On the Divine Omnipotence Manifested in Our Lord’s Passion.
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 Divine Omnipotence Manifested in Our Lord’s Passion.
Imagine, my soul, that you see three men led out to execution. Of two of them it may be affirmed with certainty that they are common robbers and criminals; the third is dragged to the gallows with them, and hung between the two thieves. What ignominy! Now see, it is your Lord who endures this shame; He is hung upon the gallows, nailed, that is, to the cross. Look upon Him to-day long and earnestly in the utmost depth of His abasement, in the exceeding greatness of His weakness. Behold Him a victim, deeply humiliated and utterly defenceless, given over to the mercy of His enemies! And yet, my soul, even through the gloom of this abject abasement, this extremity of weakness, that attribute shines forth which indisputably proclaims Him to be God, His divine omnipotence. O wondrous mystery of the Passion!
1st. Consider the great miracle which the omnipotence of the Crucified wrought in Nature. At one and the same time in which He hung helpless upon the cross, despised and blasphemed by the lowest rabble, even by a wretched criminal condemned for robbery and murder, at that moment of unparalleled ignominy and apparent impotence, He performs acts which surpass all the powers of the universe; for it is He, the crucified Saviour, who causes the sun, the burning orb of light, to hide its radiance, and the adamantine rocks to burst asunder with a tremendous crash; who calls the dead to come forth from their sepulchres, and without moving a finger of those hands transfixed with cruel nails and fastened to the cross, rends the heavy veil of the temple from top to bottom. O mighty Saviour! Let us not be scandalized by Thy weakness when we behold Thee on the cross, but let that cross, the sign of impotence and ignominy, be our most powerful defence against the hostile powers of nature, lightning and tempest, earthquakes and conflagrations.
2d. Consider further the great miracle which the omnipotence of the Crucified wrought on human nature. He is nailed to the cross, forsaken and helpless; He is treated as the outcast of the people; there is nothing attractive about Him; and yet, when He is lifted up upon the cross, in His omnipotence He draws all men to Him. He draws to Himself the heart of the good thief, a heart hardened by long continuance in sin, but melted by His grace. He draws to Himself the centurion, so that he openly exclaimed: “Indeed this was the Son of God!” He draws to Himself the multitude, at first so infuriated, raging in their hatred, vomiting forth maledictions. He causes them to strike their breasts in contrition, and return to the city in repentant sorrow. O all-powerful Jesus, powerful, omnipotent in Thy cross and Passion! Grant that this Thy Passion may also soften my hard heart, and grant that as then, so now by my instrumentality and that of my fellow-laborers, the hearts of obdurate sinners may be softened by virtue of the almighty power of Thy Passion.
3d. Consider finally the great miracle which the omnipotence of the Crucified wrought on the world at large. For many hundred years the greatest men of the Old Testament, the prophets, preached penance to mankind, their preaching being supported by divine judgments, their words confirmed by signs and wonders; but they spoke in vain. For three whole years our Lord taught mankind with a wisdom at which all were astonished; He performed actions, He wrought miracles which none but God Himself was capable of accomplishing, but all in vain. Twelve fishermen, a few women, and others, mostly of the poorer class, were all the converts He made. But as soon as He began to subject Himself to the shame and bitterness of the Passion, when, under the semblance of a malefactor, He expired on the disgraceful tree, then—O marvellous power of the Passion—all gives way before the crucified God. Nations and tribes abjure their idolatrous worship; wild barbarians put their necks under the yoke of the cross like gentle lambs; that which was the token of shame becomes the highest ornament on the crown of kings and emperors, and Jesus, suffering and abased, is the object of profoundest reverence, of most fervent love throughout all the world. Wherefore, my soul, bow down in wonder and admiration at this deep mystery of divine omnipotence, and make this your special petition to God to-day that the salutary effect of His all-powerful Passion may also be experienced by you and all unhappy sinners.
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.
February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)
Virtue to practice: Humility
I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ – St. Francis de Sales
An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a monh (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).
Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from where thou dost dispense thy favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for thy favors, I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share in thy glory. R. Amen.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
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