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.
3. The Parting of the Ways.
Traveling through a country district one frequently comes to a cross-road. Other ways lead off therefrom in different directions. If the traveler is not quite certain of his goal, he will stand for a while at this parting of the ways, not knowing which one to choose.
As we go through life we come occasionally to such a parting of the ways. We are brought face to face with a crisis. We must make a decision. We must choose a certain path, adopt a certain line of conduct. On a wise choice will perhaps depend subsequent peace and happiness. For the choice may have a direct influence on one’s whole after life.
It is worth while, then, to reflect before taking the step, before adopting the way you will follow. So much depends on making a good start. Many a youth sets out bravely in the morning of life with high hope to make the best of his opportunities, to be a hero in the strife, to rise to success in some work or profession. But to accomplish all this he needs certain qualities of mind and heart and body. He needs help and strength and the wisdom of books and the experience of years.
All these may come to him if he make the right start, if he choose wisely when he comes to the parting of the ways. Perhaps thus far all went well. Good parents watched over him. Experienced teachers encouraged him. Many prayed for him. He seemed to be a child with heaven’s favors upon him. But yet even for him life could not always remain full of sunshine. At some hour this life must spell warfare, a struggle against forces of evil from within and without.
Perhaps the youth is left to his own resources after leaving the sheltering care of parents and teachers. The time has come when he must make some great decision which requires strength of character. He has now come to the parting of the ways. It is a great hour for him. Shall he listen to the still, small voice of duty and conscience? Shall he act according to the principles taught him by kind parents and wise teachers? Or shall he heed the wild voice which is for the first time speaking within him, and follow that restless desire urging him into new and forbidden paths? Shall he hearken to the siren whispers of evil companions who try to cast a slur upon all he has thus far held in reverence?
Surely a great moment in the life of the youth! We may well pray that such a one’s choice will be a good and wise one and that the holy angels will give him strength to conquer his enemies. For if in a moment of weakness, of spiritual cowardliness and faint-heartedness, he prefer the wrong path, perhaps a golden future will be blighted. No chance then to gain the strength and experience and wisdom required to achieve the better things in life’s battle. Hence it is, that we encourage our children to learn the art of self-conquest. If such a habit be formed in youth it will be easier later on to resist the voice of temptation and to remain faithful to the call of duty. It will be easier to select the right path when facing the parting of the ways.
Yet, even if in a weak moment, he may have entered upon the primrose path that leads to everlasting death, there still remains hope that he may find again the road to his Father’s house. For the Lord Christ, who once said to a certain young man: “Young man I say to thee, arise,” that same Saviour is ever ready to listen to the prayer for help and pardon. He will be at hand to guide the wanderer back to the fold and to give him new courage and strength to persevere in righteousness. Yet, though it be sweet and consoling to hear the Master’s word of pardon, after having offended Him by sin, still more sweet and consoling is it never to have left Him and never to have listened to His enemies. Hence we may well pray that when some loved one arrives at the parting of the ways, there may come to him the light and the fixed determination to take the better path, which will lead him upward, onward and forward to his God and Saviour.
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.
June Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Virtues to practice: Obedience, Piety, Dutifulness
Prayers to the Wound of the Heart of Jesus.
Blessed be the holy Wound of Thy Heart, my most sweet Jesus! Accept, O Lord, my heart and all the powers of my soul. Detach them from earthly affections. Let me lose even the remembrance of the things of this world. Cast my soul into the adorable Wound of Thy Side, into the ocean of Thy love, into the source of true life. Unite my heart for ever to Thy tender Heart, so truly that it will be impossible for me to desire what is not in conformity with Thy will. May I in all things entirely renounce my own will, and unite myself by faith, hope and charity to Thee, my Lord, my God and my Creator. Amen.
O most sweet Jesus, through the Wound of Thy Heart, pardon, I beseech Thee, all my offences against Thee by acting without sufficient purity of intention, or by following my own perverse will. I offer Thee my heart, that Thou mayest unite it to Thy Heart. Then I shall neither seek nor see anything but Thee in all things. I shall have no other will than Thine. Amen.
Jesu! Creator of the world,
Of all mankind Redeemer blest,
True God of God, in Whom we see
Thy Father’s image clear expressed!
Thee, Saviour, love alone constrained
To make our mortal flesh Thine own,
And, as a second Adam, come
For the first Adam to atone.
That selfsame love which made the sky,
Which made the sea and stars, and earth,
Took pity on our misery,
And broke the bondage of our birth.
O Jesus! in Thy Heart divine
May that same love for ever glow!
Forever mercy to mankind
From that exhaustless fountain flow!
For this the Sacred Heart was pierced,
And both with blood and water ran –
To cleanse us from the stains of guilt,
And be the hope and strength of man.
Jesu, to Thee be glory given,
Who from Thy Heart dost grace outpour,
To Father and to Paraclete
Be endless praise for evermore. Amen.
An indulgence of 5 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, If this hymn is devoutly recited every day for a month (S.P.Ap., March 12, 1936). (Raccolta)
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