The Resurrection – continued (3).

The Resurrection – continued (3).

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 (3).

II. Secure our hopes.

This same great event by which our faith is so wonderfully strengthened and invigorated must have an influence of equal value on our hope, concentrating and confirming it in its very root and essence. For do not the promises of Christ, in which our dearest aspirations and longings are centered, form the sum and substance of our expectations as Christians? And what has Christ promised us? Another and a better life after death, the resurrection of the body at the last day, an eternity of happiness. These are wonderful promises, but is He able to keep them? Will He fulfill them? In view of His own glorious resurrection every doubt must vanish. If He is able to do the one, can He not do the other? If, being dead, He has power to bring Himself gloriously to life on the third day, will it, living, be difficult for Him to raise us up at the last day? He foretold that He would rise again on the third day, and, appearing to His apostles, go before them into Galilee and He kept His word. Can we doubt that He will remember His promise to us, not only raising us up at the appointed term, but raising us up glorified, to dwell with Him in heaven for all eternity? What does the apostle St. Paul say? “It is sown in corruption, it shall rise in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it shall rise in glory; it is sown in weakness, it shall rise in power; it is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body” (1 Cor. xv. 42-44), and, dearly beloved brethren, if we first contemplate the body of the risen Saviour, and then turn to consider our own poor bodies, what a contrast and difference. The one possessed of light and brightness, immortality, youth, and beauty; the other with the gloom and darkness of the grave staring it in the face, certain death advancing to meet it, the decay of old age, the horrors of dissolution awaiting it. Incorruption instead of corruption, strength and unfailing youth in place of weakness, sorrow, pain, and old age. What does a little suffering matter when we know that we will rise again and that Christ will, as St. Paul says: “Reform the body of our lowness made like to the body of His glory” (Philipp. iii. 21). What reality, what comfort, what confidence our hope gathers at the thought of the Resurrection of the Lord! Though it is true that all things here below are perishable, that the body is subject to infirmity and decay, becoming defaced by the hand of time, ravaged by disease, destroyed by death, and that its last remains crumble to dust a prey to corruption, why should we be frightened? As surely as dawned the first Easter Day, as surely as this present day has dawned for each one of us, so certainly will the day come when our Saviour will awaken us, and transform the body of our lowness, making it like to the body of His glory in unfading brightness, in youth that does not grow old, in strength that knows no weakness, in supernatural beauty transcending all things, in life that is eternal.

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.

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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,
Dicéndo natiónibus:
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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