Meditation for Tuesday: On Mortal Sin.
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 Mortal Sin.
I. CONSIDER, O my soul! that having been created to love God, thou hast rebelled against Him, and thereby been guilty of the basest ingratitude. Thou hast treated Him like an enemy: thou hast despised His grace and friendship. Thou wast aware how much sin offends Him, and still thou hast committed it. Yes, thou hast turned thy back on God; thou hast insulted Him; thou hast in a manner raised thy hand to strike Him; thou hast contristated His Holy Spirit. The man who sins says to God, if not in words, at least in effect, begone from me, I will not serve Thee, I will not acknowledge Thee for my God: the God which I adore is this pleasure, this interest, this revenge. Such has been the language of thy heart every time that thou hast preferred any creature to God. St. Mary Magdalen, of Pazzi, could not conceive how a Christian could knowingly commit a mortal sin. O thou, who art reading these lines, what are thy sentiments? how many mortal sins hast thou committed? O my God! pardon me, have mercy on me: I detest all my sins, I love Thee, and grieve sincerely for the insults which I have offered to Thee, who art deserving of infinite love.
II. Consider that God thus spoke to thy heart at the moment thou wast offending Him: My son, I am thy God, who created thee and redeemed thee with the price of my blood. I forbid Thee, then, to commit that sin under pain of incurring my eternal displeasure. But in yielding to the temptation, thou hast replied, Lord, I will not obey Thee, I am resolved to gratify my passions, I value not thy friendship. “Thou hast said I will not serve.” Ah! my God: and this I have done many, perhaps thousands of times. How couldst Thou bear with my insults? Why did I not die rather than live to offend Thee? But, O infinite goodness! I will do so no more; henceforth I will love Thee with all my heart. Give me perseverance; give me Thy holy love.
III. Consider, O my soul! that, when sins arrive at a certain number, they cause God to abandon the sinner. “The Lord patiently expecteth that when the day of judgment shall come, he may punish them in the fulness of sins.” (2 Mac. v. 13.) If therefore, thou art again tempted to return to thy sins, say no more within thyself, I will commit this one, and will then repent. For what if the Lord should instantly strike Thee dead? or what if he should forsake thee forever? what has been the fate of thousands who have thus lost the grace of God ? They flattered themselves with the hope of pardon; but death surprised them, and hell enveloped them in its flames. Tremble, then, lest thy fate be the same. Those who abuse the goodness of God in order to offend Him, are undeserving of His mercy. After the multitude of crimes that he has pardoned thee, thou hast too much reason to fear that, if thou relapse into mortal sin, he will pardon thee no more. Thank Him, then, a thousand times for having borne patiently with thee until now, and form the resolution rather to die than to offend Him anymore. Say frequently to Him:
My God, I have already offended Thee enough; the remainder of my life shall be spent in loving Thee and in bewailing my past ingratitude. O my Jesus! I wish to love thee; grant me the grace to do it. Blessed Virgin, my Mother, assist me by thy prayers. Amen.
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.
– from St. Alphonsus M. Liguori
with the Approbation of the Most Rev. S. Eccleston.
We must speak to God as a friend speaks to his friend, a servant to his master; now asking some favor, now acknowledging our faults, and communicating to Him all that concerns us, our thoughts, our fears, our projects, our desires, and in all things seeking His counsel. – St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises.
February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)
Virtue to practice: Humility
I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ – St. Francis de Sales
An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a monh (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).
Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from where thou dost dispense thy favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for thy favors, I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share in thy glory. R. Amen.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
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