The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Cure of the Deaf and Dumb Man.
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 Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Cure of the Deaf and Dumb Man.
(Read Mark vii, 31-37.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that, in the cure of this deaf and dumb man, Christ would teach you three remedies for your sins, and so enable you to lead a fervent devout life. The first is that He took him from the multitude apart. He withdrew him from the crowd of people. This then is the first remedy you must make use of in order to rid yourself of your sins. Begin by withdrawing yourself from the crowd of thoughts about, and affections for, the things of this world; so many conversations, so many vain diversions which serve only to distract your mind. Begin to enter into yourself, and think seriously of the state of your soul. For it is in solitude that you will receive from God more light and help to correct your sins, and to attend to the acquisition of virtue.
APPLICATION. Apply to yourself the words of the prophet Osee: I will lead her into the wilderness and I will speak to her heart. (Osee ii, 14.) Remove then from you all encumbrances and useless occupations, which are incompatible with a really devout life, if you would advance in the way of perfection. He shall sit solitary and hold his peace; because he hath taken it up upon himself. (Lam. iii, 28.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Mine eyes have looked unto Thee before the morning, that I might think upon Thy words. (Ps. cxviii, 148.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY another remedy in those words looking up to heaven. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven, to teach you that you should not only withdraw yourself from the cares and the affections for the things of the world, but that you should give yourself to the serious consideration of the things of heaven and of eternity. Thus did holy David, who said: I had in my mind the eternal years (Ps. lxxvi, 6), for by thus keeping his mind turned towards the eternal years, he despised and cared nothing for those passing and transitory things, which in the course of a few days disappear and vanish in smoke.
APPLICATION. If you will also fix your thoughts on future things, you will easily come to despise the present, and to correct your disorderly affections, and to bestow your serious attention on the acquirement of virtues.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. And I said, Now have I begun: this is the change of the right hand of the most high. (Ps. lxxvi, II.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that you can never raise your mind to eternal things, nor disengage it from affections to present things, without the special and efficacious aid of divine grace. Consequently the third remedy is, that you have recourse to God for this help, and that you earnestly plead for it in prayer. This Christ teaches you here by His example: Looking up to heaven He groaned. Your prayers must not be cold, but they must be fervent and accompanied by tears and sighs.
APPLICATION. Examine then, whether there be found in your prayers tears of real repentance for your past faults, together with fervent desires of being helped in the acquirement of virtue. A child that asks to be lifted up in its mother’s arms may not always succeed; but it will surely do so if it asks with a pitiful cry.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. When I called upon Him, the God of my justice heard me. . . . Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. (Ps. iv, 2-3.)
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.
Enter not, O Lord, into judgment with Thy servant, for my life, when compared with the conduct of the saints, can never justify me. Grant me the grace which Thou my Saviour, didst merit for me, of attending to the discharge of my duties, of entering into the spirit of religion, of observing its rules and maxims, and of conforming my life to my faith; that so, when I appear before Thee, I may be clothed in the robes of Thy justice, supported by Thy mercy, and animated with Thy love. Amen.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XVIII prayer.
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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