Saturday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—The School of Christ.

Saturday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—The School of Christ.

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-Third Sunday after Pentecost.—The School of Christ.

Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. (John vi, 69.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that nothing so animates scholars in their study as the goodness and learning of their master. But what earthly master can compare with Jesus Christ, Who knows so well how to teach those who frequent His school? And yet how small is the number of those who are willing to place themselves under such a Master, whereas crowds flock to the deceitful school of the world!

APPLICATION. How much ought you therefore to thank God that He allows you to be under such a Master, and that He has called you to His Holy Church, His true and only school. Here you can, if you will, receive and rejoice in His teaching. If you do not hear the voice of your Master and profit by it, all the fault lies with yourself.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Blessed is the man whom Thou shalt instruct, O Lord: and shalt teach him out of thy law. (Ps. xciii, 12.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY that no master imparts to his scholars his more lofty teaching, unless he sees that they are well instructed in the first elements and in his more simple lessons. Think seriously how much pains God has taken with you to direct your spirit, that is to detach you from the world and from your bad inclinations of pride, ambition, and of self-love. After all the years that you have passed in His school, does it seem to you that you have made much progress? Why then do you wonder that He does not give you those lessons of more sublime lights, which He usually gives in prayer to the more instructed?

APPLICATION. Never can you be fully instructed by such a worthy Master, if you are not also first well grounded by Him. Let Him therefore take from you your overwhelming affection for your own ease and your own will, so that then He may give to you higher and more noble lessons.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. Thy good spirit shall lead me into the right land. (Ps. cxlii, 10.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that the teaching most proper to such a master is that, which concerns His laws and commands. You may be saved and become holy without a deep knowledge of the higher mysteries, but you cannot be saved without the knowledge and practice of His laws and commandments. Therefore strive to perfect yourself in this knowledge. For it is that which will bring you happiness. What good will your knowledge of philosophy, of literature, of science over which you weary yourself so greatly, do you, if you come to be lost?

APPLICATION. Learn then from this divine Master the true practical science of the divine law, which He teaches you as the most important of all, and the most necessary to make you happy here and hereafter : Blessed is the man whom Thou shalt instruct, O Lord: and shalt teach him out of Thy law. (Ps. xciii, 12.)

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant: and teach me Thy justifications. (Ps. cxviii, 135.)

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.

Are you sincerely resolved to work out your salvation? Have you a firm will to do so? Then prepare yourself for the labour, for the struggle. For such is the price of salvation. Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction; but how narrow, says the Evangelist, is the way that leadeth to life (Matt. vii. 13, 14). Without doubt, grace renders this labour, this struggle, more easy for the faithful man; in the midst of fatigues and sufferings he enjoys a heavenly peace which the sinner knows not of. Nevertheless, continual efforts are necessary to enable him to triumph over himself, to conquer his desires, his passions, the world, and the prince of this world (John, xiv., 30). What has made the saints but this persevering and courageous struggle?–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXV reflection.

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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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