Thursday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Good Use of Time.
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-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—Good Use of Time.
Be not therefore solicitous for to-morrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. (Matt. vi, 34.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that God gives you now full and ample time to serve Him and to do good. You are to employ it only in winning heaven: I gave her time that she might do penance. (Apoc. ii, 21.) After a little while He will take this time from you, and you will have not even a moment for yourself: Time shall be no longer. (Apoc. x, 6.) And then what a strict account He will demand from you of that same time which He gave you: He hath called against me the time. (Lam. i, 15.)
APPLICATION. Think seriously how you employ your time, whether in things useful, or vain. God gives it you that you may employ it in the acquisition of heaven; and perhaps you waste it. When time is ended for you and the time of your Lord is come, you will then recognise its real value, but then it will be too late.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. We will praise Thee, O God: we will praise, and we will call upon Thy name. We will relate Thy wondrous works. (Ps. lxxiv, 2.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that when time is ended for you, God will take His time for judging you. But what does this mean? He says by the mouth of the Psalmist: I will judge justices. (Ps. lxxiv, 2.) It means, according to the Hebrew text, that He will judge with rectitude, with rigour, and by the most strict rules of justice. Hence in that day mercy will no more have place, and justice will be all in all.
APPLICATION. The holiest men trembled and feared at the thought of the supreme rigour with which God would judge them at the end of their lives. Wherefore they never ceased to weep for their sins, to make satisfaction for them by penance, to examine minutely their consciences, in order to be able to pay their account in this life at the tribunal of mercy, and without waiting for the dreadful day of judgment. But possibly you fear but little the judgment that divine justice will pass upon you in that last day, and waste the time that you now have given you in order to profit by the Divine mercy.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS, The judgments of the Lord are true, justified in themselves. (Ps. xviii, 10.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that the words I will judge justices also mean that God in that day will not only judge your sins, but that He will also judge your just deeds, that is your good works. He will examine whether you did them at the right time, for the right end, in the right way, and under all the right circumstances.
APPLICATION. You undoubtedly do many actions good in themselves in your life, such as those of praying, hearing Mass and receiving the holy sacraments. But how do you do them? With how much distraction, with how little real application of mind, with how many defects mixed up with them! And for all these good works which you do so badly you will have to be judged, and that with the utmost rigour. For what matters is not the actual good work itself, but the way you do it. And do you not fear or dread this judgment? Pray to God that He may give you light to understand and realise now, how solemn it will be.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. And He shall judge the world in equity, He shall judge the people in justice. (Ps. ix, 9.)
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.
X. When a man is come to this, that he seeks his comfort from nothing created, then he begins perfectly to relish God; then likewise will he be well content, however matters happen to him.
Then will he neither rejoice for much, nor be sorrowful for little; but will commit himself wholly and confidently to God, who is to him all in all; to Whom nothing perishes or dies, but all things live to Him, and serve Him at a beck without delay.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV pt. X.
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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