Thursday after the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Things of God.
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.
Thursday after the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Things of God.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice. (Matt. vi, 33.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that if you will distinguish within you the good from the evil and separate the precious from the vile (Jer. xv, 19), attributing to God what comes to you from God, which is the precious, and attributing to yourself what comes from yourself, namely all the vile, then thou shalt be as the mouth of God (ibid.), because thus you will always utter the truth. All men are called liars. All men are liars, says the Psalmist (Ps. cxv, II), and that because they attribute to themselves that which is not theirs.
APPLICATION. What is it you possess of things that are precious? Is it nobility or talent or knowledge? All these are God’s gifts. Much more so are the gifts of grace. Therefore of yourself you possess nothing unless it be sin. Make then the separation by attributing to God that which is God’s, and to yourself that which is yours. If there be any good in your action, say with all your heart, that it is not you that do it but God, because you never do anything of yourself alone but what is bad.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thou, O Lord, do with me for Thy name’s sake: because Thy mercy is sweet. Do Thou deliver me. (Ps. cviii, 21.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY a second sense, in which these words are used, namely that if wisely you separate that which is worthy of value in this world from that which deserves contempt, you will be like the mouth of God. By the mouth of men, he that is rich, powerful, and has means to enjoy himself is accounted happy: They have called the people happy that hath these things. (Ps. cxliii, 15.) In the language of God he that has placed in Him all his contentment is called happy: Happy is that people whose God is the Lord. (Ibid.)
APPLICATION. How do you speak of these things? Have you yet learned to make this necessary separation, and to prize no other good than the grace of God? The other benefits are only good in so far as we despise them, that so we may obtain grace.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Blessed is the people that knoweth jubilation. They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance, and in Thy name they shall rejoice all the day. (Ps. lxxxviii, 16, 17.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY a third sense, which is that if you would draw souls from sin, you will separate the precious from the vile, and you will thus be the mouth of God Himself, for thus will God speak by your mouth. This is the office that Jesus filled on earth, acting as the mouth-piece of His divine Father. This the apostles afterwards did and all who have followed them.
APPLICATION. Strive yourself also to do this faithfully, as far as your condition and your capacity permit you. If it be not yours to preach from the pulpit, or go to the missions to rescue souls from sin and from hell, do not at least neglect to rescue them by your good example and by good counsels in familiar discourse. These oftentimes sink more deeply into the heart than does the word of the preacher.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS, The Lord will reward me according to my justice; and will repay me according to the cleanness of my hands. (Ps. xvii, 21.)
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 Love of Solitude and Silence.
I. Seek a proper time to retire into thyself, and often think of the benefits of God.
Let curiosities alone.
Read such matters as may rather move thee to compunction, than give thee occupation.
If thou wilt withdraw thyself from superfluous talk and idle visits, as also from giving ear to news and reports, thou wilt find time sufficient and proper to employ thyself in good meditations.
The greatest saints avoided the company of men as much as they could, and chose to live to God in secret.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XX pt I.
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
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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