X. The Excellence of the Rosary on Account of the Mysteries Commemorated.

X. The Excellence of the Rosary on Account of the Mysteries Commemorated.

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.

X. The Excellence of the Rosary on Account of the Mysteries Commemorated.

“Unless thy law had been my meditation, I had then perhaps perished in my abjection.”—Ps. cxviii, 92.

Dear Brethren: In our former considerations of the Rosary we have discussed the prayers of which the Rosary is composed. The second chief part of the Rosary is the fifteen Mysteries. They are called Mysteries because the truths which they contain are hidden and cannot be comprehended except by Divine revelation. These Mysteries and their significance will be the subject of our discourse to-day. It is the spirit and intention of the Church that these Mysteries be properly meditated upon while saying the Rosary. This we do by reflecting upon them, by applying to ourselves the lesson drawn from them, and by resolving to amend our life or to perfect it according to this lesson.

The consideration of the Divine truths of salvation is absolutely necessary for all mankind, for no one can be saved who is not mindful of his salvation. We cannot attain happiness without serving and loving God. Yet he knows not God who does not give any thought to things divine. In order to learn to know God and to make progress in this knowledge we must contemplate the Divine attributes and perfections, and the works which proclaim them. The whole universe is preaching to us God’s omnipotence, wisdom, and love. The heavens tell of God’s glory, and the firmament proclaims the works of His hands. The tiny flowers in field and meadow, the birds in the tree, the stars in the sky, they all remind us of God and of His Omnipotence and Goodness. We ought not regard these things thoughtlessly, they give us food for salutary thought and meditation. They exhort us to show love and gratitude towards God, the merciful Father who has created all these things for us.

God so loved the world as to sacrifice for it His only begotten Son. The Son so loved Mankind that He became Man, suffered for us and died upon the Cross, in order to ransom us from sin and ruin. We learn to know not only the malice, horror, and guilt of sin, but also the infinite mercy and love of God by pondering on the works of God.

In the work of sanctification, specially ascribed to the Holy Ghost, we perceive fresh wonders of God’s love. The Holy Ghost cleanses us from our sins and transforms us into children of God. He consoles us with heavenly consolation, and leads us with His hand, conducting us to Christian perfection and to life eternal. By considering these divine works, often and earnestly, we learn to know God, and become desirous of loving Him and serving Him faithfully. To make progress in the knowledge of these divine things is the sacred duty of a Christian. But in order to be saved it is not sufficient to know God; we must also know ourselves. For this reason St. Augustine besought God: “Let me know myself, and let me know Thee.” We must learn to know our faults in order to correct them, and our evil inclinations so as to fight against them. We must ascertain what virtues we are lacking in so that we may strive to acquire them. We must understand the gravity of our sins to repent of them sincerely. Finally, we must understand our inability to acquire merit, so that we may seek from God grace, strength, and help.

It is necessary also that we understand clearly the duties which we have to perform.

If we were profoundly impressed by the excellence of the Divine Laws, of the magnificent rewards that will be the share of those who observe the Commandments, and of the terrible chastisement awaiting the transgressor, who would ever presume to transgress these Divine Commandments? And what is calculated to impress us with these truths if not serious reflection upon them?

The royal Prophet exclaims: “Blessed are they that search His testimonies; that seek Him with their whole heart” (Ps. cxviii, 2).

Meditation has drawn numberless sinners from the depths of sin and protected untold numbers against sin. It is also, as St. Ignatius remarks, the shortest way to Christian perfection. Hence St. Teresa implores those who have not yet begun this meditative prayer, to do so in the name of God, and through the love of Christ, and no longer deprive themselves of this most precious and necessary good.

Objection may be made by some that they cannot meditate, that they have not the ability to do so. The reply is that for meditation no skill or science is required. When you reflect upon an article of faith, upon a commandment of God, upon sin or virtue, upon God, your duties, and then awaken acts of faith, hope and charity, contrition, and thanksgiving, followed by resolutions of amendment, petitions to God for His grace and assistance to keep these resolutions, you have made a very good meditation. This much any one can do.

Another objection may be advanced, that one has no time for it. A man living in the world has many business cares, but then the salvation of the soul is the chief business of man. Our Divine Saviour has said that one thing only is necessary, and this one thing is solicitude for the soul’s welfare. David had the cares of governing a great kingdom, and yet he said: “O how have I loved Thy law, O Lord, it is my meditation all the day.” (Ps. cxviii, 97.) No, my brethren, time and ability are not lacking. If anything is lacking, it is the good will. Therefore let us all make the firm resolution to give in the future due consideration to Christian meditation so as to place our soul’s welfare in safety.

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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