On the Triune God.
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 Triune God.
Before commencing your meditation to-day, endeavor, my soul, to soar aloft to the celestial regions, there, surrounded by the shining choirs of angels and of saints, to gaze in spirit upon the glorious triune God. Picture Him to yourself in as far as you can, as He is described by the prophet Isaias (ch. vi.) sitting upon a throne high and elevated. Before it stand the seraphim; they cry one to another: “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts; all the earth is full of Thy glory!”
1st. Consider that there are many similes and images which are employed to illustrate and elucidate to us this mystery. As the soul, which is made in the image of God, is a spiritual, indivisible, imperishable being, so is the triune God in His divine essence. Furthermore, as the soul of man contains three powers, the understanding, the will and the memory, and yet is but one soul, so there are three Persons, the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost in the Godhead, and yet but one God. St. Augustine employs other comparisons in reference to this exalted mystery. “The spring,” he says, “cannot be called a river, nor the river a spring, nor again can the draught drawn from the spring be itself called a spring. Yet the water in the spring, in the river and in the goblet whence thou dost drink is one and the self-same.” But if you exercise your mind to the utmost in meditating upon this mystery, you will never with your finite understanding be able to grasp, much less perfectly comprehend, the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity.
2d. The triune nature of the Godhead is and ever will be an incomprehensible mystery. St. Augustine speaks very beautifully on this point. “How,” he asks, “canst thou expect to comprehend the divine nature? Better were it didst thou acknowledge thyself incapable of comprehending it; for God would not be God were He not greater than our powers of comprehension. Let us rejoice in having so great a God, and since our intellect is not capable of grasping the mystery of His nature, let us not pry into it, but stand fast in the faith, and give up all useless research.” How many things there are in nature that we cannot understand! Pause and reflect upon this fact. Can you understand how the dry, withered seed can blossom and produce splendid fruit? How the ugly chrysalis can be transformed into the gaily painted butterfly? Can you understand how thousands of minute animalculæ can exist upon a hair an inch long, creatures which when placed under a powerful lens are seen to possess eyes, a mouth, and other organs? Can you understand how these infinitesimally small beings can be so prolific that in the course of a single day they are multiplied a thousandfold? How then can you expect to comprehend the triune nature of the Godhead? That mystery will only be elucidated, unveiled to our sight in Heaven, and the contemplation of it will be to us a source of infinite and ineffable delight.
3d. Consider this subject, one which is so difficult of comprehension, the external operation of the Holy Trinity. Contemplate with admiring wonder the action of God the Father in the work of creation, of God the Son in the redemption, of God the Holy Ghost in the sanctification of mankind. Meditate especially on this sublime, this elevating thought: I, a miserable mortal, a worm of earth, am permitted to love the glorious triune God, and I am loved by Him. From all eternity, even before I was called into existence, this great and wonderful God in three Persons thought of me, and decreed my creation, redemption, sanctification. Nay more, my soul may actually become the dwelling-place of the most Holy Trinity, whom the Heaven of heavens cannot contain, for Christ has said: “We will come to him and make our abode with him.” (St. John xiv. 23.) Wherefore, my soul, bewail heartily your ingratitude, your sinfulness; extol and magnify to-day the all-bounteous Trinity, and resolve from henceforth to repeat with greater love and devotion the Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto,
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.
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.—Let us have a grateful love for Jesus-Christ, on account of his benefits. He is our benefactor each instant; no one has ever been or could have been like Him. He saved us from an infinite number of evils; and He procured us a multitude of blessings. Where would we be without Him? We would be in that place of eternal punishment. Slaves of sin and of the devil, deserving therefore eternal death. He, our good Saviour, saved us from that cruel slavery and prevented our falling into the eternal abyss. If we worthily respond to all His benefits, He Himself will be throughout eternity our reward.
Prayer.—O Jesus, my treasure and my love! the offences I have committed make me unworthy of loving Thee, but, I pray Thee through Thy merits, to render me worthy of Thy pure love.
I have found the Heart of my King, of my Father, of my Friend Jesus: what more can I desire in heaven, or seek upon earth?
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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