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.
Work, Not Worry.
“Thou shalt eat thy bread in the sweat of thy brow” is the command laid upon us all since Adam plunged the whole race into misery by the commission of sin. From this law of work no one is to be exempt. We must all do our appointed task and bear our burdens to the end of our days. Workless days and years without trial and toil are promised to no one in this vale of tears.
We need not believe, however, that work whether it be of hand or mind, must be accompanied by worry and constant fret and anxiety. Worry about work and performance of daily duty may, in fact, vitiate the work and even deprive it of merit in the sight of God. We are told to work, but there is no injunction to worry. Restlessness and disturbance of soul are nowhere in Holy Scripture laid upon us as a duty. In fact, we are told to possess our souls in peace. Wretchedness and agony of mind are often said in Holy Writ to be the portion of the sinner, but not of the one who faithfully works at his appointed task.
We see here a gentle invitation to work in peace of soul and even to find joy in work. Moses leading the chosen people out of the land of Egypt, Isaias and Jeremias convincing them of their sins and infidelity, Paul preaching to the crowds gathered at the pagan shrines, Jesus at the carpenter’s bench in Nazareth—they all worked and strove in different ways—but worry and fret and despondency were not necessary accompaniments of the Divine Will which each one obeyed in his own manner.
How often we allow useless worry and blighting thoughts of despondency to creep into our minds and cripple or vitiate our endeavors! What advantage is there in giving way to discouragement when it neither lifts our burden an inch, nor advances our work even one little bit towards completion. Worry takes the keen edge from the enjoyment which the normal person should find in work. For work, even work “in the sweat of one’s brow,” conduces to joy and satisfaction. The mandate given in Paradise does not forbid man to find comfort and peace in working either for one’s self or for others.
Work with a “pure intention” and your work will meet with a two-fold prize: among men and in Heaven. The pictures representing Christ at the carpenter’s bench depict Him with a joyful, serene countenance. Christ understood the dignity of manual labor. Work from a sense of duty, work because this is the law of life and progress, work with a good motive and with peace of mind—and the ugly demon worry will find no abode with you.
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.
That temporal Miseries are to be borne with Patience after the Example of Jesus Christ.
O! How great thanks am I obliged to return to Thee, for having vouchsafed to show me and all the faithful, a right and good way to an everlasting kingdom.
For Thy life is our way: and by holy patience we walk on to Thee, who art our crown.
If Thou hadst not gone before and instructed us, who would have cared to have followed?
Alas! how many would have staid afar off, and a great way behind, if they had not before their eyes Thy excellent example?
Behold we are still tepid, notwithstanding all the miracles and instructions we have heard: what then would it have been, if we had not this great light to follow Thee ? – Thomas à Kempis – Imitation of Christ Bk III, Ch XVIII.
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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