Christ Grows in Age and Wisdom. I.
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.
Christ Grows in Age and Wisdom. I.
I. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and age, and grace with God and men.” (Luke ii. 52.) Christ, from the first moment of His conception, possessed the plenitude of all wisdom, grace, and virtue, but in outward appearance He seemed to increase in them, thus accommodating His words and actions to His age. Hence you ought to infer that it is your duty to accommodate yourself to the times, places, and situations you are in, and particularly to make continual progress in virtue. For not to advance is to go back; there is nothing stationary in the way of virtue.
II. There are different manners of failing, or of making progress in virtue. Some, after they have begun well, fail in constancy, and resume their former course of life. These our Lord condemns when he says, “No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke ix. 62.) He tells us to remember Lot’s wife who was turned into a pillar of salt, as a warning to others not to cast a lingering look back again on the sinful object which they have left.
III. Others in the progress of virtue grow remiss and tepid in the use of those means which are calculated to increase their fervor, and are therefore in danger of falling. To these Christ addresses Himself in the Apocalypse: “This I have against thee, that thou hast left thy first charity.” (Apoc. ii. 4.) Others, again, begin and advance with a slow pace; and although there appears no great outward defect, there is generally a real internal decay. There are others, finally, who begin well and advance cheerfully “and in their hearts have disposed to ascend” (Ps. Ixxxiii. 6) from virtue to virtue. Examine in which of these classes you have ranked yourself, or in which you would wish to be placed. The last is the only one in which you can find security and safety.
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 for every Day in the Year by Rev. Roger Baxter, S.J. – 1884
The things of this life are only really happy, as far as they prepare us for the eternal life which follows. – St. Ignatius of Loyola, Bartoli.
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).
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