gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. (Luke iii, 17.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the fan, which Christ holds in His hand, signifies the judicial power which belongs to Him as God and as Man; as God because of His supreme and divine power; as Man because He merited this power in divers ways, principally by allowing Himself to be treated as a criminal before earthly tribunals. Truly just is it that our Lord should be seated on His throne in majesty to judge all men, Who for the salvation of all men submitted to be condemned by judges most iniquitous and most unjust. Rejoice then with Him in this glory that He will receive in that last day.

APPLICATION. Endeavour to beg His mercy now whilst He is still your advocate, for in that day as your judge He can only show you rigorous justice. Reflect seriously too what will be your lot on that day. Will you be as the wheat or will you be as the chaff?

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The Lord hath reigned . . . justice and judgment are the foundation of His throne. (Ps. xcvi, 1-2.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that the good resemble grain by the multiplicity of the fruit they produce, sometimes even a hundred-fold, and by the health of spirit which they maintain in the world. The bad resemble straw, because of their sterility, their levity and inconstancy. At present the good are mingled with the bad, because the bad can serve and be of great use to the good, as the straw to the grain, by giving them occasion of becoming more mortified, and more humble. This mingling of straw and of grain, of the good and bad, is to be found the world over.

APPLICATION. If you are like grain mortified and crushed, envy not the straw that is proud in its lightness, and which will be soon separated apart and cast to the winds. I will scatter them with a fan. (Jer. xv, 7.)

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The wicked are like the dust which the wind driveth from the face of the earth. (Ps. i, 5.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY the end for which this separation takes place: He will gather the wheat into His barn but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. (Luke iii, 17.) Heaven is the abode where the elect will be safe and secure, gathered like grain into the granary. They will rejoice in being all united together in love, praising and blessing God, and in not being constrained to abide among the wicked who afflicted them. How much better then is it to procure for yourself at any cost to be as the good grain, than to be cast aside as the straw and thrown into eternal fire. There the wicked will burn indeed like straw, yet still continue to suffer in unquenchable fire.

APPLICATION. Reflect then seriously, whilst still there is time, what it means to burn eternally in the midst of a fire so fierce, so sharp, that our fire in comparison with that of hell is, as the Saints have said, a mere picture of painted fire. Let us then be found as good wheat before our judge.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thou shalt make them as an oven of fire, in the time of Thy anger: The Lord shall trouble them in His wrath and fire shall devour them. (Ps. xx, 10.)

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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Of the Exercises of a good religious Man.

III. If, for piety’s sake, or with a design to the profit of our brother, we sometimes omit our accustomed exercise, it may afterwards be easily recovered.
But if, through a loathing of mind, or negligence, it be lightly let alone, it is no small fault, and will prove hurtful.
Let us endeavour what we can, we shall still be apt to fail in many things.
But yet we must always resolve on something certain, and in particular against those things which hinder us most.
We must examine and order well both our exterior and interior; because both conduce to our advancement.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt III.

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August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary

Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things


O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.

An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)

Copyright © 2013 – 2014. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.

Wednesday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Love of One Another.

Wednesday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Love of One Another.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Wednesday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Love of One Another.

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt. xix, 19.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY how great is the debt which you owe to your Creator and Redeemer, Who went so far as to die on a hard gibbet for you. It is the same debt which you owe to your neighbour, to whom God has ceded all the claims He has upon you. For seeing that of Himself He has need of nothing, He wills that you should do for your neighbour all that you owe to Him your master.

APPLICATION. Have you then the heart to refuse Him this just acknowledgment, which He asks of you, in exchange for the countless benefits He has bestowed on you, namely to help the necessities, and solace the afflictions of your neighbour?

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. What shall I render unto the Lord for all the things that he hath rendered unto me? (Ps. cxv, 12.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that you are bound by the law of charity to love your neighbour as yourself, and to feel all his sorrows and losses as your own. But the sorrows and losses, that you should feel most intensely for, are the spiritual evils of the soul, because they are the greatest of all and are the least guarded against, because the soul allows itself to be led like a slave to hell without making the least resistance. To be freed from corporal evils every one will look to himself, but how few seek help to be liberated from the evil of sin, and how often even is it rejected and despised!

APPLICATION. If you saw a dear friend of yours taken off as a slave would you not be moved to pity? Would you not do your utmost to procure his freedom from that bitter fortune? Why then are you not much more moved to pity over those souls who are real slaves of Lucifer! Why do you not strive to rescue them from his hard service, and to restore them to Christ? At the price of all His blood He has ransomed and has healed them.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Blessed is he that considereth the needy and the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the evil day. (Ps. xl, 2.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that you must not draw back from this holy enterprise because of your weakness, and because you do not possess the gifts it seems to require. Do you not hear the words in which you are told: Recover thy neighbour according to thy power? (Ecclus. xxix, 26.) You cannot perhaps speak from a pulpit, nor cross the ocean in order to win souls to God. But souls may also be saved by private counsel, by prayer, by penance and by good example. Oh how much good you can do for souls in this way! For the kingdom of God is not in speech but in power. (I Cor. iv, 20.)

APPLICATION. Observe however the warning which the same inspired writer here (Ecclus. ib.) gives you. Take heed to thyself that thou fall not. In drawing others from evil expose not yourself to the danger of falling therein. In order to help others do not neglect your own good, by forgetting prayer and mortification. Strive to do all according to wise counsel, and with all necessary precautions. Some there are, who after having sent many souls to paradise have unhappily been buried in hell!

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. (Ps. cxxxii, I.)

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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Of the Exercises of a good religious Man.

II. According as our resolution is, will the progress of our advancement be: and he hath need of much diligence who would advance much.
Now, if he that makes a strong resolution often fails, what will he do who seldom or but weakly resolves?
The falling off from our resolutions happens divers ways; and a small omission in our exercises seldom passeth without some loss.
The resolutions of the just depend on the grace of God, rather than on their own wisdom; and in Whom they always put their trust, whatever they take in hand.
For man proposes, but God disposes: nor is the way of man in his own hands.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt I.

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August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary

Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things


O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.

An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)

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