Thursday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Punishments of Hell.

Thursday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Punishments of Hell.

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 Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Punishments of Hell.

Fear him that can destroy both soul and body into hell. (Matt. x, 28.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the fire of hell is called by the Prophet a devouring fire (Isa. xxxiii, 14), not because it consumes and destroys the damned, but to show forth its action and its fierceness. Our fires consume by little and little, but do not devour at once. The fire of hell does all in one instant; and with that same fierceness with which it first acts upon the damned it will act eternally, without ever remitting any degree of its activity. What then will be the lot of the poor wretch who is condemned to have his place in such a fire for ever? Were you condemned to remain in a prison, the walls, the floor, the roof of which were all of fire, and where there was no air to breathe except that of fire, how would it be with you? What will it be then to have a still more dreadful fire, one that penetrates internally even to our innermost being?

APPLICATION. Will you then for a fleeting vapour of glory, for a caprice, for a momentary pleasure, put yourself in danger of going for ever and ever to that most terrible dwelling place?

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Turn not away Thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. (Ps. cxliii, 7.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY what horror would be yours, if you were condemned to live enclosed within a den of fierce wild beasts. Think then what it will be to dwell in hell confined in a similar way. Furthermore every damned soul will be to the others as it were a fiery wild beast seeking to devour them.

APPLICATION. Remember now that if you go to hell you will not be alone. Does it however seem to be any solace to have companions such as these?

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. They are laid in hell like sheep; death shall feed upon them. (Ps. xlviii, 15.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that this fire is called devouring, because it possesses only the torment of fire without its splendour. The voice of the Lord divideth the flame of fire. (Ps. xxviii, 7.) God has ordained that its flame should have as it were a divided power of burning and of tormenting, but not of lighting or illuminating.

APPLICATION. Think then how it would be, if it were your lot to remain eternally burning in that profound darkness. Imagine rightly that there are many perhaps like unto yourself buried in the lowest depths of this abyss! Ponder deeply, make practical resolutions of amendment, begin at once to put them into execution.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The Wicked shall be turned into hell. (Ps. ix, 18.)

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 Love of Solitude and Silence.

VII. Why wilt thou see what thou must not have? The world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof.-1. John, ii. 17.
The desires of sensuality draw thee abroad; but when the hour is past, what dost thou bring home, but a weight upon thy conscience, and a dissipation of heart.
A joyful going abroad often brings forth a sorrowful coming home and a merry evening makes a sad morning.
So all carnal joy enters pleasantly; but in the end brings remorse and death.
What canst thou see elsewhere which thou seest not here? Behold the heavens and the earth, and all the elements, for of these are all things made.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XX pt VII.

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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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