Friday after the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Cross of Christ.
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.
Friday after the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Cross of Christ.
If any man will come after me . . . let him take up his cross and follow me. (Matt. xvi, 24.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that when St. Paul would glory in nothing but in the cross of Jesus Christ (Gal. vi, 14) he might indeed have justly gloried in his wisdom, in his piety, and also in the supernatural power given to him to work even miracles. And yet in nothing but the Cross did he glory. Blessed too will you be if one day you come to glory as he did!
APPLICATION. You professedly glory in the cross of Christ as a Christian, as a follower and disciple of Christ crucified. But how far do you glory in being crucified on the cross after the example of your divine Master, in utter destitution, in supreme sorrow, in utter contempt? The world places its glory in riches, in ease, in high positions. The glory of him who truly follows Christ has to be entirely the contrary.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. But I am a worm and no man; the reproach of men and the outcast of the people. (Ps. xxi, 7.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that this glory really means, as the Apostle says, that the world is crucified to you, and you to the world. It means that you and the world have sentiments contrary to one another. The world laughs at you because you care not for those good things that it desires, and you on the contrary despise the world. The world neither loves nor appreciates you; neither do you love or appreciate the world.
APPLICATION. This is the perfect crucifixion that the Apostle confessed and gloried in, and that you must imitate according to your state of life. So may be verified in you the conclusion which the Apostle draws, Whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them and mercy. (Ibid. 16.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom and shall tell of Thy power. . . . Thy Kingdom is a kingdom of all ages: and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. (Ps. cxliv, II, 13.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that in order to attain to this crucifixion it is necessary that the world should be dead to you, and that you should be dead to the world. The world dies to you when you actually renounce all its goods, for it has then nothing more to attract you. You die to the world when you renounce it with your heart and affections, because you can no more be attracted by it, and you are consequently as one dead to it.
APPLICATION. Consider to what extent you have really renounced with your heart’s affection the world and its goods of riches, of ease and of position. True it is, that you can never reach to this blessed crucifixion and blessed death except by means of a true and strong love for Jesus crucified. This alone will detach you entirely from all things of the world. Love is strong as death. (Cant. viii, 6.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The Lord is the strength of his people and the protector of the salvation of his anointed. (Ps. xxvii, 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 Love of Solitude and Silence.
II. As often as I have been amongst men, said Seneca, I have returned less a man: this we often experience when we talk long.
It is easier to be altogether silent than not to exceed in words.
It is easier to keep retired at home, than to be able to be sufficiently upon one’s guard abroad.
Whosoever, therefore, aims at arriving at internal and spiritual things, must, with Jesus, go aside from the crowd.
No man is secure in appearing abroad, but he who would willingly lie hid at home.
No man securely speaks, but he who loves to hold his peace.
No man securely governs, but he who would willingly live in subjection.
No man securely commands, but he who has learned well to obey.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XX pt II.
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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