Tuesday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Riches.
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.
Tuesday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Riches.
Woe to you that are rich, for you have your consolation. (Luke vi, 24.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that our Blessed Lord does not use the word Woe here merely to denote some horrible and deplorable evil. It is a threat and prediction of woe to the rich; not indeed because they rob, nor because they oppress the poor, but because they have their consolation in this world. For you have your consolation.
APPLICATION. Can it be then that instead of pitying the rich, you envy them and their greatness? When therefore you behold the pomp of their palaces and the magnificence of their courts, be not borne away by admiration, but say rather: Woe to you that are rich!
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Better is little to the just than the great riches of the wicked. (Ps. xxxvi, 16.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY why it is that the rich are to be pitied. It is because their consolation here is a sign that they will not have it hereafter, as it was said to the rich glutton: Thou didst receive good things in thy life time. (Luke xvi, 25.) And it is especially so with the rich because of the greater ease with which, by reason of their money, they can give vent to their passions, and satisfy the irregular cravings of their corrupt nature. Thus it is that they fall into innumerable sins and hasten onwards to perdition. How much better is it, then, not to have here the consolations of living as one wills. For it is an inviolable law that we cannot rejoice both in this world and in the next!
APPLICATION. Thank rather our Blessed Lord with all your heart for having drawn you out of this peril. The less consolations you shall have here, the more you shall enjoy hereafter. Woe to you rich! Blessed are the poor! Oh what a difference between these two sentences that issue from the mouth of uncreated Wisdom itself!
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Behold these are sinners, and yet prospering in the world they have obtained riches! (Ps. lxxii, 12.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that Christ, in pronouncing the rich unhappy, intended to denote those who have their hearts attached to their riches, and have placed in them all the means of satisfying their desires. He did not speak of the wealthy whose hearts are not set upon their riches, and who use them in the ways that God permits and intends and commands. So likewise He only calls those blessed who are voluntarily or who are spiritually poor. Blessed are the poor in spirit, and not those who are poor quite against their will, and who love, and who desire to have, riches and the goods of this world.
APPLICATION. To which class of the poor do you belong? Do you still let your heart be attached to money, and envy those who possess it? This most terrible threat of Christ, Woe to you, may be directed against you, more than against many a man of wealth. For many such live with their hearts more detached from riches than is yours.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. He shall spare the poor and needy: and He shall save the souls of the poor. (Ps. lxxi, 13.)
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 Compunction of Heart.
I. IF thou wilt make any progress, keep thyself in the fear of God, and be not too free, but restrain all thy senses under discipline, and give not thyself up to foolish mirth.
Give thyself to compunction of heart, and thou shalt find devotion.
Compunction opens the way to much good which dissipation is wont quickly to lose.
It is wonderful that any man can heartily rejoice in this life, who weighs and considers his banishment and the many dangers of his soul.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXI 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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