On the Journey of the Three Wise Men from the East.
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.
On the Journey of the Three Wise Men from the East.
In commencing your meditation, my soul, see that you fully grasp this memorable fact, that while in Bethlehem, the actual birthplace of Christ, scarcely any notice was taken of the Saviour born in its midst; that while in Jerusalem, only a few miles distant, in the temple wherein Simeon and Anna were known to be expecting the promised salvation, He was either superciliously ignored, or deemed altogether unworthy of attention, the birth of Christ was made known by means of a star to three men, thousands of miles away in a remote and foreign country. Immediately they set out and came with haste to see the Infant Christ, as did the shepherds, only with this difference, that the strangers from the East had to spend as many days on their journey as the shepherds had to take steps, in order to reach the stable where our Lord was laid. Accompany the three Magi in spirit, on the way thither, and consider:
1st. The joy that they felt when they saw the star going before them to guide and direct them. See here the reward of faith. In undoubting faith without delay they set forth on their journey, and what a journey it was! They had to go to a country a hundred miles distant, to travel across deserts and through dense forests; over steep mountains and rapid streams, and this at an epoch when there were no conveniences for travelling, no level roads, no means of conveyance. A toilsome journey indeed was that! But their faith was stronger than all these obstacles; and as soon as they obeyed the call of faith, the guiding star appeared to them, imparting consolation and courage for their pilgrimage.
If grace urges you, my soul, to undertake a work which is pleasing to God but arduous to perform, begin it in steadfast faith and firm confidence in Him from whom the impulse comes, and you will soon find that through Him that will become easy which was difficult, that will become practicable which appeared impossible of execution.
2d. Consider that the three wise men follow the star whithersoever it conducts them. They do not turn aside either to the right hand or to the left, they do not follow what they may consider their own better judgment, they do not allow themselves to be persuaded by the arguments of others to swerve from the road wherein the star leads them. What a useful lesson you may learn from their conduct, my soul. Your life on earth is a journey to the promised land, and from time to time our Lord permits a bright star to appear to you for your guidance. The sound human reason wherewith He has endowed you is such a star; so is the light of the true faith, the Catholic religion, whereby you are surrounded; so are the inspirations and enlightenments of the Holy Ghost wherein you rejoice; also the admonitions and injunctions of your Confessor, your Superior, the constitutions of your Order, all of which are the voice of God speaking to you. These stars one and all would guide you by the most direct way to Jesus, as surely as the star did the wise men, if you would only follow their guidance as literally as the three kings followed the star; never deviating to the right hand or to the left, in accordance with what you may suppose to be your own superior knowledge or that of others.
3d. Consider how the sudden disappearance of the star did not disconcert the three Magi. It would have been no wonder had they felt dismayed on perceiving that, as they drew near to Jerusalem, their faithful guide was no longer visible in the heavens. It was God’s will to try their faith which had already been sufficiently rewarded, and moreover to give them occasion to apply for an explanation to the Scribes and learned men in Jerusalem, and thus direct their attention to the birth of Christ. How well the wise men stood the test! They did not allow themselves, even by the disappearance of their guide, to be diverted from the accomplishment of the object of their journey; they chose rather to awaken alarm and excite the minds of men in Jerusalem than to desist from their efforts to find the Christ. From this learn, my soul, what you ought to do, if the star of divine consolation is suddenly withdrawn from your sight, if all at once the darkness of night closes in upon your soul, if your prayers, your religious exercises cease to afford you any satisfaction. Oh, then do not omit a single one of your accustomed devotions or good works; remember how the three wise men unwaveringly pursued their search for the Messias, and the star will reappear to you as it reappeared to them. Meanwhile offer this fervent petition to Almighty God:
Do with me, my God, according to Thy divine good pleasure, and cast me not away on account of the sinfulness of my life, which is better, more fully known to no one than to Thee.
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.
– Meditations on the Life, Teaching, and Passion of Jesus Christ
(Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur: New York, December 31, 1900)
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
Let Us Pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.
Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
– Raccolta 113
An indulgence of 7 years.
A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name
O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. You are the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that your Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis
Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:
“The Golden Arrow”
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.
Prayer in honor of the Holy Name
O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.
Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you; may I die for you; may I be wholly yours, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for your love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether yours; yours in life, and yours in death, when I hope by your help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to you; Jesus and Mary, I love you, and I give and deliver up to you my whole soul.
The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)
St. Titus, ora pro nobis.
Twelfth Night Prayer for the Tenth Day of Christmas.
May the adorable name of Jesus be the sweet and daily music of my soul, and the seal of my heart.
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