Our Spiritual Armor.
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.
Our Spiritual Armor.
We are living in an age of compendiums, hand books, and “short cuts” to learning. Information in various spheres of science, art, literature and philosophy is compressed into manuals for the handy use of the seeker after knowledge.
Such books assuredly serve a useful purpose. They save much time and readily bring to the grasp of the inquirer the conclusions of authorities in the world of scholarship.
But have you ever called to mind that every child in our Catholic schools is presented with a convenient summary of knowledge and conclusions on questions of the greatest moment to every human being? This book is the Catechism. It is one of the most useful compendiums of wisdom and true enlightenment. For it informs the mind on eternal things, it contains statements and declarations about truths which never pass away, it propounds doctrines as lasting as the adamantine hills.
The Catholic child does not merely con and “learn by heart” the answers in the Catechism. The book is thoroughly explained in the class-room. Its terms and expressions, some of which are seldom used in ordinary speech, are defined. Questions concerning the doctrine set forth and the truths proposed are answered by the teacher. The Catechism is taken up frequently during the week, for experience has shown that this precious book, if well thumbed and studied during school days, will prove a precious help and a strong support in after life. It will be a guide when doubts arise, when temptation beats upon the young heart, when the whispers of evil companions strive to turn the youth into the paths leading down to the shadows of death.
But what is most wonderful about this book is the solidity of its teaching, the fact that its conclusions are accepted by the millions, and that it is the result of the keenest speculations on the things of God, on Faith, on Religion, on the higher and eternal life, on virtue and the necessity of clean and upright living. The Catechism is published in many languages, it is constructed on many plans and it may develop its lessons according to various principles. But ever and always it is the same grand universal and unshakable body of teaching taught by the Church, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. What an inspiring thought this is, in an age so changing and changeable as ours, when ethical theories are constructed to-day to be rejected to morrow, when so-called teachers of the higher life spend their efforts in striking at the law of God, and in “blasting at the rock of ages!”
The Catechism is not only a book of supreme knowledge for young and old, for rich and poor, for saint and sinner. It is a book of power. It contains the strongest and most convincing appeal for righteousness. It presents this proof not in the wild shrieking fashion of the half-crazed gospeler, but in the calm light of reason, supported by the utterances of Divine Wisdom.
“Literature of power,” says De Quincey, “never dies.” The Catechism, as a book of Christian doctrine, as a compend of Christian faith and morality, and as a book of power, will never become out of date. It will never be replaced by a newer, better and simpler book of inspiration and spiritual uplift. As long as the world lasts, the sad old fashion of sin and sorrow, of unbelief and slimy temptation will be with us, and so long, too, will the Catechism bear a needed message of strength and hope to the wanderer through life’s pilgrimage.
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 Holy Victim! O Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world! Grant that I may suffer with Thee, and die with Thee, by uniting my sufferings to those which re-opened heaven to us after sin had shut it against us. Amen. – 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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