On Gluttony and Temptation.
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.
On Gluttony and Temptation.
Gluttony is an inordinate appetite of eating and drinking, and we may sin by it five different ways.
(1) i. By eating meats prohibited by the Church, or by breaking fasts, either those which I am obliged to observe by special vow or by the obligation of a regular state,
ii. By taking meat or drink in too great quantity, or to the danger of my corporal or spiritual health, which is hindered by it; or in drinking until I lose or trouble my judgment.
iii. By procuring meats and drinks of such quality as are much more delicate and precious than my person and state require, for the sake of pampering and sensuality.
iv. By eating oftener than is convenient, out of season, and upon an occasion that may do me harm, or in an unsuitable place, or contrary to the prohibition and rule of my religion.
v. By eating with too great affection, relishing what I eat only for pleasure, and after an unbecoming and hasty manner, wholly absorbed in what I am doing with thoughts and words of sensuality.
2. Upon these five acts I must examine and accuse myself before Almighty God, bewailing my frailties, and saying,
Colloquy.—Woe to me that do always in a manner sin even in eating and drinking, serving rather my own sensuality than my necessity, and seeking rather the delight of my flesh than the preservation of my life; so that when I pay that debt to my body I pay the tribute of sin to the devil. Have compassion, O God, on my weakness, and succour me with Thy grace, that gluttony may not drag me after it!
3. With this feeling I am to make great resolutions to mortify this vice, observing the rules of temperance in the five things above mentioned, namely, in the precept, quantity, quality, time, and manner, endeavouring to take that quantity of meat and drink which suffices, shunning the two extremes, that it be neither so much as to overload me nor so little as not to support me. And in the quality contenting myself with ordinary meats, rather coarse than delicate, avoiding all singularity, if it be not in a case of manifest necessity. In the manner, I am to aim at that which the Holy Ghost advises, not to suffer myself to be drawn by my appetite; “Be not greedy in any feasting, and pour not out thyself upon any meat;” so that when the body is eating the spirit be not consumed and swallowed up with the meat: but rather with a controlling heart, to give some food to the spirit that may moderate the covetous desires of the flesh. The consideration of the points here ensuing will much help to move me to this.
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.
[Disciple.] V. May thy grace, O Lord, make that possible to me, which seems impossible to me by nature.
Thou knowest that I can bear but little, and that I am quickly cast down by a small adversity.
Let all exercises of tribulation become amiable and agreeable to me, for Thy Name’s sake; for to suffer and to be afflicted for Thee is very healthful for my soul.– 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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