Exhortation to Love and Devotion for the Holy Angels – continued.

Exhortation to Love and Devotion for the Holy Angels – continued.

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.

Exhortation to Love and Devotion for the Holy Angels.

Trusting, then, solely in Jesus, in the protection of His most holy Mother, and in the powerful arid charitable assistance of the holy angels, I dedicate this little work to the glory of those blessed spirits. Willingly would I have gone from city to city, and from village to village, publishing the goodness of the angels, and the motives which oblige us to love them. Gladly would I have spoken of them in the ears of all men had it been in my power, and cried aloud everywhere, both in public resorts and in all other places, “Come ye all, and join in love and devotion to the angels.” But at least, since this is not possible, I publish these pages, that they may supply for my silence, and reach where I cannot make myself heard; so that, being myself incapable of any great thing, or, to speak more correctly, being unable to do anything at all, I may at least do what I can, in the power of God’s grace, to inspire the hearts of men with love for the angelic choirs.

In old time the divine Chrysostom, reflecting on the misery of the world, expressed a wish that those words of Ecclesiastes (i. 2), “Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity,” which so emphatically mark its nothingness, were written up in large characters in public places, on the gates of cities, on the doors of houses, everywhere. And for my part, I would wish that the words of that great Pope, St Leo, “Confirmate amicitias cum sanctis angelis,” “Make friendships with the holy angels,” should be written up in the streets of towns and villages, in all our churches, in all apartments and private chambers; that everywhere there should be persons whose business it was to repeat them again and again; that no preachers should ever deliver a sermon without proclaiming them aloud; and that they should be constantly introduced into private conversation.

Do what we will, we shall never worthily acquit ourselves of our duties towards these amiable spirits. Hence it is that the holy Fathers omit nothing which may lead us to honour and love them. Sometimes they press us to cultivate their holy love, and form sweet friendships with them, familiarising ourselves with their company; sometimes they exhort us to pay our homage to them, and to honour them to the best of our ability. Sometimes they remind us not to forget their presence, to be careful to respect them, to think of them, and hold converse with them; and in other places, they charge us to be exceedingly thankful to them for their kindness, and never let the memory of it be effaced from our minds: in short, they use all their endeavours to excite us to practise so fitting a devotion.

The heavenly St Denis, who has written so lovingly of them, delights in assuming the title of Philangelus, that is to say, the Friend of the Angels. This man of God, contemporary of the Apostles, and disciple of the great St. Paul, full of the apostolic spirit, and of the love of the angels, who are the Apostles of Heaven, and coadjutors of apostolic men on earth, in order to demonstrate to us and to all posterity his zeal for these admirable spirits, publicly takes the appellation of their friend, and inscribes it in his writings, that all the world may know it.

Let each man desire what he will; for my part, if there be in the world an enviable title, to my taste it is that of Philangelus, the Friend of Angels. O title far surpassing that of monarch or sovereign! O quality more precious than gold, than topazes, and all the most splendid jewels this world affords! Is there anything one ought not willingly to do and to suffer to acquire so glorious an attribute? O spirits worthy of all love! my highest ambition shall ever be to attain the exalted honour of your holy friendship. I love you, and desire to love you; but make me to love you more. I have nothing to offer more valuable than my heart: I give it you, then, and place it in your hands, that you may direct it, and mould it to pure love; that it may love in unison with you, and may love only what you love, and as you love—God only. I have nothing more precious than my life: I dedicate it to your glory; and I should reckon myself too happy were I to lose it for your honour in honour of God; at least, I have dedicated every moment of it to God for your glory. I desire to praise you unceasingly, in life, in death, and after death. I possess nothing larger than my desires. Ah! they are all yours, and I could wish that the whole earth might echo to your praises; that everywhere there were temples, and in all these temples altars consecrated to you; everywhere congregations, processions established, sermons, preachers employed, pens devoted to your service; that everywhere your pictures were displayed; everywhere festivals celebrated, offices composed in your honour; holy fraternities of persons whose profession it was to make you known, to remind men of your sweet presence, and lead them to salute you, and whose great business it should be speak of you, and to call upon all the world to love you, and to love God only in you, who is the Great All, who alone is to be honoured in all things.

But since such things surpass my power, I will at least do all I can; at least I will declare in these pages that yon are all-amiable, all-loving, and, alas! very little loved. I will cry aloud to all who read them, “Come ye and join in love and devotion to the angels.” O ye men, love the angels; they are friends pre-eminently faithful, powerful advocates and protectors, most wise masters, fathers, brothers, all filled with love for us. They are the patrons, protectors, and advocates of all men without distinction, of every state and of every class. Love the angels, ye apostolic men; they are the heavenly missionaries of Paradise. Love the angels, ye preachers and doctors, for they are the adepts in heavenly science, and in the ravishing eloquence of eternity. Love the angels, ye who are the priests of the Lord; it is by their hands that the Sacrifice is offered to the Divine Majesty. Love the angels, ye who dwell in the retirement of cloisters, or in the seclusion of solitude; these admirable spirits are always retired in God, and always behold His face. Love the angels, ye who appear in public, who live amidst the world; these pure intelligences abide there with you. Love the angels, ye married persons; the example of the holy Archangel Raphael, who conducted Tobias, admirably displays the care they take of your state. Love the angels, ye widows and orphans; for none may be compared to them in the charitable help they give to those who need. Love the angels, O virgins—yes, I repeat it, love the angels with fervour, O ye virgins; they are the great friends of virginity; nay, they are its admirers, beholding this precious treasure in fragile vessels, and creatures so weak living on earth as they themselves live in heaven. Love the angels, O ye just; they are the guides of holiness. Love the angels, O ye sinners; they are for you a sure refuge. Love the angels, ye who are afflicted, who are poor and in misery; they are the consolation and resource of all who sorrow. Love the angels, ye rich and powerful, ye great ones of this world; these are the heavenly luminaries who will enlighten you to see that all which passes is contemptible, and that you should sigh only after a blessed eternity. Yes, O men! love the Seraphim; they are the princes of pure love. Love the Cherubim; they are the great doctors of the science of the saints. Love the Thrones; they are the patrons of true repose of soul and tranquil peace of heart. Love the Dominations; they will teach you to become masters of yourselves and of all things, raising you above all created beings by an intimate union with the Creator. Love the Virtues; they are the masters of the ways of holy perfection. Love the Powers; they are your defenders against the malice, the rage, and the power of the devils. Love the Principalities; it is they who watch so diligently over the welfare of kingdoms, states, and those who govern. Love the Archangels ; for they are zealous for the common good, and we receive at their hands benefits without number in provinces, towns, and villages, and in every part of the world. Love, in fine, the Angels of the last choir; they are stars whose celestial infiuences we feel the more often because they are nearer to us, watching over the good of each one of us in particular with an ineffable love and care. Henceforth let our love be as of fire for these pure flames of love empyreal, and let us never cease from loving those who are never weary of doing us good, and loading us with every favour.

Bless, O my God! all who are devout to Thy holy angels, and all who, on reading these pages, shall earnestly resolve to practise this devotion. Bless them with the blessing of the just, directing them along those straight paths which lead to Thee, and withdrawing them from the crooked paths of sinners. Bless them with the blessing of Abraham, giving them the spirit of sacrifice, of self-immolation, and oblation. Bless them with the blessing of Isaac, teaching them obedience and submission to Thy divine will. Bless them with the blessing of Jacob, manifesting to them the mysteries of holy religion. Bless them with the blessing of the elect, so that they may hear those sweet words, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Bless them with the blessing of these heavenly spirits, joining them to their society, and giving them to partake of their happiness. Great and august Queen of Paradise! bless them with thy loving protection, so that, all being united in one and the same great object, the glory of God only, God only may live and reign in all our hearts to everlasting ages.

Nihil Obstat:
Henricus S. Bowden.
Censor deputatus.
Imprimatur:
Edm. Can. Surmont,
Vic. Gen.
Westmonasterii,
Die 9, Martii, 1911.

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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October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.


Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

ANTIPHON.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

PRAYER TO S. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL.

Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

THE ANGEL GUARDIAN.
PRAYER
.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.
Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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