Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.—On the Education of Children.

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.On the Education of Children.

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.

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.On the Education of Children.

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.” Matt. vii. 18.

Then the gospel of this day tells us, that a good plant cannot produce bad fruit, and that a bad one cannot produce good fruit. Learn from this, brethren, that a good father brings up good children. But, if parents be wicked, how can the children be virtuous? Have you ever, says the Redeemer, in the same gospel, seen grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? “Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?” (v. 16.) And, in like manner, it is impossible, or rather very difficult, to find children virtuous, who are brought up by immoral parents. Fathers and mothers, be attentive to this sermon, which is of great importance to the eternal salvation of yourselves and of your children. Be attentive, young men and young women, who have not as yet chosen a state of life. If you wish to marry, learn this day the obligations which you can contract with regard to the education of your children; and learn also that, if you do not fulfil them, you shall bring yourselves and all your children to damnation. I shall divide this sermon into two points. In the first, I shall show how important it is to bring up children in habits of virtue; and in the second, I shall show with what care and diligence a parent ought to labour to bring them up well.

First Point.—How very important it is to bring up children in habits of virtue.

1. A father owes two obligations to his children; he is bound to provide for their corporal wants, and to educate them in habits of virtue. It is not necessary at present to say more on the first obligation, than that there are some fathers more cruel than the most ferocious of wild beasts; for these do not forget to nourish their offspring; but certain parents squander away in eating and drinking, and gaming, all their property, or all the fruits of their industry, and allow their children to die of hunger. But let us come to the education, which is the subject of my discourse.

2. It is certain that a child’s future good or ill conduct depends on his being brought up well or ill. Nature itself teaches every parent to attend to the education of his offspring. He who has given them being ought to endeavour to make life useful to them. God gives children to parents, not that they may assist the family, but that they may be brought up in the fear of God, and be directed in the way of eternal salvation. “We have,” says St. Chrysostom, “a great deposit in children; let us attend to them with great care.” (Hom, ix., in 1 ad Tit.) Children have not been given to parents as a present, which they may dispose of as they please, but as a trust, for which, if lost through their negligence, they must render an account to God. The Scripture tells us, that when a father observes the divine law, both he and his children shall prosper. “That it may be well with thee and thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is pleasing in the sight of God.” (Deut. xii. 25.) The good or ill conduct of a parent may be known, by those who have not witnessed it, from the life which his children lead. “For by the fruit the tree is known.” (Matt. xii. 33.) “A father,” says Ecclcsiasticus, “who leaves a family, when he departs this life, is as if he had not died; because his sons remain, and exhibit his habits and character. His father is dead, and he is as if he were not dead; for he hath left one behind him that is like himself.” (Eccl. xxx. 4.) When we find a son addicted to blasphemies, to obscenities, and to theft, we have reason to suspect that such too was the character of the father. “For a man is known by his children.” (Eccl. xi. 30.)

3. Hence Origen says, that on the day of judgment parents shall have to render an account for all the sins of their children. “Omnia quæcumque delinquerint filii, a parentibus requiruntur.” (Orig., Lib. 2, in Job.) Hence, he who teaches his son to live well, shall die a happy and tranquil death. “He that teacheth his son …when he died he was not sorrowful, neither was he confounded.” (Eccl. xxx. 3, 5.) And he shall save his soul by means of his children; that is, by the virtuous education which he has given them. “She shall be saved through child-bearing.” (1 Tim. ii. 15.) But, on the other hand, a very uneasy and unhappy death shall be the lot of those who have laboured only to increase the possessions, or to multiply the honours of their family; or who have sought only to lead a life of ease and pleasure, but have not watched over the morals of their children. St. Paul says, that such parents are worse than infidels. “But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim. v. 8.) “Were fathers or mothers to lead a life of piety and continual prayer, and to communicate every day, they should be damned if they neglected the care of their children. Would to God that certain parents paid as much attention to their children as they do to their horses! How careful are they to see that their horses are fed and well trained! And they take no pains to make their children attend at catechism, hear Mass, or go to Confession. “We take more care.” says St. Chrysostom, “of our mules and horses, than of the children.” (Hom, x., in Matt.)

4. If all fathers fulfilled their duty of watching over the education of their children, we should have but few crimes and few executions. By the bad education which parents give to their offspring, they cause their children, says St. Chrysostom, to rush into many grievous vices; and thus they deliver them up to the hands of the executioner. “Majoribus illos malis involvimus, et carnificum manibus damus.” (Sem, xx., de divers.) Hence, in Lacedemon, a parent, as being the cause of all the irregularities of his children, was justly punished for their crimes with greater severity than the children themselves. Great indeed is the misfortune of the child that has vicious parents, who are incapable of bringing up their children in the fear of God, and who, when they see their children engaged in dangerous friendships and in quarrels, instead of correcting and chastising them, rather take compassion on them, and say: “What can be done? They are young; they must take their course.” Oh! what wicked maxims! what a cruel education! Do you hope that when your children grow up they shall become saints? Listen to what Solomon says: “A young man, according to his way, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov. xxii. 6.) A young man who has contracted a habit of sin will not abandon it even in his old age. “His bones,” says Job, “shall be filled with the vices of his youth, and they shall sleep with him in the dust.” (Job xx. 11.) When a young person has lived in evil habits, his bones shall be filled with the vices of his youth, so that he will carry them with him to death; and the impurities, blasphemies, and hatred to which he was accustomed in his youth, shall accompany him to the grave, and shall sleep with him after his bones shall be reduced to dust and ashes. It is very easy, when they are small, to train up children to habits of virtue; but, when they have come to manhood, it is equally difficult to correct them, if they have learned habits of vice. But, let us come to the second point—that is, to the means of bringing up children in the practice of virtue. I entreat you, fathers and mothers, to remember what I now say to you; for on it depends the eternal salvation of your own souls, and of the souls of your children.

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.

_______________________________________________

Of avoiding Rash Judgement.

II. But there is often something lies hid within, or occurs from without, which draws us along with it.
Many secretly seek themselves in what they do, and are not sensible of it.
They seem also to continue in good peace, when things are done according to their will and judgment: but if it fall out contrary to their desires, they are soon moved and become sad.
Difference of thoughts and opinions is too frequently the source of dissensions amongst friends and neighbours, amongst religious and devout persons.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIV pt II.

_______________________________________________Sacred Heart

July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus

Virtues to practice: Simplicity, faith, liberty of spirit, cheerfulness


Prayers in honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls! I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, wash in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony, and who are to die this day. Amen.

Heart of Jesus, once in agony, pity the dying.

100 days indul.—Pius IX., Feb. 1850.

“May Thy Blood, shed for us, O Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the remission of all my sins, my negligences, my ignorance; may It strengthen, increase and preserve within me, Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and every virtue, may It bring me to everlasting life; may It deliver the souls of my parents and of all those for whom I am bound to pray.”

—St. Catharine of Sienna.


O blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my soul to purify it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my heart to inflame it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my mind to enlighten it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my thoughts to elevate them! O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my every action to sanctify them; in every power and faculty of my being, that all within me may exalt Thy might, proclaim Thy benefits and publish Thy mercies!


Praises to the Precious Blood.

Glory be to Jesus!
Who in bitter pains,
Poured for me the life Blood,
From His sacred veins.

Grace and life eternal
In that Blood I find;
Blessed be His compassion,
Infinitely kind!

Blessed through endless ages
Be the precious stream,
Which from endless torment
Doth the world redeem.

There the fainting spirit
Drinks of life her fill;
There, as in a fountain
Laves herself at will.

O the Blood of Christ!
It soothes the Father’s ire,
Opes the gates of heaven,
Quells eternal fire.

Abel’s blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies;
But the Blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries.

Oft as it is sprinkled
On our guilty hearts,
Satan in confusion,
Terror-Struck departs.

Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Hell with terror trembles.
Heaven is filled with joy.

Lift ye then your voices,
Swell the mighty flood
Louder still and louder,
Praise the Precious Blood!

 

(100 days indulgence once a day.— Pius VII. , Oct. 1815.)

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

The Power of Prayer. – continued (2).

The Power of Prayer. – continued (2).

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.

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!The Power of Prayer. – continued (2).

It remains to say a few words about other subjects connected with prayer, viz., (I) to whom can we pray, (2) for whom can we pray, (3) to answer some objections.

(I). We have seen that we are bound to worship God by prayer, and that for our own sake, we must have recourse to it as the great means for saving our souls. We can also pray to the Blessed Virgin, and ask her to obtain favours and graces for us, through the merits of her Divine Son. It is also a lawful and pious practice to pray to the Saints and Angels and to ask them to intercede for us. When we pray to the Blessed Virgin and to the Saints, we ask them to petition God in our behalf, because of themselves and independently of the merits of Christ they can grant us nothing.

(2). There is an obligation upon us to pray for ourselves. We are obliged in charity to pray for the salvation of others, and persons who have the care of the souls of others are bound in justice as well as in charity to pray for them. “Pray for one another, that you may be saved” (James v, 16). “We are compelled by necessity to pray for ourselves: but the love of our brethren engages us to pray for others also. How far more acceptable to God is the prayer that proceeds not from the pressure of our wants, but from the love of our neighbour” (St. Chrysostom). We ought also in charity pray for the holy souls in purgatory. “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Mach. xii, 46).

(3). Some people say, I have often prayed and I have never received anything from God. To such a one we say that there must be something wrong. The dispositions or conditions for good efficacious prayer are wanting on his part. “You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss” (James iv, 3).

Others say, I am too great a sinner to be heard by Almighty God. This is the very reason why there is the greater necessity for having recourse to prayer, because it is the only hope of salvation for such persons. If the sinner cries to God with a humble and contrite heart, God will hear him out of pure mercy. God is in fact glad that the sinner should return to Him. “I came not to call the just but sinners to repentance.” Witness the examples of the Prodigal Son, and Mary Magdalen. We can all pray in whatever condition of life we may be placed, and we can pray at all times, and in all places. God is always with us. We can never get out of His presence, and as we always stand in need of some graces, we ought always pray. “Pray without ceasing” (Thess. v, 17). Neither want of time, nor being ignorant, nor being a sinner excuses from prayer.

In conclusion we must exhort all to pray as a great means for honouring God, and saving their own souls. It is the key which opens to us all the treasures of heaven. It is the ordinary channel through which all graces come to our souls. “Prayer has so great a power with God that it compels Him, as it were, to impart to us all the graces we ask for” (St. Hilarian).

“Prayer opens heaven, disarms the wrath of God, moves His mercy, and draws His grace and blessing down upon us” (St. Thomas of Aquin).

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.

_______________________________________________

Of avoiding Rash Judgment.

I. Turn thy eyes back upon thyself, and see thou judge not the doings of others.
In judging others a man labours in vain, often errs, and easily sins: but in judging and in looking into himself, he always labours with fruit.
We frequently judge of a thing according as we have it at heart: for we easily lose true judgment through private affection.
If God were always the only object of our desire we should not so easily be disturbed at the resistance of our opinions.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIV pt 1.

_______________________________________________Sacred Heart

July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus

Virtues to practice: Simplicity, faith, liberty of spirit, cheerfulness


Prayers in honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls! I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, wash in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony, and who are to die this day. Amen.

Heart of Jesus, once in agony, pity the dying.

100 days indul.—Pius IX., Feb. 1850.

“May Thy Blood, shed for us, O Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the remission of all my sins, my negligences, my ignorance; may It strengthen, increase and preserve within me, Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and every virtue, may It bring me to everlasting life; may It deliver the souls of my parents and of all those for whom I am bound to pray.”

—St. Catharine of Sienna.


O blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my soul to purify it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my heart to inflame it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my mind to enlighten it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my thoughts to elevate them! O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my every action to sanctify them; in every power and faculty of my being, that all within me may exalt Thy might, proclaim Thy benefits and publish Thy mercies!


Praises to the Precious Blood.

Glory be to Jesus!
Who in bitter pains,
Poured for me the life Blood,
From His sacred veins.

Grace and life eternal
In that Blood I find;
Blessed be His compassion,
Infinitely kind!

Blessed through endless ages
Be the precious stream,
Which from endless torment
Doth the world redeem.

There the fainting spirit
Drinks of life her fill;
There, as in a fountain
Laves herself at will.

O the Blood of Christ!
It soothes the Father’s ire,
Opes the gates of heaven,
Quells eternal fire.

Abel’s blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies;
But the Blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries.

Oft as it is sprinkled
On our guilty hearts,
Satan in confusion,
Terror-Struck departs.

Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Hell with terror trembles.
Heaven is filled with joy.

Lift ye then your voices,
Swell the mighty flood
Louder still and louder,
Praise the Precious Blood!

(100 days indulgence once a day.— Pius VII. , Oct. 1815.)

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

The Power of Prayer.

The Power of Prayer.

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.

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!The Power of Prayer.

“Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone? Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father, Who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask Him?” (Luke xi, 11-13).

Truly, an overwhelming argument, fitted to bring home, even to the darkest mind, the conviction that it cannot be otherwise than that God will hearken to our requests concerning our soul’s salvation and due degree of perfection, if only we present our petitions in a fit and proper manner.

Can we think that Jesus Christ will deceive us, or will break His word, and be faithless to His promises? By no means, says the Holy Ghost: for “God is not as man, that He should lie, nor as the son of man, that He should be changed. Hath He said then, and will He not do? hath He spoken, and will He not fulfil” (Num. xxiii, 19). Hence it is no less certain that whosoever shall ask of God what is expedient for salvation, and shall proffer his petition in a becoming manner, shall be heard, than it is beyond question that the Word made flesh cannot be false to His promises, or fail to make good that to which He has pledged Himself. Resting on this immovable foundation, St. John Chrysostom plainly asserts, that “it is absolutely impossible for a man who prays in a fitting attitude of mind, and who perseveres in prayer to God, ever to fall into sin.” The learned Fr. Suarez, examining this assertion, and weighing it in the exact balance of theological accuracy, has no hesitation in saying: “If any one pray constantly for perseverance in grace, he will most surely obtain it.” This too, though it be a gratuitous gift, which cannot be a matter of strict merit. And he continues: “Hence we assert that a just man, by duly persevering in earnest, frequent prayer, can infallibly obtain final perseverance.” Nor should we wonder at this, since it is plain that prayer is the appointed channel by which every spiritual blessing, and consequently, in the end, final perseverance itself, flows to us. Nor can there be any delusion in this, because, as St. Augustine says, “The Eternal Father has assured us of it by His own mouth. Ask, and you shall receive. Such is the promise of God; and who shall fear to be deceived, when Truth itself gives us the assurance” (Tom 3, De Gratia, Lib. xii, C. 38),

The example of Jesus Christ Himself is a further proof of the necessity and special efficacy of prayer. He prayed in order to leave us an example, and to convince us of the absolute necessity of prayer. “And rising up very early, going out, He went into a desert place, and there He prayed” (Mark i, 35). “And having dismissed the multitude, He went up into a mountain alone to pray” (Mark xiv, 23). When He was dying upon the Cross He prayed even for His enemies, saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” The Apostles prayed, and all the great Saints and servants of God were remarkable for their spirit of prayer. We have never heard of a Saint who neglected prayer. All this shows the great efficacy and utility of prayer.

Hence, if we find ourselves unstable in the observance of the Divine law, or slothful and lukewarm in the way of perfection, if we fall frequently into sin, whether mortal or venial, we may attribute the cause to our neglect of asking and beseeching of God, and of recommending ourselves to Him in prayer. For were we to pray often for our spiritual needs, and in the way in which God would have us make our supplications, we should most surely obtain all we ask, since God’s promise cannot be rendered void. Each one of us is needy and naked as to the Christian virtues, cold in God’s service, weak, faint and liable to fall into deadly sin, and all because we care not to take the trouble to call, without ceasing, and with our whole hearts, for help from above, To us, then, may it justly be said, that ours is the blame if we advance not in the path of perfection, or as it may even happen, if we are gliding backwards, and are in imminent danger of a disastrous fall.

Ask then incessantly—ask in all your temptations, in all your perplexities, in all the interior wants of your soul—being always mindful of what St. Augustine says in his comments on the words of the Psalmist: “Blessed be God, who hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me:” “Be sure that so long as you slacken not in prayer, God’s mercy shall never fail to uphold you with His most mighty help,” (In Ps. lxv, 20).

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.

_______________________________________________

Of Resisting Temptation.

I am sensible, O Jesus, that in the time of temptation, if left to myself, I cannot but offend Thee, and that, carried along by my natural inclination for evil, I am in danger of falling into sin. But I will stretch out my hand to Thee as St. Peter did, and confidently hope Thou wilt support me from perishing. Amen.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIII prayer.

_______________________________________________Sacred Heart

July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus

Virtues to practice: Simplicity, faith, liberty of spirit, cheerfulness


Prayers in honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls! I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, wash in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony, and who are to die this day. Amen.

Heart of Jesus, once in agony, pity the dying.

100 days indul.—Pius IX., Feb. 1850.

“May Thy Blood, shed for us, O Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the remission of all my sins, my negligences, my ignorance; may It strengthen, increase and preserve within me, Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and every virtue, may It bring me to everlasting life; may It deliver the souls of my parents and of all those for whom I am bound to pray.”

—St. Catharine of Sienna.


O blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my soul to purify it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my heart to inflame it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my mind to enlighten it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my thoughts to elevate them! O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my every action to sanctify them; in every power and faculty of my being, that all within me may exalt Thy might, proclaim Thy benefits and publish Thy mercies!


Praises to the Precious Blood.

Glory be to Jesus!
Who in bitter pains,
Poured for me the life Blood,
From His sacred veins.

Grace and life eternal
In that Blood I find;
Blessed be His compassion,
Infinitely kind!

Blessed through endless ages
Be the precious stream,
Which from endless torment
Doth the world redeem.

There the fainting spirit
Drinks of life her fill;
There, as in a fountain
Laves herself at will.

O the Blood of Christ!
It soothes the Father’s ire,
Opes the gates of heaven,
Quells eternal fire.

Abel’s blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies;
But the Blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries.

Oft as it is sprinkled
On our guilty hearts,
Satan in confusion,
Terror-Struck departs.

Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Hell with terror trembles.
Heaven is filled with joy.

Lift ye then your voices,
Swell the mighty flood
Louder still and louder,
Praise the Precious Blood!

(100 days indulgence once a day.— Pius VII. , Oct. 1815.)

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

The Power of Prayer.

The Power of Prayer

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.

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!The Power of Prayer

Prayer made with the proper conditions is sure to produce its effects, that is, it is certain to obtain from God what we petition for. It is infallible, because God has engaged Himself by His sacred word, and by His fidelity to His promises to grant our requests when we pray as we ought.

There are many beautiful examples in Sacred Scripture of the powerful efficacy of prayer. We read in the Book of Exodus that while the Israelites were fighting against the Amalakites, Moses stood on the summit of a hill praying that his people might obtain the victory. Whilst Moses kept his hands lifted up in prayer the Israelites overcame, but if he let them fall down, if he slackened in prayer, they began to have the worst of the fight (Exodus xvii, II). “Which of the just has ever fought without prayer? Moses prays and overcomes, he quits prayer and is overcome” (St. Chrysostom).

King Ezechias prayed in his sickness, and he received his health. “I have heard thy prayer, and have seen thy tears: and behold I have healed thee” (4 Kings XX 5)

“Elias was a man passible like unto us: and with prayer he prayed that it might not rain upon the earth, and it rained not for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James v, 17, 18).

There is no exaggeration in the remark of St. John Climacus, that prayer offers a pleasing violence to the heart of God, for God is not ashamed to declare Himself forced to yield to our petitions. So much so, that, constrained by the fervent pleadings of Moses, He said, “Let Me alone, that my wrath may be kindled against them, and that I may destroy them: and I will make of thee a great nation. But Moses besought the Lord his God, saying, Why, O Lord, is Thy indignation enkindled against Thy people, whom Thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? . . . Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Thy servants, to whom Thou sworest by Thy own self, saying, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and this whole land that I have spoken of, I will give to your seed, and you shall possess it for ever. And the Lord was appeased from doing the evil which He had spoken against His people” (Exod. xxxii, 10-14).

And conscious of the great power of the prayer of Jeremias over His compassionate heart, the Almighty said to the Prophet: “Therefore do not thou pray for this people, nor take to thee praise and supplication for them, and do not withstand Me” (Jerem. vii, 16). St. Jerome, commenting on these two texts, remarks, that the words which the Lord spoke to the Prophet, “do not withstand Me,” and to Moses, “Let Me alone,” show clearly that prayer has power to appease the Divine wrath, and to force God to grant us peace and pardon.

If it should be asked, who has endowed prayer with the insuperable force which holds back the full torrent of the anger of the Most High, and constrains even the power of the Almighty to impart to us every blessing, provided only it be fitting and just? we reply: that it is God Himself, who has bound Himself by His own word to grant us every favour which we beseech Him to bestow. “And I say to you: “Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened” (Luke xi, 9, 10).

“Therefore I say unto you, all things whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come unto you” (Luke xi, 24).

“Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it you. Hitherto you have not asked anything in My Name. Ask, and you shall receive” (John xvi, 23, 24).

“But if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God, Who giveth to all men abundantly, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him” (James 1-5).

Surely no promise could possibly be made in clearer or more express terms. Christ could not have pledged His word with greater clearness. Our Divine Lord, not content, so to speak, with having pledged His own word, obliges Himself to fulfil it by giving His Eternal Father as an additional security. Having thus bound Himself to give the graces we ask for at His hands, our most loving Redeemer proceeds to explain the reasons which urge Him to be thus gracious. All know the boundless extent of the mercy, the liberality, the goodness, the beneficence of our God: His longing to pour forth and impart to His creatures those immense treasures which He, as being the well spring and fountain-head of every good gift, contains within Himself. So great is it, indeed, that St. Augustine believes it far to surpass all our desires, all our yearnings, hopes, and expectations: for God is more anxious to give than we are to receive, and He is much more desirous of showing mercy, than we are to be freed from our misery (Serm. 19, De Verb. Domini). And this is the very reason alleged by our Lord, when accounting for the influence of prayer on the heart of God.

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.

_______________________________________________

Of Resisting Temptation.

No man is free from temptations. They purify us, prove us, instruct us, humiliate us. It is not only by flight or by violent resistence that we triumph, but by a calm patience, and by abandoning ourselves confidently into the hands of God. Let us watch, nevertheless, according to the precept of Jesus Christ, watch ye and pray (Mark, xiv. 28). We can easily conquer a temptation at its birth, but if we let it increase and grow strong, we suffer, in succumbing to it, the punishment of neglecting it and of our own presumption. Do you really desire to conquer? If so, repulse the enemy at his very first attack. Do you wish to draw the advantage from the conflict, in view of which God permits you to be tempted? If so, acknowledge your misery, your weakness, your helplessness; and humiliate yourself more and more. Humility is the foundation of our security, of our peace, and of all perfection.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIII reflection.

_______________________________________________Sacred Heart

July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus

Virtues to practice: Simplicity, faith, liberty of spirit, cheerfulness


Prayers in honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls! I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, wash in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony, and who are to die this day. Amen.

Heart of Jesus, once in agony, pity the dying.

100 days indul.—Pius IX., Feb. 1850.

“May Thy Blood, shed for us, O Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the remission of all my sins, my negligences, my ignorance; may It strengthen, increase and preserve within me, Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and every virtue, may It bring me to everlasting life; may It deliver the souls of my parents and of all those for whom I am bound to pray.”

—St. Catharine of Sienna.


O blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my soul to purify it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my heart to inflame it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my mind to enlighten it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my thoughts to elevate them! O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my every action to sanctify them; in every power and faculty of my being, that all within me may exalt Thy might, proclaim Thy benefits and publish Thy mercies!


Praises to the Precious Blood.

Glory be to Jesus!
Who in bitter pains,
Poured for me the life Blood,
From His sacred veins.

Grace and life eternal
In that Blood I find;
Blessed be His compassion,
Infinitely kind!

Blessed through endless ages
Be the precious stream,
Which from endless torment
Doth the world redeem.

There the fainting spirit
Drinks of life her fill;
There, as in a fountain
Laves herself at will.

O the Blood of Christ!
It soothes the Father’s ire,
Opes the gates of heaven,
Quells eternal fire.

Abel’s blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies;
But the Blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries.

Oft as it is sprinkled
On our guilty hearts,
Satan in confusion,
Terror-Struck departs.

Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Hell with terror trembles.
Heaven is filled with joy.

Lift ye then your voices,
Swell the mighty flood
Louder still and louder,
Praise the Precious Blood!

(100 days indulgence once a day.— Pius VII. , Oct. 1815.)

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

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.-On the vanity of the world.-continued (2).

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.-On the vanity of the world.-continued (2).

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.

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.-On the vanity of the world.-continued (2).

7. “The children of this world,” says Jesus Christ, “are wiser in their generation than the children of light.” (Luke xvi. 8.) how wise in earthly affairs are worldlings, who live in the midst of the darkness of the world! “Behold,” says St. Augustine, “how much men suffer for things for which they entertain a vicious love.” “What fatigue do they endure for the acquisition of property, or of a situation of emolument! With what care do they endeavour to preserve their bodily health! They consult the best physician, and procure the best medicine. And Christians, who are the children of light, will take no pains, will suffer nothing, to secure the salvation of their souls! O God! at the light of the candle which lights them to death, at that hour, at that time, which is called the time of truth, worldlings shall see and confess their folly. Then each of them shall exclaim: O that I had led the life of a saint! At the hour of death, Philip the Second, King of Spain, called in his son, and having shown him his breast devoured with worms, said to him: Son, behold how we die; behold the end of all worldly greatness. He then ordered a wooden cross to be fastened to His neck; and, having made arrangements for his death, he turned again to his son, and said: My son, I wished you to be present at this scene, that you might understand how the world in the end treats even monarchs. He died saying: Oh, that I had been a lay brother in some religious order, and that I had not been a king! Such is the language at the hour of death, even of the princes of the earth, whom worldlings regard as the most fortunate of men. But these desires and sights of regret serve only to increase the anguish and remorse of the lovers of the world at the hour of death, when the scene is about to close.

8. And what is the present life but a scene, which soon passes away for ever? It may end when we least expect it. Cassimir, King of Poland, while he sat at table with his grandees, died in the act of raising a cup to take a draught; thus the scene ended for him. The Emperor Celsus was put to death in seven days after his election; and the scene closed for him. Ladislaus, King of Bohemia, in his eighteenth year, while he was preparing for the reception of his spouse, the daughter of the King of France, was suddenly seized with a violent pain, which took away his life. Couriers were instantly despatched to announce to her that the scene was over for Ladislaus, that she might return to France. “The world,” says Cornelius a Lapide, in his comment upon this passage, “is like a stage. One generation passes away, and a new generation comes. The king does not take with Him the purple. Tell me, O villa, O house, how many masters had you?” In every age the inhabitants of this earth are changed. Cities and kingdoms are filled with new people. The first generation passes to the other world, a second comes on, and this is followed by another. He who, in the scene of this world, has acted the part of a king is no longer a king. The master of such a villa or palace is no longer its master. Hence the Apostle gives us the following advice: “The time is short; it remaineth that… they that use this world be as if they used it not; for the fashion of this world passeth away.” (I Cor. vii. 29, 30.) Since the time of our dwelling on this earth is short, and since all must end with our death, let us make use of this world to despise it, as if it did not exist for us; and let us labour to acquire the eternal treasures of Paradise, where, as the Gospel says, there are no moths to consume, nor thieves to steal them. “But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither the rust nor the moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matt. vi. 20.) St. Teresa used to say: “We should not set value on what ends with life; the true life consists in living in such a manner as not to be afraid of death.” Death shall have no terror for him who, during life, is detached from the vanities of this world, and is careful to provide himself only with goods which shall accompany him to eternity, and make him happy for ever.

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.

_______________________________________________

Of Resisting Temptation.

IX. In temptations and tribulations a man is proved as to what progress he has made: and in them there is greater merit, and his,virtue appears more conspicuous.
Nor is it much if a man be devout and fervent when he feels no trouble; but if in the time of adversity he bears up with patience, there will be hope of a great advancement.
Some are preserved from great temptations, and are often overcome in daily little ones; that being humbled, they may never presume of themselves in great things, who are weak in such small occurrences.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIII pt IX.

_______________________________________________Sacred Heart

July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus

Virtues to practice: Simplicity, faith, liberty of spirit, cheerfulness


Prayers in honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls! I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, wash in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony, and who are to die this day. Amen.

Heart of Jesus, once in agony, pity the dying.

100 days indul.—Pius IX., Feb. 1850.

“May Thy Blood, shed for us, O Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the remission of all my sins, my negligences, my ignorance; may It strengthen, increase and preserve within me, Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and every virtue, may It bring me to everlasting life; may It deliver the souls of my parents and of all those for whom I am bound to pray.”

—St. Catharine of Sienna.


O blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my soul to purify it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my heart to inflame it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my mind to enlighten it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my thoughts to elevate them! O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my every action to sanctify them; in every power and faculty of my being, that all within me may exalt Thy might, proclaim Thy benefits and publish Thy mercies!


Praises to the Precious Blood.

Glory be to Jesus!
Who in bitter pains,
Poured for me the life Blood,
From His sacred veins.

Grace and life eternal
In that Blood I find;
Blessed be His compassion,
Infinitely kind!

Blessed through endless ages
Be the precious stream,
Which from endless torment
Doth the world redeem.

There the fainting spirit
Drinks of life her fill;
There, as in a fountain
Laves herself at will.

O the Blood of Christ!
It soothes the Father’s ire,
Opes the gates of heaven,
Quells eternal fire.

Abel’s blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies;
But the Blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries.

Oft as it is sprinkled
On our guilty hearts,
Satan in confusion,
Terror-Struck departs.

Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Hell with terror trembles.
Heaven is filled with joy.

Lift ye then your voices,
Swell the mighty flood
Louder still and louder,
Praise the Precious Blood!

(100 days indulgence once a day.— Pius VII. , Oct. 1815.)

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