The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Last Judgment.

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Last Judgment.

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.

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Last Judgment.

(Read Matt. xxiv, 15-35.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that, at the end of each one’s life, God passes the particular judgment on his individual soul, and that at the end of the world He will hold the universal judgment on all men. Then will the glory and the reward of the elect be increased, as will also the confusion and punishment of the reprobate. Then will appear the justification of divine Providence which is now so utterly misunderstood. The good are seen to be oppressed while the wicked are in prosperity; the virtuous are despoiled of this world’s goods and the bad are often enriched. Then however these dispositions of divine Providence, which now seem to us so unequal, will be seen to have been all ordered with supreme wisdom for the divine glory and for our good.

APPLICATION. When at times then you may seem to see something, which to your little understanding appears ill regulated in the government or order of the world, recall to mind the warning of the Apostle: Judge not before the time, until the Lord come. (I Cor. iv, 5.) Only on that day will the wise ordering of Providence be perfectly apparent in all that may now seem disorder, just as a piece of tapestry, which if seen on the reverse side seems to be a confusion of ill-ordered stitches and texture, proves, when seen on its right side, to be a most artistically arranged piece of work.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. And He shall judge the world in equity, and He shall judge the people in justice. (Ps. ix, 9.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that when man is near to death his eyes become dimmed, his complexion pale, and his senses and his strength are all seen to fail. So likewise at the end of the world all the elements will be cast into confusion. The sun, the moon and the stars will be eclipsed; the earth will be shaken by horrible earthquakes; a most terrible fire will destroy woods, houses, cities and all that is found upon the earth. Then will be seen clearly what was the worth of that earth that was so passionately beloved of men. All its pomp and all its riches will in a moment be devoured by fire.

APPLICATION. How you should thank God that He has thus beforehand made you know the true value of the goods of this world. All will be so shortly and so suddenly reduced to ashes and mere nothingness!

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The fear of the Lord is holy, enduring for ever and ever: the judgments of the Lord are true, justified in themselves. (Ps. xviii, 10.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that, when the earth shall be destroyed by the devouring fire, the trumpet shall sound from the four quarters of the world and summon the dead from their graves to judgment: Arise ye dead, and come to the judgment. In a moment by the ministry of angels the bodies of the dead shall be seen, re-united to their souls and assembled in the valley of Jehosaphat. At that gathering there will be no distinction between rich and poor, noble and plebeian, monarch and vassal, but only between the good and the bad. Then will it be clear that the only true good is the goodness of virtue, and the only real evil that of sin. Consider, too, the great difference that will be seen between the reprobate and the elect. The souls of the elect will be re-united to bodies more resplendent than the sun, adorned with the four gifts of glory, and raised aloft so as to be nearer the throne of the Most High; the souls of the reprobate will be re-united to loathsome bodies resembling fire brands of hell and will remain in the company of the devils.

APPLICATION. One of these two lots must be yours. Choose now which it is to be. For if now in this world you strive so eagerly to attain an honourable position, and if it so displeases you to be ignored, or to have a sickly or an ill-disposed body, with how much more ardour, then, should you strive in that day of judgment to have a position of true honour and a glorious body. The good and glory of that day will be never-ending.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Let death come upon them: and let them go down alive into hell. But I have cried: and the Lord will save me. (Ps. liv, 16, 17.)

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 fervent amendment of our whole Life.

Thou knowest, O Lord, that we can do nothing if Thou dost not assist us; but Thy grace will make us capable of all, if Thou wilt vouchsafe to grant it; and everything will appear not only possible, but easy to us, if Thou vouchsafe to increase in us, as we beseech Thee, the divine virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Amen.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV prayer.

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November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Virtues to practice: Charity and kindness.


Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that with Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O, God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins: that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.

An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if these prayers are said daily for a month (S. C. md., Sept. 15, 1888; S. P. Ap., April 25, 1934).

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

Saturday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—The School of Christ.

Saturday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—The School 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.

Saturday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—The School of Christ.

Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. (John vi, 69.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that nothing so animates scholars in their study as the goodness and learning of their master. But what earthly master can compare with Jesus Christ, Who knows so well how to teach those who frequent His school? And yet how small is the number of those who are willing to place themselves under such a Master, whereas crowds flock to the deceitful school of the world!

APPLICATION. How much ought you therefore to thank God that He allows you to be under such a Master, and that He has called you to His Holy Church, His true and only school. Here you can, if you will, receive and rejoice in His teaching. If you do not hear the voice of your Master and profit by it, all the fault lies with yourself.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Blessed is the man whom Thou shalt instruct, O Lord: and shalt teach him out of thy law. (Ps. xciii, 12.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that no master imparts to his scholars his more lofty teaching, unless he sees that they are well instructed in the first elements and in his more simple lessons. Think seriously how much pains God has taken with you to direct your spirit, that is to detach you from the world and from your bad inclinations of pride, ambition, and of self-love. After all the years that you have passed in His school, does it seem to you that you have made much progress? Why then do you wonder that He does not give you those lessons of more sublime lights, which He usually gives in prayer to the more instructed?

APPLICATION. Never can you be fully instructed by such a worthy Master, if you are not also first well grounded by Him. Let Him therefore take from you your overwhelming affection for your own ease and your own will, so that then He may give to you higher and more noble lessons.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. Thy good spirit shall lead me into the right land. (Ps. cxlii, 10.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that the teaching most proper to such a master is that, which concerns His laws and commands. You may be saved and become holy without a deep knowledge of the higher mysteries, but you cannot be saved without the knowledge and practice of His laws and commandments. Therefore strive to perfect yourself in this knowledge. For it is that which will bring you happiness. What good will your knowledge of philosophy, of literature, of science over which you weary yourself so greatly, do you, if you come to be lost?

APPLICATION. Learn then from this divine Master the true practical science of the divine law, which He teaches you as the most important of all, and the most necessary to make you happy here and hereafter : Blessed is the man whom Thou shalt instruct, O Lord: and shalt teach him out of Thy law. (Ps. xciii, 12.)

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant: and teach me Thy justifications. (Ps. cxviii, 135.)

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 fervent amendment of our whole Life.

Are you sincerely resolved to work out your salvation? Have you a firm will to do so? Then prepare yourself for the labour, for the struggle. For such is the price of salvation. Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction; but how narrow, says the Evangelist, is the way that leadeth to life (Matt. vii. 13, 14). Without doubt, grace renders this labour, this struggle, more easy for the faithful man; in the midst of fatigues and sufferings he enjoys a heavenly peace which the sinner knows not of. Nevertheless, continual efforts are necessary to enable him to triumph over himself, to conquer his desires, his passions, the world, and the prince of this world (John, xiv., 30). What has made the saints but this persevering and courageous struggle?–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV reflection.

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November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Virtues to practice: Charity and kindness.


Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that with Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O, God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins: that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.

An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if these prayers are said daily for a month (S. C. md., Sept. 15, 1888; S. P. Ap., April 25, 1934).

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

Friday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Afflictions from the Hand of God.

Friday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Afflictions from the Hand of God.

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 Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Afflictions from the Hand of God.

You now indeed have sorrow, but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice. (John xvi, 22.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY the apparently strange consolation, that holy Job begged of God in the midst of all his afflictions. He asked for a fresh affliction, and together with the affliction he asked for patience: And that this may be my comfort, that in afflicting me with sorrow, He spare not, nor I contradict the words of the Holy One. (Job vi, 10.) To conform oneself to the will of God when He sends you prosperity and does not try you, is an easy thing to do, but brings little consolation to the soul. But to conform oneself to the will of God fully, and to be consoled when He presses His hand in afflictions, this is true consolation to the spirit of the perfect.

APPLICATION. Blessed indeed are you if you can come to this high state of seeking your consolations in fresh sufferings and in still greater afflictions! And yet you should aspire to this, for in fact we are not here to enjoy life but to suffer. Therefore you will never have true happiness, nor will you ever be content, until you come to find your comfort in suffering.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. They called upon the Lord, and He heard them. (Ps. xcviii, 6.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY the sincere wish of holy Job for suffering. He sat on the dung hill with sores from head to foot and, thus afflicted by God, He asked specially to suffer more. He feared lest God Who is so good, seeing him in such tribulation, might be touched. Therefore he asked, and almost encouraged, Him to continue to treat him with such rigour as would reduce him even to ashes. Now observe to what high virtue mere human nature like your own can arrive by fervour of spirit.

APPLICATION. Be ashamed of your own weakness. Pray to God to give you light to know what a great blessing it is to suffer for Him in this life. Thus by His grace will He strengthen the weakness of your flesh.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. My hand shall help him: and My arm shall strengthen him. (Ps.lxxxviii, 22.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that holy Job in asking for sufferings, asked at the same time that he might not oppose himself to them when they came, but that he might accept them with complete resignation. Like a truly humble soul, he did not trust himself in this his longing. We very often wish to labour and to suffer much for God. However we may easily presume and trust too much in ourselves, and not pray from our heart that God would help us in the act itself. Hence our longing quickly vanishes, and we lose that perfect conformity to the divine will which we should have in our afflictions.

APPLICATION. No circumstances of time, or of lack of strength, should make trials seem inopportune, nor prevent you from accepting affliction with perfect resignation from the hand of God. This is what holy Job also asked for when he pleaded for sufferings, and this you should ask for all the more because you are so exceedingly weak. Trust less then to your desires, which, although they are good and holy, will never avail you without the special help and assistance of God.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. There also shall Thy hand lead me: and Thy right hand shall hold me. (Ps. cxxxviii, 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 fervent amendment of our whole Life.

XI. Always remember thy end, and that time once lost never returns.
Without care and diligence thou shalt never acquire virtue.
If thou beginnest to grow lukewarm, thou wilt begin to be uneasy.
But if thou givest thyself to fervour, thou shalt find great peace; and the grace of God and love of virtue will make thee feel less labour.
A fervent and diligent man is ready for all things.
It is a greater labour to resist vices and passions, than to toil at bodily labours.
He that does not shun small defects, by little and little falls into greater.
Thou wilt always rejoice in the evening, if thou spend the day profitably.
Watch over thyself, stir up thyself, admonish thyself; and whatever becometh of others, neglect not thyself.
The greater violence thou offerest to thyself, the greater progress thou wilt make. Amen.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV pt. XI.

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November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Virtues to practice: Charity and kindness.


Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that with Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O, God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins: that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.

An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if these prayers are said daily for a month (S. C. md., Sept. 15, 1888; S. P. Ap., April 25, 1934).

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

Thursday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Good Use of Time.

Thursday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Good Use of Time.

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 Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Good Use of Time.

Be not therefore solicitous for to-morrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. (Matt. vi, 34.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that God gives you now full and ample time to serve Him and to do good. You are to employ it only in winning heaven: I gave her time that she might do penance. (Apoc. ii, 21.) After a little while He will take this time from you, and you will have not even a moment for yourself: Time shall be no longer. (Apoc. x, 6.) And then what a strict account He will demand from you of that same time which He gave you: He hath called against me the time. (Lam. i, 15.)

APPLICATION. Think seriously how you employ your time, whether in things useful, or vain. God gives it you that you may employ it in the acquisition of heaven; and perhaps you waste it. When time is ended for you and the time of your Lord is come, you will then recognise its real value, but then it will be too late.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. We will praise Thee, O God: we will praise, and we will call upon Thy name. We will relate Thy wondrous works. (Ps. lxxiv, 2.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that when time is ended for you, God will take His time for judging you. But what does this mean? He says by the mouth of the Psalmist: I will judge justices. (Ps. lxxiv, 2.) It means, according to the Hebrew text, that He will judge with rectitude, with rigour, and by the most strict rules of justice. Hence in that day mercy will no more have place, and justice will be all in all.

APPLICATION. The holiest men trembled and feared at the thought of the supreme rigour with which God would judge them at the end of their lives. Wherefore they never ceased to weep for their sins, to make satisfaction for them by penance, to examine minutely their consciences, in order to be able to pay their account in this life at the tribunal of mercy, and without waiting for the dreadful day of judgment. But possibly you fear but little the judgment that divine justice will pass upon you in that last day, and waste the time that you now have given you in order to profit by the Divine mercy.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS, The judgments of the Lord are true, justified in themselves. (Ps. xviii, 10.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that the words I will judge justices also mean that God in that day will not only judge your sins, but that He will also judge your just deeds, that is your good works. He will examine whether you did them at the right time, for the right end, in the right way, and under all the right circumstances.

APPLICATION. You undoubtedly do many actions good in themselves in your life, such as those of praying, hearing Mass and receiving the holy sacraments. But how do you do them? With how much distraction, with how little real application of mind, with how many defects mixed up with them! And for all these good works which you do so badly you will have to be judged, and that with the utmost rigour. For what matters is not the actual good work itself, but the way you do it. And do you not fear or dread this judgment? Pray to God that He may give you light to understand and realise now, how solemn it will be.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. And He shall judge the world in equity, He shall judge the people in justice. (Ps. ix, 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 fervent amendment of our whole Life.

X. When a man is come to this, that he seeks his comfort from nothing created, then he begins perfectly to relish God; then likewise will he be well content, however matters happen to him.
Then will he neither rejoice for much, nor be sorrowful for little; but will commit himself wholly and confidently to God, who is to him all in all; to Whom nothing perishes or dies, but all things live to Him, and serve Him at a beck without delay.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV pt. X.

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November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Virtues to practice: Charity and kindness.


Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that with Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O, God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins: that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.

An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if these prayers are said daily for a month (S. C. md., Sept. 15, 1888; S. P. Ap., April 25, 1934).

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

Wednesday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Life without Solicitude.

Wednesday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Life without Solicitude.

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 Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Life without Solicitude.

Be not solicitous for your life. (Matt. vi, 25.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that in Holy Writ those are justly censured who are never content with their present state, in which God has placed them. (cf. Eccles. vii, I.) They are for ever striving to push forward, without knowing whether the dignity, or duty, or position they seek after, would be beneficial or harmful to them. God alone knows which is the way by which you are sure to be saved. Therefore, as a pilgrim, who knows not the road that leads to his country, must let himself be guided by one who does know, so likewise you must let yourself be guided by God, and by him who on earth holds the place of God to you.

APPLICATION. Is it not utter folly, to try to regulate yourself by your own caprice, in striving after this or that position or employment, in disregard and even in defiance of God? Let yourself rather be guided, if possible, by the sure rule of obedience; for it will never prove hurtful to you.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Let me know that this is Thy hand, and that Thou, O Lord, hast done it. (Ps. cviii, 27.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that if the attainment of this place or of that office, which you so anxiously seek after, brings you no harm, at any rate it may harm you to be seeking for it. The anxiety for it distracts your thoughts from your present clear duties, and from the pursuit of that which really matters to you, which is the business of your eternal salvation. You should never cease to make that your chief study. The more it is in doubt, the more supremely important is it also that you should ever strive after it.

APPLICATION. In the search for positions which are difficult to attain, how much the good of your own soul may be neglected. Employ for it, at least, a solicitude equal to that which you use, in order to gain something as to which you cannot possibly say whether it will profit your own salvation or not. You are a pilgrim and your country is heaven. Employ, then, all necessary time and efforts in learning and in finding the sure way of arriving there, for that alone is important for you.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thou hast brought a vineyard out of Egypt. Thou wast the guide of its journey in its sight. (Ps. lxxix, 9, 10.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that the time given you to obtain that, which alone matters to you, is little and short. Have you then the heart to lose it in seeking after that which is of no consequence? The time is little, because there are few days, the days of his pilgrimage: and brief, because it passeth like a shadow. (Eccles. vii, I.) Therefore do not occupy yourself overmuch in seeking those things which pass away with time, but seek rather to walk safely in the sure road which leads to your country, and to acquire your eternal heritage.

APPLICATION. If a pilgrim has to reach his country, within a brief time which has been predetermined for him, under pain of losing an inheritance, how he uses every effort not to lose time! He robs himself of sleep, of conversation, and of all else that might otherwise interest him. You who are a pilgrim should surely do as much. For if you do not reach the end, at the time fixed for you by God, you are without any remedy, and will never reach it at all!

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Man is like to vanity: his days pass away like a shadow. (Ps. cxliii, 4.)

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 fervent amendment of our whole Life.

IX. O that we had nothing else to do but to praise the Lord our God with our whole heart and mouth!
O that thou didst never want to eat, nor drink, nor sleep, but couldst always praise God, and be employed solely in spiritual exercises!
Thou wouldst then be much more happy than now, whilst thou art under the necessity of serving the flesh.
Would to God there were no such necessities, but only the spiritual refreshments of the soul, which, alas, we taste too seldom!–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV pt. IX.

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November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Virtues to practice: Charity and kindness.


Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that with Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O, God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins: that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.

An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if these prayers are said daily for a month (S. C. md., Sept. 15, 1888; S. P. Ap., April 25, 1934).

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