On Gluttony and Temptation – 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.
On Gluttony and Temptation – continued.
Secondly, I must consider the punishments of this vice, reducing them to three classes. Some proceed from gluttony itself, as from an evil tree; others God our Lord has added, and does add in this life, to discover how displeasing this vice is to Him; and others He has reserved for the other life.
1. Gluttony is a chastisement of itself, and pays in ready money with pain the delight of the sin; for it over-charges the body, takes away health, shortens the life, and hastens death. “Watching, and choler and gripes are with an intemperate man.” “Who hath wo? Whose father hath wo? Who hath contentions? Who falleth into pits? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? Surely they that pass their time in wine, and study to drink off their cups.” “Take heed,” says Christ, “lest perhaps your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life.” Again, it afflicts the spirit, dulls the understanding, disables for prayer and conversation with Almighty God, and makes the soul incapable of spiritual comforts, because it suffers itself to be filled with carnal pleasures; and it enfeebles the heart for great things in God’s service, because he that is subjected to this enemy that is the weakest has no courage to combat others that are more strong.
2. Besides this, on gluttony Almighty God has inflicted terrible punishments. For the eating of an apple against the precept of God, Adam and Eve lost their state of innocence and were cast out of paradise. The Israelites inordinately desired to eat flesh in the desert, of whom it is said, “As yet the flesh was between their teeth, neither had that kind of meat failed: when, behold, the wrath of God being provoked against the people, struck them with an exceeding great plague. And that place was called The graves of lust: for there they buried the people that had lusted.” Another time the same Israelites from eating and drinking “rose up” to idolatry, God’s justice permitting that those should adore a calf who took their belly for their god; for which thirty-three thousand of them were put to the sword. And that which is most astonishing, a holy prophet, for eating in a place that God had prohibited him, was slain by a lion; and nothing excused him, neither the miracles he had done nor the obedience that he first had, nor the necessity that he suffered, nor that he had been beguiled by another who seemed of the same profession.
3. Finally, in the other life, gluttons shall suffer particular torment in their tongue, as the covetous rich man who fared very delicately came into hell to suffer such thirst, that he begged to be refreshed by “Lazarus” with “the tip of his finger” only dipped “in water,” and it was not granted him. Thus shall all three suffer the hunger of dogs, raging thirst, pangs, and bitterness of eternal galls, according to the sentence pronounced against Babylon: “As much as she hath glorified herself and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her.”
Colloquy.—Then what art thou doing, my soul? Why not bewail thy gluttonies? why dost thou not amend thyself of them? Behold that temporal fulness and drunkenness shall be chastised with eternal hunger and thirst; and if, like Esau, for a vile dish of meat thou sellest the inheritance of heaven, thou shalt peradventure have no time to recover it. Consider how many have been chastised for this vice, and beware by other men’s evils, lest torment light upon thee for thine own!
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.
[Reflection] If we have often to suffer from our neighbour, he has not the less to suffer from us. But you say: there are many things hard to bear. We:ll then, your
merit will be the greater on that account. Grace is given to you only for the purpose of doing by its means what would be totally impossible to unaided human nature. Besides, what is there that happens to you, which God has not foreseen, which God has not willed. Patience then is only a sweet and calm submission to what He ordains, and without it we live in perpetual trouble; for who hath resisted God, and hath had peace? (Job. ix. 4). Who after that will dare to murmur, to be passionate, or to return evil for evil?– 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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