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.
Prelude.—The blessed offer up their prayers and merits around the Throne of the Lamb, in expiation for sinners who offend the sovereign majesty of God.
Meditation.—Never at any other time has the need of reparation been greater than in the century in which we live. Monasteries are filled with voluntary victims, devotion to the Sacred Heart has developed fresh vigour, and everywhere in the cloister, as in the world, holy souls feel that God asks them, above all, for expiation. Let us obey this inspiration of the Holy Spirit to His Church all the more willingly that we recognise how much we ourselves stand in need of reparation. We have committed countless sins, and we have often offended, despised, and outraged a God of infinite majesty, goodness, and generosity; so that it is just that we should do all in our power to return what we have taken from Him, to repair the injury we have done Him, and to efface the stains of such shameful ingratitude. Now, the best method of acquitting ourselves of this duty towards God is to obtain the deliverance of several souls who will praise Him in eternal glory; and in fact, by so doing, we shall expiate all our offences, since in opening the gate of heaven to these souls, we give to God, through them, the same honour which the heavenly spirits pay Him. We bless, glorify, and thank Him with them, or rather, we put them in our place to bless, glorify, and thank Him. What a fortunate exchange! Who would not profit by it?
Resolution.—Add some prayer or work of piety for the souls in purgatory, to our sacramental penance.
Aspiration.—“Make to yourselves friends in heaven.”
Blessed Mary, of Quito, saw in spirit a table covered with gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, and all kinds of precious stones, standing in an open space, and she heard a voice at the same time saying, “This treasure is at the disposal of the whole world; let those who wish take some to help them.” It was a figure of the immense treasure of indulgences always open by the Church for the benefit of the faithful. If we wish then to profit by it, either for ourselves or for others, let us strive to gain indulgences, not forgetting to apply them to the souls in Purgatory, to whom they are so useful, and who eagerly expect them of our charity. (In. Vita: B. Maria de Quito.)
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.
November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Virtues to practice: Charity and kindness.
Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that with Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.
V. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray.
O, God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins: that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.
An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if these prayers are said daily for a month (S. C. md., Sept. 15, 1888; S. P. Ap., April 25, 1934).
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