Brother Giles on Speaking Well and Speaking Ill.
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 Speaking Well and Speaking Ill.
The man who speaks good and useful words to the souls of others is verily the mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit: even as he who speaks evil and use less words is certainly the mouthpiece of the devil. When good and spiritual men are assembled to confer together, they should ever speak of the beauty of virtue, because the more virtue is pleasing to them, the more they will delight in practicing it; and the more we are pleased with virtue and delight in it, the more we shall exercise our selves in it; and the more we exercise ourselves in it, the greater will grow our love for it; and by this love and by continually exercising ourselves and taking pleasure in virtue, we shall grow continually in more fervent love of God, and ascend to a higher state of perfection; for which cause also, there shall be granted to us from the Lord greater gifts and graces.
When a man is the most tempted, so much the more need he has to speak of holy virtue; because often, through talking of sins, a man is easily drawn into sinful acts; and thus also, through conversing about virtue, a man is easily led and disposed towards the holy operations of virtue. But what shall we say then of the good which proceedeth from virtue? It is so great, that we cannot worthily speak of its excellence, which is admirable and infinite. And yet again, what shall we say of evil, and of the eternal pains which follow sin? It is an abyss so profound that it is incomprehensible to us, so that it is impossible for us to conceive it, or to speak about it.
I do not consider it a lesser virtue to know well how to be silent, than to know well how to speak; and therefore it appears to me, that it would be well for a man were his neck as long as a crane’s, so that, when he would speak, his words would have to pass through many joints before reaching his mouth; that is to say, that when a man would speak, he has need to consider, and reconsider, and examine and discern right well the how and the wherefore, and the time and the manner, and the condition of his audience, and his own motive and intention.
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.
Of Supporting Injuries, and who is proved to be truly patient.
[Christ.] II. The better thou disposest thyself for suffering, the more wisely dost thou act, and the more dost thou merit; and thou wilt bear it more easily, thy mind being well prepared for it, and accustomed to it.
Do not say, I cannot take these things from such a man, and things of this kind are not to be suffered by me, for he has done me a great injury, and he upbraids me with things I never thought on; but I will suffer willingly from another, and as far as I shall judge fitting for me to suffer.
Such a thought is foolish, which considers not the virtue of patience, nor by whom it shall be crowned; but rather weighs the persons, and the offences committed.– Imitation of Christ Bk III, Ch XIX.
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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