Thursday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.—Realising God’s Presence.

Thursday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.—Realising God’s Presence.

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.

Thursday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.—Realising God’s Presence.

There hath stood one in the midst of you whom you know not. (John i, 26.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that these words were said by St. John the Baptist to the Jews, because Christ was in the very heart of Judea, and yet most of them knew Him not, and those who did know Him paid little heed to Him. The same may happen with regard to yourself. For you have not only your Lord continually with you under the sacramental species, but you have Him also in the interior of your own heart. Yet all the time· you know Him not, because you do not heed Him.

APPLICATION. Is it not to your shame that our Lord has been so long within you, and that you do not pay attention to Him? You do not attain to even a slight knowledge of Him, so that He might say: So long a time have I been with you, and have you not known Me? (John xiv, 9.) Therefore strive to realise that your God is present with you, and never lose sight of Him. Would it not be impossible that you should do anything that is displeasing to Him, if you knew that He was present to you? Walk before Me, and be perfect. (Gen. xvii, I.)

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, O Lord: they shall praise Thee for ever and ever. (Ps. lxxxiii, 5.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that in two ways you must exercise yourself in order to acquire this excellent practice of the presence of God—the one by the understanding, the other by the will. With the understanding, apply yourself earnestly to realise by means of a living faith that our Lord dwells within you. You must however at the same time realise that God dwells in you as a king in his kingdom. He dwells there in many ways in His Kingly Person, both by the knowledge He has of all that concerns you, and by the power He exercises over you. He resides within you by His perfect knowledge of you, because He knows and sees everything that goes on within the most hidden recesses of your interior. He resides within you by His power, because He can dispose of you according to His good pleasure.

APPLICATION. If you will reflect seriously on this frequently and bear it in mind, you will not so easily lose sight of Him. You will rejoice in the fruits that result from this His divine presence in you.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thou art Thyself my king and my God. (Ps. xliii, 5.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY how you should also exercise yourself with your will. First by frequent and devout affections during the day, affections of love, of thanksgiving, of contrition, and similar ones. Thus you will not leave Him solitary within you. Secondly by often invoking Him that He may direct you in your ways, that He may help you in your temptations, and comfort you in your afflictions. Thus you will show how utterly you are dependent on Him. God is within you, all intent on granting you favours. He longs for nothing more than to bless you, but He wishes His favours to be asked for.

APPLICATION. Thus must you live in His divine presence, urged thereunto by a motive of gratitude and of necessity. For if you lose sight of your God, you are become like earth without the sun, capable only of producing thorns and thistles without any fruit.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. (Ps. cxviii, I.)

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.

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Of fervent amendment of our whole Life.

II. Trust in the Lord, and do good, said the prophet, and inhabit the land, and thou shalt be fed with its riches.-Ps. xxxvi. 3.
There is one thing which keeps many back from spiritual progress and fervent amendment of life, and that is, the apprehension of difficulty, or the labour which must be gone through in the conflict.
And they indeed advance most of all others in virtue, who strive manfully to overcome those things which they find more troublesome or contrary to them.
For there a man makes greater progress and merits greater grace, where he overcomes himself more, and mortifies himself in spirit.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV pt. III.

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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.
R. Amen.
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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