Thursday after the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.—Hearing the Divine Spirit.
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.
Thursday after the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.—Hearing the Divine Spirit.
The Spirit breatheth where He will; and thou hearest His voice; but thou knowest not whence He cometh and whither He goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John iii, 8.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that he, who is born according to the flesh, resembles those who gave him birth although not quite perfectly. He also who is born supernaturally of the Spirit is like unto the Spirit of the Lord, Who gave him this new birth although far from equal to Him, and remaining far inferior even in heaven when in his most perfect state. The actions therefore of a really spiritual man have somewhat of the divine in them, having some of the qualities which Christ here says that the divine inspirations have. The first property is that the Spirit of the Lord breatheth where He will with an absolute freedom of action, subject to no laws and to no rules.
APPLICATION. Similar to this are the actions of all truly spiritual persons; so is every one that is born of the Spirit. It is enough for them to know the divine will. They then at once do it, conquering interiorly all the opposition of their judgment and all human respect. Are you in like manner straightforward in spiritual matters and in the divine service, or have you a thousand reserves that hold you back?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. My soul hath coveted to long for Thy justifications, at all times. (Ps. cxviii, 20.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY another property of the Spirit of the Lord, which is that He speaks in such a manner that it is impossible not to hear Him. And thou hearest His voice. You may resist and may not accept His divine inspirations, but you cannot help hearing them, even though you close your ears. So it is with every really spiritual man. By the perfection of his actions, by calmness, by modesty, by humility, and by obedience, with a mute language he invites others also to good. They may decline to imitate him, yet they cannot avoid hearing him.
APPLICATION. Have you in your life and in your actions such a voice, which speaks to all and which invites all to good? Happy indeed if you have. But beware that you act not in a way that rather incites to evil.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I will hear what the Lord God will speak in me; for He will speak peace unto His people. (Ps. lxxxiv, 9.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that you cannot tell whence comes the voice of God which speaks to you, nor whither it goes: thou knowest not whence He cometh, and whither He goeth. You cannot tell whence it comes. It sometimes comes from beholding a corpse, from hearing a sermon, from reading a holy book, or conversing with a spiritual person. Neither can you tell whither He goeth. Which of us can foretell what God intends to do with us when He calls us to serve Him more fervently? Is it to be an apostle, a martyr, or a model of patience? Who can think what the will of God is? (Wis. ix, 13.)
APPLICATION. A truly spiritual man is content to have only God as witness to the end for which he works. He cares nothing for what people may say, and although he does not conceal his virtuous actions, he hides his intentions and his ways, which he holds secret from every one, except from him whom on earth he has in the place of God. Neither will your spirit be the true one, if you make known your intentions and ways without reason to every one.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The Lord is my helper: I will not fear what man can do unto me. (Ps. cxvii, 6.)
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 a Monastic life.
III. Thou camest hither to serve, not to govern; know that thou art called to suffer and to labour, not to be idle and talkative.
Here, then, men are tried as gold in the furnace.
Here no man can stand, unless he be willing with all his heart to humble himself for the love of God.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XVII pt III.
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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