On Our Lord’s Appearance after His Resurrection to the Disciples in Galilee.
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 Appearance after His Resurrection to the Disciples in Galilee.
Picture to yourself, my soul, how five hundred disciples left Jerusalem and repaired to Galilee, because, as the angels announced at the sepulchre, Jesus would show Himself there to His disciples. Imagine the different frames of mind of these disciples; some went animated by holy longing; others still doubted; others again wended their way thither with sentiments of hopeful joy. This journey to Galilee to behold the risen Saviour was the first Christian pilgrimage.
1st. Consider that of all Christ’s appearances after His resurrection this was the one most calculated to confirm the faith of the disciples. Our Lord told them before hand, at the Last Supper, that He would appear to them again in Galilee; the angels also at the sepulchre sent a message to the apostles by the women, reminding them of their Master’s promise to that effect. Now, when our Lord actually fulfilled that promise, when He presented Himself to His disciples and thus verified His own prediction, must not that have been the means of confirming the belief of the disciples in their Lord and most powerfully strengthening their faith in His predictions? Yes, His utterances are true, His promises sure. Heaven and earth shall sooner pass away than a single word from His lips remain unfulfilled. This is indeed a consoling truth for you, who, relying on His glorious promises, have left all to follow Him. Here are five hundred witnesses at once who bear you testimony that your trust is not misplaced.
2d. Consider the ardor manifested by the apostles. Although they had repeatedly seen the Lord, although He had appeared to them in the upper room in Jerusalem and also at the lake of Genesareth, yet they did not shrink from undertaking the journey to Galilee, and resolutely climbed the steep mountain, heedless of fatigue, in order to see Jesus once more. And yet, my soul, how easily you are satisfied. If God of His charity stoops to your lowly estate, if He vouchsafes to come to you, then you are well pleased; but you are far too great a lover of your own ease to go to Him, to rise up above your ordinary, your every-day practices of devotion and ascend the mount of greater perfection for the sake of beholding Him more closely. You desire the divine consolations, the divine visitations, but you will not on this account move hand or foot, put yourself to any inconvenience. No, my soul, imitate the apostles, and constantly remember that those are truly Christ’s disciples—and this applies pre-eminently to Priests and Religious— who do not await His coming in the cenaculum, but who go out into Galilee, who climb the mountain for the sake of beholding their risen Lord; we mean those who spare no effort or exertion and strive solely after perfection.
3d. Consider that our Lord on this occasion, as at every other time when He appeared to His disciples, discoursed only of the kingdom of God, and the means whereby it could be attained, never speaking of useless and earthly subjects. Such conversation is not pleasing to the Lord; such are not the words that are heard from His lips. If you would enjoy intercourse with Him, if you aspire to be visited by Him you must feel disgust for the things of time and sense, and only long for heavenly things; nay, you must only love your brother for His sake, or desire what is needful for your earthly subsistence in accordance with His will. Hear what Thomas à Kempis says: “For Him and in Him let both friends and enemies be dear to thee; thou must carry a pure heart to God if thou wilt rest and see how sweet the Lord is. It is a great art to know how to live with Jesus and to know how to keep Jesus is great wisdom.” (Imit. ii. ch. 8.) How poorly you have hitherto learnt this art, how little of this wisdom have you displayed! Will you not do better in future, and, if so, how do you intend to set about it?
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.
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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