On the Joy Which the Three Holy Kings Felt when They Found Jesus.
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 Joy Which the Three Holy Kings Felt when They Found Jesus.
To-day, my soul, you are called upon, in accordance with the exhortation of the Apostle: Rejoice with those that rejoice (Rom. xii. 15), to share in the joy of the three Magi on discovering the Infant Jesus. Look at them, those three grave, venerable men, and see how their countenances beam with joy and their hearts overflow with delight at the sight of the beauteous Child. It is easy to understand their happiness, for,
1st. It is a pleasure to find anything for which one is seeking, and the pleasure we experience is proportionate to the value we attach to the object of which we are in search. Hence St. Bernard says in his beautiful hymn: “How good Thou art to those who seek, but what to those who find!” If Abraham desired so greatly to see the day of this Child’s birth; if the pious Simeon gave utterance to heartfelt jubilation when his eyes beheld the salvation of the nations; if St. Augustine could wish for nothing in this world so much as to have seen the Redeemer in His sacred humanity, concluding most justly that to have done so must have been a joy above all conceivable joys, how great must the delight and exultation of the three wise men have been when at last they found and beheld with their eyes the Supreme Good, the gracious Child for whom they had yearned so long, whom they had sought so diligently! If you, my soul, only had this same longing to see the Child of Mary by faith, to be intimately conscious of His nearness, if you would only seek Him, that is to say, take real pains in your prayers, in your hours of meditation, when you assist at holy Mass, to find our Lord, to make yourself acquainted with Him, to realize fully His gracious presence, oh, how soon you would participate in the joy the three wise men felt!
2d. It is a greater pleasure to find what one is seeking, if one has been searching for it diligently; and, oh, how diligently, how zealously the three Magi sought the divine Child! They were not deterred by the length of the journey, the difficulties and hardships to be encountered on the way; yawning abysses, high mountains, steep rocks had no terrors for them; all the hindrances shrank into insignificance beside their longing to find Jesus. Hence we may judge how intense must have been their joy when at last their eyes beheld the object of their eager search. Reflect upon this, my soul: Perhaps whilst contemplating the first point of this meditation your conscience gave you the consoling assurance: I too am seeking Jesus, I too earnestly desire to find Him; and yet in your prayers, when you go to Communion, although you find Him, you do not experience the same joy as did the three wise men. That is because your manner of seeking imposes on you no sacrifice; it is a mere matter of course, it does not rise above what is of daily and habitual occurrence, it does not require any special exertion, any special preparation, any special mortification on your part. See how the saints appeared to be inebriated with joy when engaged in prayer, or before and after Holy Communion. Do you imagine that they contented themselves with the ordinary form of preparation? No; the more fervent, the more arduous the search, the greater will be the joy when its object is found.
3d. The greatest pleasure of all is to find more than one had hoped or sought for. This was the case with the three wise men. They not only found the smiling Infant, the mere sight of whom filled them with rapture; with Him they also found Mary, the blessed Mother of God, whose virginal beauty charmed them, while her wise and gracious manner of speaking to them about the divine Child enchanted them. Now pause, and lay this to heart: It is no easy matter to find Jesus apart from His Mother. The three wise men found the Child in her virginal arms and their joy was thereby increased, can we not say doubled, for it is a twofold pleasure if we not only find a costly treasure, but find it in a receptacle which is in itself most valuable. It was from Mary’s arms that St. Antony received the Child Jesus, and she herself gave her divine Son into the hands of St. Felix. Now if it happens that for a long time you strive, with no small exertion to yourself, to find our Lord in prayer, in meditation, in the sacraments, that is, find His grace and consolations, you know to whom you must have recourse in your need in order to find Him, and to experience a twofold joy in finding Him. It is to Mary that you must turn; she is the Gate of Heaven, and she will give you access to Jesus.
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)
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