Justice and Generosity.
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.
Justice and Generosity.
Keep mercy and judgment, and hope in thy God always (Osee xii. 6).
I. Consider first, that when in the Divine Scriptures these two names “mercy and judgment” occur in combination they commonly refer to some virtuous action. By “judgment” is meant some act of virtue which is of obligation, a duty of religion or of gratitude, or of charity, or of any other virtue. By “mercy” is meant some virtuous act of supererogation. And in this sense spoke David of old when he said that “the Lord loveth mercy and judgment.” This then is the subject proposed for thy consideration here: that thou shouldst be exact in the performance of all the works committed to thy care, whether they be of supererogation or strict duty. It is not said, “Exercise mercy and judgment,” but “ Keep mercy and judgment;” for it is not enough to be a negligent observer of the law, but thou must be jealously alive to its observance, according to the words, “Give me understanding and I will search Thy law; and I will keep it with my whole heart.”
II. Consider secondly, that it appears reasonable that the order of the words should be “judgment and mercy,” and not “mercy and judgment.” For those acts which are of obligation ought, it would seem, to precede those which are of supererogation, and so also ought to be the first required of us. Nevertheless when these two words occur together, the opposite order is observed, “Mercy and judgment I will sing to Thee, O Lord;” “God loveth mercy and truth;” “His mercy and truth who shall search?” This is to teach thee that unless thou pave the way so to speak, by some works of supererogation to acts of duty, thou wilt never perfectly accomplish these. Wouldst thou as in duty bound root out some hatred from thy heart? Practise some acts of love which are not of obligation, as for instance, to pray for him who has offended thee, to speak well of him, to treat him kindly, even to do him some little service unobserved. Wouldst thou be scrupulously honest in rendering every man his due? Overcome that love for money which possesses thee, and even when thou mayest lawfully retain it for thyself, bestow it in alms. Wouldst thou keep far away from thy heart those acts of impurity which bring such degradation? Keep a greater guard over thy feelings than thou art strictly bound to do, shun dancing even though not injurious in thy case, avoid late revels, visiting, merry-making; mortify thy flesh, and to that end use some practical austerity. This is the way to train a weak sapling. If you desire to make it grow straight when it leans to the left, you must bend it further to the right than is absolutely necessary.
III. Consider thirdly, that when with all this thou shalt have succeeded in keeping “mercy and judgment,” thou must not place any confidence in any of thy good works, whether of strict duty or supererogation, but thou must place all thy confidence in God. Therefore after the words, “Keep mercy and judgment,” is immediately added, “and hope in thy God always.” Thou must not place thy hope in “mercy” or in “judgment.” Thou must place all thy hope “in thy God” alone. Oh, if thou didst only understand the importance of that great lesson. Many a time thou dost good works and then art satisfied with them as if they by themselves could save thee. This they cannot do. Thou must understand this truth without delay, that all these thy good works will be of no avail if the Lord aid thee not by His peculiar grace; and thou must pray for this grace just as if thou hadst done no good works at all. Herein lay the great difference between Ezechias and Sedecias. Both fortified the city of Jerusalem against all the assaults of the enemy marvellously well; both furnished it with munitions of war, both supplied it with troops alike. But Sedecias did nothing more; whereas Ezechias, when he had done thus much, clothed himself in sackcloth, sprinkled ashes upon his head, and going to the Temple, without loss of time, addressed himself to God in fervent prayer; and thus it was, that whereas the preparations of Ezechias were crowned with success, those of Sedecias were all thrown away. “For because thou hast trusted in thy bulwarks thou also shalt be taken.” Be this then thy rule of conduct. Use thy utmost diligence, as if thou hadst nothing to hope for from God; and then hope everything from God, as if thou hadst used no diligence at all.
IV. Consider fourthly, a further quality of that confidence which thou requirest in God, here called “thy God,” in order to encourage thee the more to place thy trust in Him. It must be continual, therefore it is not said simply, “Hope in thy God,” but the word “always” is added. Thou dost easily begin to hope, but dost not persevere, as though God refused to hear or to accept thy prayers. This is a grievous error! Wouldst thou in dealing with the Lord set limits and make conditions like the men of Bethulia who agreed to surrender to Holofemes if God did not rescue them within five days? Hold with unwavering faith that what thou askest for the good of thy soul, if only thou dost continue to ask, shall never be refused. Leave the rest to God. Remember what the Psalmist says, “In Thee have our fathers hoped, they have hoped, and Thou hast delivered them.” It is not enough for obtaining release to hope once, thou must hope still again.
 Psalm xxxii. 5.
 Psalm cxviii. 34.
 Psalm c. I.
 Psalm lxxxiii. 12.
 Psalm lx. 8.
 Jerem. xlviii. 7.
 Psalm xxi. 5.
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.
If the devil tempts me by the thought of Divine justice, I think of God’s mercy; if he tries to fill me with presumption by the thought of His mercy, I think of His justice. – St. Ignatius of Loyola, Letter 8.
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
Let Us Pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.
Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
– Raccolta 113 An indulgence of 7 years. A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name
O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. You are the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that your Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis
Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:
“The Golden Arrow”
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.
Prayer in honor of the Holy Name
O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.
Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you; may I die for you; may I be wholly yours, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for your love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether yours; yours in life, and yours in death, when I hope by your help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to you; Jesus and Mary, I love you, and I give and deliver up to you my whole soul.
The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)
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