Meditation for Thursday. On 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.
I. CONSIDER that the soul shall no sooner have departed from the body, than it will appear before the tribunal of God to be judged. This judge is the Almighty, whose wrath is provoked by thy sins. Thy accuser will be thy mortal enemy, the devil: the matter of thy trial will be thy sins: thy sentence will be without appeal: and if found guilty, thy punishment will be hell. Thou wilt not have the power of calling thy parents, friends, and companions to thy aid: all must be concluded between God and thy soul. Thou wilt then see the deformity of thy crimes, and wilt not be able, as at present, to excuse them. Thou wilt be examined upon all thy sins of thought, of words, of actions, of omissions, of scandal: thou wilt be weighed in the terrible scales of divine justice, and, if found wanting in a single point, thou art lost. My Jesus, and my Judge, pardon me before thou dost judge me.
II. Consider that, at the end of the world, our bodies will rise again to participate in the reward or punishment of the soul according to our works, when all the nations of the earth will be assembled in the valley of Josaphat to be judged. If thou art condemned, thou wilt resume thy body as an eternal prison for thy unfortunate soul. At this sorrowful re-union, the soul will curse the body, and the body the soul, so that, although at present they mutually consent to pursue unlawful pleasures, after death, they will become each other’s tormentor. On the other hand, if thou art saved, thy body will arise beautiful, impassible, and glorious, and thus, both in body and soul, thou wilt be judged worthy of eternal happiness. This will close the scene of this world: thus will terminate all the greatness, all the pleasures and all the pomps of the earth. Yes, all will be at an end; nothing will remain but two eternities, one of glory, the other of pain; one of joy, the other of torments; the just will dwell in heaven, the wicked in hell. Wo then to him, that shall have loved the world! wo to him that for the vain and fleeting pleasures of the earth, shall have lost his soul, his body, heaven, and God!
III. Consider the eternal sentence which Jesus Christ will pass upon the reprobate and the elect. This sovereign judge, turning towards the reprobate, will say: Behold, ye ungrateful wretches, the event of your crimes; my hour is come, the hour of truth, of justice, of vengeance, and of wrath. Criminal souls, you have chosen my curse, let it fall upon you; be ye cursed for all eternity. Depart from me, despoiled of every good and laden with all evil, into eternal fire. (Matt, xxv.) Then turning towards the elect Jesus will thus address them: Come, ye blessed children of my heavenly Father, come and take possession of the kingdom of heaven which is prepared for you. Come, no longer to carry your cross after me, but to wear a crown. Come to inherit my riches, and to be the companions of my glory. Come from the land of exile to your true country; come from sufferings to glory, from tears to joy.
O my Jesus! I hope to be one of those whom thou wilt then bless. I love thee above all things. Bless me at this moment. O my mother Mary, do thou also bless me.
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.
For the love of Jesus Christ, forget the past, like St. Paul, and keep your thoughts incessantly fixed on the great distance yet remaining before you reach the way of perfection. – St. Ignatius of Loyola, Letter 50.
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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