Man’s knowledge of God. How it conduces to the Love of 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.
Man’s knowledge of God. How it conduces to the Love of God.
The great object which all men ought to strive after is the love of God.
Our love of things depends in a great measure on the knowledge which we have of them, and on the excellence which we find these things to possess. We have no love for the things which we never heard of, or of which we are entirely ignorant. On the other hand we love the things we know and in which we behold excellence, and the more excellent a thing is, the more our wills are drawn to love it. From this it will be readily understood how important it is for us to have a knowledge of God, of His Attributes, of His Perfections, and of all that He has done on behalf of man.
We know that God is most excellent and most perfect. The more we learn of His greatness the more our wills are drawn to love Him.
It is therefore important for us to speak of God, of our knowledge of Him, and of what He has done for man.
God is a pure Spirit, and cannot be seen by man, nevertheless, God manifests Himself to man in various ways, so that the Creator who is Himself hidden from our eyes makes Himself known for a certainty to us His creatures.
God discloses Himself to us in this life in two ways, viz. (I) by Natural Revelation, (2) by Supernatural Revelation.
Natural Revelation embraces all the truths which we can apprehend by the light of our reason.
The knowledge of intellectual, religious, and ethical truths must be connected with a Divine Revelation of some kind.
This Revelation however in so far as it is natural, is nothing else but the action of God the Creator in giving and preserving to nature its existence, form, and life.
When we contemplate the wonderful works of the Universe, the heavens, the motion of the sun, and the moon, and the stars; the earth and the ocean, and the wonderful harmony with which the vast machinery of the Universe goes on, we are struck with wonder and forced to the conclusion that the Author of all this must be a great, intelligent, and all-powerful Being, and thus as St. Paul says from the visible things which He has made, the invisible things are clearly seen, especially His eternal Power and Divinity (Rom. i. 19).
The study of the things which we behold and which are the works of God give us a knowledge of Him, and ought to inspire us with thoughts of gratitude and love towards God.
Supernatural Revelation is the other source of man’s knowledge of Divine things. God in times past has spoken to man by His own voice as He did to Moses when He gave him the Commandments of the Law. He spoke through the Prophets and Sacred writers in the Old Law and in this way made known to man truths which he could never acquire by human reason.
Last of all He revealed Himself through His beloved Son whom He sent for the Redemption of the human race.
Our Divine Lord taught us by His works and by His example. He taught us humility, poverty, obedience, and love of suffering. He loved us to such an extent that he laid down His life for our salvation.
Considering, then, all that God has done for us, that He created us, and gave us being in preference to millions of other creatures which He might have created, that He gave us immortal souls capable of knowing and loving Him, that He Redeemed us, that He sent the Holy Ghost to sanctify us, we ought to be moved by this knowledge to love God, and to admire His wonderful Perfections, His Omnipotence, His Power, and, above all, His boundless Mercy.
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.
August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary
Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)
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