On Another of Our Lord’s Consolatory Utterances.
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 Another of Our Lord’s Consolatory Utterances.
Set before your mind the great happiness which the apostles had enjoyed up to the period of which we are speaking. They lived in the closest intercourse, the most familiar companionship with our Lord; they sat with Him at table, they accompanied Him on His journeyings through Palestine, they listened to the wondrous doctrines that fell from His lips, they were eye-witnesses of all His marvellous works. And now are they all at once to lose this, are they no longer to enjoy the intimate intercourse, the close association with Jesus? What a grievous loss! Not so; they will rather have reason to say: “Our loss is our true gain;” for only listen to the comforting promises which are made to them.
1st. “If any man love Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him.” (St. John xiv. 23.) This is what our Lord says to His apostles. Hitherto they rejoiced in the love of Jesus, the Son of God; from hence forth they are to take delight in another love, the love of God the Father. O marvellous consolation! Our Lord departs, leaving His disciples behind, leaving them to all appearances orphans; yet behold! at the very time of His departure He makes them far richer, far happier than other men; He gives them a Father. This Father is none other than God Himself, the heavenly Father; a Father too who loves them tenderly as His own children. However our Lord makes one condition: Consider this, my soul, and ascertain whether that condition is fulfilled in your case; it is this: “If any man love Me and will keep My word.”
2d. Consider the further promise our Lord gives to His disciples: “We will come to Him and make our abode with Him.” (v. 23.) Up to this time the apostles had lived under one roof with our Lord, and now, when they were to be deprived of that great happiness, He promises them a yet greater, more wondrous, more transcendent privilege: They are to be His dwelling-place, and not His only, but also the dwelling-place of their heavenly Father. O incomprehensible charity of our God! O tremendous dignity of the Christian! To be the abode of the triune God! Impress this truth deeply on your mind to-day; immerse yourself in this ocean of divine love; realize the marvellous ennobling of man, the magnificent recompense which is the guerdon of those who keep the law of God!
3d. Consider in addition what mortal sin is to the Christian. It transforms the dwelling-place of the Most High into an abode of devils. It banishes the three divine Persons of the Holy Trinity and gives ingress to Satan and his hellish crew. It robs the Christian of a privilege which he shares with the angels. It deprives him of a favor which he has in common with the cherubim, namely, the closest, most intimate union with the triune God. Can it possibly be, my soul, that you ever thus expel your God from His dwelling? Yes, this has happened not in frequently; you have driven out the Most High God in order—the thought is almost too horrible to be put into words, but alas! it is only too true—in order to give admittance to the filthiest of beasts, to sin, to the most abhorrent vice. Bewail this prevarication on your part; never weary of doing penance for the past, and let it be the constant theme of your reflections how in atonement for such shameful conduct you may now so order the dwelling-place of your soul as to make it a beauteous, an agreeable temple for your celestial Guest.
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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