The Holy Mother.
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.
The Holy Mother.
By the side of the manger where the Infant lies, His Mother is watching. Who is she?
1. A poor and humble maiden, but nevertheless the Mother of God. The Mother of God! How can this be? How can the Eternal, Infinite God have a human mother? Yet so it is; Mary has a privilege which raises her immeasurably above the highest of the seraphim. It makes her more perfect in her likeness to God than is possible to any other creature. If, then, we honor the saints and angels, how much more should we honor God’s own Mother!
2. Yet Mary has a still greater claim to our homage, a more fruitful source of blessedness even than the divine maternity. Her unswerving obedience to the inspirations of God is declared by Our Lord Himself to be a still higher privilege. “Yea, rather blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep it.” If only we realized the blessedness of unswerving obedience, how different our lot would be!
3. What are Mary’s thoughts as she sits watching there? She has no thought save of God. She is absorbed in Him. The hours pass like minutes, they are a sort of anticipation of Paradise. She sees her God face to face, and though His glory is veiled under the robe of flesh, yet Mary can pierce through it as none else ever could, and can bask in the Divinity which it conceals. O God, help me to realize now Thy presence when Thou art veiled under the sacramental species.
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.
St. John, ora pro nobis.
Twelfth Night Prayer for the Second Day of Christmas.
O sweet Jesus, with Thy holy Mother I will embrace Thee; with the Magi I will adore Thee.
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