Wednesday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Love of One Another.
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.
Wednesday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Love of One Another.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt. xix, 19.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY how great is the debt which you owe to your Creator and Redeemer, Who went so far as to die on a hard gibbet for you. It is the same debt which you owe to your neighbour, to whom God has ceded all the claims He has upon you. For seeing that of Himself He has need of nothing, He wills that you should do for your neighbour all that you owe to Him your master.
APPLICATION. Have you then the heart to refuse Him this just acknowledgment, which He asks of you, in exchange for the countless benefits He has bestowed on you, namely to help the necessities, and solace the afflictions of your neighbour?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. What shall I render unto the Lord for all the things that he hath rendered unto me? (Ps. cxv, 12.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that you are bound by the law of charity to love your neighbour as yourself, and to feel all his sorrows and losses as your own. But the sorrows and losses, that you should feel most intensely for, are the spiritual evils of the soul, because they are the greatest of all and are the least guarded against, because the soul allows itself to be led like a slave to hell without making the least resistance. To be freed from corporal evils every one will look to himself, but how few seek help to be liberated from the evil of sin, and how often even is it rejected and despised!
APPLICATION. If you saw a dear friend of yours taken off as a slave would you not be moved to pity? Would you not do your utmost to procure his freedom from that bitter fortune? Why then are you not much more moved to pity over those souls who are real slaves of Lucifer! Why do you not strive to rescue them from his hard service, and to restore them to Christ? At the price of all His blood He has ransomed and has healed them.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Blessed is he that considereth the needy and the poor; the Lord will deliver him in the evil day. (Ps. xl, 2.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that you must not draw back from this holy enterprise because of your weakness, and because you do not possess the gifts it seems to require. Do you not hear the words in which you are told: Recover thy neighbour according to thy power? (Ecclus. xxix, 26.) You cannot perhaps speak from a pulpit, nor cross the ocean in order to win souls to God. But souls may also be saved by private counsel, by prayer, by penance and by good example. Oh how much good you can do for souls in this way! For the kingdom of God is not in speech but in power. (I Cor. iv, 20.)
APPLICATION. Observe however the warning which the same inspired writer here (Ecclus. ib.) gives you. Take heed to thyself that thou fall not. In drawing others from evil expose not yourself to the danger of falling therein. In order to help others do not neglect your own good, by forgetting prayer and mortification. Strive to do all according to wise counsel, and with all necessary precautions. Some there are, who after having sent many souls to paradise have unhappily been buried in hell!
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. (Ps. cxxxii, I.)
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 Exercises of a good religious Man.
II. According as our resolution is, will the progress of our advancement be: and he hath need of much diligence who would advance much.
Now, if he that makes a strong resolution often fails, what will he do who seldom or but weakly resolves?
The falling off from our resolutions happens divers ways; and a small omission in our exercises seldom passeth without some loss.
The resolutions of the just depend on the grace of God, rather than on their own wisdom; and in Whom they always put their trust, whatever they take in hand.
For man proposes, but God disposes: nor is the way of man in his own hands.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt I.
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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