Consideration of Motives for Keeping the Month of May Well.
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.
Consideration of Motives for Keeping the Month of May Well.
Great is the need you have of MARY in order to he saved! Are you innocent? Still your innocence is, however, under great danger. How many more innocent than you have fallen into sin, and been damned! Are you penitent? Still your perseverance is very uncertain. Those habits, those occasions, those old companions—you understand me at once. Are you sinners? Oh, what need you have of MARY to convert you! You have begun many a time, and have never yet succeeded with it. Ah, if there were no MARY, perhaps you would be lost.
However, by the devotion of this month you may obtain her patronage, and your own salvation. Is it possible that a Mother so tender can help hearing a son thus devout? For a rosary, for a fast, she has sometimes conferred signal graces upon the greatest of sinners. Think, then, what she will do for you for a whole month dedicated to her service.
But woe to you if you lose this grace; woe to you if you begin, and, after a few days, abandon it! Who knows if this will not be the last opportunity which God will give you of being converted! Who knows if upon this devotion your final perseverance may not depend! Yes, who knows if this may not be the last month of your life! If with so little you can acquire so great a patron, and do not do it, what grief, what remorse will you have at the point of death! Bethink yourself well, and resolve accordingly.
One of the congregation of Mary was very near meeting the punishment of his unfaithfulness. This man (Auriem. Affett. Scamb. tom. i. p. 61) at first frequented the Congregation; afterwards he became so tepid as to leave it altogether. Neither the prayers nor the admonitions of his companions did him any good: it needed a ghost to arouse him. One night this man was asleep, and saw a father, well known by him, who once had thoughts of entering the Congregation to which he used to go. He scolded him, and said to him, “Already your name, negligent sluggard that you are, has been carried to the Blessed Virgin under whose guardianship the Congregation is placed; if you do not mend your ways, I can tell you, you will find a heavy chastisement fall upon you.” He awoke, and did not make any account of what had happened in the dream. Lo, and behold, another night the same father came, and reproached him more severely, and threatened him, urged him to frequent the Congregation again, and rebuked him; but it did little or no good; he saying that dreams were not to go for more than such: others wished to shut him up, but that he wished to be free. Other more clear tokens and more bold calls were necessary to make one like him repent, who had left not only the Congregation, but the fear of God also. The third time he saw the aforesaid father in a dream, who, besides the admonition, seemed to take him by the hand and conduct him to church; and when he had got there, he said to him, “Sluggard, what are you doing? Make a perfect confession; for, till now, you have omitted to mention such and such a sin;” and he named it distinctly. Then awaking in a great fright, seeing that that was true which he had heard in his sleep, he went away immediately to the Congregation, confessed with great grief and penitence, and remained in our Lady’s service, whose great kindness was shewn towards one, otherwise undeserving, who had remained stubborn in spite of so many calls.
ACT OF HOMAGE.
Wear on your heart the image of MARY, and, pressing it with affection to your bosom, say often,
“O MARY, I wish this heart to be thine!”
“Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata.”
“Joy of my heart! oh, let me pay
To thee thine own sweet month of May!”
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.
May Devotion: The Blessed Virgin Mary
Virtue to practice: Meekness, purity, the spirit of poverty
O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special keeping, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins and Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
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