Practice: to Honour especially the Powers, the Virtues, and the Dominations.

Practice: to Honour especially the Powers, the Virtues, and the Dominations.

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.

Practice: to Honour especially the Powers, the Virtues, and the Dominations.

THE second hierarchy is composed of the Powers, the Virtues, and the Dominations, or, according to some who place the Virtues in the last hierarchy, the Principalities, the Powers, and the Dominations. The Dominations, as lords or primates of the second hierarchy, give orders in the things of God; the Virtues impart strength to obey them; and the Powers resist the devils who oppose their execution, overthrowing their might, and removing all the obstacles that stand in the way.

It is, then, the Dominations who communicate the commands of God, and make known to us His holy will. Oh, happy we, if we could well discriminate between the Divine will and our own! How often does the love of ourselves and of creatures, the invariable effect of which is to darken the mind, deceive us, and cause us to mistake our will for that of God! A soul which is but even slightly touched with Divine love would with difficulty bring itself to oppose the will of God when it fully recognises it; but our corrupt nature insensibly glides in, and easily persuades us that what we wish is what God wills. We would wish the will of God to be done, but we should be well pleased that our own should be done also; and so we endeavour to reconcile the Divine will with our own will. This disorder is much greater among spiritual persons than is commonly supposed. Now devotion to the Dominations is a great remedy thereto, since it is the special office of these spirits of light to make known to us the commands of God; they are, so to say, the secretaries of state of the great King Jesus.

But it is not sufficient to know the commands of God, we must proceed to execute them. He who knows the will of his master, and performs it not, shall be severely punished. O my God! how meet it is that Thy creatures should be perfectly subject to Thee! O Lord, who is like unto Thee! Who can appear in Thy Divine Presence and be worthy of regard? The whole universe before Thee is but as a drop of dew, and all the nations are as nothingness. What a wretched thing it is not to fly at the least intimation of Thy good pleasure! Oh, the good pleasure of God! May it be for all eternity our only pleasure! Come, my soul, let our movements be ever in that direction; let the world, and everything in the world, be always an abomination to thee O my God! may Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so on earth! Nevertheless, with all our good purposes we accomplish nothing of any worth; our eye reaches farther than our arm. From the summit of a tower we can survey a very difficult road we have to traverse, and the view of it is unquestionably easy in comparison with the toil to be endured in actually proceeding along it: so it is with our reasonings; it seems to us as if nothing would stop us; and when the hour of combat arrives, they who in imagination have discomfited giants and monsters, are disheartened at the sight of pigmies. We are naught but sheer weakness; we are ruled by our senses, by our inclinations. You will see devout persons, who seem to be working wonders, lay down their arms to some slight inclination, and allow themselves to be overcome by the merest nothing: it is a most pitiable spectacle; and yet, after all, we are not really aware of our own utter powerlessness; we are much more feeble than our imaginations can ever conceive. Let devotion to the Virtues, then, be our resource, that we may be sustained by these mighty Intelligences; let us invoke them in our weaknesses; let us recommend this devotion to those who so constantly fall, notwithstanding all their good desires; let us call them to our aid; let us love them and bless them when we have overcome some attachment, or resisted some natural inclination. St. Gregory is of opinion that it is through the instrumentality of the Virtues that God ordinarily performs most of His miracles. Have a special love, then, for these angels; and in extraordinary necessities of mind or body, in times of epidemics and other public afflictions, have recourse to them. It is by them also that God governs the seasons, the visible heavens, and the elements generally, although angels of the lowest hierarchy have the special charge of them. In times of plague, inundations, and other such like evils, one of the best things we can do is to invoke and honour them.

We have elsewhere detailed the different temptations of the devils, their stratagems, their malice, and their might, and we said that of ourselves we are unable to resist these invisible powers; we also said that the holy angels have been given to us to enable us to triumph over them. But here we must remark, that it is to the particular choir of the Powers that God has given a special strength to bring to naught all the efforts of these malicious spirits; and one of the greatest secrets of the spiritual life is to apply ourselves assiduously to honour the blessed spirits of this choir. It is not within the limits of my capacity nor of that of any other man to exalt sufficiently the marvellous effects which result therefrom. According to the little light I possess, this devotion to the Powers ought to be encouraged as one of the most necessary and most profitable. When we see storms gathering either in the Church or in the State, combinations to resist those who are working for the glory of God, extraordinary conspiracies to defeat some great good which is being planned in dioceses, towns, country districts, and provinces—then it is that we ought to perform frequent devotions in honour of these Powers of Heaven, that they may overturn and destroy all the might and miserable plottings of hell.

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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October Devotion: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary.

Virtues to practice: Confidence.


Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

ANTIPHON.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.

Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

GABRIEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Gabriel the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.
NOVENA IN HONOR OF S. RAPHAEL, THE ARCHANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 28, 1876, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of S. Raphael the archangel, with any formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority,
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, during the novena, if, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, they pray for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

PRAYER TO S. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL.

Glorious Archangel, S. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.

THE ANGEL GUARDIAN.
PRAYER
.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna
illumina, custodi,
rege, et guberna.Amen.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide.
Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a brief, Oct. 2, 1795, granted to all the faithful, every time that, with at least contrite heart and devotion, they shall say this prayer:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, on the feast of the holy guardian angels (Oct. 2), to those who shall have said this prayer, morning and evening, throughout the year, provided that, on the day of the feast, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The same Sovereign Pontiff, by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 11, 1796, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, at the hour of death, to all those who, during life, shall have frequently said this prayer, provided they shall have the proper dispositions.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 15, 1821, not only confirmed the above mentioned indulgences, but, moreover, granted:
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a month, to all the faithful who shall have said it every day for a month, as above directed, on any day, when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall visit a church, and pray devoutly for the intention of his Holiness.

NOVENA IN HONOR OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript dated at Gaeta, Jan. 5, 1849, and by another of the S. Congr. of Bishops and Regulars, Jan. 28, 1850, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, at any time during the year, devoutly make the novena in honor of the Guardian Angel, published by the Rev. Joseph M. Falcone, of the Congregation of the Missions:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, either during the novena or upon one of the eight days immediately following, if, truly penitent, they confess and communicate, and say some prayers for the holy Church and for the Sovereign Pontiff.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Nov. 26, 1876, the same Sovereign Pontiff deigned to approve that these indulgences may be gained by those who make the novena to the Guardian Angel with any other formula of prayer, provided it be approved by competent ecclesiastical authority.

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