On the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of Rest.
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 Holy Ghost as the Spirit of Rest.
Imagine a beautiful, mild summer evening following upon the heat and unrest of the day. All around a hallowed silence reigns. Not even a light breeze stirs the tops of the trees; you scarcely hear a leaf rustle in the branches; even the song of the birds is hushed. At such moments what an indescribable sense of repose, of happiness descends upon the soul; one feels it to be a foretaste of the eternal blissful rest in the kingdom of Heaven. Now what the calm of such an eventide is to us after the heat of the day in the natural order, that the Holy Spirit is to us in the spiritual order. In her hymn the Church says of Him: “In labore requies, in œstu temperies:” “In toil Thou are refreshment sweet, pleasant coolness after heat,” and this is indeed true and just.
1st. Consider that the life of the unhappy sinner upon earth is one of grievous toil and trouble. Amid his labor and drudgery he seeks solace in worldly amusements and only becomes more depressed; he seeks for gratification in the indulgence of carnal lusts and only finds cause for sadness; he seeks relief in the pleasures nature affords and only meets with fresh burdens. So life passes away and is nothing but labor and sorrow. Man seeks rest and refreshment and fails to find them because he does not seek for them where alone they are really to be found, in Him of whom it is said: “In labore requies, in œstu temperies.” Yes, the Holy Ghost alone gives rest to the wretched sinner; only He can allay the heat of concupiscence with the cooling streams of His grace. Has not your own experience, my soul, often taught you the truth of this?
2d. Consider that here below the just also groan under the burden and heat of arduous, onerous labor, of heavy trials. Look how David, the man after God’s own heart, was ruthlessly persecuted by Saul, and how his own son Absalom sought to compass his death. Look how holy Job sat on the dunghill, worn with pain and want of sleep, and how the chaste Susanna’s life was for some time in danger. These just persons and many others like them must have cried to God in the words of the Psalmist: “Save me, O God, for the waters are come in even unto my soul.” (Ps. Ixviii. 2.) And yet how calm they remained amid all their trouble and unrest, how cool in the heat of life’s battle. David, when chased from place to place, obliged to fly from Saul and Absalom, serenely composes his psalms; Job in the midst of suffering and tribulation adores the wise providence of God without a murmur; and the three children sing their canticle of praise in the fiery furnace with as much composure as if they were walking in the cool shade of a pleasant wood. Whence is this? Oh how can you ask; you know that it is the Holy Ghost who works these wonders, it is that God of whom the Church says: “In labore requies, in œstu temperies.” My soul, if you were the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit, you would feel very differently amid your toil, your hardships, your conflicts, your temptations; how much greater would be the composure, the equanimity you would display! Wherefore before the week in which we celebrate the coming of the Holy Ghost comes to a close, repeat once more the invocation, “Come, Holy Ghost, Thou who art in toil refreshment sweet, pleasant coolness after heat.”
3d. Consider that perfect repose is not to be found here below. That is a gift the Holy Spirit holds in reserve for us hereafter. On earth we must content ourselves with a few spare rays of that celestial light that beams eternally calm and bright. “In this life” – we read in the Imitation of Christ – “thou art never secure, but as long as thou livest thou hast always need of spiritual weapons. Thou art in the midst of enemies and art assailed on the right and on the left. Lay not thyself out for much rest, but for great patience. Seek true peace not on earth but in Heaven.” (B. iii. ch. 35.) Observe that the Church does not merely say of the Holy Ghost that He is rest and refreshment, but rest in toil, refreshment after heat. Wherefore go on your way here below in labor, conflict, struggle, and be satisfied with the few cooling drops the Holy Spirit vouchsafes to distil upon you now, for ere long the day will come when you will be able to sing in glad and grateful strains: “After toil eternal rest, after heat refreshment sweet, this Thou givest, Spirit blest.”
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.
June Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Virtues to practice: Obedience, piety, dutifulness
DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART.
CONSIDERATIONS.—Jesus Christ desires us to love Him with our whole heart; now as it is by perfection we are amiable, the more we are perfect the more worthy we are of love. On this principle could we love our Saviour too much? That heart so tender, so humble, so charitable so liberal shall we ever sufficiently know it? All the plenitude of divinity is centered in the adorable person of our Saviour, He is then worthy of infinite love.
Prayer.—I see, O my God, that my soul is like unto a mirror on which the slightest infidelity leaves a stain which displeases Thee. I will then neglect nothing in order to offer Thee a pure and unspotted heart; at least, I shall avoid with the greatest care all voluntary faults and premeditated transgressions.
Heart of Jesus, strength of the weak, cloth, me with Thy strength!
PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART.
Jesus! Creator of the world,
Of all mankind Redeemer blest,
True God of God, in Whom we see
Thy Father’s image clear expressed!
Thee, Saviour, love alone constrained
To make our mortal flesh Thine own,
And, as a second Adam, come
For the first Adam to atone.
That selfsame love which made the sky,
Which made the sea and stars, and earth,
Took pity on our misery,
And broke the bondage of our birth.
O Jesus! in Thy Heart divine
May that same love for ever glow!
Forever mercy to mankind
From that exhaustless fountain flow!
For this the Sacred Heart was pierced,
And both with blood and water ran –
To cleanse us from the stains of guilt,
And be the hope and strength of man.
Jesus, to Thee be glory given,
Who from Thy Heart dost grace outpour,
To Father and to Paraclete
Be endless praise for evermore. Amen.
An indulgence of 5 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, If this hymn is devoutly recited every day for a month (S.P.Ap., March 12, 1936). (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957)
Prayer to the Holy Ghost.
O HOLY SPIRIT, divine spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, heart and will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations, and to the teaching of the Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbour; may my will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may my whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, to whom with the FATHER and Thee be honour and glory for ever. Amen.
300 Days, once a day.
Pius X, June 5, 1908.
Novena for Pentecost.
i. Seven Years and Seven Quarantines, each day.
ii. Plenary, once during the Novena, Feast or Octave.
This Novena may be made publicly or privately, and the same Indulgences are granted for special prayers said every day during the Octave. Any prayers to the HOLY GHOST may be used.
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