Friday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.—Awaiting our Lord.
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 Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.—Awaiting our Lord.
And you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord when he shall return from the wedding. (Luke xii, 36.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the life of all the saints upon the earth has been a continual expectation. Before the coming of Christ, the saints did nothing but look for the fulfilment of the promise of the Lord Who was to come, to be the author of their faith, to redeem them from sin, to teach them by His doctrine, to strengthen them by His example. After the coming of Christ, the saints did nothing but continually look for the return of the Lord, as the consummator of their faith, Who would glorify them. My people shall long for My return. (Osee xi, 7.)
APPLICATION. See then that life should be an awaiting. And you yourselves like to men who wait for their Lord when he shall return from the wedding. (Luke xii, 36.) Is it hard for you to wait patiently for your Lord and, in the meantime, to deprive yourself of all inordinate satisfactions and pleasures?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Expect the Lord: do manfully. And let thy heart take courage: and wait thou for the Lord. (Ps. xxvi, 14.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that the saints were saints because they lived separated in great measure from the rest of men. They reckoned that they had little or nothing to do with this world. Like pilgrims they were always waiting and sighing after their heavenly country. It is not becoming therefore that we should basely degenerate from their example. Is it not rather shameful, that we attach ourselves so much to the things of this world which is not really ours?
APPLICATION. Reflect that you spring from those who were quite detached from the world, of those who were entirely spiritual and holy, and that you likewise should be such. Of what use is it for the river to boast of the purity of its source if it is itself defiled with mud?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. For what have I in heaven? And besides Thee what do I desire upon earth? (Ps. lxxii, 25.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY how mistaken it is of you to seek here before the time what is reserved for hereafter. All the pleasures and diversions, that you seek for now, are in fact thefts of those delights that are utterly indescribable, which you are meant to enjoy hereafter to the full. Be content then to wait, and do not be impatient. Now is the time in which you must live by faith only, console yourself by faith, animate yourself by faith, and not lose faith in prosperous or adverse times. Your life will not always go on in the same even tenour. Sometimes you will be in desolation, sometimes in joy; sometimes you will have honour, sometimes contempt; sometimes you will be strong, sometimes weak.
APPLICATION. Learn then always to be equally faithful to God. Journey by the light of faith to your country, where the glory that your Lord promises to you is truly called life. How much more perfect and more happy is that life than the painful and laborious life that one leads on this earth! You should take no account of this earthly life but despise it and spend it willingly in the service of God. Thus one day you may attain to the enjoyment of that true life, which God will give to those that never change their faith from Him. (Tob. ii, 18.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart: and I will glorify Thy name for ever. (Ps. lxxxv, 12.)
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.
IV. But all men have not alike to overcome and mortify.
Yet he that is diligent and zealous, although he have more passions to fight against, will be able to make a greater progress than another who has fewer passions, but is, withal, less fervent in the pursuit of virtues.
Two things particularly conduce to a great amendment: these are, forcibly to withdraw one’s self from that to which nature is viciously inclined, and earnestly to labour for that good which one wants the most.
Study likewise to try more carefully, and to overcome those faults which most frequently displease thee in others.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV pt. IV.
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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