The Conversion of St. Paul.
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.
The Conversion of St. Paul.
A faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief. But for this cause have I obtained mercy, that in me first Christ Jesus might show forth all patience (i Timothy i. 15, 16).
I. Consider first, what great consolation thou oughtest to derive from these words, which are matter of faith and incontrovertible: “Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.” If the Lord came to save sinners, then He came on purpose to save thee. The expression used is that He came into this world, not that He was born, in order to show that before He was born He existed elsewhere: He was in the bosom of the Father. Now ask thyself if He wills thy salvation, seeing that to effect it He has come from the abode of so much happiness to one of so much misery—“into this world.” Could it be that He did not know the vile treatment He would meet with there? It is certain that He knew: “Knowing all things that should come upon Him.”
II. Consider secondly, the great humility with which the Apostle spoke of himself when he called himself the first among these sinners, that is to say, the greatest sinner of them all; an assertion he could make without falsehood, since he sincerely thought himself such. His thoughts ever brooded on his great sin, he was conscious of its heinousness, he regarded not the sins of others, and thus by degrees he came to act like a man who under the pain of some excruciating malady thinks there is no suffering equal to his own; for he has experimental knowledge of his own sufferings, but only an indistinct and theoretical acquaintance with those of others. If thou wert always thinking of those circumstances which aggravate thy own sins and extenuate those of others, thou wouldst speak as St. Paul does. But thou art ever thinking, on the contrary, of the circumstances which aggravate the sins of others and extenuate thy own. Dost thou wish in good earnest to esteem thyself the worst of all? Adopt this course. Conceive a thorough hatred for thyself. What dost thou naturally do when thou feelest a strong hatred towards one who has outraged thee? Thou sayest there is no such villain to be met, and thou dost not mean it for exaggeration, but in thy fury thou dost really judge him so. Thou wilt so speak of thyself if thou hatest thyself after the example of the saints.
III. Consider thirdly, that although the Apostle had been long before converted, he did not say, “Of whom I was the chief,” but, “Of whom I am the chief;” for he considered himself as he was by his own nature, and so considering himself he knew that there was no sin to which he might not easily have yielded his consent. If he did not so transgress, it was due to grace alone. Here then is ample room for self-abasement. Often think of the evil propensities that hold sway within thee, and imagine what would become of thee if the Lord withdrew His saving hand for a single instant.
IV. Consider fourthly, how the Apostle became his own accuser in order to encourage every one, no matter whom, to hope in Christ. He said that God had vouchsafed to show mercy to him, to manifest in him, the chief of sinners, the wonders of His patience, “that in me first Christ Jesus might show forth all patience.” And in good truth has many a man been rescued from despair by the example of St. Paul, changed that day by Christ from a furious persecutor into a zealous preacher! Nor need we be surprised. When a physician on first arriving in the town, by happy exercise of skill effects the cure of some great man pronounced before incurable, all the other sick persons of the place desire a visit from him. But here again see how the Apostle seeks to humble himself. He says that the Lord had showed forth in him “all patience.” As if that power of endurance which the Lord did not much need in the case of other men was all required for him alone. How much more true would it be for thee to say that the Lord “shows forth all His patience in thee,” since at thy hands He suffers furthermore so much ingratitude? The Apostle, finally, when once he had repented, remained faithful to Christ until death; he laboured hard, and did not spare himself; he strained every nerve to correspond with His grace: “He laboured more than all.”
V. Consider fifthly, that although it is chiefly to show forth His patience that the Lord so patiently endures thy malice, thou art not on that account under less obligation to Him, for He might have chosen to display His patience to others without number, and He has not done so. How greatly then does He favour thee, when He singles thee out in order to show forth His patience in thee? This alone should be enough to cover thee with confusion; so that from thy heart thou mayest exclaim: “As for me I will praise Him in the land of my captivity, because He hath shown His majesty to a sinful nation.”
 Cor. xv. 10.
 Tobias xiii. 7.
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.
Provided that humility and sweetness are not lacking in you, the goodness of God will not fail to help you to fulfil, not only without repugnance, but even with joy, whatever promises you have made Him. – St. Ignatius of Loyola, Letter on Obedience.
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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