Brother Giles on True Religion.
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 True Religion.
Brother Giles said, speaking of himself: “I would rather have a little of the grace of God, being a Religious, than very much of God’s grace, being a secular and living in the world; because, in the world there are more perils and obstacles, and fewer remedies and means of sanctity, than in Religion.” And again Brother Giles said: “It seems to me, that the sinful man fears his own good, more than his own injury, and worst evil. For he is afraid to enter into the Religious state and do penance, but he is not afraid of offending God and of losing his soul by remaining hard-hearted and obstinate in the world awaiting his final and eternal damnation in the filthy mire of his sins.”
A man of the world once asked Brother Giles: “Father, which dost thou counsel me to do, to enter Religion, or to remain in the world doing good works?” And Brother Giles answered: “My Brother, most sure it is, if a poor man knew of a great treasure hidden in an open field, that he would ask counsel of no one to assure himself whether it were well to dig it up, and to carry it home; how much more should a man endeavor, with all haste and diligence, to dig for that heavenly treasure, which is to be found in the holy state of Religion, and in spiritual congregations, without asking so much advice of others!” And the same man hearing this answer, immediately gave all he had to the poor, and thus deprived of all things, forthwith embraced the Religious state.
Brother Giles said moreover: “I do not esteem it a great thing that a man should know how to retain any favor conferred upon him by the king: but the great thing is, that he should know how to live and to converse in the court of the king, persevering with all discretion therein. The court of the great Heavenly King is the Religious state, wherein it is not hard to enter, and to receive many gifts and graces from God: but the great thing is that a man should know how to live and converse rightly and discreetly therein, persevering in the same, even until death.”
And again Brother Giles said: “I would rather be in the secular state, continually hoping and devoutly desiring to enter the state of Religion, than be clothed with the holy habit of Religion, remaining in idleness and negligence and without practicing works of virtue. And therefore the Religious man should continually constrain himself to live well and virtuously, knowing that he cannot live in any other state but that of his profession.”
Brother Giles once said also: “To me it seems that the Order of the Friars Minor was verily ordained of God for the great edification of the people; but woe to us Friars, if we should not be such men as we ought to be! Most surely there should not be found in this life more blessed men than we; for he is holy who follows the holy, he is good who follows in the way of the good, and he is rich who walks in the footsteps of the rich; and the Order of the Friars Minor, more than any other Order, follows in the way and the footsteps of the best, the most holy, and the richest, that ever was, or will be, namely, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.”
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.] IV. Be thou, therefore, ready prepared to fight, if thou desirest to gain the victory.
Without fighting, thou canst not obtain the crown of patience.
If thou wilt not suffer, thou refusest to be crowned; but if thou desirest to be crowned, fight manfully, and endure patiently.
Without labour there is no coming to rest, nor without fighting can the victory be obtained.– 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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