Monday after the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—Our Lord Coming As Judge.
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.
Monday after the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—Our Lord Coming As Judge.
They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven. (Matt. xxiv, 30.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that, with very different sentiments, the elect and the reprobate will await the coming of the Son of God. He will descend from heaven with great majesty, accompanied by all the angels in visible form, who in great state will bear the standard of the cross. At the sight of the cross, says the Gospel, all the elect and all the reprobate will weep, the elect from joy that they had embraced it in this life with so much profit to themselves, the reprobate because to their loss they had rejected it.
APPLICATION. In the state in which you now find yourself, were you to see in the great valley of Jehosaphat this sign of the cross descending from heaven as the sign of Christ the judge, would you weep for joy or from sorrow and fear? You also must be present at this scene one day. Therefore strive now to be among the lovers of the cross, and not among those who hate it, whose end is destruction. (Philipp. iii, 19.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. My soul hath coveted to long for Thy justifications, at all times. (Ps. cxviii, zo.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that by the cross will be seen the Judge, seated on a throne of clouds with great majesty in His divine nature, and with such great glory in His glorified Humanity, that neither sun, moon, nor stars shall appear bright in His presence. At this sight what will be the terror and the fear of the reprobate! What a boon it would be for them on that day to be buried under the ruins of the mountains, that so they might not see the face of Jesus, Whom they have so grievously offended, turned away from them in disdain!
APPLICATION. On the right of the Judge, will stand that day the Most Blessed Virgin, she who has ever been the advocate of sinners; on the left, the Apostles like assessors, true to their Lord, and with them all the apostolic followers of Christ who forsaking all things on earth for God, embraced the Evangelical Counsels. Oh how in that day will virtue and the true imitation of Christ be honoured! How unhonoured will be vice and the service of the world!
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. (Ps. cxxxviii, 17.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that on that day the books will be opened, that is, the consciences of all will be made manifest. Each one will most clearly see, not only every good and bad deed done by himself in this life, but also those done by others. Thus before the eyes of men and of angels will be laid bare all your works, all your thoughts, all your words; the good that they may be approved, the evil that they may be condemned. This good and evil will not be estimated as the world now reckons it, but precisely as it is estimated in the divine mind. What confusion it will then be for the wicked to have all their most secret sins manifested to all in that assembly! What honour for the good to see even their most secret virtues proclaimed! And even their sins, that have been cleansed away by contrition and penance, will cause, not shame, but consolation.
APPLICATION. Now you fear so much the judgment of men about your life and your actions. How is it that you think so little of the judgment that will hereafter be made in the valley of Jehosaphat? Think of this often and seriously, so that the remembrance of it may conquer all human respect. Strive to do only that which will bring you honour at the last day, and fly all that will cause you any confusion then.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me: it is high, and I cannot reach it. (Ps. cxxxviii, 6.)
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 Interior Conversation.
I. The kingdom of God is within you, saith the Lord.—Luke, xvii. 21.
Convert thyself with thy whole heart to the Lord; and quit this miserable world, and thy soul shall find rest.
Learn to despise exterior things, and give thyself to the interior, and thou shalt see the kingdom of God will come into thee.
For the kingdom of God is peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, which is not given to the wicked.
Christ will come to thee, discovering to thee His consolation, if thou wilt prepare Him a fit dwelling within thee.
All His glory and beauty is in the interior, and there He pleaseth Himself.
Many a visit doth He make to the internal man, sweet is His communication with him, delightful His consolation, much peace, and a familiarity exceedingly to be admired.—Thomas à Kempis—Imitation of Christ Bk II, Ch I, pt. I.
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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