On Our Lord’s Passage over the Brook Cedron.
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 Passage over the Brook Cedron.
To-day, my soul, follow your Lord in spirit when He quits the cenacle; accompany Him as He wends His way towards Mount Olivet. It is already night. When Jesus with His apostles reached the gate, the moon had not yet risen over the mountains, and it was in a holy, recollected frame of mind that they passed in silence over the brook Cedron. Keep this picture before your eyes while you meditate on the following points:
1st. The brook Cedron was one of those mountain streams which are only full in the rainy season; at other times their waters run dry, and there is nothing but mud or stones in the bed of the torrent. On that account this brook over which Jesus went forms an excellent image of the vanity of this world, its riches, its joys, its honors. Do we not see this stream widening its banks for a certain time in the case of some individuals? Then all of a sudden its waters dry up—death comes to the worldling and all is over with him. What remains to him of the volume of waters that rushed on their headlong course—his wealth, his pleasures, his dignities? Nothing but a heap of mire, a handful of ashes in the grave and a stone over it. Wherefore happy is he who on his entrance into the priesthood or the Religious state has already crossed the brook Cedron!
2d. Represent to yourself the Saviour passing over the brook Cedron, and fancy you hear His voice saying to you: “See, O Christian soul, see Me now alone and on foot crossing this brook to-night with a terrible fate awaiting Me. Only a short time before when I came in festive pomp from Mount Olivet, I passed over it riding upon an ass, accompanied by hosannas and shouts of rejoicing, by the acclamations of the Jewish people. Now see what has become of this torrent of jubilation, this deification of My person, how quickly it has all dried up and vanished! Now they no longer want Me for their king. Instead of giving Me the title of king they designate Me as a deceiver of the people; instead of a robe of regal purple they put on Me a garment of derision; instead of a golden diadem they place on My head a crown of thorns. Learn thence, O Christian soul, how inconstant is the world; trust not in its favor; it will prove but a mountain torrent, to-day a mighty, rushing stream, to-morrow dried up and gone!”
3d. Consider that Jesus had to cross the brook Cedron before coming to the Mount of Olives, where He began to suffer for man’s redemption, and whence He ascended into Heaven. The mystic meaning attaching to this brook has already been pointed out in the two first parts. And now, my soul, if you desire to share in the saving graces purchased by our Lord’s Passion; if you desire to mount up to the celestial garden of perpetual joy; if you desire also to ascend to heaven from this world, symbolized by the Mount of Olives, then you must first of all pass over the brook Cedron; that is to say, you must renounce all attachment to the world and all worldly possessions. Is this so with you? Have you not ever, since you left the world, felt a stealthy longing for it? have you not ever returned in desire to its deceptive seductions, to the brook Cedron? Examine your conscience in regard to this, and form your resolutions for the future.
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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