Saturday after the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Strength in Temptation.
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.
Saturday after the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Strength in Temptation.
Without Me you can do nothing. (John xv, 5.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY how in temptation St. Paul most earnestly begged God many times to free him from the sting of his flesh: For which thing thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me, notwithstanding that he did not yield to the temptation but chastised and kept his flesh in subjection. Yet when he understood from God that it was better for him to remain, like other men, subject to this weakness, God saying to him: My grace is sufficient for thee, for power is made perfect in weakness, then he gloried in this his infirmity: Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities. For he knew that by means of them the power of Christ would be established in him.
APPLICATION. Learn from this that your glory is not to consist in being free even from the worst temptations, but in drawing from them that benefit which God wishes you to gain for the good of your soul.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. By Thee shall I be delivered from temptation. (Ps. xvii, 30.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY what virtues of Christ the Apostle saw rooted in himself by his glorying in this weakness. They were humility regarding himself, and meekness regarding others. And these precisely were the virtues most taught and practised by Christ: Learn of Me because I am meek and humble of heart. (Matt. xi, 29.) This stimulus served at one and the same time to keep the Apostle ever humble amid the many reasons he had for vainglory, and meek towards others, sympathising with their defects and with their infirmities.
APPLICATION. If you knew how to learn from your weaknesses to be humble and meek, you also might begin to glory in them. Your infirmities are like so many windows, which let the sunlight enter into the room of your soul, to show you the low opinion you should have of yourself, and the charity you should display towards your neighbour. And do you despise so great a benefit? A grievous sickness maketh the soul sober. (Ecclus. xxxi, 2.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Prove me, O God, and know my heart; examine me and know my paths. (Ps. cxxxviii, 23.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that you indeed have no reason to glory as the Apostle did. Hence, all the more reason not to cease to seek what will remind you of your own vileness, whilst you cease not to be foolishly proud. You think you have reached the third heaven because of a few tears shed in prayer, and still you show your hardness when reproving and correcting others. Those weaknesses in you, which are common even to great souls, were permitted in them in order that they should remain steadfast and grow in virtue; in you they are rather a chastisement, because you are so poor and yet so proud.
APPLICATION. Hence you can gather what a great blessing it is to be meek and humble. To possess these precious virtues, it was good even for the saints to be subjected to the worst and to the most troublesome temptations.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Make me to hear Thy mercy; for in Thee have I hoped. (Ps. cxlii, 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 the Examples of the holy Fathers.
In sight of the admirable examples which so many fervent disciples of Jesus Christ have left us, let us blush at our cowardice, and let us animate ourselves to walk courageously in their footprints. Let us often repeat the words of a Saint: What! cannot I do what others have done? And add with the Apostle: I can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me (Philipp. iv. 13). All our strength consists in feeling our weakness and in knowing the remedy for it, which is the grace of the Saviour.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XVIII 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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