Thursday after Sexagesima Sunday.

On the Sorrowful Leave which Our Lord Took of His Mother before His 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 Sorrowful Leave which Our Lord Took of His Mother before His Passion.

Represent to yourself, my soul, the touching scene when our Lord took leave of His beloved Mother. Imagine that you behold the holy Virgin who loved her divine Son with the deepest, tenderest affection, at the moment when that Son came to her with the terrible tidings: “My hour is come; I am about to enter upon My Passion, to go to meet death.” O words of dread, how you must have pierced as with a sharp sword the loving heart of the Mother of God! Reflect, my soul, upon this melancholy scene.

1st. Consider how in all probability the holy Virgin raised her eyes streaming with tears towards heaven, and in the first burst of maternal grief uttered this fervent petition: “O my Father, is it not possible for Thee to redeem the human race otherwise than by the awful death that awaits my dearest Son? I beseech Thee, let this chalice pass. And if it be Thy holy will that He should drink it, grant, heavenly Father, grant, my beloved Son, that I may drink of it also. Yes, with Thee, my divine Child, I fain would suffer, I fain would die. And if Thou dost not concede this favor that I ask of Thee, then call me first out of this life, so that I may not witness Thy agony. But if this should not be in accordance with Thy holy will, at least give me Thy last benediction, in order that I may be enabled to bear this grief without my heart being broken by its intensity.”

2d. Consider what we may imagine the divine Redeemer to have replied to this touching entreaty on His Mother’s part: “It is indeed the will of God that I should drink the bitter chalice of suffering and death. Soon thy virginal eyes will behold Me pass away from this mortal life. The Father wills it, and His will is sacred to us. But it is not His will that thou shouldst drink of this chalice and follow Me to death. I must leave thee behind for the solace of My apostles and disciples, that by thee they may be encouraged and strengthened to believe on Me. Nor is it the will of God that thou shouldst die before Me, for in that case thy pure, immaculate, holy soul must go down into the shades of Limbo, since only by My death and resurrection will the portals of Heaven be opened to all believers. One request however will be granted to thee; I will give thee My blessing; it will fortify thee to bear bravely the Passion of thy Son; nay more, in virtue of this blessing thou wilt be My only consolation in the hour of death; thou wilt endure to the end, standing beneath the cross until I draw My last breath.”

3d. Now my soul, contemplate in spirit the blessed Virgin; see how she humbly kneels, her countenance bedewed with tears, to receive her Son’s last benediction, and give Him one last maternal embrace. O sorrowful parting, the like of which was never seen in all the world’s history! O saddest separation, more bitter than death itself! This was the first wound inflicted by the sword of sorrow on both the Redeemer and His beloved Mother. Mary’s soul was then indeed pierced by the sword foretold by holy Simeon; it was the introduction to her dolors, the first plunge into that ocean of sorrow in which the maternal heart of the Mother of God was immersed during her Son’s Passion, and which merited for her the title of Queen of Martyrs, bestowed on her by the Church. You, however, my soul, must remember with deep contrition, that by this first sad separation your Lord expiated your first departure from God, your first fall into sin. Wherefore implore Jesus and Mary to-day, for the sake of what they suffered at this cruel parting, to have compassion on all those who are in danger, by their first fall into sin, of separating themselves from Jesus and from His blessed Mother Mary.

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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