The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.—Christ Weeps over Jerusalem.
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.
The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.—Christ Weeps over Jerusalem.
(Read Luke xix, 4I-47.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the ruin of unhappy Jerusalem, so bitterly wept over by our Blessed Lord, was to come upon her because she had not profited by His coming in order to save and sanctify her. The same condemnation is renewed in those souls, who refuse the visits which God secretly makes to them to enrich them with His gifts. These visits are the voices and inspirations in the heart, the lights and the impulses by which He stimulates souls to forsake evil and embrace virtue. Behold I stand at the door and knock. (Apoc. iii, 20.) How blessed is the soul that receives Him! Equally unhappy is that soul which refuses the visit and will not answer to the knock.
APPLICATION. And you, no matter what your state of life, who have been so often favoured by God’s visits to you to make you less worldly and more holy, how have you received them?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. O that my ways may be directed to keep thy justifications. (Ps. cxviii, 5.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY the injury you incur if you neglect to receive these visits. The first is that God will not favour you any more with His strong inspirations, but will visit you more rarely or less perceptibly. If then you do not profit by His loving visits, what good can you expect when you find yourself deprived of these great helps? For, when they cease entirely, you will be unable to conceive even as much as a good thought in your mind. The other injury you incur is, that despoiled of this assistance you may be left to the mercy of your ill-regulated appetites, and in the power of the enemies of your soul.
APPLICATION. Consider seriously how these same enemies, seeing you despoiled of the most powerful help of heaven, will surround you with ever stronger and more incessant temptations. They shall cast you down to the ground by even the most shameful falls, making you go from bad to worse and pass from voluntary venial sins to the gravest mortal ones. How many of these most grievous falls are seen, even among those who were formerly pious and even holy!
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. My enemies have trodden on me all the day long; for they are many that make war against me. (Ps. lv, 3.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY on the other hand the profit that he receives who accepts God’s visits and promptly responds to His inspirations, placing himself in His hands and conforming himself to the divine will. He is like the spouse in the Canticle, who said: My soul melted when he spoke. (Cant. v, 6.) He lets himself be guided entirely by the voice of God without retaining in himself anything of his own will.
APPLICATION. If you but do the same you will be able to keep God within your heart. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to Me the door, I will come in to him (Apoc. iii, 20) and by His presence He will protect you from temptations, and from all the assaults of the enemy. He will feed you with spiritual consolations. He will encourage you by the illumination of your mind. He will make you prepare for Him a table of’ choice and virtuous works: I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. (Apoc. iii, 20.) Oh what immense benefits are enjoyed by him who hears the call of God, and promptly accepts His visits! And how many there are who, by responding to the voice of God which invited them to some heroic act of virtue, have risen to a sublime degree of sanctity, like St. John Gualbert and many others.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thy comforts have given joy to my soul. (Ps. xciii, 19.)
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.
You would not be able, you say, to bear such and such faults; a powerful motive to humble yourself! For God, who is perfection itself, bears them and even much greater ones. That which renders you so susceptible is not zeal for your neighbour, but a harsh, irritable, suspicious self-love. Direct your regards on yourself, and see if your brethren have nothing to suffer from you? True piety is sweet and patient, because it enlightens you as to what you really are. He who feels himself weak, and grieves on that account, is not easily shocked by the weaknesses of others; he knows that all of us require support, indulgence and mercy; he excuses, he compassionates, he pardons, and thus preserves peace within himself and charity without.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XVI reflection.
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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