On the Conversation between Jesus and Mary in the Temple.
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.
Represent to yourself, my soul, the attractive and touching scene in the temple, when Joseph and Mary, wearied out and exhausted by their long search and their anguish and grief of heart, at last enter the sacred building. Just as they had almost given up all hope of finding the dearly loved Child, they unexpectedly descry Him, sitting in the midst of the doctors of Israel, hearing them and asking them questions. Contemplate this situation, and then meditate upon the dialogue which ensued between Jesus and Mary; it abounds in instruction for ourselves.
1st. “Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.” (St. Luke ii. 48.) Such are the words Mary addressed to Jesus. There is no reproach implied in them; no, they are really and truly an inquiry. When Mary all at once saw Jesus sitting as a teacher in the midst of the teachers of her people, and knew that for that purpose He had abandoned His Mother and foster-father, nay more, was, as it appeared, entirely forgetful of their existence, a pang shot through her heart, a sudden fear and dread lest perhaps after all the hour had already come when Jesus, who up to that time had belonged exclusively to her and to St. Joseph, would leave them and devote Himself to the instruction and redemption of the world. That was the motive of her question: “Why?” Has it, she intended to say, really come to this already? This inquiry is the outcome of unspeakable affection; it is the expression of maternal anxiety and also of intense tenderness, for she qualifies the apparent asperity of her question by adding: “Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.” Thou art our only treasure, our dearest possession, our all, and alas! to lose Thee, and now to have to part from Thee altogether, is indeed a hard trial. Endeavor, my soul, to fathom the depth of these words which Mary addresses to her Son; ponder upon their secret meaning, the tender solicitude they express; then proceed to consider the answer Jesus made:
2d. “How is it that ye sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (ver. 49.) Jesus takes up the latter part of Mary’s speech, “we sought Thee,” and replies gravely and kindly: “How is it that ye sought Me?” It is not necessary for you to seek your Child, as if He were to remain always with you, to be with you alone, as your fond affection would fain have it, for the presentiment that awakes within thy heart, O Mary, is quite correct; this Child does not belong exclusively to you, although you certainly have more claim upon Him than any one else; He is only confided to your loving care for a short time, not for always. This Child is not only to be found in the house at Nazareth, but in that one also which is the house of His Father. Thus you see, my soul, how Jesus prepares Mary and Joseph for the separation from Himself, in order that they may be able to acquiesce in silent submission to the will of their heavenly Father, when He, to their great grief, asserts His right and claims His only-begotten Son for Himself. Our Lord’s exalted destiny, His mission, His supernatural dignity are to-day made clearly apparent to His earthly parents.
What a deep, mystic signification lies below the surface of this brief dialogue! Consider further:
3d. Never were there upon earth two souls united by a closer, more tender affection than the souls of Jesus and Mary. But in the sight of both there is something more sacred than the love that binds them together; it is the will of their heavenly Father. This is announced by the divine Child to-day to His virginal Mother for the first time, and Mary submits in silence and resignation to the divine dictates, offering to God and to mankind the first sacrifice of her maternal heart. How much instruction you may find in this, and what a beautiful example for your imitation!
Now, my soul, you have contemplated in turn the five joyful mysteries of the holy Rosary. Does not each one contain in itself a plenitude of divine grace and wisdom? In conclusion recall this briefly to mind, in order that the meditations you have made upon the childhood and early years of our Lord may have the permanent effect of enabling you to recite the joyful mysteries of the Rosary with greater devotion, and more appreciation of their meaning.
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. 27th day for anyone praying Total Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort that ends February 2nd!
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