Monday after the Fourth Sunday after Easter.

On the Glorious Memorial which Our Lord Left with Us when He Departed from Us.

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 Glorious Memorial which Our Lord Left with Us when He Departed from Us.

When the apostles were sore distressed at the thought of being for the future deprived of the personal presence of our Lord, in His wondrous love He provided for them an alleviation of their sorrow by leaving behind Him a memorial of Himself, by means of which they could still continue to have the joy of His personal presence with them. This memorial is the adorable Sacrament of the Altar, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is a memorial wherein the life and Passion of our Lord is perpetually renewed and reenacted before our eyes.

1st. Reflect, my soul, how often you regretfully say to yourself: Would that I had lived during the period of our Lord’s sojourn upon earth, would that I had been able like Zacheus to invite Him into my house, to touch His garments as did the woman who had an issue of blood! But what reason have you to lament thus? Not only are you privileged to touch His garments, but His most sacred body; you are able not merely to invite Him into your house, but to receive Him into your heart, and this you can do in the memorial of His Passion and death, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the Sacrament of the Altar. By assisting at Mass, you hold daily intercourse with Jesus; from the altar He breaks bread to you, just as He did to the disciples at Emmaus; thence He shows you the marks of His wounds just as He did to Thomas; thence He salutes you in the same manner as He did the apostles in the upper room at Jerusalem, with the words: “Peace be unto you.” If therefore you desire to see the risen Saviour there is no necessity for you to go as the disciples once did to Galilee—go and hear Holy Mass, and there you will meet not only your risen Lord, but you will have a representation of His whole life on earth.

2d. Consider how Holy Mass places before our eyes the whole life of our Lord. You are transported to the crib at Bethlehem when you hear the Gloria in Excelsis which the angels sang at His birth. You behold the Redeemer in His character of Teacher when the Epistle and Gospel are read. The lavabo reminds you of the sentence of condemnation which was the beginning of our Lord’s Passion. You keep your mind fixed upon His Passion and death, renewed upon the altar without shedding of blood, from the offertory until the Communion; and at the Communion you are reminded of the risen Saviour dispensing bread to His disciples, while at the last blessing you remember the parting benediction He gave before His ascension into Heaven. Ponder this well, and you will see how in all the separate and individual ceremonies of Holy Mass the life of our Lord is placed before your eyes, and His Passion and death are actually renewed in it; then you will assuredly assist at the Holy Sacrifice or celebrate it from this day forth with much greater devotion than heretofore.

3d. Consider how essential to the Christian is this memorial of the life and Passion of our Lord. “You need but to take away,” thus writes the devout Abbot Rupert, “the daily commemoration of our Saviour’s death in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from the worship of the faithful, and you will soon perceive of what use it was. All that is now kept in constant and lively remembrance in the Christian Church would fall out of mind. Charity would grow cold, faith would grow dull, hope would begin to waver, for then the blood shed by Jesus Christ, the innocent Abel, would no longer cry to Heaven in propitiation for the sins of mankind.” Reflect upon this, my soul; try to realize what it would be if the Holy Sacrifice were no longer offered; you will thus learn to prize more highly the immense benefit of this perpetual memorial of our Lord, and as often as you celebrate it, or assist at it, you will make it your earnest petition that this oblation may be offered ere long in every part of the earth, more especially in those distant lands whither your Brethren go as missionaries.

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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