Wednesday after the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost—The Idols of Our Heart.
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.
Wednesday after the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost—The Idols of Our Heart.
Jesus seeing their thoughts said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? (Matt. ix, 4.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY what we read in Isaias (xix, I), Behold the Lord will… enter Egypt and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the interpretation of some that when Jesus Christ, hidden under the cloud of His humanity, entered as a little child into Egypt, all the idols of that country were thrown down and fell to the earth.
APPLICATION. You may look upon your own heart also as a land of Egypt, where as many idols reign as there are ill-regulated affections which you worship. In this Egypt, too, God does not disdain to enter under the cloud of the sacramental accidents, not indeed in order to save His own life from the sword of Herod, but to save your life, and that every time you communicate. And are you not amazed at this His entrance? Are you not moved to do Him honour?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. In God is my salvation and my glory: He is the God of my help, and my hope is in God. (Ps. lxi, 8.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that all the idols of Egypt were moved at the presence of the Lord: Before the face of God. How much more just then is it that the sinful affections of your heart should likewise be moved, and should fall to the ground in the presence of the Lord, and before the divine example that is given you in this Blessed Sacrament of love. An idol in your heart is the vice of pride; an idol is your anger and your impatience; another one is your excessive love of your reputation and of doing your own will. Now how can it be that all these idols stand erect and firm, and that they do not fall down at seeing your God so greatly humiliated for you in the Host, in seeing Him bearing for you with invincible meekness the insults He receives under the sacred species. For you He submits Himself in all obedience to His ministers, even though they be unworthy, descending from the bosom of the divine Father at the mere call of their voice.
APPLICATION. Is it not therefore just and reasonable that these your idols should fall down, and that Jesus should receive in your heart the recognition and the triumph He received in Egypt?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. He hath had regard to the prayer of the humble; and He hath not despised their petition. (Ps. ci, 18.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that the prophet does not say that the images of Egypt were struck and cast down by force by the Lord, but that they themselves were moved and fell down at the sight of the true God. So in a similar manner must the sins and evil inclinations of your heart fall. You must not expect that the Lord will cast them down by force, but you yourself must strive that they should be moved by your own good will, and thus fall to the earth, offering to our Lord out of love this spontaneous homage.
APPLICATION. Make therefore all your evil affections fall to the earth of your own free will. Otherwise your idols will become more hardened, and even less docile than those idols of stone which rendered Him such glory in Egypt.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I will freely sacrifice to Thee, and will give praise, O God, to Thy name: because it is good. (Ps. liii, 8.)
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 bearing the Defects of others.
I. WHAT a man cannot amend in himself or others, he must bear with patience, till God ordains otherwise.
Think that perhaps it is better so for thy trial and patience; without which our merits are of little worth.
Thou must, nevertheless, under such impediments, earnestly pray that God may vouchsafe to help thee, and that thou mayest bear them well.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XVI pt I.
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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