Tuesday after the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Sentence at the Last Judgment.

Tuesday after the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Sentence at the Last Judgment.

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.

Tuesday after the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Sentence at the Last Judgment.

Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess you the kingdom. . . . Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. (Matt. xxv, 34, 41.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY the judgments that will be pronounced, and firstly, that in favour of the elect. To them with a loving and joyous mien He will say: Came, ye blessed of my Father, from your labours to rest, from weeping to rejoicing, from warfare to a crown. Possess you the kingdom, showing by this word “possess” the perpetuity and security with which they shall enjoy the blessed glory for all ages. He that shall overcome shall possess these things. (Apoc. xxi, 7.) The beatific vision is called the kingdom, to denote the greatness and magnificence that the just will have in possessing every good gift of God.

APPLICATION. Think here of the feelings of joy in the hearts of the elect as they hear themselves called to the possession of such a kingdom, and an eternal one, given them in justice for those short and light afflictions, which they suffered in serving faithfully their Lord and God. You too shall participate in this joy, if you now share in their sufferings.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. We have rejoiced for the days in which Thou hast humbled us: for the years in which we have seen evils. (Ps. lxxxix, 15.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY how the Judge, when He has pronounced the judgment in favour of the elect, will turn to the reprobate. In tones of indignation He will utter their sentence of condemnation: Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. What unhappiness to be for ever exiled from the face of God! And what misery, besides being exiled, to burn in fire for ever! Depart from Me into everlasting fire.

APPLICATION. And all this will be most just. For the wicked in sinning have done two evils; one by impiously turning their backs upon God, the other in opening their hearts to creatures in open defiance of God. Therefore, according to their hatred of God, will their punishment be meted out to them: He shall not see the glory of God. (Isa. xxvi, 10.) The pain of sense too will correspond to their sinful love of creatures here: They shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Apoc. xx, 10.) Resolve to escape at any cost so dreadful a sentence.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The sorrows of death surrounded me: and the torrents of iniquity troubled me. The sorrows of hell encompassed me. (Ps. xvii, 5-6.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that Christ will summon the elect to His kingdom, and cast away the reprobate into their eternal prison. Thus will the elect be more honoured in the presence of their adversaries, who on earth had persecuted and despised them, and the reprobate the more tormented at seeing the glory of the elect and realising their own misery. The first go to their kingdom in company with Christ and His angels; the second are swallowed up by the earth and buried in hell: These shall go into everlasting punishment; but the just into life everlasting. (Matt. XXV, 46.)

APPLICATION. Think of these two lots! Which shall be yours on the day of judgment, when one of them must be yours? You must be on the right hand or on the left; you must either reign and rejoice eternally in heaven, or weep and lament for ever in hell.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thou hast ascended on high; Thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts in men, yea, for those also that do not believe. (Ps. lxvii, 19.)

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 Interior Conversation.

II. O faithful soul, prepare thy heart for this thy Spouse, that He may vouchsafe to come to Thee, and dwell in Thee.
For so He saith: lf any man love Me, he will keep My word, and We will come to him, and We will make Our abode with him.— John, xiv. 23.
Make room, then, for Christ within thee, and deny entrance to all others.
When thou hast Christ, thou art rich, and He is sufficient for thee; He will provide for thee, and will be thy faithful Procurator in all things, so that thou needst not trust to men.
For men quickly change and presently fail: but Christ remains for ever, and stands by us firmly to the end.—Thomas à Kempis—Imitation of Christ Bk II, Ch I, pt. II.

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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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