Tuesday after the Second Sunday after Easter.

On the Reason Why Our Lord Appeared to the Apostles with the Prints of the Five Wounds.

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 Reason Why Our Lord Appeared to the Apostles with the Prints of the Five Wounds.

Imagine yourself present, my soul, with the apostles in the upper room at Jerusalem on the first day of the week, eight days after the resurrection; imagine that you too beheld with them the risen Redeemer standing in their midst, resplendent with the beauty of His glorified body, and that you saw on that spiritual body the prints of the five sacred wounds, transformed and transfigured, shining like bright jewels, ruby red. Why did our Lord retain these marks of His Passion, these memorials of His humiliation, of His ignominious death upon the cross, and why did He choose to show Himself to His apostles adorned with those five wounds? Let your meditation to day answer this question.

1st. Our Lord showed Himself to His apostles bearing the marks of these wounds in order that they, and we likewise, might be confirmed in the belief in our future resurrection, the resurrection of the flesh. As the body of Christ, the same body which had been scourged, shamefully maltreated and slain, rose from the grave clothed with celestial glory—and that it was really the same identical body was proved by the print of the five wounds—so our lifeless bodies, in spite of death and corruption, will one day rise again resplendent with heavenly glory. And, be it observed, the marks of chastisement, of penance, of austerities which those bodies may bear will serve to increase their glory. Remember this whenever bodily suffering and penitential practices seem too difficult and onerous for your strength.

2d. Consider that our Lord appeared to His apostles with the marks of His sacred wounds for this reason also, to teach them that they ought not only to bear the physical suffering, but also the shame, the contempt, the derision and mockery which their future office and vocation would bring upon them. For the fact that He was pleased to retain, and will retain to all eternity on His glorified body the memorials of the shame and ignominy He endured upon the cross, as a malefactor on the gallows, is a most urgent admonition to us to imitate the apostles, of whom Holy Scripture says: “They went from the presence of the Council rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus.” (Acts v. 41.) Do you also thus rejoice, my soul?

3d. Consider that our Lord appeared to the apostles with His sacred wounds for their consolation and peace of mind. For if He sent them forth, as He Himself declared, “as sheep in the midst of wolves,” if He Himself predicted and warned them that men would persecute them and hate them, that they would be driven out of the synagogues, nay that whosoever killed them would think he did God service, what a relief and comfort it must have been to the poor, hunted, harried apostles to have one safe spot where they could escape from their enemies, one sure hiding-place whither their persecutors could not follow them, the wounds of Jesus Christ ever open to receive and shelter them. Mark this, and lay to heart these words of valuable instruction: “If we desire to possess a powerful weapon wherewith to resist the temptations that assail us—and these temptations are our persecutors—only let us hide ourselves in our Lord’s sacred wounds;” for St. Augustine gives it as his experience that in all things whatsoever that befel him, he found no more efficacious remedy than to have recourse to the wounds of Christ our Lord. When we speak of hiding within the sacred wounds of the Redeemer we mean immersing ourselves in the ocean of His Passion in prayer and pious meditation; and this we should do not only during Lent, when we behold the precious blood dropping from those open wounds, but also in Paschal-time, when we see them gleaming brightly on the person of the risen and glorified Saviour.

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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May Devotion: The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtues to practice: Meekness, purity, the spirit of poverty

O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special keeping, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins and Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

(For either of the above prayers: An indulgence of 3 years.

A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this prayer.)

The faithful who during the month of May take part in public exercises in honor of the B.V.M. may gain: An indulgence of 7 years on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence if they assist at the exercises on at least 10 days, and moreover, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.

Those who perform their devotions privately during the aforesaid month are granted: an indulgence of 5 years once on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if they perform these devotions every day during the month; but where public exercises are held, this indulgence is granted only to those who are lawfully hindered from taking part in the same. (Raccolta).

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