Exterior Mortification.

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.

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!Our Spiritual Armor.

Exterior Mortification.

St. Paul humbly confesses that he chastised his body and kept it under subjection, lest after having preached to others, he himself became a castaway. The great Apostle thoroughly understood that as a follower of a Crucified Saviour he must love the Cross of Christ. But love of the Cross means acceptance of sufferings. Hence we find so many references in his letters to the Cross of Christ and to the tribulations which the lovers of that Cross must be ready to endure.

The necessity of bodily mortification, fasts, vigils, abstinence from certain comforts, etc., is proved to us by the teaching of God in the Sacred Scripture. It is made a condition of the supernatural, in other words, the really Christian life. No text of Holy Writ so clearly brings home to the members of Christ’s Church the need of this virtue as those recorded in St. Luke (IX, 23): “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

We should not as followers of a Redeemer, who walked the path of suffering, try to shrink from everything that causes discomfort.

The saints all teach us the utility of this weapon in the spiritual warfare. The “vince teipsum,” “conquer thyself,” is written large in the annals of sanctity. St. Francis Borgia made this virtue the measure and test of holiness, as without it no one can grow in the spirit of prayer, or chastity, or humility.

At certain seasons of the Church year, Lent and Advent, we are especially called upon to practice some bodily or exterior mortification, especially fasting. In the Preface of the Lenten season Christians are told of the advantages of these holy practices. By corporeal fasts we repress our vices and lower desires. This is a great benefit to the soul. It is also said that mortification lifts up the mind, i.e., makes it more fit to consider the things of God and of the eternal life. Finally it helps us to cultivate virtue and merits reward in God’s Kingdom.

As companions of Christ, Whose life from Bethlehem to Calvary was one of continuous privation amid labor and poverty, one long act of mortification, we should consider it a holy privilege to suffer with Him and for Him, and thus have the consolation of following Him more closely.

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.

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Of avoiding Rash Judgement.

O my God, I earnestly beseech Thee to impart to me some portion of Thy heavenly knowledge, and to grant me sufficient disinterestedness, humility, and charity, not to flatter myself, but to spare my neighbours, that I may never judge others, nor speak too much to my own advantage. Amen.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIV prayer.

_______________________________________________Sacred Heart

July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus

Virtues to practice: Simplicity, faith, liberty of spirit, cheerfulness


Prayers in honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls! I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, wash in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony, and who are to die this day. Amen.

Heart of Jesus, once in agony, pity the dying.

100 days indul.—Pius IX., Feb. 1850.

“May Thy Blood, shed for us, O Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the remission of all my sins, my negligences, my ignorance; may It strengthen, increase and preserve within me, Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and every virtue, may It bring me to everlasting life; may It deliver the souls of my parents and of all those for whom I am bound to pray.”

—St. Catharine of Sienna.


O blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my soul to purify it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my heart to inflame it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my mind to enlighten it. O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my thoughts to elevate them! O Blood of my crucified Jesus, dwell in my every action to sanctify them; in every power and faculty of my being, that all within me may exalt Thy might, proclaim Thy benefits and publish Thy mercies!


Praises to the Precious Blood.

Glory be to Jesus!
Who in bitter pains,
Poured for me the life Blood,
From His sacred veins.

Grace and life eternal
In that Blood I find;
Blessed be His compassion,
Infinitely kind!

Blessed through endless ages
Be the precious stream,
Which from endless torment
Doth the world redeem.

There the fainting spirit
Drinks of life her fill;
There, as in a fountain
Laves herself at will.

O the Blood of Christ!
It soothes the Father’s ire,
Opes the gates of heaven,
Quells eternal fire.

Abel’s blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies;
But the Blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries.

Oft as it is sprinkled
On our guilty hearts,
Satan in confusion,
Terror-Struck departs.

Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Hell with terror trembles.
Heaven is filled with joy.

Lift ye then your voices,
Swell the mighty flood
Louder still and louder,
Praise the Precious Blood!

(100 days indulgence once a day.— Pius VII. , Oct. 1815.)

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