The Resurrection – continued (2).
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.
The Resurrection – continued (2).
“The third day He rose again from the dead”
OUR Saviour’s resurrection—a fact founded on proof so reliable and convincing that all objections urged against it are utterly valueless—is an event full of the deepest significance for us. Strengthening as it does our faith in the divinity of our Saviour, and giving us the certain hope that we, too, will one day rise again, it should also greatly stimulate us to lead a life of holiness and virtue. Let us implore the help of the Holy Spirit, that we may during this meditation realize in some measure the three-fold manner in which the Resurrection has power to influence the lives of each one of us individually. It should
I. Strengthen our faith.
II. Secure our hopes.
III. Incite us to holiness of life.
I. Strengthen our faith.
It is not difficult to see that the more closely we study the full meaning of the Resurrection the stronger should be our faith. In the course of His life on earth Christ constantly claimed and put forward that He was the Son of God, and by countless miracles proved that He was so in truth. But the last and strongest evidence of His divinity, the most striking proof of it, is to be found in the Resurrection. While on earth He had said: “I shall be delivered into the hands of My enemies; they will destroy Me, but in three days I will rise again.” Friends and enemies alike knew that He had spoken in this way, and after His death they awaited in suspense and expectation the third day, to see if, really rising again, He would make good what He had said. And He did. This fact is beyond question, and from it the truth shines forth that He was indeed the Son of God. Can an impostor raise himself from the grave, or would God have used His almighty power to uphold a liar and a cheat, strengthening his hands by causing him to rise from the dead, and so enabling him to carry on his course of fraud?
It follows that if Christ be the Son of God His teaching must be true and that we can not follow it too closely or believe it too firmly. It follows further that the Church founded by Christ is the Church of the living God to be clung to with every fiber of our being, that the sacraments really afford us the means of salvation, and as the food of our souls are to be used constantly with the greatest love and devotion. In a word, as St. Paul has pointed out in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, the whole truth and meaning of our faith rests upon the Resurrection: “And if Christ be not risen again your faith is vain” (1 Cor. xv. 17). It must equally be the case that if Christ be really risen from the dead, then is our blessed faith in its smallest part and detail founded in truth upon a rock the rock of Christ.
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.
April Devotion: The Holy Ghost
Virtue to practice: Patience
Vexilla Regis prodeunt
The royal banners forward go;
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow,
Where Life for sinners death endured,
And life by death for man procured.
Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled, Water flowed, and Blood,
Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
‘Amidst the nations, God,’ saith he,
‘Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.’
O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy Limbs should find their rest.
On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung:
The price of human kind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.
O Cross, our one reliance, hail,
Thou glory of the saved, avail*
To give fresh merit to the Saint,
And pardon to the penitent.
To Thee, Eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
Whom by the Cross Thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.
*Instead of: ‘Thou Glory of the saved,’
during Passiontide, say: ‘This Holy Passiontide’,
during the Paschal Season: ‘Thou joy of Eastertide’,
on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: ‘On this triumphant day.’
Vexilla Regis pródeunt,
Fulget Crucis mystérium,
Qua vita mortem pértulit,
Et morte vitam prótulit.
Quæ vulneráta lánceæ
Mucróne diro, críminum
Ut nos laváret sórdibus,
Manávit unda et sánguine.
Impléta sunt quæ cóncinit
David fidéli cármine,
Regnávit a ligno Deus.
Arbor decóra et fúlgida,
Ornáta regis púrpura,
Elécta digno stípite
Tam sancta membra tángere.
Beáta, cuius bráchiis
Prétium pepéndit sæculi,
Statéra facta córporis,
Tulítque prædam tártari.
O Crux, ave, spes única,
Gentis redémptæ glória!*
Piis adáuge grátiam,
Reísque dele crímina.
Te, fons salútis, Trínitas,
Colláudet omnis spíritus:
Quibus Cricis victóriam
Largíris, adde præmium. Amen.
(ex. Breviario Romano)
An indulgence of 5 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this hymn throughout an entire month (S.C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S.P.Ap., April 29, 1934).
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