Monday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Death.
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 Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Death.
Lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven. (Matt. vi, 20.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY how great is the misery of him, who has placed all his peace in the good things of this earth, in its honours, pleasures, riches. He cannot think of death. He cannot think of that for which alone life was given him, the preparation for that passage on which depends a whole eternity of reward or of punishment. And observe that in Holy Writ it is not the expectation, but the remembrance, of death that is said to be bitter to such a man: O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee! (Ecclus. xli, I.) For such men never expect it and never prepare themselves for it. If they hear, or see under their very eyes the death, now of a friend, now of a fellow-citizen, now of a relative, great is the anguish that fills them. Immediately they think out some reason, by which they promise themselves not to die, at least of that sickness, or in that way.
APPLICATION. Deplore the misery of so great a part of mankind, and strive to avoid it yourself.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Remember what my substance is, for hast Thou made all the children of men in vain? Who is the man that shall live and shall not see death? (Ps. lxxxviii, 48.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY the intense bitterness men so unprepared will feel when death separates them not only from their bodies, but from all those good things that they loved even as much as their bodies, and far more than they loved their souls. Then indeed those miserable people will cry out: Doth bitter death separate in this manner? (I Kings xv, 32.) They will reply each time: Yes, even so: in this manner it separates from all the pleasures of this world: it separates from friends, from relatives, from country: it separates from honours, dignities and riches.
APPLICATION. Oh how much better would these unhappy ones have done to have separated themselves voluntarily beforehand little by little, and that with merit, from those things, from which at last they will be torn forcibly by death to their great sorrow.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. (Ps. cxv, 15.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY how you are bound to thank God, if He has given you the grace of detachment in heart and spirit from these goods of earth now before your death. The good things of the earth the world imagines it cannot subsist without, and therefore it cannot cease from loving them. But he who has proved that it is possible so to live, and even to live contentedly, oh how much more easily then he separates himself from them.
APPLICATION. If you desire that death should not bring you sorrow, act now in such a manner that you may have nothing which it shall take from you against your will.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Consider, and hear me, O Lord my God. Enlighten my eyes that I may never sleep in death. (Ps. xii, 4.)
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.
IV. Oftentimes, they that were bitter in the judgment of men, have been in greater danger by reason of their too great confidence.
So that it is better for many not to be altogether free from temptations, but to be often assaulted, that they may not be too secure; lest perhaps, they be lifted up with pride, or take more liberty to go aside after exterior comforts.
Oh! how good a conscience would that man preserve, who would never seek after transitory joy, nor ever busy himself with the world.
Oh! how great peace and tranquility would he possess, who would cut off all vain solicitude, and only think of the things of God and his salvation, and place his whole hope in God.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XX pt IV.
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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