Wednesday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.—Patience.
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.
Wednesday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.—Patience.
In your patience you shall possess your souls. (Luke xxi, 19.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the patient man is said by the Wise Man (Prov. xvi, 32) to be better than the valiant. He who bears patiently the disasters he meets with, is better than him who voluntarily goes forth to seek and meet tribulation. For the former gives proof of more solid virtue. Perhaps you love to suffer by self-inflictions, but, if God sends you some adversity, if you receive some mortification from superiors, or meet with some offence, you resent it at once.
APPLICATION. Realise however that there is far greater merit and virtue in your accepting, with perfect resignation to the will of God, those occasions of suffering that daily come to you unbidden, than in your going in search of them by your own will and caprice. Your own will is easily to be found in sufferings that you choose yourself; but, in those that you bear with patience at another’s will, you exercise great humility and other virtues too.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Be thou O my soul subject to God, for from Him is my patience. (Ps. lix, 6.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that in order to attain to this patience, it is necessary that you conquer yourself. If you obtain this dominion over your own self, you will not need to envy the conquerors of great cities, nor even those fervent preachers, who move and convert to tears of penance and amendment of life the people of an entire city. For any simple, unlearned soul, who has attained to the conquest of his passions, is more esteemed of God than is the fervid worker, who has not arrived at subduing his vanity and self-interest, his anger, envy, and similar disorderly appetites which predominate in him.
APPLICATION. See then how important it is that you should seriously set yourself to overcome yourself. Thus you will obtain true patience, which is of far greater value than any strength.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Rule thou in the midst of thy enemies. (Ps. cix, 2.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that to make this self-conquest is all the more glorious the more difficult it is. In order to resist and conquer your appetites, you have not, as it were, the control of your entire self, for part of you fights for the victory, and part of you rebels. Moreover your self-love makes you pity yourself, and makes you tender to yourself. For even in the very act of repressing your vices you defend them with a thousand excuses.
APPLICATION. If you wish therefore to conquer your passions and your defects, you must treat them as rebels. But because you can never hope to subdue them entirely, you must weaken them by constant victories, without ever making peace or truce with them. This is the only way to master them. Conquer yourself.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Who can understand sins? From my secret ones cleanse me, O Lord. If they shall have no dominion over me, then shall I be without spot. (Ps. xviii, 13, 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 fervent amendment of our whole Life.
II. When a certain person, in anxiety of mind, was often wavering between hope and fear, and on a time, being overwhelmed with grief, had prostrated himself in prayer in the church before a certain altar, he revolved these things within himself, saying: If I did but know that I should still persevere: and presently he heard within himself an answer from God: And if thou didst know this what wouldst thou do? Do now what thou wouldst then do, and thou shalt be very secure.
And immediately, being comforted and strengthened, he committed himself to the divine will, and his anxious wavering ceased.
Neither had he a mind any more to search curiously, to know what should befall him hereafter, but rather studied to inquire what was the will of God, , for the beginning and accomplishing every good work..–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXIV pt. II.
November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Virtues to practice: Charity and kindness.
Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that with Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.
V. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray.
O, God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins: that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.
An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if these prayers are said daily for a month (S. C. md., Sept. 15, 1888; S. P. Ap., April 25, 1934).
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