Tuesday after the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Yoke of Christ.
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 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Yoke of Christ.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me because I am meek and humble of heart. (Matt. xi, 29.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the evangelical counsels are in fact the yoke of Christ. They are called a yoke because they oblige us to live, not indeed as we would choose, but under the rule of Him who governs us in the place of God. They are also called the yoke of Christ; my yoke. For as God He taught them, and as Man He practised them thirty-three years, living in strictest poverty, strictest mortification, and perfect subjection. This is not a yoke for irrational but for rational beings, and therefore it must be borne voluntarily of one’s own free will. Consequently He says: Take my yoke upon you, so that you may understand that you should submit without waywardness not only your bodily faculties, but also that higher nature which is proper to man. Your reasonable service. (Rom. xii, I.)
APPLICATION. Reflect well and see if you bear the yoke of Christ unwillingly and with repugnance, as an unreasoning creature might do, or if you, in the far more noble nature of man, submit not only the flesh, but your spirit also to this yoke with a good will: Submit your neck to the yoke, and let your soul receive dtscipline. (Ecclus. li, 34.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Shall not my soul be subject to God? for from him is my salvation. (Ps. lxi, I.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that there are two sins which make us bear Christ’s yoke unwillingly, viz., impatience and pride; impatience because it makes it seem too heavy, and pride which makes it appear too humiliating. Consequently Christ bids us to learn patience and humility from Him. For if we become patient and humble after His example, the yoke will seem light and we shall enjoy rest.
APPLICATION. Go then to the feet of Jesus and there learn true meekness and humility. By so doing you will feel no burden.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Be thou, O my soul, subject to God, for from Him is my patience. (Ps.lxi, 6.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY how all things, that can annoy and disquiet the soul, come either from within itself or from without. From without come contempt, ill-treatment and disasters; from within come moral and physical defects. Against these intrinsic and extrinsic evils, the best and the most necessary weapons are meekness against the contempt and other ills that come to you from outside, humility against the moral and physical evils which come from within.
APPLICATION. With these two virtues and with these alone will you be tranquil and safe, even as a rock in the storm.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The Lord will exalt the meek unto salvation. (Ps. cxlix, 4.)
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.
Ill They spent all their time profitably: every hour seemed short which they spent with God; and through the great sweetness of divine contemplation, they forgot even the necessity of their bodily refreshment.
They renounced all riches, dignities, honours, friends, and kindred; they desired to have nothing of this world; they scarce allowed themselves the necessaries of life: the serving the body, even in necessity, was irksome to them.
They were poor, therefore, as to earthly things, but very rich in grace and virtue.
Outwardly they wanted, but inwardly they were refreshed with divine graces and consolations.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XVIII 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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