On the Journey of the Child Jesus to Jerusalem.
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.
On the Journey of the Child Jesus to Jerusalem.
To-day, my soul, you are invited to betake yourself in spirit to Jerusalem; on every road leading thither, from the north, the south, the east, and the west, you will observe numerous companies of pious pilgrims, going up to the temple upon Mount Sion to keep the Feast of the Passover. For the most part they form processions, singing psalms as they wend their way to the chosen city of David, and amongst them you will discern one fair as an angel, the Son of David, the divine Child Jesus. Place Him distinctly before your eyes and then consider:
1st. The holy joy, the profound devotion of this divine Pilgrim. If an earthly son rejoices to return to his parents’ house after an absence of many years, how greatly must Jesus have rejoiced to be able again to meet His heavenly Father in His house, to go into the temple of God. And if at the sight of the sacred city of David, and the magnificent temple on Sion’s hill, the pious pilgrims were deeply affected and shed tears of holy devotion, what words can describe the fervent devotion, the recollection, the edifying demeanor of the Child Jesus, the holiest, the greatest of all the pilgrims, who then went up for the first time to celebrate the feast in Jerusalem. Doubtless all the other pilgrims in His company loved to see amongst them the beauteous boy and were edified by witnessing His devotion. Would that we who are Priests and Religious might serve as a source of edification, like the Child Jesus, and not of scandal, through our whole demeanor, our every movement and gesture, when we leave our Nazareth, that is, the place of our solitude and seclusion, and mingle with our fellow men on the highways of the world! St. Francis used to exhort his disciples: Let us walk through the busy town with such gravity and recollection as thereby to preach a sermon to all who see us.
2d. Consider the length of time that our Lord remained in the temple. The time which His parents, pious as they were themselves, allowed Jesus for His devotions was too short to satisfy Him. He would have preferred to remain, like Samuel, altogether in the house of His Father. There He was happy, there He felt at home, there the hours flew by only too quickly while He, a boy but twelve years of age, was at prayer. And can it be that you, who have grown to man’s estate, you who have grown gray in the service of God, find the time long and wearisome which you spend in the house of the Lord? An hour in the choir seems to you almost an eternity! The time goes quickly enough when you are talking with seculars in the parlor, but so slowly, oh so slowly when you hold converse with God! Whence is this? Why was it not so when you were young, when you were in the novitiate, during the first years of your life as a Priest? Do you perhaps feel no longer that you are in your Father’s house?
3d. Consider the apparent disobedience of Jesus towards Joseph and Mary. He remains behind in the temple without their knowledge, at the risk of causing them real distress. Yet observe: He stays behind without their knowledge in order not to be considered guilty of an act of disobedience, as He would have been had they expressly told Him to leave Jerusalem when they did, and not remain there alone after their departure. Joseph and Mary knew nothing of His intention, and Jesus left them in ignorance of it, because He had now to obey and to serve a higher, a greater Father, His Father in Heaven. How grand a lesson our Lord teaches you here by His example! For twelve years He is in subjection to His earthly parents, for twelve years He obeys them dutifully and humbly, but at the end of those years, when the time has come when it is a question of serving God, of promoting His praise and glory, even the best and holiest parents, even such parents as Mary and Joseph must take a second place. Nay, our Lord does not even shrink from causing them sorrow and anxiety for a brief period, in order to do more for the service of God. Here we see Jesus practising what He taught later on: “He that loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me.” (St. Matt. x. 37.) The example of our Lord’s conduct in this respect when He was twelve years of age is a great consolation, and affords much peace of mind to the perfect Religious, who for the sake of serving God more perfectly renounced all inordinate affection for his parents and relatives; but for the half-hearted Religious, or for Priests who still retain too much attachment to “flesh and blood,” and who consequently can never offer an undivided holocaust to their heavenly Father, it is a very serious and forcible warning and reproof.
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.
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
Let Us Pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.
Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
– Raccolta 113
An indulgence of 7 years.A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name
O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. You are the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that your Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis
Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:
“The Golden Arrow”
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.
Prayer in honor of the Holy Name
O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.
Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you; may I die for you; may I be wholly yours, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for your love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether yours; yours in life, and yours in death, when I hope by your help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to you; Jesus and Mary, I love you, and I give and deliver up to you my whole soul.
The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)
P.S. 21th day for anyone praying Total Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort that ends February 2nd!
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