Monday after the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Self-Confidence.
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.
Monday after the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Self-Confidence.
To some who trusted in themselves as just … he spoke this parable. (Luke xviii, 9.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the lesson which Jesus Christ taught in the parable of the pharisee and the publican is summed up by St. Paul in the words: He that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. (I Cor. x, 12.) And here let it be observed that the Apostle directs his solemn warning not to him who stands, but to him who thinketh himself to stand. For who is there who may in his spiritual life stand in such a way as not to be in danger of falling? Perhaps you may imagine that in your present state you are already secure. But oh how you are deceived! Think of Lucifer, who fell from heaven, of Solomon, of David. Do not think therefore that those who fall are only those who are beginners in the way of the Lord; there are many also among the more advanced.
APPLICATION. You should in consequence not only have this holy fear in youth, but keep it all your life even unto your old age, as Ecclesiasticus says, Keep his fear and grow old therein. (Ecclus. ii, 6.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Blessed are all they that fear the Lord, that walk in his ways. (Ps. cxxvii, I.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that the Apostle likewise says, let him take heed, that is, that we must watch and be on our guard, to observe wherein may lie the greatest danger of our falling. Is it in the over-great confidence of not falling or in presuming to trust in your own strength? Is it in wilful negligence in the exercise of prayer, or of recourse to God? Is it in the too delicate treatment of your body or the neglect of the custody of your senses? Is it in occasions of danger which you should flee or from the example of evil companions from whom you should keep aloof? Is it by negligence in resisting the assaults of diabolical temptations, and the irregular inclinations of your senses?
APPLICATION. In all these dangers amidst which you continually live, you must take heed lest you fall, and lest you think yourself secure and safe from them.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The just shall see and fear. (Ps. li, 8.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that in order to ensure yourself against falling, it is not enough to see these dangers; you must remove yourself from them as far as is possible. Yet you can never render yourself safe from these obstacles, if you do not provide yourself with a guide and a support. Your guide must be a good confessor or spiritual father who will direct you in the safe way, and your support will be in the help of God which you must assiduously ask for.
APPLICATION. Thus will you safely traverse the road, where without guidance and without protection you could not make a single step in the way of salvation, which might not be full of the greatest danger to you.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I was sore pressed, and overthrown that I might fall; but the Lord held me up. (Ps. cxvii, 13.)
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 the Examples of the holy Fathers.
II. Ah! how many and how grievous tribulations have the apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, and all the rest, gone through, who have been willing to follow Christ’s footsteps; for they hated their lives in this world, that they might possess them for eternity.
Oh! how strict and mortified a life did the holy fathers lead in the desert! How long and grievous temptations did they endure! how often were they molested by the enemy! What frequent and fervent prayers did they offer to God! What rigorous abstinence did they go through! What great zeal and fervour had they for their spiritual progress! How strong a war did they wage for overcoming vice! How pure and upright was their intention to God! They laboured all the day, and in the night they gave themselves to long prayers; though even whilst they were at work, they ceased not from mental prayer.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XVIII pt II.
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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