Saturday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.—Life a Warfare.
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.
Saturday after the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost.—Life a Warfare.
I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers. (Matt. viii, 9.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that this life may be called, and is, a field of battle on which you have to fight against your disorderly inclinations, which are strengthened by the evil spirits who are leagued against you. Hence it follows that this is a time of labour, not of repose. Although in time of warfare the enemy be not in evidence, yet each one must be ever ready and prepared to fight. All must be in their quarters and at their posts, exposed maybe to the hardships of weather, to the discomforts of hunger and loss of sleep.
APPLICATION. What say you to this? Would you wish to pass this life in repose and to seek for yourself every satisfaction? This surely suits not one who is really on the battle-field.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. But Thou, O Lord, art most high for evermore, for behold Thy enemies, O0 Lord, for behold Thy enemies shall perish. (Ps. xci, 9, 10.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that, as this life is warfare, it is not the time for rewards but a time for meriting them. It is a time of labour amid immense risks and dangers. It is always the very best soldiers, more than any others, who place themselves in the front ranks and at the very cannon’s mouth. Can you then so easily condemn the action of Providence, in so often allowing the most just men to have the largest share of suffering?
APPLICATION. We have then but to wait. In the end, we shall see how much more those are rewarded by God, who have laboured and fought more than all others. At present, He gives them in abundance the strength of grace which is proportioned to the burdens He lays upon them.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. See my abjection and my labour; and forgive me all my sins. (Ps. xxiv, 18.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that as this life is a time of warfare, it follows that it is a time also of great danger, not one of safety. For you are continually surrounded by a thousand snares and a thousand attacks. Oh if you could only see the falls that came in the end to those miserable ones, who now mourn their eternal loss in hell! How much less you would trust in yourself, and how much less you would promise yourself safety! For thou art going in the midst of snares, and walking upon the arms of them that are grieved. (Ecclus. ix, 20.) The way to keep yourself from perils, is never to act or live according to caprice, but to live under exact obedience to the law of God. A good soldier in battle does not stand still at his post, nor move, nor fight without his commander’s order.
APPLICATION. This life is for you a time of warfare, and therefore also the time to be obedient, and dependent in everything on the commands of God and of those who are to you in His place. In this way you will be both safer in all the dangers and will gain more glorious victories. An obedient man shall speak of victories. (Prov. xxi, 28.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. My hand shall help him: and My arm shall strengthen him. (Ps. lxxxviii, 22.)
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.
V. Turn all occasions to thy spiritual profit; so that, if thou dost see or hear any good examples, thou mayest be spurred on to imitate them.
But if thou observest anything that is blameworthy, take heed thou committest not the same; or, if thou at any time hast done it, labour to amend it out of hand.
As the eye observeth others, so thou art also observed by others.
Oh! how sweet and comfortable it is to see brethren fervent and devout, regular and well disciplined!
How sad a thing, and how afflicting, to see such walk disorderly, and who practise nothing of what they are called to!
How hurtful it is to neglect the intent of our vocation, and to tum our minds to things that are not our business.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV pt. V.
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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