On Another of our Lord’s Consolatory Utterances.
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 Another of our Lord’s Consolatory Utterances.
Set before your mind the great happiness which the apostles had enjoyed up to the period of which we are speaking. They lived in the closest intercourse, the most familiar companionship with our Lord; they sat with Him at table, they accompanied Him on His journeyings through Palestine, they listened to the wondrous doctrines that fell from His lips, they were eye-witnesses of all His marvellous works. And now are they all at once to lose this, are they no longer to enjoy the intimate intercourse, the close association with Jesus? What a grievous loss! Not so; they will rather have reason to say: “Our loss is our true gain;” for only listen to the comforting promises which are made to them.
1st. “If any man love Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him.” (St. John xiv. 23.) This is what our Lord says to His apostles. Hitherto they rejoiced in the love of Jesus, the Son of God; from hence forth they are to take delight in another love, the love of God the Father. O marvellous consolation! Our Lord departs, leaving His disciples behind, leaving them to all appearances orphans; yet behold! at the very time of His departure He makes them far richer, far happier than other men; He gives them a Father. This Father is none other than God Himself, the heavenly Father; a Father too who loves them tenderly as His own children. However our Lord makes one condition: Consider this, my soul, and ascertain whether that condition is fulfilled in your case; it is this: “If any man love Me and will keep My word.”
2d. Consider the further promise our Lord gives to His disciples: “We will come to Him and make our abode with Him.” (v. 23.) Up to this time the apostles had lived under one roof with our Lord, and now, when they were to be deprived of that great happiness, He promises them a yet greater, more wondrous, more transcendent privilege: They are to be His dwelling-place, and not His only, but also the dwelling-place of their heavenly Father. O incomprehensible charity of our God! O tremendous dignity of the Christian! To be the abode of the triune God! Impress this truth deeply on your mind to-day; immerse yourself in this ocean of divine love; realize the marvellous ennobling of man, the magnificent recompense which is the guerdon of those who keep the law of God!
3d. Consider in addition what mortal sin is to the Christian. It transforms the dwelling-place of the Most High into an abode of devils. It banishes the three divine Persons of the Holy Trinity and gives ingress to Satan and his hellish crew. It robs the Christian of a privilege which he shares with the angels. It deprives him of a favor which he has in common with the cherubim, namely, the closest, most intimate union with the triune God. Can it possibly be, my soul, that you ever thus expel your God from His dwelling? Yes, this has happened not infrequently; you have driven out the Most High God in order – the thought is almost too horrible to be put into words, but alas! it is only too true – in order to give admittance to the filthiest of beasts, to sin, to the most abhorrent vice. Bewail this prevarication on your part; never weary of doing penance for the past, and let it be the constant theme of your reflections how in atonement for such shameful conduct you may now so order the dwelling-place of your soul as to make it a beauteous, an agreeable temple for your celestial Guest.
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.
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.
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,
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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