Wednesday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Life without Solicitude.

Wednesday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Life without Solicitude.

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-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Life without Solicitude.

Be not solicitous for your life. (Matt. vi, 25.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that in Holy Writ those are justly censured who are never content with their present state, in which God has placed them. (cf. Eccles. vii, I.) They are for ever striving to push forward, without knowing whether the dignity, or duty, or position they seek after, would be beneficial or harmful to them. God alone knows which is the way by which you are sure to be saved. Therefore, as a pilgrim, who knows not the road that leads to his country, must let himself be guided by one who does know, so likewise you must let yourself be guided by God, and by him who on earth holds the place of God to you.

APPLICATION. Is it not utter folly, to try to regulate yourself by your own caprice, in striving after this or that position or employment, in disregard and even in defiance of God? Let yourself rather be guided, if possible, by the sure rule of obedience; for it will never prove hurtful to you.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Let me know that this is Thy hand, and that Thou, O Lord, hast done it. (Ps. cviii, 27.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that if the attainment of this place or of that office, which you so anxiously seek after, brings you no harm, at any rate it may harm you to be seeking for it. The anxiety for it distracts your thoughts from your present clear duties, and from the pursuit of that which really matters to you, which is the business of your eternal salvation. You should never cease to make that your chief study. The more it is in doubt, the more supremely important is it also that you should ever strive after it.

APPLICATION. In the search for positions which are difficult to attain, how much the good of your own soul may be neglected. Employ for it, at least, a solicitude equal to that which you use, in order to gain something as to which you cannot possibly say whether it will profit your own salvation or not. You are a pilgrim and your country is heaven. Employ, then, all necessary time and efforts in learning and in finding the sure way of arriving there, for that alone is important for you.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thou hast brought a vineyard out of Egypt. Thou wast the guide of its journey in its sight. (Ps. lxxix, 9, 10.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that the time given you to obtain that, which alone matters to you, is little and short. Have you then the heart to lose it in seeking after that which is of no consequence? The time is little, because there are few days, the days of his pilgrimage: and brief, because it passeth like a shadow. (Eccles. vii, I.) Therefore do not occupy yourself overmuch in seeking those things which pass away with time, but seek rather to walk safely in the sure road which leads to your country, and to acquire your eternal heritage.

APPLICATION. If a pilgrim has to reach his country, within a brief time which has been predetermined for him, under pain of losing an inheritance, how he uses every effort not to lose time! He robs himself of sleep, of conversation, and of all else that might otherwise interest him. You who are a pilgrim should surely do as much. For if you do not reach the end, at the time fixed for you by God, you are without any remedy, and will never reach it at all!

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Man is like to vanity: his days pass away like a shadow. (Ps. cxliii, 4.)

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.

IX. O that we had nothing else to do but to praise the Lord our God with our whole heart and mouth!
O that thou didst never want to eat, nor drink, nor sleep, but couldst always praise God, and be employed solely in spiritual exercises!
Thou wouldst then be much more happy than now, whilst thou art under the necessity of serving the flesh.
Would to God there were no such necessities, but only the spiritual refreshments of the soul, which, alas, we taste too seldom!–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV pt. IX.

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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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