Necessity of Advancing in Virtue.
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.
Necessity of Advancing in Virtue.
I. Many evils result from a neglect of improving in virtue. This neglect provokes the anger of God; and therefore He says to the bishop of Ephesus, in the Apocalypse, “Be mindful from whence thou art fallen, and do penance, and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will remove thy candlestick out of its place.” (Apoc. ii. 5.) God may have designed you also to give light to many; take care, then, that He do not move you from your place in consequence of your tepidity and in-devotion.
II. This neglect deprives us of many great spiritual advantages and rewards. “The slothful hand hath wrought poverty,” says the Wise Man. (Prov. x. 4.) Oh, what glory should we purchase in heaven, were we always intent on our spiritual profit, and careful to seize every occasion of exercising virtue! Observe what care worldly men take to amass wealth and increase their fortunes, which, however, they are soon to leave; and blush at your own neglect in amassing everlasting treasures which God freely offers you.
III. This neglect exposes man to final ruin; for it was said of the servant who neglected to employ his talent in the service and to the advantage of his master, “Take ye away, therefore, the talent from him, and the unprofitable servant cast ye out into exterior darkness.” (Matt. xxv. 28.) Excite yourself, therefore, to persevere in the way of virtue with cheerfulness. Examine upon what occasions you are accustomed to lose courage, and resolve to go forward, with renovated spirit. Christ is your commander, and your reward “exceeding great.”
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 wicked man easily suspects the virtue of others; as those who have vertigo believe that everything is turning around them. – St. Ignatius of Loyola, Maffœi.
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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