Friday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Charity 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 Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Charity of Christ.
Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John xv, 13.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that it was by dying a most painful death for you upon the tree of the cross, that Christ rescued you from the slavery of hell, though He could have done so by a single tear or a sigh. He wished, however, to win your heart so securely, that you would be unable to live any more for yourself, but would be forced of sheer necessity to live for Him alone. This is what the Apostle would signify by saying: The charity of Christ presseth us. For it urged him to labour incessantly in the service of our Lord, and to spend his whole being in winning souls that are so dear to Him.
APPLICATION. How far do you experience this desire within yourself? If you do not feel it, you should at least strive to obtain it, as your name of follower of Jesus Christ demands.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. He is my God and my Saviour; He is my protector; I shall be moved no more. (Ps. lxi, 3).
CONSIDER SECONDLY that the Apostle does not say, The death of Christ presseth us, but The charity. For if all that Christ suffered for you should greatly move you, much more so should that love which made Him endure His sufferings for you. All that Christ deigned to suffer for your salvation is as nothing in comparison to what He would have suffered, had such been the will of His Father. All those rivers of affliction and opprobrium were insufficient to quench the thirst of His unquenchable love.
APPLICATION. If then all that Christ suffered for you should move you to live only for Him, the love with which He bore these sufferings should even compel you to do so. For the sufferings had their end, but His love was unending. He bears towards you also to-day, whole and entire, all that love which made Him descend from the bosom of the divine Father, to clothe Himself in human flesh, to ascend the cross, and sacrifice Himself for your redemption. Jesus Christ yesterday, and to-day.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. (Ps. cii, 2.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY what it is to live for yourself. It is to live according to your own will, for your own glory, and at your ease. This should have all come to an end in you, seeing that Christ has gone so far as to die for you with so much love. Since then He has given His own life of infinite value for you, what great thing is it that you should give your life for Him, you who are worthless and worthy even of death?
APPLICATION. If, however, you cannot have the glory of dying for Him, you are bound at least to live for Him. You must live to love Him, live in order to seek that He be loved by others, and to promote to your utmost His divine glory.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Let all that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; and let such as love Thy salvation say always: The Lord be magnified. (Ps. xxxix, 17.)
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.
VIII. What canst thou see anywhere which can continue long under the sun ?
Thou thinkest perhaps to be satisfied, but thou canst not attain to it.
If thou couldst see all things at once before thee, what would it be but a vain sight?
Lift up thine eyes to God on high, and pray for thy sins and negligences.
Leave vain things to vain people; but mind thou the things which God has commanded thee.
Shut thy door upon thee, and call to thee Jesus, thy beloved.
Stay with him in thy cell; for thou shalt not find so great peace anywhere else.
If thou hadst not gone abroad, and hearkened to rumours, thou hadst kept thyself better in good peace; but smce thou art delighted sometimes to hear news, thou must from thence suffer a disturbance of heart..–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XX pt VIII.
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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