Monday after the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Commandment Like to the First.

Monday after the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Commandment Like to the First.

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 Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Commandment Like to the First.

By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another. (John xiii, 35.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the precept of loving your neighbour goes along with that of the love of God. The love of God is called the first and greatest commandment; the love of one’s neighbour is called the second, because we ought to love our neighbour for God’s sake and God for Himself, and not for the sake of our neighbour. For the rest these two precepts are so united together that one cannot love one’s neighbour if one does not love God, nor love God if one does not love one’s neighbour. Hence they may be said not only to have been born together but also to die together.

APPLICATION. Can you have the heart then to set so little value on this precept? Our Lord’s words are unmistakable: And the second is like unto the first.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Lord who shall dwell in thy tabernacle? . . . He . . . who hath not used deceit in his tongue, nor hath done evil to his neighbour. (Ps. xiv, I, 3.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that the love of one’s neighbour consists in wishing him well in soul and in body. Then it is that you love him as yourself, when you desire the good of both, as you do for yourself. This good you should desire for your neighbour precisely because he is your neighbour, so that he may be helped by you to attain to eternal beatitude along with you. Therefore you must desire this good for all men be they great or little, be they good or bad, benefactors or enemies; that so all may be your companions hereafter in heaven.

APPLICATION. If, therefore, you exclude any of these from your love, it is not possible for really true love of your neighbour to be in you, even as one who denies but one dogma of faith taught by the Church cannot have true faith. Yet how many boast of loving their neighbour, whilst they refuse this love to perhaps more than one. For to these they do not wish that good, which the law of charity requires us to have for all.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I meditated also on Thy commandments, which I loved. (Ps. cxviii, 4-7.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that there are three stages in this love for our neighbour. The first is that concerning him you never admit any thought that is unjust or unreasonable. For by doing so you would not only not love him, but would rather show your hatred of him. The second that you wish well to your neighbour for his own sake. Therefore when you love him either for the pleasure of his conversation, or for the good you desire from your connexion with him, though you do not thereby transgress the precept, at least you do not fulfil it. For you do not then love him as your neighbour, or as one like yourself, but merely in view of your own self and for your own advantage. Thirdly, you should not wish well to your neighbour with cold and indifferent will, but with one that is fervent and efficacious. In charity unfeigned. (2 Cor. vi. 6.)

APPLICATION. How solicitous you are in order to procure whatever you imagine to be for your own profit and advantage! You should do as much for your neighbour if you love him as yourself. But how rarely are any to be found in the world who fulfil this great precept? Many love their neighbour with an interested love, and most with a love that may be said to be more dead than alive. Consider seriously to which of these classes your love belongs.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Make the way known to me, wherein I should walk; for I have lifted up my soul to Thee. (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.

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Of the Exercises of a good religious Man.

VII. And if it be deferred, let us believe that we are not well prepared, and that we are as yet unworthy of the great glory which shall be revealed in us at the appointed time; and let us endeavour to prepare ourselves better for our departure.
Blessed is that servant, says the evangelist St. Luke, whom, when his Lord shall come, he shall find watching. Amen, I say to you, He shall set him over all His possessions.–Luke. xii. 43.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt VI.

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September Devotion: The Holy Cross.

Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer


Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection.  Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul.  Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world.  With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me.  I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories.  Amen. 

An indulgence of 500 days


lnvocation of St. Thomas Aquinas to the Cross.Crucifixion

Crux mihi certa salus.
Crux est quam semper adoro.
Crux Domini mecum.
Crux mihi refugium.

The cross is my sure salvation.
The cross I ever adore.
The cross of my Lord is with me.
The cross is my refuge.

His Holiness, Pope Pius IX., by an autograph rescript, June 21, 1874, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall say these prayers, drawn up in the form of a cross by the Angelic Doctor, S. Thomas Aquinas: AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

Adoramus te, sanctissime Domine Jesu Christe, benedicimus tibi; quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

We adore Thee, O most blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, we bless Thee; because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of indulgences, March 4, 1882, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall recite this ejaculation: AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

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