Friday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Jesus Christ our Model.
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 Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Jesus Christ our Model.
He that followeth me walketh not in darkness. (John viii, 12.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the eternal Father sent His divine Son on earth to clothe Himself with our flesh, principally in order that He might be our example and our model. To this model therefore we must conform our lives, because all our perfection consists in reproducing in ourselves, as far as we may, the divine perfections and in making ourselves images of Jesus Christ. Every faithful soul is bound to conform himself to this divine exemplar, if he would be among the number of the elect. Much more so is every one bound, who desires and professes to be a more intimate follower and companion of Jesus.
APPLICATION. How have you striven up till now to conform yourself to the example of Jesus? Can you truthfully say with holy Job: My foot hath followed His steps, I have kept His way? (Job xxiii, II.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my paths. I have sworn, and am steadfastly purposed to keep the judgments of Thy justice. (Ps. cxviii, 105-106.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY in what things Jesus should be especially imitated, namely, in all that which He ceaselessly made profession of from His birth even unto His death; poverty, suffering, pain and contempt. During the thirty-three years that He dwelt on earth He did not always teach, or preach, or heal the sick, or work miracles; but He always lived in poverty, in suffering and in contempt.
APPLICATION. What kind of attachment have you to these three inseparable companions of Christ? How far do you seek them? How do you accept them when you meet them, by feeling some of the effects of poverty, in suffering some illness, in receiving some wrong or some insult? These are the marks and features most proper to make you like to the image of Jesus Christ. Made conformable to the image of his Son. (Rom. viii, 29.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I am poor and in labours from my youth. (Ps. lxxxvii, r6.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY how you ought to imitate Him. Does it seem to you to be an undertaking beyond your strength to copy the virtues of Christ? Do not lose heart, for equality is not asked of you but only a likeness that consists in following Christ at least from afar. (4 Kings xviii, 6.) Neither does our Lord require that you imitate Him in everything, but only in that which is proper to your own state of life. All the faithful are members of the mystical body of Christ: We are one body in Christ. (Rom. xii, 5.)
APPLICATION. All the members of our body have different functions, the eye one, the hand another, the foot a third: All the members have not the same office. Your function, as a member of the mystical body of Christ, will be to conform yourself to Jesus in the observance of God’s law, the mortifications, the duties and labour, which are proper to your state of life, making it your study in all to form yourself to an image of the divine model: To be made conformable to the image of his Son.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Perfect Thou my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps be not moved. (Ps. xvi, 5.)
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.
II. Through levity of heart, and the little thought we have of our defects, we feel not the sorrows of our soul; but often vainly laugh, when in all reason we ought to weep.
There is no true liberty, nor good joy, but in the fear of God, with a good conscience.
Happy is he who can cast away all impediments of distractions, and recollect himself to the union of holy compunction.
Happy is he who separates himself from all that may burden or defile his conscience.
Strive manfully: custom is overcome by custom.
If thou canst let men alone, they will let thee do what thou hast to do.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXI 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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