Monday after the Third Sunday after Easter.

On the Promise our Lord Made after His Resurrection that He Would ever Abide amongst 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 Promise our Lord Made after His Resurrection that He Would ever Abide amongst those who Believed in Him.

The time when our Lord was to return to His Father drew nearer and nearer. Endeavor to realize the anxious, mournful state of the disciples feelings; in losing Jesus they lost their consolation, their strength, in fact all that they valued on earth. However, the risen Saviour comforts them in their tribulation with the promise: “Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (St. Matt, xxviii. 20.)

1st. Consider the purpose of this promise. Our Lord after His resurrection intends to strengthen His faithful servants that they may not grow wavering and pusillanimous in the season of suffering, when the cross presses upon them. He would have them remember what a mighty Protector and Helper they have at their side; He desires them furthermore to be diligent in the practice of virtue and good works, not forgetful that He is ever near them, that He sees all that they do and rejoices in their acts of virtue. Finally He designs to warn them against sin and wrongdoing, since the thought of His ever-abiding presence must surely prove a powerful deterrent, nay, the most powerful of all deterrents from thoughts and deeds of a reprehensible nature. O most consoling, most invigorating consciousness of the presence of my Saviour! Here we may well quote the beautiful words of the great ascetic: “When Jesus is with us all is well and nothing seems difficult. If Jesus be with thee no enemy can harm thee. Whosoever finds Jesus finds a good treasure, yea, a good above all good.” (Imit. B. ii. ch. 8.) If, my soul, mindful of this promise of your risen Lord, you were continually to walk in the presence of your God and Saviour, how patient you would be in suffering, how strong in temptation, how full of courage and confidence in danger! Why do you think so seldom of His presence? Is it perhaps because you have reason to dread rather than to desire it?

2d. Consider the greatness of this promise. Our Lord does not say that He will send an angel to replace Him, as He once promised Moses that He would do; no, on the contrary He expressly says: “I will Myself be with you, I, your omnipotent, infinite God, under whose protection you will be well defended; I, your victorious Saviour, who triumphed over death, over hell and the devil; I, your Master, of whose boundless power, charity, and bounty you have so often had proof. I will be with you with My grace, My assistance, My consolation. I will be with you not only unseen but visible under the appearance of bread, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.” Ponder this truth, my soul, especially the last point. God is really and actually with you; He is in your house, in your immediate neighborhood, in your heart. Have you so acted, so lived hitherto, have you so spent each day and night as becomes one who can say: Jesus is with me really and actually under the form of bread?

3d. Consider the extent of this promise. “I am with you,” thus our risen Lord declares, “all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Thus Jesus is perpetually with us. He does not consent to abide with us merely for twenty, thirty years, no, not for a hundred, a thousand years, but for an unlimited period, as long as the world lasts. And as He is with us at all times, so He is with us in all places. Go where we will, our Lord is ever near us. If there is no one near and dear to you, if all have forsaken you, friends and relatives, you are not alone, for Jesus is with you. He is with you in life, and He is with you in death. He never, never abandons you, unless indeed you first abandon Him. Alas! this too often is the case. Our Lord does not deem it too long to abide with us until the consummation of the world, and is it too much for you to continue faithful to Him during the few years of your life in the cloister? He is with you everywhere, yet you are inclined to forsake Him when obedience calls you to go whither your inclination does not lead you. No, let it not be so, for wheresoever you go, you do not go alone; Jesus is with you; He is always with you, and where He is, as Thomas à Kempis says, there is paradise.

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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