Tuesday after the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost.—Our Future Lot.
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.
Tuesday after the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost.—Our Future Lot.
Lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven. (Matt. vi, 20.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY those words of Ecclesiastes (xi, 3), If the tree fall to the south, or to the north, in what place soever it shall fall, there shall it be, and that you are the tree here spoken of. If you be cut down by the sickle of death and fall to the south there will you remain; but if you fall to the north, there too must you in like manner remain. Never more will there be any hope of your changing place. Either for ever a prince on his throne, or ever a slave in chains; either for ever rejoicing, or always tormented; either for ever glorified, or for ever disgraced.
APPLICATION. Are you not moved at the thought of these different destinies? You bestow much thought and reflection so as to secure, or at least not to lose, some position, or some comfort, which will be all over in a few days. Do you then think so little about which of these two eternal destinies is to be yours, and that in so short a time?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The death of the wicked is very evil. (Ps. xxxiii, 22.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that if you are at all anxious to know to which side you will then fall, you must watch and see to which side you now lean. When a tree is cut down it falls to that side to which before it inclined. If it inclines to the south, it will fall to the south; if it inclines to the north, it will fall to the north.
APPLICATION. That which causes you like the tree to bend towards one side rather than another, is the weight of your inclinations and of your affections. If these make you bend towards the chilly north of worldliness, O how justly you may fear for your future lot. For there are not a few who, turning their affections to the things of earth, have at death met the most terrible fate.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments I have not forgotten. (Ps. cxviii, 30.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that you are, if you wish, still in a position to choose the right direction by doing violence to your evil inclinations and to all your irregular affections. Do not however delay, because habits are like a tree, inasmuch as the older they grow the harder to change they become.
APPLICATION. Begin by turning your heart to God, your thoughts to eternal things, and care not too much for transitory things. Thus you may hope at death to enjoy a happy lot. You sincerely wish to secure your eternal happiness? Why then pay so much attention to that which is unworthy of you, and which places you in danger of losing it? You can never understand enough what a difference the force of habits, whether good or bad, which you have formed in life, will make at the approach of death.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Set before me for a law the way of thy justifications, O Lord: and I will always seek after it. (Ps. cxviii, 33.)
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 Works done out of Charity.
Oh ! Lord, Thou alone who makest Saints, Lord who art God Himself, penetrate, possess, transform into Thyself all the powers of my soul; be my life, my only life, both now and for ever. Amen.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XV prayer.
August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary
Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)
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