Thursday after the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—Final Perseverance.

Thursday after the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—Final Perseverance.

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-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.—Final Perseverance.

He that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved. (Matt. x, 22.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY that your salvation is a work that belongs wholly to God, whilst at the same time it belongs wholly to you. Therefore you must co-operate incessantly and with great solicitude; with fear and trembling work out your salvation. (Phil. ii, 12.) For until the very end you will be uncertain whether you will secure it or not, because of the dangers which surround you. Beneath you is hell, from whence proceed those evil spirits that assault you; about you is the deceitful world full of snares; and within you are your passions and evil inclinations.

APPLICATION. In the midst of so many perils, how can you do otherwise than tremble and that with exceeding fear and dread? For it concerns a matter you must make sure of, if you wish to avoid a loss that will be eternal.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Fear and trembling are come upon me. (Ps. liv, 6.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY in what this fear should principally consist. In keeping yourself humble, because, in spite of all your good works, you need always that God should work in you with the helps of His efficacious grace. He gives you these of His bounty and not of necessity, and He may cease to give them to you when He wills. See then how it behoves you to fear and tremble in His presence, recognising that whatever good you do comes from God. It is God who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish. (Ibid.)

APPLICATION. With preventing grace God moves you to good, illuminating your intellect and inflaming your will: He worketh in you to will. By concomitant grace step by step He accompanies you: He worketh in you to accomplish. This being so, realise that you live in continual need of His efficacious grace, and that He of Himself is not obliged to give you this.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. But I am needy and poor: O God, help me. Thou art my helper and my deliverer: O Lord, make no delay. (Ps. lxix, 6.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY that, although God can cease whenever He wills to give you His efficacious grace to act, yet never will He fail to give it to you, if you yourself fail not to have recourse to Him and to commend yourself to Him. Therefore this He desires to bring about by your fear, that you should always abide close to Him for your safety, by invoking Him and beseeching Him to save you from danger. He gives a first grace to those who do not ask it, but, according to St. Augustine, after the first grace He does not give any other except to those who ask for it.

APPLICATION. God gave you the great grace of the Catholic Faith without your asking Him. He will not give you the grace to persevere holily in it to the end, if you do not commend yourself to Him and beg it of Him earnestly and perseveringly. God says: I will pour upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of prayers. (Zac. xii, 10.)

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I have cried to Thee, for Thou, O God, hast heard me: O incline Thy ear unto me, and hear my words. (Ps. xvi, 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.

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Of Interior Conversation.

IV. Why dost thou stand looking about thee here, since this is not thy resting place?
Thy dwelling must be in heaven, and all things of the earth are only to be looked upon as passing by.
All things pass away, and thou along with them.
See that thou cleave not to them, lest thou be ensnared and be lost.
Let thy thoughts be with the Most High, and thy prayer directed to Christ without intermission.
If thou knowest not how to meditate on high and heavenly things, rest on the passion of Christ, and willingly dwell in His sacred wounds.
For if thou fly devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmas of Jesus, thou shalt feel great comfort in tribulation; neither
wilt thou much regard the being despised by men, but wilt easily bear up against detracting tongues.—Thomas à Kempis—Imitation of Christ Bk II, Ch I, pt. IV.

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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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