VI. The Excellence of the Various Parts of the Rosary – The Glory Be to the Father.

VI. The Excellence of the Various Parts of the Rosary – The Glory Be to the Father.

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.

VI. The Excellence of the Various Parts of the Rosary – The Glory Be to the Father.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory, and honor, and power: because Thou hast created all things.”—Apoc. iv, II.

Dear Brethren, we know that the “Glory be to the Father” occurs very frequently in the prayers of the Church and in our private devotions. In the Rosary it is repeated with every decade. This prayer of praise is of great significance for the Christian life. In order to understand its meaning better we must join in spirit the choirs of the blessed before the throne of God. Isaias, the great prophet of the Old Testament, to whom was vouchsafed a profound insight into the mysteries of God, had a vision of heaven, and he says, “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and elevated, and his train filled the temple; upon it stood the seraphims: . . . and they cried one to another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts; all the earth is full of his glory” (Is. vi, I). So also did John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, have the grace to see heaven, and he saw the angels of heaven, and with them the whole army of the saints and all the nations, tribes and peoples, standing before the throne in sight of the Lamb, and with a loud voice they praised God, who sat upon the throne, and the Lamb, who is the Lamb of God (Apoc. vii, II).

Thus God has made known to us, through both these prophets, in what the unceasing occupation of the blessed in heaven consists. They behold the magnificent beauty of God and praise Him on account of His majesty, power and love, and this occupation of the dwellers in heaven should also be the task of the dwellers upon earth. It is indeed the duty of mankind, and an indispensable obligation. King David acknowledged this when he said: “I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall be always in my mouth” (Ps. xxxiii).

Therefore, our whole life and endeavor should be one uninterrupted “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.”

We will make this obligation the subject of our consideration.

The happy inhabitants of heaven as they behold God in His indescribable splendor extol Him with hymns of praise. To know God and to serve Him, to glorify Him, this is the supreme end of man, not only when he is admitted to heaven, but even here on earth. God himself tells us this through the Prophet Isaias. “In order,” thus He speaks, “that man should glorify me, therefore have I created him and brought him forth from nothing.”

We mortals as yet can not behold God as the blessed do in heaven; but we do behold Him in His works, and know Him from His revelation given us through the prophets, and through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The works through which God has revealed Himself to us are creation, redemption and sanctification. Creation is a vast book which speaks to us unceasingly of God, and it is intelligible to all. If we contemplate the magnificence of the starlit sky we must exclaim with David: “The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands” (Ps. xviii). Yet not only the heavens, but also the earth shows us, at every step, the omnipotence of God, His wisdom and love. Mountain and valley, forest and field, river and ocean, they all remind us of God, their creator. Every flower of field and meadow is a great masterpiece, which no mortal man could create.

The animal world presents still greater marvels for our consideration. The waters teeming with millions of animals of all kinds, from the smallest jellyfish to the ship-destroying monsters, the beasts of the forest, the birds of the air, they all are called into existence by God, and God has not merely called all these creatures into existence, but His providence preserves them, and not even a sparrow falls from the roof without His knowledge.

But we have not yet considered the masterpiece of creation: man, the creature with an immortal soul, created according to God’s own image and likeness. In man body and soul are joined together in a wonderful unity, so that man presents in himself a combination of the spiritual and material.

Man is the masterpiece of creation, and all creation is for his service. “Thou hast made him a little less than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honor; thou hast set him over the work of thy hands” (Ps. viii, 6).

In very truth we may say, therefore, the universe speaks to our mind and heart in powerful and impressive language. This language is its beauty, its appropriateness, its greatness.

But yet more plainly than creation does the redemption proclaim the glory of God. It is “not the immensity of the heavenly bodies,” says St. Gregory, “not the brilliancy of the stars, not the adornment of the universe, not the preservation of the world, that point so much to the glory of the divine power and omnipotence, as does that divine condescension to the feebleness of nature.”

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, descended from heaven and brought into the world a truer and fuller knowledge of God. The ancient people knew there was a God, but they knew Him not. The knowledge of the true God was drowned in paganism. Even among the Jews small had become the number of those who still possessed an undefiled knowledge of God. In the Old Testament there was only an intimation of the blessed Trinity, not a clear knowledge. Then Jesus Christ brought to us the knowledge of the Triune God. In Him the divine attributes of love, sanctity, justice, wisdom, omnipotence and mercy were presented to our minds so that we can comprehend them. He made known to us the merciful decrees which God had ordained for our temporal and eternal welfare. Through His bitter passion and death He reconciled us to the Father, and acquired for us the heirship of heaven. He founded the Church, the kingdom of God upon earth, and He rules it through the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from Him and the Father.

Through this Church are applied the glorious fruits of the redemption. Through this Church God would sanctify all mankind and lead them to eternal salvation. The Church and the communion of the saints reveal to us God’s glory and love far more than all the wonders of the world. A single saint is a greater miracle of the divine grace than the whole universe. The redemption made of earth a preparatory school for heaven, and it behooves us, as St. Augustine says, in this life to give praise to God, because in heaven our work will be an eternal proclamation of the divine praises. Our whole earthly life, as a befitting preparation for heaven, should be an imitation of the life of the blessed in heaven. It ought to be a perpetual praise of God, until after a happy death we are admitted to the ranks of the celestial choirs.

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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