Saturday after the Second Sunday after Easter.

On the Miraculous Powers which the Risen Saviour Promised to those who Believed in Him.

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 Miraculous Powers which the Risen Saviour Promised to those who Believed in Him.

Before our Lord ascended to Heaven after His resurrection, He made this singular promise to His disciples: “These signs shall follow them that believe: In My name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents and if they shall drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them. They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (St. Mark xvi. 17, 18.) Now, after imagining that you hear the Lord addressing those words to His disciples, meditate on the following points:

1st. Consider how this promise made by our Lord was literally fulfilled in the first ages of Christianity, and how in later times these signs have never entirely ceased and are even now to be witnessed, although they do not occur nearly so frequently, and for this reason, that they are no longer as necessary as they were heretofore; in the present day every man of good will has grounds enough for faith. God never works miracles unless they are required, any more than a gardener continues to tend and water a tree that has grown up and is firmly rooted in the same way and with the same care as when it was a small, weak plant. To demand miracles now to enable one to believe would be to act in a similar manner to the Jews of old, who came to our Lord tempting Him, asking Him to show them a sign from Heaven that they might believe; and this they did after our Lord had already raised the dead in their sight, healed the sick, and fed thousands by the miraculous multiplication of bread.

2d. Consider that in the present day all these same wonders are worked in a spiritual manner by Priests, by preachers and by confessors. They cast out devils, as St. Gregory reminds us, as often as they absolve the penitent sinner in confession; they speak in new tongues whenever they proclaim the Gospel of Christ; they take up serpents when enemies, are reconciled by their preaching and their exhortations; they drink deadly things without sustaining any injury when they hold intercourse with sinners without being corrupted by them, but on the contrary bringing them to a better mind; they heal the sick when they edify weak brethren by their good example. Reflect on this attentively; if you are a Priest ask yourself what amount of good it is within your power to effect; and if you are a layman, earnestly beseech Almighty God to send us a goodly number of men who are gifted with these spiritual miraculous powers and to fill those whom He has already sent forth with firm confidence in the might entrusted to them.

3d. Consider how you yourself may become one of these spiritual thaumaturgists. St. Bernard says: “We cast out devils whenever we bewail our sins with deep sorrow of heart. We speak with new tongues when we hold holy and hallowed discourse instead of the idle or sinful conversation we have hitherto indulged in. We drive away serpents when we avoid occasions of sin which place themselves in our path, and we drink poison without harm when we are sorely tempted but do not allow ourselves to succumb to the temptation. We lay our hands upon the sick to heal them whenever we chastise our body and practise mortifications for the purpose of overcoming our evil propensities and bad habits.” Yes indeed, after this fashion we work yet greater miracles than the early Christians did, for the miracles they performed had reference to the well-being of the material body, whereas our works are conducive to the health of what is incomparably higher and more important, the spiritual, supernatural life. Up then, my soul! Perform all your good works in the name of Jesus, and think where and how this very day you will make use of the powers bestowed on you according to our Lord’s promise.

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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