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.—Let us represent to ourselves the saints in heaven, occupied in offering without ceasing to God their hymns of thanksgiving and praise.
Meditation.—Gratitude is the first of our duties towards God, and therefore let us consider what we have received from God, and the infinite blessings which He showers upon us every day of our lives. Can we imagine anything of a higher order than the gifts of grace, which raise us above our own nature, to make us participators of God’s? Can we count the blessings with which God has loaded us ? and nevertheless it is a God of infinite majesty Who showers them upon us, so that we cannot pride ourselves upon them, or attribute any merit to ourselves. He gives them to us with admirable love and mercy, intending them to be of marvellous utility for us. Christian souls who think seriously of all these things have no difficulty in understanding that they are obliged to render perpetual thanksgiving to God, and what better thanksgiving could they give than that which is offered for them by the blessed in heaven. Let us then try to deliver as many souls as we can from the flames of Purgatory, so that in heaven they may never cease praising, blessing, and exalting our infinitely bountiful God, Who overwhelms us with His blessings, for what better thanksgiving could He receive from vile and perishable creatures, than those which are offered by glorious and immortal souls?
Resolution.—Let us often excite in our hearts deep sentiments of gratitude for the blessings of God, and then have recourse to devotion to the souls in Purgatory, in order to acquit ourselves of this duty to the divine Majesty.
Aspiration.—Let us live always in thanksgiving. (Epistles of St. Paul.)
VISION OF ST. MAGDALEN OF PAZZI.
One day, when she was praying before the Blessed Sacrament she saw the soul of one of her sisters detained in Purgatory, come out of the earth. She was clothed in a mantle of fire, which hid a robe of dazzling whiteness, and she remained a whole hour at the foot of the altar, adoring in the most profound annihilation God hidden under the eucharistic species. Magdalen having wished to understand the meaning of this, God made her know that this soul was condemned to make this hour’s adoration every day, clothed in a mantle of fire, to punish her for having often lost communions through her own fault, and that this robe of such dazzling whiteness was won by her virginity, and caused her great satisfaction. This hour’s adoration, which Margaret saw her make, was the last of her expiation, and at its expiration she saw her ascend towards heaven.
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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