Brother Giles on Holy Prayer-continued.
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 Prayer-continued.
Another Brother said to Brother Giles: “What doest thou, Brother Giles, what doest thou?” And he replied: “I do evil.” The Brother said: “What evil doest thou?” And Brother Giles turned to another Brother, and said: “Tell me, my Brother, which is the readiest, our Lord to give us His grace, or we to receive it? “And the Brother answered: “Of a surety, God is more in haste to give us His grace than we are to receive it.” Then said Brother Giles: “How then, do we do well?” And the same Brother answered: “On the contrary, we do ill.” Then Brother Giles turning to the first Brother, said: “Behold, Brother, it is clearly proved, that we do ill; and what I answered thee awhile ago was the truth, that I was doing ill.”
Brother Giles said also: “Many works are praised and commended in the Holy Scriptures, such as the works of mercy, and other holy works; but of prayer, the Lord says thus: ‘Your Father in Heaven seeketh men to adore Him (on earth) in spirit and in truth.’” Again Brother Giles said, that the true Religious are like the wolves, because they are seldom seen in public, except of great necessity; and with all haste, they seek how they may return to their secret place again, without holding much converse with men.
Good works adorn the soul, but prayer adorns and illumines the soul more than all others. A Brother who was an intimate companion of Brother Giles, said once: “Father, how is it that thou dost not sometimes go forth to speak of the things of God, and to procure and minister to the salvation of Christian souls?” To which Brother Giles replied: “My Brother, I would edify my neighbor by humility, and without doing hurt to my own soul, namely, by prayer.” And the Brother said to him: “At least thou shouldst visit sometimes thy family.” And Brother Giles answered: “Knowest thou not, that the Lord says in the Gospel: ‘He that forsaketh father or mother, or brother, or sister, or possessions for My Name’s sake, shall receive a hundred fold?’”
And he said: “A certain gentleman whose riches amounted to about sixty thousand lire, entered the Order of Friars Minor; what great gifts then await the man, who for the love of God, gives up great things, seeing that God will give him back a hundredfold more! But we in our blindness cannot understand the perfection of a man truly virtuous and in favor with God, on account of our own imperfection and blindness. But if a man were truly spiritual, hardly would he ever wish to see or to hear any one, except of great necessity; because he who is truly spiritual desires continually to be separated from all men, and to be united to God by contemplation.”
Then Brother Giles said to one of the Brothers: “Father, I would fain know what manner of thing is contemplation?” And the Brother answered him: “Father, I know not.” And Brother Giles said: “It seems to me that the state of contemplation is a Divine fire, and a sweet unction of the Holy Spirit, and a rapture and suspension of the mind, inebriated by the contemplation of that inaffable enjoyment of the Divine sweetness; and a sweet and quiet and tender enjoyment of the soul, which is suspended and ravished through its intense admiration of the glory of supernal and heavenly things, and an inward burning consciousness of that celestial and unspeakable glory.”
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.
That temporal Miseries are to be borne with Patience after the Example of Jesus Christ.
PRAYER: O Holy Victim! O Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world! Grant that I may suffer with Thee, and die with Thee, by uniting my sufferings to those which re-opened heaven to us after sin had shut it against us. Amen.– Imitation of Christ Bk III, Ch XVIII.
February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)
Virtue to practice: Humility
I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ – St. Francis de Sales
An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a monh (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).
Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from where thou dost dispense thy favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for thy favors, I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share in thy glory. R. Amen.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
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