January 1st, the Feast of the Circumcision and the Seventh Day of Christmas.

On the Circumcision of Our Lord.

A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION.

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.

On the Circumcision of Our Lord.

To-day, my soul, you will accompany the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, to the scene of the Infant Jesus’ circumcision. Picture clearly to yourself the gracious Child there laid upon a table, patient and gentle as an innocent lamb, while at the sight of the sharp knife in the Priest’s hand, the knife which is to be instrumental in causing the innocent Infant to feel acute physical pain for the first time, Mary, His loving Mother, is filled with tender sorrow and compassion.

1st. Consider the obedience of Jesus and Mary, which is brought into prominence at the circumcision. Although the Blessed Virgin feels very acutely the circumcision of her divine Child, both out of sympathy for the tender Infant who must so early become acquainted with suffering, and also because she is fully conscious that the law is not binding upon Him, the supreme Lawgiver, yet she complies with it, and submits to the stern legal behest in a spirit of obedience, of voluntary obedience; and Jesus Himself remains passive, in order at the very outset of His earthly life to place His obedience in contradistinction to Adam’s disobedience. Reflect deeply upon this, my soul, and see that, at the commencement of the new year, you compensate for the many acts of disobedience of which you were guilty in the past year, by making a solemn promise to practise exact obedience during the year upon which you have just entered. Of a truth you cannot begin it better than with this fundamental virtue of the Christian and more particularly of the Religious, for without it all their efforts and strivings after amendment are vain; they are houses built on the sand. And in order to render this first sacrifice of the year somewhat easier to you, consider:

2d. The humility of Jesus, as displayed at His circumcision: Although perfectly innocent and free from every stain of sin, on the eighth day after His birth He submits to the rite, just as if He were like the other sons of men, and bore the taint of original sin. To Adam’s act of disobedience was due all the subsequent misery of the human race, and that disobedience sprang from Adam’s pride; for the serpent had said to him: “You shall be as gods.” (Gen. iii. 5.) The obedience of our Lord was, on the contrary, as you saw in the first point of this meditation, the commencement of man’s salvation; and the motive that impelled Him to perform this act of obedience was His humility. Without humility there is no obedience and without obedience no humility. If you are humble you will be ready to obey, and through obedience you will become humble. If therefore, my soul, at the conclusion of the first portion of this meditation you formed a resolution to practise obedience in order that by a good beginning you may hallow the whole of the new year, now close your consideration of the second part with the petition that the Child Jesus may vouchsafe to-day to make you a partaker of His humility.

3d. Consider how in the circumcision the blood of Jesus was shed for the first time. This first shedding of blood in the opening week of His life on earth, was the earnest and at the same time the pledge and surety of the second shedding of blood in the closing week of His life. By this shedding of His blood whilst still an innocent child the Redeemer bound Himself already to the cross and consecrated Himself to a life of sacrifice, the beginning and end of which are alike sealed by His atoning blood. To-day our Lord offers Himself for the first time as an expiatory victim; He offers as a morning sacrifice His precious blood, and thereby pledges Himself in due time to present the same oblation as an evening sacrifice on the altar of the cross.

And now, my soul, let your life during the new year be a life of sacrifice. On this first day of the year, this very day, offer some such oblation as your Saviour did, as an earnest and a pledge for the future. Do not rise from this meditation until, in thanksgiving for the circumcision, you have resolved upon making some sacrifice, whether it be that you will recite a particular prayer, willingly undertake a distasteful task, or practise some other mortification; do this, and you may be assured that you have begun the new year well.

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.

Meditations on the Life, Teaching, and Passion of Jesus Christ

(Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur: New York, December 31, 1900)

_________________________________________________

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

_________________________________________________

Blood of Jesus, Help Me!

In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying
Blood of Jesus, help me!
In all my doubts, perplexities, and temptations, Blood of Jesus, help me!
In hours of loneliness, weariness and trials,
Blood of Jesus, help me!
In the failure of my plans and hopes; in disappointments, troubles and sorrows,
Blood of Jesus, help me!
When my heart is cast down by failure, at seeing no good come from my efforts,
Blood of Jesus, help me!

When others fail me, and Thy grace alone can assist me,
Blood of Jesus, help me!
When I throw myself on Thy tender love as my Father and Savior,
Blood of Jesus, help me!
When I feel impatient, and my cross irritates me,
Blood of Jesus, help me!
When I am ill, and my head and hands cannot work and I am lonely,
Blood of Jesus, help me!
Always, always in spite of weakness, falls and shortcomings, of every kind,
Blood of Jesus, help me and never forsake me.

_________________________________________________

An offering of the Precious Blood for Souls

O my God, I beg of Thee in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, through the merits of the Precious Blood offered Thee in every Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, to grant that this day one mortal sin may be averted, one soul in doubt may be converted to the truth, one soul about to die in sin may receive the grace of repentance and a happy death, and the deliverance of that Soul in Purgatory which is nearest Heaven. I wish by this offering to console the Heart of Jesus in agony for the souls lost through the teaching of error against the true Church of Christ Jesus, Our Lord. Amen.

_________________________________________________

Twelfth Night Prayer for the Seventh Day of Christmas.

O most sweet Jesus, how glorious is that name which is given to Thee this day! I rejoice that it is not borne by Thee a mere empty name, the shadow of a name, as others have borne it; but a name full of truth and of all perfection.

_________________________________________________

Copyright © 2013-2014. Holy Cross Publications. All rights reserved.

Comments are closed.