Wednesday after Sexagesima Sunday.

On Our Lord’s Passion As a Proof of the Heinousness of Sin.

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 Our Lord’s Passion As a Proof of the Heinousness of Sin.

Pass briefly in review the meditation you made yesterday, and recall to mind the conception you then formed of the justice of God the Father, exercised with such strict severity upon His divine Son. Alas! it is for our sakes that the Redeemer has rendered Himself amenable to divine justice, that He goes forth on the way to Calvary, staggering beneath the weight of the cross, burdened with our guilt and the chastisement of our guilt, to shed His blood in order to appease the justice of God. think upon this, my soul, and let your imagination picture to you the following scene:

1st. Imagine yourself about to enter in at the gate of a town where you are a stranger. You see a young man exceedingly beautiful and attractive in appearance, one who has always been a model of good conduct to all his companions, bound with cords, being led out to execution. You ask the reason of this, and you are told that this youth is the only son of the king, who has been condemned to an ignominious death because he took an apple from his father’s garden; no intercession, no entreaties were of any avail; the king was inexorable; he insisted upon the execution of the sentence once passed. How astonished you would be did you see and hear such things! You would scarcely be able to believe your eyes and your ears. You would certainly say to yourself: God forbid that I should commit any theft, of however trifling a nature, in this country! For if justice is administered in these regions in so stern and rigorous a manner that not even the king’s own son, endowed with such beauty and grace, is spared, though his offence is so trivial, what fate would befall me, an alien, were I to transgress the laws? Oh, how this king must hate and abhor the crime of theft, since he inflicts so terrible a penalty on his own son because of it. Now, my soul, let us see the practical application of this parable.

2d. Consider how it is all true in regard to the suffering Redeemer. Of a truth He is in Himself perfectly innocent, He has committed no misdeed, and the Eternal Father Himself bore witness to His being His well-beloved Son, in whom He was well pleased. Yet, notwithstanding all this, because Adam stole an apple in paradise, the garden of God, and the Son of God took upon Himself to pay the penalty of that crime, the strict justice of the Most High would not be appeased unless this His Son, His only-begotten and beloved Son, shed His own blood and died a malefactor’s death upon the cross, amid cruel mockery and unparalleled tortures. Ponder deeply, my soul, on this awful mystery of the rigor of the divine justice; and when you are sufficiently impressed by it, proceed to meditate on the next point.

3d. Consider how hateful and abominable a thing sin must be in the sight of God, how heavily it must weigh in the balance of His justice, if He punishes one sin so severely in the person of our Lord. Well may the holy Pope St. Gregory exclaim: We may gather from the shameful, the agonizing death of the Son of God what is the magnitude of the punishment due to our sins. And yet, my soul, you are not afraid to commit mortal sin against a God whom you know to hold sin in the utmost abhorrence, and to chastise it most severely. In the dominions of the king of whom we spoke above you would assuredly under no considerations have committed a theft, yet in the kingdom of the heavenly Monarch you boldly add sin to sin, although He is no less just, no less stern, and you know that His eye is ever upon you and He can at any moment carry out the sentence of death upon you. Endeavor to realize to-day the momentous gravity of sin; impress upon your mind how hateful it must be to a God who punishes it so rigorously, and in conclusion pray for yourself and your fellow Christians, that in the moment of temptation they may remember this truth.

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.

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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).

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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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