Venial sin combined with mortal sin is the cause of the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ.

Venial sin combined with mortal sin is the cause of the sufferings and death of Jesus 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.

Venial sin combined with mortal sin is the cause of the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ.

Come, Angels of peace,[1] come in mourning and desolation to see your God expire. But thou, sinner, listen and tremble. Those light faults, which thou regardest as trifles, have caused the sufferings of Jesus Christ, and have robbed Him of life. ‘He was wounded for our iniquities; He was bruised for our sins;’[2] ‘He is dead for our sins,’[3] and even for our venial sins, for which also He has satisfied His Eternal Father by His passion. Yes, sinner! The Lamb without spot was covered with wounds on account of thy vain, idle, lying words; He was bruised on account of thy irreverences and distractions at prayer; ‘He was accounted amongst the wicked’[4] to expiate thy jealousy, thy vanity, thy pride, and thy detractions. In fine, ‘He has borne in His body’[5] the punishment due even to thy venial sins.

By each of thy venial sins thou hast added new torments to the passion and sufferings of Jesus Christ; thou hast committed a crime for which this loving Saviour was bound, laden with chains, scourged, crowned with thorns—a crime, in a word, which, combined with mortal sin, consummated on the cross a horrible deicide. What, unhappy soul! thou beholdest the consequences of thy sin, and yet thou abhorrest it not? Thy heart is not broken with sorrow. It is, then, harder than the rocks which split at the death of the Saviour.

But the malice of venial sin does not end here. Not content with having once shed the blood of a God, it daily renews the atrocious insults that accompanied the torment of Calvary—a torment which spread consternation through all nature ‘when the sun was darkened, the graves opened, the veil of the Temple was rent.’[6] If mortal sin crucifies again the Son of God, venial sin, according to the Fathers, renews against our Divine Master the ignominy of the derisions, blows, and insults. And yet man has the temerity to style such a fault light! O heavens! to strike the Son of God, to tear His hair, to cover His venerable face with spittle! Is this, then, but a light offence?—to load you with insults, O Divine Jesus! to overwhelm you with ignominy and outrages would, at most, be but a pardonable thoughtlessness in a Christian! Ah! who can restrain the thunderbolts of Heaven from avenging such conduct!

‘Woe to you who drag these iniquities like a long chain.’[7] Woe to you, for the just avenger ‘is about to come, and He will not delay.’[8]

My God, ‘may my eyes shed torrents of tears,’[9] may they never cease to weep, because my offences ‘exceed in number the hairs of my head.’[10] ‘I have sinned, I have done evil in Thy sight,’[11] and a very great evil, when I committed even a venial sin; but for Thy love, my God, I am sorry for it with my whole heart. Terrified at its turpitude, I resolve never again, at least with full deliberation, to allow it to sully my soul.

I promise, ‘O living God, in whose sight I stand,’[12] ‘that as long as breath remaineth in me my lips shall not speak iniquity, neither shall my tongue contrive lying.’[13] I will willingly relinquish all I possess, and suffer all evils rather than ‘deliver my soul’[14] even to venial sin. But Thou knowest, O my God, that of myself I can but sin and lose my soul; deign, then, ‘to confirm what Thou hast wrought in us,’[15] ‘and assist us to accomplish the good resolutions Thy grace has inspired us to make.’[16]

[1] Isai. xxxiii. 7.
[2] Isai. liii. 5.
[3] 1 Cor. xv. 3.
[4] Isai. liiii. 12.
[5] 1 Peter ii. 24.
[6] Luke xxiii. 45.
[7] Isai. v. 18.
[8] Habac. ii. 3.
[9] Ps. cxviii. 186.
[10] Ps. xxxix. 13
[11] Ps. 1. 6.
[12] 4 Kings iii. 14.
[13] Job xxvii. 3
[14] Eccles. xix. 4
[15] Ps. lxvii. 29.
[16] St. Aug.

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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September Devotion: The Holy Cross.

Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer.


Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.

An indulgence of 500 days


lnvocation of St. Thomas Aquinas to the Cross.Crucifixion

Crux mihi certa salus.
Crux est quam semper adoro.
Crux Domini mecum.
Crux mihi refugium.

The cross is my sure salvation.
The cross I ever adore.
The cross of my Lord is with me.
The cross is my refuge.

His Holiness, Pope Pius IX., by an autograph rescript, June 21, 1874, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall say these prayers, drawn up in the form of a cross by the Angelic Doctor, S. Thomas Aquinas: AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

Adoramus te, sanctissime Domine Jesu Christe, benedicimus tibi; quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

We adore Thee, O most blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, we bless Thee; because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of indulgences, March 4, 1882, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall recite this ejaculation: AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

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