Monday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Self-Conquest.
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 Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Self-Conquest.
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself. (Matt. xvi, 24.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that your enemy the devil delights in nothing more than in seeing you satisfying your every desire, and giving way to your disorderly inclinations. For he knows well that, like an uncurbed horse, they will by little and little bring you to the precipice. Therefore it is a matter of joy when he perceives that you so easily leave the reins loose upon the neck.
APPLICATION. It is necessary therefore that you accustom yourself to deny your inclinations even in lawful things. Otherwise, from things permissible you will soon pass on to give way easily to things unlawful.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. My soul hath longed greatly to desire Thy ordinances at all times. (Ps. cxviii, 20.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that this self-abnegation is imposed on you without limitation. Fasting, abstinence and prayer have for you their assigned times, but abnegation of your will has no appointed time. It must be always ready and at hand in all things. What time is there when a vicious horse does not need the curb?
APPLICATION. So it is with your will. You must always hold it in restraint and curb, so that it may not swerve from the right path or lead you over the precipice.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. O Lord, my portion, I have said, I would keep Thy law. (Ps. cxviii, 57.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that you must not give way to fear as if this self-conquest were a matter of great difficulty, because by acquiring the habit it will become every day more easy for you. A horse not broken becometh stubborn. (Ecclus. xxx, 8.) It is hard to control and to guide it, when it has been allowed its own way for any length of time.
APPLICATION. The same will you also experience with your own will, if you accustom yourself to subject it at all times, and in all that happens to you, whether by means of your superiors, your equals, or your inferiors. For when your will finds that it cannot always obtain what it demands, it will cease to ask except for such things as it knows it may justly obtain.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Through God We shall do mightily, and He shall bring to nothing them that afflict us. (Ps. lix, 14.)
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.
V. If thou wouldst oftener think of thy death than of a long life, no doubt but thou wouldst more fervently amend thyself.
And if thou didst seriously consider in thy heart the future punishments of hell or purgatory, I believe thou wouldst willingly
endure labour and pain, and fear no kind of austerity.
But because these things reach not the heart, and we still love the things which flatter us, therefore we remain cold and very sluggish.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXI pt V.
[compunction = contrition, remorse, reservations.]
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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