Third Sunday after Pentecost.-On the Mercy of God towards sinners.-continued.
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.
Third Point. Mercy of God in receiving penitent sinners.
8. Should a subject who has rebelled against an earthly monarch go into the presence of His sovereign to ask pardon, the prince instantly banishes the rebel from His sight, and does not condescend even to look at him. But God does not treat us in this manner, when we go with humility before Him to implore mercy and forgiveness. “The Lord your God is merciful, and will not turn away His face from you if you return to him.” (2 Par. xxx. 9.) God cannot turn away His face from those who cast themselves at His feet with an humble and contrite heart. Jesus Himself has protested that He will not reject any one who returns to Him. “And him that cometh to Me, I will not cast out.” (John vi. 37.) But how can He reject those whom He Himself invites to return, and promises to embrace? “Return to me, saith the Lord, and I will receive thee.” (Jer. iii. 1.) In another place He says: Sinners, I ought to turn my back on you, because you first turned your back on me; but be converted to me, and I will be converted to you. “Turn to Me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn to you, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zach. i. 3.)
9. Oh! with what tenderness does God embrace a sinner that returns to Him! This tenderness Jesus Christ wished to declare to us when He said that He is the good pastor, who, as soon as He finds the lost sheep, embraces it and places it on His own shoulders. “And when He hath found it, doth He not lay it upon His shoulders rejoicing?” (Luke xv. 5.) This tenderness also appears in the parable of the prodigal son, in which Jesus Christ tells us that He is the good father, who, when His lost son returns, goes to meet him, embraces and kisses him, and, as it were, swoons away through joy in receiving him. “And running to him, he fell upon his neck and kissed him.” (Luke xv. 20.)
10. God protests that when sinners repent of their iniquities, He will forget all their sins, as if they had never offended Him. “But, if the wicked do penance for all the sins which He hath committed….living, he shall live, and shall not die. I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done.” (Ezech. xviii. 21,22.) By the Prophet Isaias, the Lord goes so far as to say: “Come and accuse Me, saith the Lord. If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow.” (Isa. i. 18.) Mark the words, Come and accuse me. As if the Lord said: Sinners, come to Me, and if I do not pardon and embrace you, reprove Me, upbraid Me with violating My promise. But no! God cannot despise an humble and contrite heart. “A contrite and humble heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” (Ps. 1. 19.)
11. To show mercy and grant pardon to sinners, God regards as redounding to His own glory. “And therefore shall He be exalted sparing you.” (Isa. xxx. 18.) The holy Church says, that God displays His omnipotence in granting pardon and mercy to sinners. “O God, who manifested Thy omnipotence in sparing and showing mercy.” Do not imagine, dearly beloved sinners, that God requires of you to labour for a long time before He grants you pardon: as soon as you wish for forgiveness, He is ready to give it. Behold what the Scripture says: “Weeping, thou shalt not weep, He will surely have pity on thee.” (Isa. xxx. 19.) You shall not have to weep for a long time: as soon as you shall have shed the first tear through sorrow for your sins, God will have mercy on you. “At the voice of thy cry, as soon as He shall hear, He will answer thee.” (Ibid.) The moment He shall hear you say: Forgive me, O my God, forgive me, He will instantly answer and grant your pardon.
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.
Of acquiring Peace and Zeal in spiritual progress.
I. We might have much peace if we would not busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others, and with things which belong not to us.
How can he remain long in peace, who entangles himself with other people’s cares; who seeks occasions abroad, and who is little or seldom inwardly recollected?
Blessed are the single hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XI pt I.
June Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Virtues to practice: Obedience, Piety, Dutifulness
Prayers to the Wound of the Heart of Jesus.
Blessed be the holy Wound of Thy Heart, my most sweet Jesus! Accept, O Lord, my heart and all the powers of my soul. Detach them from earthly affections. Let me lose even the remembrance of the things of this world. Cast my soul into the adorable Wound of Thy Side, into the ocean of Thy love, into the source of true life. Unite my heart for ever to Thy tender Heart, so truly that it will be impossible for me to desire what is not in conformity with Thy will. May I in all things entirely renounce my own will, and unite myself by faith, hope and charity to Thee, my Lord, my God and my Creator. Amen.
O most sweet Jesus, through the Wound of Thy Heart, pardon, I beseech Thee, all my offences against Thee by acting without sufficient purity of intention, or by following my own perverse will. I offer Thee my heart, that Thou mayest unite it to Thy Heart. Then I shall neither seek nor see anything but Thee in all things. I shall have no other will than Thine. Amen.
Jesu! Creator of the world,
Of all mankind Redeemer blest,
True God of God, in Whom we see
Thy Father’s image clear expressed!
Thee, Saviour, love alone constrained
To make our mortal flesh Thine own,
And, as a second Adam, come
For the first Adam to atone.
That selfsame love which made the sky,
Which made the sea and stars, and earth,
Took pity on our misery,
And broke the bondage of our birth.
O Jesus! in Thy Heart divine
May that same love for ever glow!
Forever mercy to mankind
From that exhaustless fountain flow!
For this the Sacred Heart was pierced,
And both with blood and water ran –
To cleanse us from the stains of guilt,
And be the hope and strength of man.
Jesu, to Thee be glory given,
Who from Thy Heart dost grace outpour,
To Father and to Paraclete
Be endless praise for evermore. Amen.
An indulgence of 5 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, If this hymn is devoutly recited every day for a month (S.P.Ap., March 12, 1936). (Raccolta)
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