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.
Unusual privileges and blessings that have been enjoyed for a long time easily lose their value to those sharing them. They are gradually accepted as a matter of course. Is there not danger that this may be the case also in the spiritual life and as regards the fine gifts of God? We have so many advantages and blessings in the spiritual order and they come to us so readily that we may be tempted to disregard their value and wonderful significance. Every day, throughout Christendom, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered on countless altars. It is celebrated in the magnificent cathedral and in the little country church; in the populous city and in the lonely hamlet. We dare say that often, very often indeed, the dwellers nearby pay little heed to the holy mysteries celebrated on these altars. Many Catholics, strange to say, find no time, no disposition, no motive urging them on to enter the church or chapel on week-days and assist at the solemnity. Why is this? One reason may have already been given. The Mass, if the expression may be pardoned, has become something commonplace. It is of every-day occurrence. And so it is nothing unusual and nothing remarkable to many of the faithful.
But let us reason for a moment. Can things of eternal significance ever lose their value? Does the gift of God become less useful and less precious because it is so freely offered to us? The Mass is the renewal of the adorable sacrifice of Christ, the Son of God, on Golgotha. His blessed death on the Rood brought in a new era for the children of men, the era of love, when we may all say: “Abba, Father.” For by the Cross on Calvary sin was taken away, our bonds were broken, and man once more became a child of God. Then God became indeed our Father to whom we may now have access on account of the death and redeeming work of His well-beloved Son. These gracious memories are renewed at every Holy Mass. Christ, our Saviour, offers Himself anew for the sins of men in the oblation of the altar.
How, then, can the Holy Mass be shorn of its tremendous power and consequences because it is offered up daily “from the rising to the setting of the sun?” Let us meditate at times on these sublime truths. Time was, in the days gone by, when you went to Mass every day. It was when the heart was young, when you attended the Catholic school. Presence at Mass then, assuredly, did not seem a burden to you. You were told of its meaning for the Christian wayfarer through life. The Mass, you were taught, brought you many blessings. You were privileged to kneel in the adorable presence of your Saviour. You saw Him lifted up for your comfort and healing by the hands of the priest. The same graces and spiritual favors still reward the devout assistance at the hallowed Sacrifice.
The Mass is a reparation for sin, for individual sin. It may be offered as a petition for grace. You may also use it as an occasion to thank your God for favors received. You may be present at it to fulfill the duty imposed upon all of us of praising God. It may be offered for the living and for the dead. May not these simple thoughts help you to a new resolve of attending more frequently on week-days at this Holy Sacrifice which was foreshadowed far back in the morning of time by the sacrifice of Melchisedech, and is now daily renewed for the hope and uplift of the children of the Church militant?
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.
Of supporting injuries, and who is proved to be truly patient.
II. The better thou disposest thyself for suffering, the more wisely dost thou act, and the more dost thou merit; and thou wilt bear it more easily, thy mind being well prepared for it, and accustomed to it.
Do not say, I cannot take these things from such a man, and things of this kind are not to be suffered by me, for he has done me a great injury, and he upbraids me with things I never thought on; but I will suffer willingly from another, and as far as I shall judge fitting for me to suffer.
Such a thought is foolish, which considers not the virtue of patience, nor by whom it shall be crowned; but rather weighs the persons, and the offences committed. – Thomas à Kempis – Imitation of Christ Bk III, Ch XIX.
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)
Copyright © Holy Cross Publications, 2012 – 2016. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holy Cross Publications with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.