Brother Giles on Holy Patience.
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.
Brother Giles on Holy Patience.
He, who with firm patience and humility suffers tribulation for the love of God, will quickly attain to great graces and virtue; he shall be lord of this world, and possess a pledge of the glorious world to come. Everything which a man does, whether of good or evil, unto himself he does it. And, therefore, be not scandalized by him who does thee an injury; but rather have humble patience, and grieve only for his sin, having compassion and praying fervently to God for him. The stronger a man is to bear and to suffer injuries and tribulations patiently for the love of God, so much the nearer is he to God, and no more: the weaker a man is to sustain sorrows and adversities for the love of God, so much is he removed from God. If any man praise thee, and speak well of thee, render the praise solely to God: and if any speak evil of thee, or revile thee, do thou help him therein, speaking yet worse of thyself.
If thou wouldst do thy part well, study to make it seem bad, and that of thy companion good, ever accusing thyself, and ever praising and sincerely excusing thy neighbor. When any one would contend or dispute with thee, if thou wouldst be the winner, lose, and thou shalt win; for if thou wilt contend in order to overcome, even when thou shalt think thyself the winner, thou shalt find that thou hast lost greatly. And, therefore, my brother, believe me that the direct way to save thyself is to lose thyself; for if we cannot bear well our tribulations, neither can we follow after heavenly consolations.
There is much greater consolation, and much greater merit in suffering injuries and insults patiently for the love of God, and without murmuring, than in feeding a hundred poor, or fasting continually every day. For what profiteth a man, or what availeth it him, to despise himself, and to afflict his body with much fasting, vigil, and discipline, if he cannot bear a little injury from his neighbor? For this cause shall a man receive much greater reward, and greater merit, than for all the afflictions he can impose on himself of his own will; since to endure insults and injuries from our neighbor, in humble patience, purifies from sin much more quickly than a fountain of many tears. Blessed is the man who keeps ever before his mind the memory of his sins, and of the benefits of God; for he will bear patiently every tribulation and adversity, expecting from them the greatest consolations.
A man who is truly humble expects from God neither merit nor reward; but only studies continually how he can offer satisfaction in all things, knowing himself to be God’s debtor; and any good thing that he has he acknowledges that he has it solely through the goodness of God, and not through any merit of his own; and any adversity that befalls him he acknowledges truly that he receives it for his own sins.
A Brother once asked Brother Giles: “Father, if in our time some great adversity or tribulation should befall, what ought we to do under this visitation?” To which Brother Giles replied. “My Brother, I would have thee to know that if the Lord should cause it to rain stones and thunder bolts from heaven, they could not do us any harm whatever, if we were such as we ought to be, because if only a man were what he ought to be, all evil and all tribulations would be turned to his good, for we know that, as the Apostle has said: ‘All things work together for good to them that love God;’ and so likewise to the man of bad will all good things turn into evil, and into chastisement. If thou wouldst be saved, and attain celestial glory, thou needest not desire any vengeance or any justification at any time from any creature; for the heritage of the Saints is ever to do good, and ever to receive evil. If thou knewest of a truth how much and how greatly thou hast offended thy Creator, thou would perceive that it is meet and just that all creatures should persecute thee, and bring thee pain and tribulation, for thus they would but avenge the offences which thou hast committed against their Creator.
“It requires great virtue to overcome one’s self, for he who overcometh himself shall overcome all his enemies, and attain all good. Much greater virtue would it be, if a man should suffer himself to be overcome of every one; for he should be lord over all his enemies, that is to say, his vices, the devils, the world, and his own flesh. If thou wouldst be saved, renounce and forsake all consolations which all the things in the world, or any human creature, could give thee; because greater and more frequent are the falls which come from prosperity and earthly consolations, than from adversities and tribulations.”
On one occasion, a Religious murmured against his Superior, in the presence of Brother Giles, on account of a hard command which had been given him by obedience; to whom Brother Giles said: “Most beloved, the more thou murmurest the greater will be thy burden and the more heavy to bear, but the more humbly and devoutly thou bendest thy head under the yoke of holy obedience the easier and the sweeter to thee will it be to bear that obedience. But it seems to me that thou wouldst not be reviled in this world for the love of Christ, and yet wouldst be with Christ in the world to come; thou wouldst not be persecuted and slandered in this world for Christ’s sake, and yet in the other world thou wouldst be blessed and received by Christ; thou wouldst not labor in this world, and yet wouldst have quiet and rest hereafter. I say to thee, my Brother, that thou dost greatly deceive thyself; for by the way of dishonor and shame and insult shall a man attain to the true celestial honor; and by enduring patiently derision and insults for the glory of Christ. Therefore, well is it said, in the worldly proverb, He who will not pay the cost, shall not receive what he desires.
“The horse is a noble and useful animal, but although he can run very well alone, he suffers himself to be governed, guided, and driven hither and thither, backwards and forwards, according to the will of his rider; and thus also should the servant of God suffer himself to be governed, guided, turned and bent according to the will of his Superior, and even of everyone, for the love of Christ. If thou wouldst be perfect, study only to be gracious and virtuous, and combat valiantly thy evil inclinations, patiently enduring all adversity for the love of thy Lord, persecuted, afflicted, insulted, scourged, crucified, and dying for the love of thee, and not for sins of His own, or for His own glory, or for His own profit, but solely for thy salvation. And in order to do this, above all things it is needful that thou conquer thyself; for little doth it profit a man to direct and bring souls to God, unless first of all he conquers and governs himself.”
Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name
O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. Thou art the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that Thy Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis
Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:
“The Golden Arrow”
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.
P.S. 31th day for anyone praying Total Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort that ends February 2nd!
The 7nd day of the Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Good Success.
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