V. The Excellence of the Various Parts of the Rosary – The Apostles’ Creed – continued.

V. The Excellence of the Various Parts of the Rosary – The Apostles’ Creed – continued.

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.

V. The Excellence of the Various Parts of the Rosary – The Apostles’ Creed – continued.

When the sin of our first parents had deprived us of the friendship of God as well as of our heirship to Heaven, there came to our rescue the second Person of the Godhead, the only begotten of the Father. The succeeding articles tell us of the love and sacrifice of the Son of God for our race.

The second article is: “And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.” What does this mean? It means I believe that He is the Son of God, God of God, true God of true God. It means I believe that He became incarnate for the sake of our salvation. It means I believe in the doctrines that He proclaimed, in the miracles that He performed. It means I believe in His presence in the holy Eucharist; in the effects of the holy Sacraments which He instituted. It means I believe in His holy Church, to which He transmitted His authority. To believe in Jesus Christ means, furthermore, to believe in His Passion and death, by which He redeemed the world; in His glorious resurrection and ascension. He is the Divine Master, and as such the supreme Lawgiver whom all creatures must obey. He is also the Judge of the universe, and as such will come again one day to preside at the general judgment, when He will judge all men according to their belief, according to the manner in which each one has observed or transgressed His commandments, used or neglected the means of salvation. Then will be the end of time; and mankind will go to its reward or to its punishment once and for all. All this is proclaimed in the articles of faith that treat of Jesus Christ. To believe in Jesus Christ means to believe everything that the Gospel teaches and everything which the holy, infallible Church requires us to believe.

The third chief part of the Creed declares what we must believe of the Holy Ghost, the third Person of the Godhead.

III. The Holy Ghost, the third Person of the Godhead, proceeds equally from the Father and the Son, from all eternity, and is of equal essence with the Father and the Son from eternity.

The Holy Ghost, sent by the Father and the Son, came down upon earth and took charge of the Church founded by Christ, in order to apply through it the fruits of redemption to mankind.

Only in the true Church of Christ can be found the fruits of the redemption; only in her is the true priesthood of the Lord. The fruits of the redemption here on earth are truth and grace, and in the hereafter eternal salvation. The divine truth, as proclaimed by Christ, is alone contained in the holy Catholic Church; and through the co-operation of the Holy Ghost it is preserved uncorrupted in this Church. The Church is the pillar and the beacon of the truth. She can not deviate unto the end of the world one tittle from the doctrine received from Christ, because the Holy Ghost guides the teaching Church in all truth, and sees to it that every truth is understood rightly by her and properly interpreted and explained. Hence, to submit ourselves to the Church’s definition of the faith means to submit ourselves to the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost operates in the Church, through the priesthood, and thus applies to the faithful the fruits of the redemption, so as to sanctify them and prepare them for eternal happiness. Thus it is the Holy Ghost who sanctifies us, who makes us holy, as our Father in heaven is holy; who leads us to perfection, as our Father in heaven is perfect.

“I believe in the Holy Catholic Church,” is the next article of our Creed. The Holy Ghost lives and operates in the Church. This Church is a “Communion of Saints,” a communion of faithful, part of whom have already entered eternal life of bliss, and is called the Church Triumphant; another part is being cleansed from the remnants of sin in the place of purification, and is called the Suffering Church; a third part is still struggling on the battlefield of the world for the crown of eternal life, and is called the Church Militant. All are true members of this great community of saints and children of God, allied through the bond of love. This doctrine is very consoling to us. It opens to us, as it were, even during our earthly life, the portals of eternity. We may enter these in spirit, and seek and find help and consolation amongst our glorified brethren, and also carry help and consolation to our suffering brethren. One thing alone bars us from this glorious communion and shuts heaven against us, and that is sin. But in the Church there is provided for repentant sinners the Absolution from Sins, the remission of sin and its penalty. When we finally die in the grace of God our soul shall enjoy eternal life, and our glorified body shall be joined to it on the great day of resurrection.

This, then, is what we are taught to believe in the Apostles’ Creed. When we say this Creed with devotion and perfect faith, we honor and glorify first of all the Blessed Trinity. But we refresh also the teaching of the Gospel in our minds, and thus strengthen our faith. It is an excellent means of awakening exalted sentiments of faith within us, and of inspiring us to a courageous profession of our holy religion.

The Creed is possessed of great power against the temptations of the evil one. The Apostle exhorts us “to resist the devil strong in faith” (I Pet. v, 8), and Holy Scripture calls the faith a shield against which the darts of Satan are broken. Thus is the Creed, according to its origin, and its contents, and efficacy, a holy and excellent prayer. In conclusion, let me quote an exhortation from St. Augustine: “Forget not,” he says, “to recite the profession of your faith when you rise in the morning, nor when retiring at night; repeat it frequently, for its repetition is salutary for you, that no forgetfulness may arise. Your creed should be your mirror. Examine yourself therein as to whether you firmly believe everything you profess to believe, and rejoice daily in the possession of faith.” Well, then, let us bear in mind this beautiful advice. Let us say the Creed daily, in order to strengthen ourselves in the faith but especially let us say it with great devotion as part of the holy Rosary. If here below we are true to the faith we shall one day behold in reality what we now see only with the eyes of faith, and in this vision enjoy eternal glory and bliss without end. Amen.

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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October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.


Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

ANTIPHON.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

PRAYER TO S. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL.

Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

THE ANGEL GUARDIAN.
PRAYER
.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.
Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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