On the Infinite Love of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
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 Infinite Love of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
To-day we celebrate the sweetest, most beautiful festival of all the year. Fix your whole attention, my soul, on this glorious feast, and participate deeply in the holy joy of the Church, for whom to-day the stone walls of her earthly temples enclose a space too circumscribed, and who therefore issues forth into the open air and makes the streets and squares, the meadows and woods resound with hymns of exultant rejoicing in honor of the most adorable Sacrament. Behold your God carried through the streets to-day under the form of a piece of bread, and oh! how infinite is the charity this fact reveals.
1st. Consider that God could not give us a more brilliant, more striking proof of His love than He does in this Sacrament. It belongs to love to delight in being continually in the presence of the beloved, and to feel His absence to be intolerable. Thus since our Lord loved us so tenderly, He devised a means, when the time came for Him to return to His Father, whereby He might quit the earth and yet not wholly leave it; that as when He came down from Heaven He still remained in Heaven, so He might reascend to Heaven and yet not leave the earth, remaining upon it under the form of bread. Furthermore, it is one of the properties of love to bear the beloved object constantly in mind. For this reason those who are attached to one another by a warm affection generally, when the hour of parting comes, give one another some souvenir. Jesus Christ, who is Love eternal, also desired, when parting from us, to leave behind Him some remembrance of Himself, and since none was great enough to satisfy His boundless love, He Himself remained behind under the form of bread. O my soul, when you meditate upon all this, what appears to you most wondrous, the love of Christ or your own unconcern?
2d. Consider how the love of Jesus is furthermore displayed by the fact that He instituted this greatest of sacraments under the form of bread. One of our theologians says: “In order not to lay a burden upon us, and to render the reception of His benefits easy and pleasant to us, our Lord on His departure left behind Him that gift beyond all compare, His most sacred body and blood under the appearance of bread. For if He had instituted this Holy Sacrament under the form of something costly and valuable, such as a pearl, a precious jewel, a rare and delicious perfume, or something in a certain degree corresponding better to the sublimity of the sacrament, we could not make such free and frequent use of it, it would not be equally within the reach of poor and rich, of high and low, as is now the case, since He gives Himself to us under the form of bread.” O unspeakable charity of our God! Not His grandeur and dignity, but our need, nay, our convenience is the measure whereby He metes out to us His graces. He chooses an ordinary object, one ready to hand, commodious, to be found everywhere in abundance, as the medium whereby to dwell amongst us, to unite Himself to us, rather than one more commensurate with His exalted dignity. And yet, my soul, you have so little respect for the God who shows such consideration for you, that you allow the reception of this sacrament, the visits you make to it, the homage you pay it, to depend upon your convenience or your caprice.
3d. Meditate further on what St. Bonaventure says of the love of our Lord: “After Jesus had delivered us by His blood out of the power of the devil, and made us equal to the angels, He desired to give us the food of angels for our greater happiness. And since it is impossible for us poor worms of earth to feed upon the Bread of Life as the angels do in Heaven, by the clear beatific vision of the Godhead in celestial glory, He conceals this glory, upon which we could not bear to look, under the form of common bread, thus placing it within our power to eat the food of angels here below in the simplest, easiest manner.” O wondrous love of God! Can you, O my soul, remain any longer cold and indifferent? The seraphic Father, St. Francis, was inspired and inflamed with so fervent a love for this sacrament of love, that the ardent devotion wherewith he received it touched all who witnessed it, and kindled the flame of devotion in their hearts likewise. Would that the meditation of to-day might, my soul, have the effect of stimulating you to such fervor and recollection whenever you stand at the altar or kneel at the Communion table, that your demeanor may be a source of edification to others; and above all to-day, when you take part in the solemn procession of Corpus Christi, see that you conduct yourself so as to edify and not scandalize your neighbor.
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 ever follow in the footsteps of Christ. Let us admire the confidence and faith of the followers of our Saviour in the desert. Attracted by the holiness of the doctrine which He preached and by the grandeur and number of His miracles, they came to Him to the number of four thousands. They followed Him without food, and without fear of perishing from hunger. Did He not protect them by providing for their wants? Let us cast our fears into His heart; He watches over us and will take care of us.
Prayer.—Adorable Heart of my Saviour, help me to bear with the trials of this life; collect my tears, consecrate my sighs. The weight of afflictions shall never shake the foundation of my hopes.
Keep me united to Thee, O Heart of Jesus!
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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