Tradition.- 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.
Tradition.- continued (2).
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by our word, or by our epistle” (2 Thess. ii. 14).
(c) Those who reject tradition are at variance with the Scriptures themselves. For if Christian belief is to have as its sole foundation the words of Holy Scripture, nothing more nor less, then we should expect instructions to that effect to be clearly conveyed in Holy Writ. We find, on the contrary, nothing of the kind; St. Paul says: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have learnt whether by word or by our epistle” (2 Thess. ii. 14). They were to stand fast and hold what they had learned! What had they learned? St. Paul had instructed them both by his preaching and by his epistles; so, evidently, they were enjoined to hold to both, and to believe the spoken word as firmly as the written teaching.
(d) But, even yet, we have not quite finished. Whoever asserts that though we are bound to believe all that was written in the Scriptures, we are free to reject what tradition teaches, will soon go a step further and discard the Scriptures themselves. We should like to know how the following question is to be met! Upon what authority do we accept the Scriptures? Not upon their own authority, but upon that of tradition. It is tradition which tells us what is to be accounted Scripture and what is not. It is tradition which stands pledged that these books have weathered the storms of so many hundreds of years, and passed through so many different hands without having suffered either change or falsification, curtailment, or interpolation. And, finally, what key do we possess to the meaning of Holy Scripture, for without explanation it is a dead letter, a book from which we can gather no account of its origin, its antiquity, its significance, whose leaves are, so to speak, blown about by every breeze, and to no purpose. But, united to the teaching of tradition, what does it become? A treasure of priceless worth, the breath of the Holy Spirit; given by the Holy Spirit to that Church of which He is Himself the guide; and by her defended, protected, and guarded.
We are bound, therefore, to believe both the written word of God contained in Holy Scripture, and also the verbally transmitted truths which make up tradition, so far at least as the Holy Catholic Church proposes them to our belief.
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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