The Second Sunday in Lent.

On Our Lord’s Transfiguration.

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 Transfiguration.

To-day, my soul, you are invited to leave the hard and sorrowful way of the cross, whereon in your meditation during the past week you have followed our Lord’s foot steps, and seek rest and refreshment in the contemplation of the sublime and glorious picture unfolded before your eyes in to-day’s Gospel. Gaze in imagination on your Lord upon Thabor; see how His countenance shines as the sun, and His raiment has become white and glittering as snow. Behold Him in such glory, such majesty that the enraptured apostles would fain remain forever on Thabor that they might continually enjoy this beatific vision. If you, my soul, witnessing only in spirit the majesty of our Lord experience something of that same felicity, consider what follows:

1st. Jesus has good reasons for selecting Peter, James and John to be the witnesses of His glorification. These three were most deserving of all the apostles to be thus privileged, for none other was as firmly rooted in faith as Peter, who before any one else declared his unquestioning belief: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” (St. Matt. xvi. 16.) And that which Peter was the first to proclaim with such certitude, James was the first to seal with his blood, for he was the first of the apostles who suffered martyrdom. John testified to the truth by his life; he was the virgin apostle, the apostle of charity. Wherefore, my soul, if you desire to be admitted to enjoyment of the divine favors and taste somewhat of celestial bliss on Thabor, ask yourself previously if you have Peter’s faith; if you can drink with James the chalice of suffering; if, remembering our Lord’s words: “The clean of heart shall see God” (St. Matt. v. 8) you can say that, like John, you possess the most beautiful, the indispensable ornament of a Priest and a Religious, holy chastity?

2d. Consider why our Lord was transfigured before entering upon His Passion. Only a short time previously, before He went up on the heights of Thabor, our Saviour taught His disciples the all-important doctrine of the cross; saying: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily.” (St. Luke ix. 23.) That same cross which our Lord Himself took upon His shoulders shortly after His transfiguration, and the fact that the transfiguration took place within the period wherein our Lord by precept and example calls upon His followers to bear the cross, shows us that He intends thereby to set before us the grand, the glorious goal whither the way of the cross leads, to reveal to us the sublime reward of those who bear the cross with cheerful patience. Never forget that, my soul! It is indeed true that you must suffer here below—pre-eminently if you are striving to be a good Priest, an exemplary Religious, a devout Christian, and a zealous servant of Christ—you must suffer much affliction, many tribulations; you must take on yourself the practice of self-denial and mortification; but be of good heart, by means of all this you will attain to be glorified with Christ; your countenance, now so sorrowful, shall shine as the sun, and your body, chaste and mortified, shall glitter as the snow in the bright radiance of celestial light.

3d. Consider that, in spite of Peter’s entreaty: “Lord, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles” (St. Luke ix. 33) our Lord comes down from Mount Thabor, in order to take the same three apostles with Him onto another mountain, the Mount of Olives. Hence we may learn an important lesson. It happens sometimes that our Lord grants you even on earth an earnest and foretaste of future glory; that He imparts to your soul such joy and sweetness, He gives you such sensible devotion and supernatural happiness, that you are ready to exclaim with St. Peter: It is good to be here, let us make tabernacles here. But remember, this is not possible here on earth. Only occasionally does our Lord allow these precious drops of heavenly dew to distil into your soul; only once does He take you up onto Mount Thabor to renew your strength and revive your courage. Afterwards you must be prepared for fresh sufferings, you must nerve yourself to encounter fresh trials, and ever bear in mind that it was not from Mount Thabor, but from Olivet, that our Lord’s ascension took place. Let the remembrance of this preserve you from pride in the hour of consolation, from despondency in the season of tribulation.

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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March Devotion: St. Joseph

Virtue to practice: Mortification

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, 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.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Splendour of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful Defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most pure, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most couragious, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of all who labor, pray for us.
Glory of family life, pray for us.
Preserver of virgins, pray for us.
Mainstay of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house,
R. And ruler of all His possessions.

Let us Pray.

O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph

(This prayer was said to be founded in the 50 A.D. In the 1500′s it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. According to oral tradition, whoever reads this prayer, hears it, or carries it, will not fall into the hands of the enemy, nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.)

O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me from thy Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O St. Joseph I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thy arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.

Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope St. Pius X

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.

Good St. Joseph protect us, protect the holy Church.

O good and kind St. Joseph guide us in the way of perfection.

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