Monday after the Third Sunday after Easter.

Blessed-SacramentOn the Promise Our Lord Made after His Resurrection that He Would Ever Abide amongst those who Believed in Him.

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.

On the Promise Our Lord Made after His Resurrection that He Would Ever Abide amongst those who Believed in Him.

The time when our Lord was to return to His Father drew nearer and nearer. Endeavor to realize the anxious, mournful state of the disciples feelings; in losing Jesus they lost their consolation, their strength, in fact all that they valued on earth. However, the risen Saviour comforts them in their tribulation with the promise: “Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (St. Matt, xxviii. 20.)

1st. Consider the purpose of this promise. Our Lord after His resurrection intends to strengthen His faithful servants that they may not grow wavering and pusillanimous in the season of suffering, when the cross presses upon them. He would have them remember what a mighty Protector and Helper they have at their side; He desires them furthermore to be diligent in the practice of virtue and good works, not forgetful that He is ever near them, that He sees all that they do and rejoices in their acts of virtue. Finally He designs to warn them against sin and wrongdoing, since the thought of His ever-abiding presence must surely prove a powerful deterrent, nay, the most powerful of all deterrents from thoughts and deeds of a reprehensible nature. Most consoling, most invigorating consciousness of the presence of my Saviour! Here we may well quote the beautiful words of the great ascetic: “When Jesus is with us all is well and nothing seems difficult. If Jesus be with thee no enemy can harm thee. Whosoever finds Jesus finds a good treasure, yea, a good above all good.” (Imit. B. ii. ch. 8.) If, my soul, mindful of this promise of your risen Lord, you were continually to walk in the presence of your God and Saviour, how patient you would be in suffering, how strong in temptation, how full of courage and confidence in danger! Why do you think so seldom of His presence? Is it perhaps because you have reason to dread rather than to desire it?

2d. Consider the greatness of this promise. Our Lord does not say that He will send an angel to replace Him, as He once promised Moses that He would do; no, on the contrary He expressly says: “I will Myself be with you, I, your omnipotent, infinite God, under whose protection you will be well defended; I, your victorious Saviour, who triumphed over death, over hell and the devil; I, your Master, of whose boundless power, charity, and bounty you have so often had proof. I will be with you with My grace, My assistance, My consolation. I will be with you not only unseen but visible under the appearance of bread, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.” Ponder this truth, my soul, especially the last point. God is really and actually with you; He is in your house, in your immediate neighborhood, in your heart. Have you so acted, so lived hitherto, have you so spent each day and night as becomes one who can say: Jesus is with me really and actually under the form of bread?

3d. Consider the extent of this promise. “I am with you,” thus our risen Lord declares, “all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Thus Jesus is perpetually with us. He does not consent to abide with us merely for twenty, thirty years, no, not for a hundred, a thousand years, but for an unlimited period, as long as the world lasts. And as He is with us at all times, so He is with us in all places. Go where we will, our Lord is ever near us. If there is no one near and dear to you, if all have forsaken you, friends and relatives, you are not alone, for Jesus is with you. He is with you in life, and He is with you in death. He never, never abandons you, unless indeed you first abandon Him. Alas! this too often is the case. Our Lord does not deem it too long to abide with us until the consummation of the world, and is it too much for you to continue faithful to Him during the few years of your life in the cloister? He is with you everywhere, yet you are inclined to forsake Him when obedience calls you to go whither your inclination does not lead you. No, let it not be so, for wheresoever you go, you do not go alone; Jesus is with you; He is always with you, and where He is, as Thomas a Kempis says, there is paradise.

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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True Comfort Is to Be Sought in God alone.

Do with me, O Lord, whatever Thou pleasest; dispense to me either good or evil, health or sickness, life or death, prosperity or adversity, consolations or trials; Thou wilt find me disposed, with the assistance of Thy grace, to receive all things indifferently from Thy fatherly hand, with patience, with submission, with joy, with love and thanksgiving. In one thing, alone, Thou wilt not admit of indifference, and that is, in the business of my salvation. Overwhelm me, therefore, with every misfortune, provided Thou art pleased to preserve me from sin; take from me all riches except those of Thy grace; and in depriving me of all, deprive me not of Thyself; be Thou always my portion, both for time and eternity. Amen. – Thomas à Kempis – Imitation of Christ Bk III, Ch XVII prayer.

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April Devotion: The Holy Ghost

Virtue to practice: Patience

Vexilla Regis prodeunt

The royal banners forward go;
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow,
Where Life for sinners death endured,
And life by death for man procured.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled, Water flowed, and Blood.

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
‘Amidst the nations, God,’ saith he,
‘Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.’

O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy Limbs should find their rest.

On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung:
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

O Cross, our one reliance, hail,
Thou glory of the saved, avail*
To give fresh merit to the Saint,
And pardon to the penitent.

To Thee, Eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
Whom by the Cross Thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.

Vexilla Regis pródeunt,
Fulget Crucis mystérium,
Qua vita mortem pértulit,
Et morte vitam prótulit.

Quæ vulneráta lánceæ
Mucróne diro, críminum
Ut nos laváret sórdibus,
Manávit unda et sánguine.

Impléta sunt quæ cóncinit
David fidéli cármine,
Dicéndo natiónibus:
Regnávit a ligno Deus.

Arbor decóra et fúlgida,
Ornáta regis púrpura,
Elécta digno stípite
Tam sancta membra tángere.

Beáta, cuius bráchiis
Prétium pepéndit sæculi,
Statéra facta córporis,
Tulítque prædam tártari.

O Crux, ave, spes única,
Gentis redémptæ glória!*
Piis adáuge grátiam,
Reísque dele crímina.

Te, fons salútis, Trínitas,
Colláudet omnis spíritus:
Quibus Cricis victóriam
Largíris, adde præmium. Amen.

(ex. Breviario Romano)

*Instead of: ‘Thou Glory of the saved,’ during Passiontide, say: ‘This Holy Passiontide‘, during the Paschal Season: ‘Thou joy of Eastertide‘, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: ‘On this triumphant day.

An indulgence of 5 years.

A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this hymn throughout an entire month (S.C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S.P.Ap., April 29, 1934).

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