Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.-On the vanity of the world.-continued.

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.-On the vanity of the world.-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.

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.-On the vanity of the world.-continued.

4. The Prophet Osee tells us that the world holds in its hand a deceitful balance. “He is like Chanaan” (that is the world); “there is a deceitful balance in His hand.” (Osee xii. 7.) We must, then, weigh things in the balance of God, and not in that of the world, which makes them appear different from what they are. What are the goods of this life? “My days,” said Job, “have been swifter than a post: they have passed by as ships carrying fruits.” (Job ix. 25, 26.) The ships signify the lives of men, which soon pass away, and run speedily to death; and if men have laboured only to provide themselves with earthly goods, these fruits decay at the hour of death: we can bring none of them with us to the other world. We, says St. Ambrose, falsely call these things our property, which we cannot bring with us to eternity, where we must live for ever, and where virtue alone will accompany us. “Non nostra sunt, quæ non possumus auferre nobiscum: sola virtus nos comitatur.” You, says St. Augustine, attend only to what a rich man possessed; but tell me, which of his possessions shall he, now that he is on the point of death, be able to take with him? “Quid hie habebat attendis, quid secum fert, attendo?” (Serm. xiii. de Adv. Dom.) The rich bring with them a miserable garment, which shall rot with them in the grave. And should they, during life, have acquired a great name, they shall be soon forgotten. “Their memory hath perished with a noise.” (Ps. ix. 7.)

5. Oh! that men would keep before their eyes that great maxim of Jesus Christ—“What doth it profit a man, if He gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of His own soul?” (Matt. xvi. 26.) If they did, they should certainly cease to love the world. What shall it profit them at the hour of death to have acquired all the goods of this world, if their souls must go into hell to be in torments for all eternity? How many has this maxim, sent into the cloister and into the desert? How many martyrs has it encouraged to embrace torments and death! In the history of England, we read of thirty kings and queens, who left the world and became religious, in order to secure a happy death. The consideration of the vanity of earthly goods made St. Francis Borgia retire from the world. At the sight of the Empress Isabella, who had died in the flower of youth, He came to the resolution of serving God alone. “Is such, then,” He said, “the end of all the grandeur and crowns of this world? Henceforth I will serve a master who can never die.” The day of death is called “the day of destruction” (“The day of destruction is at hand.” Deut. xxxii. 35), because on that day we shall lose and give up all the goods of the world—all its riches, honours, and pleasures. The shade of death obscures all the treasures and grandeurs of this earth; it obscures even the purple and the crown. Sister Margaret of St. Anne, a Discalced Carmelite, and daughter of the Emperor Rodolph the Second, used to say: “What do kingdoms profit us at the hour of death?” “The affliction of an hour maketh one forget great delights.” (Eccl. xi. 29.) The melancholy hour of death puts an end to all the delights and pomps of this life. St. Gregory says, that all goods which cannot remain with us, or which are incapable of taking away our miseries, are deceitful. “Fallaces sunt que nobiscum permanere non possunt: fallaces sunt que mentis nostræ inopiam non expellunt.” (Hom. xv. in Lue.) Behold a sinner whom the riches and honours which he had acquired made an object of envy to others. Death came upon him when he was at the summit of his glory, and he is no longer what he was. “I have seen the wicked highly exalted, and lifted up like the cedars of Libanus; and I passed by, and lo! he was not; and I sought him, and his place was not found.” (Ps. xxxvi. 35, 36.)

6. These truths the unhappy damned fruitlessly confess in hell, where they exclaim with tears: “What hath pride profited us? or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us? All those things are passed away like a shadow.” (Wis. v. 8, 9.) What, they say, have our pomps and riches profited us, now that they are all passed away like a shadow, and for us nothing remains but eternal torments and despair? Dearly beloved Christians, let us open our eyes, and now that we have it in our power, let us attend to the salvation of our souls; for, if we lose them, we shall not be able to save them in the next life. Aristippus, the philosopher, was once shipwrecked, and lost all his goods; but such was the esteem which the people entertained for him on account of his learning, that, as soon as he reached the shore, they presented him with an equivalent for all that he had lost. he then wrote to his friends, and exhorted them to attend to the acquisition of goods which cannot be lost by shipwreck. Our relatives and friends who have passed into eternity exhort us, from the other world, to labour in this life for the attainment of goods which are not lost at death. If at that awful moment we shall be found to have attended only to the accumulation of earthly goods, we shall be called fools, and shall receive the reproach addressed to the rich man in the gospel, who, after having reaped an abundant crop from his fields, said to himself: “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thy rest, eat, drink, make good cheer. But God said to Him: Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee: and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?” (Luke xii. 19, 20.) He said, “they require thy soul of thee,” because to every man his soul is given, not with full power to dispose of it as he pleases, but it is given to him in trust, that he may preserve and return it to God in a state of innocence, when it shall be presented at the tribunal of the Sovereign Judge. The Redeemer concludes this parable by saying: “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God” (v. 21). This is what happens to those who seek to enrich themselves with the goods of this life, and not with the love of God. Hence St. Augustine asks: “What has the rich man if he has not charity? If the poor man has charity, what is there that he has not?” He that possesses all the treasures of this world, and has not charity, is the poorest of men; but the poor who have God possess all things, though they should be bereft of all earthly goods.

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.

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Of Resisting Temptation.

VIII. We must not therefore despair when we are tempted, but pray to God with so much the more fervour, that He may
vouchsafe to help us in all tribulations: Who, no doubt, according to the saying of St. Paul, will make such issue with the temptation, that we may be able to sustain it.-I Cor., x.
Let us therefore humble our souls under the hand of God in all temptations and tribulations: for He will save the humble in spirit, and exalt. them.-Psalm xxxiii. 19..–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIII pt VIII.

_______________________________________________Sacred Heart

July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus

Virtues to practice: Simplicity, faith, liberty of spirit, cheerfulness


Prayers in honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls! I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, wash in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony, and who are to die this day. Amen.

Heart of Jesus, once in agony, pity the dying.

100 days indul.—Pius IX., Feb. 1850.

“May Thy Blood, shed for us, O Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the remission of all my sins, my negligences, my ignorance; may It strengthen, increase and preserve within me, Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and every virtue, may It bring me to everlasting life; may It deliver the souls of my parents and of all those for whom I am bound to pray.”

—St. Catharine of Sienna.


O blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my soul to purify it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my heart to inflame it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my mind to enlighten it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my thoughts to elevate them! O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my every action to sanctify them; in every power and faculty of my being, that all within me may exalt Thy might, proclaim Thy benefits and publish Thy mercies!


Praises to the Precious Blood.

Glory be to Jesus!
Who in bitter pains,
Poured for me the life Blood,
From His sacred veins.

Grace and life eternal
In that Blood I find;
Blessed be His compassion,
Infinitely kind!

Blessed through endless ages
Be the precious stream,
Which from endless torment
Doth the world redeem.

There the fainting spirit
Drinks of life her fill;
There, as in a fountain
Laves herself at will.

O the Blood of Christ!
It soothes the Father’s ire,
Opes the gates of heaven,
Quells eternal fire.

Abel’s blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies;
But the Blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries.

Oft as it is sprinkled
On our guilty hearts,
Satan in confusion,
Terror-Struck departs.

Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Hell with terror trembles.
Heaven is filled with joy.

Lift ye then your voices,
Swell the mighty flood
Louder still and louder,
Praise the Precious Blood!

(100 days indulgence once a day.— Pius VII. , Oct. 1815.)

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