Saturday after the Second Sunday in Lent.

On The Blessed Virgin As We See Her on the Morning of the Day of our Lord’s Crucifixion..

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 Blessed Virgin As We See Her on the Morning of the Day of our Lord’s Crucifixion..

If, my soul, you are astonished at the ingratitude and fickleness of the people, let it teach you never, never to let yourself be influenced by the desire for popular applause, least of all in matters connected with your sacred ministry. And if in the discharge of your sacerdotal functions you meet with hatred and opposition, if in the public streets your ecclesiastical garb draws down on you mockery and contempt, remember how much our Lord had to suffer on the way to Pilate’s house, where He was to be judged, and you will willingly bear shame with Him and for Him.

Now, as to-day is dedicated to the Mother of God, turn your attention once more to the Blessed Virgin Mary, dwelling in solitude and seclusion in Lazarus’ house. Picture her to yourself praying in resignation to the will of God for her divine, her suffering Son, interceding for the salvation of mankind. Footsteps are heard hastily approaching; it is a disciple, it is John coming from Caiphas’ house with the mournful tidings: “He is condemned to death.” Keep this affecting scene before your eyes during your meditation.

1st. Consider the grief this intelligence caused Mary. Who can describe the feelings of her maternal heart while John narrated to her with tears all that her divine Son had undergone since the previous day; while he depicted His sweat of blood in the garden, His arrest, the maltreatment He received in the house of Annas and of Caiphas. Every word of this narrative inflicted a fresh wound on her maternal heart; but how acutely that loving heart must have been pained by the terrible tidings that one of the apostles betrayed his Master, and another—O incredible, heartrending fact!—another denied Him, and that one was Peter! Imagine a mother whose only son has gone abroad. During his absence she has become a widow; she is alone in the world; she has no one left her on earth but that son who is at a distance. One day she is informed that he is sentenced to death, although innocent of the crimes imputed to him. Will not this news come upon her like a thunderbolt, and every fresh detail of the brutal treatment he received, the sufferings he endured, pierce her soul like a sharp sword? Now this is only what happened literally in the case of the Blessed Virgin. Judge then how overwhelming must her grief have been; how the tears of compassion must have coursed down her pale, sorrow-stricken countenance! Yet you remain so cold, so indifferent, and perhaps even meditate for weeks on our Lord’s Passion without any real, heart felt emotion. Whence is this?

2d. Consider Mary’s resignation to the will of God. Although at the outset her maternal affection revolted from the idea of her Son enduring such agony, although under the first stress of her affliction she earnestly prayed that her heavenly Father would not permit anything so awful to take place, yet it cannot be doubted that she who, on a former occasion, when the angel announced to her that divine maternity which was fraught with so much pain, only said: “Be it done unto me according to thy word,” again repeated the self-same pious words. Is it not an affecting sight, my soul, when you contemplate the Blessed Virgin pierced as she is with sorrow, transfixed with anguish, overwhelmed with grief, yet willing to sacrifice the Being dearest to her on earth, to sacrifice her Son for the glory of God and the salvation of this miserable world? Would that you would learn of Mary! God has required, He does require from you that which it costs you most to give, the sacrifice most bitter to your heart. He requires you to part from the parents you love, from your brothers and sisters, your relatives and friends. You have made the sacrifice out of love to God and in the hope of doing more to promote the spiritual welfare of the world. If perchance you may be tempted to regret what you have done, think of Mary on the morning of the day when Jesus was to be put to death, and with her renew cheerfully the oblation you once offered.

3d. Consider that Mary goes at once to join her Son. She is not content with weeping for Him, mourning on His account. She desires to suffer with Him. If all men forsake Him, if even His apostles take flight, He shall at least have the consolation of seeing that His Mother remains faithful to Him, that she will stand beside Him with constant affection to His life’s end. Therefore in the early morning she leaves the house and hastens to meet her divine Son, she the most afflicted, the most sorrowful yet the most admirable of all the mothers in Israel. Rise up also, my soul; let not the Mother of God pursue her toilsome way along the rugged way of the cross alone; follow after her, go with her. During this Passion-tide meditate frequently, meditate attentively on our Lord’s sufferings; walk in His footsteps carrying your cross cheerfully, the cross of your state and calling, or the cross God lays on you in particular; thus you will be in very truth a son, a daughter of Blessed Mary, the Mother of dolors.

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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