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.
The Communion of Saints.
Many of us do not appreciate the consoling message brought home by that article of the Creed which reads: “I believe in the Communion of Saints.” This part of our belief reminds us of the close union that exists at this moment between the three vast empires of the Church of God—on earth, in Heaven, in Purgatory. The souls that belong to these three empires are well-nigh innumerable and yet they are interested in one another’s welfare and happiness, and try to promote one another’s well-being.
Such is the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. We may remember, perhaps, what an impression the teaching made upon us when we first learned it from the Catechism. We were told that the saints of God in Heaven were related to us because they be longed to the great family of which we too were members. They had already finished the good fight and had departed to the kingdom where there will be no more toil and pain and struggle. And it was likewise said that other souls whom we once knew, and who are now no more, might be helped by us. These were the children of the Church Suffering in Purgatory. No doubt, the teaching made a great impression on us at the time.
But we might not have been told one very important fact regarding the Communion of Saints. This is that the society and relationship, and mutual regard of those souls for one another, have lasted through nineteen centuries. There have been other organizations of men on earth which endured for a long time. But gradually owing to lack of interest on the part of the more distinguished members, or on account of the death of a ruler, or through dissension or warfare, these unions and kingdoms ceased to exist. They lacked the vital, permanent bond, a bond which the roll of the centuries could not break, and which the going and coming of men could not dissolve.
Here, then, is an inspiring thought concerning the Communion of Saints; it is a union of immortal souls, more numerous than those belonging to any other society or organization, and it will endure to the end of time. As long as precious souls are to be gained for the Kingdom of Christ—so long will the triple kingdom endure. Now what has made this great spiritual kingdom invincible in the wreck of ages, and what has lent it its strength to outlast the dissolution of earthly realms? It is the fact that Christ’s kingdom is built on the greatest motive power that can influence man—on the enduring principle of love. It was His one desire to sanctify men and to lift them up to the dignity of children of God, and finally to admit them to the beatific vision. For this high and holy purpose He founded His empire.
Earthly kingdoms, however, have all too often been builded on the unstable foundation of force and tyranny, on the doctrine that might is right. They were sometimes erected on the bodies and blood of men who were forced to fight and lay down their lives that others might gain the glory of conquest. How different the kingdom of the God-man, the Church of Christ composed of the three vast divisions of souls—all of them called to the same blessed and eternal inheritance. The teaching concerning the Communion of Saints is one of the many strong and inspiring helps proffered by Mother Church to her children who are still on the rugged upward path to the City Eternal.
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.
III. He is not a truly patient man, who will suffer no more than he thinks good, and from whom he pleaseth.
The truly patient man minds not by whom it is he is exercised, whether by his superior, or by one of his equals, or by an inferior; whether by a good and holy man, or by one that is perverse and unworthy.
But how much soever and how often soever any adversity happens to him from anything created, he takes it all with equality of mind, as from the hand of God, with thanksgiving, and esteems it a great gain.
For nothing, how little soever, that is suffered for God’s sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God. – 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)
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