Consideration Upon Time.
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 Upon Time.
Time passes away, and I pass away with it. Fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty years of my life are already passed, and will return no more. And how many have I remaining? That I know not; but I do know that they are few. The time is short; I myself say, Time flies, without my even perceiving it. But in comparison of eternity, time is not only very short, it is almost nothing.
Time is short but precious, since in this time that is so short I may acquire an eternal satisfying felicity. Every moment well spent gives me a degree more of glory in Paradise; a half-hour well employed in looking over the accounts of my soul may rescue it from the hands of Satan, and send it back into those of God; a little time set apart every day for prayer, or for Mass, or a spiritual book, may keep me away from sin and secure me salvation.
Time is short but awful. Ah, every instant I may sin — I may die — I may be damned! Wretched me, that in so short a time might become a saint, and am still a sinner. I have lost my time in vanity, in childishness, in jests, in diversions, and in sins. What pleasure does it prove now to have wasted my time in this way hitherto? If I do not think of spending it better, a day will come when I shall beg of God one hour only to be converted in; and that hour I shall never see to all eternity.
Oh, how profitable is a little time well spent in honour of Mary! Two youths agreed to go one day (Auriem. t. i. p. 93) to the river Po, and got into a boat for pleasure. One of these said to his companion, “Now we have nothing to do, and have amused ourselves enough, let us recite our Lady’s office, as the rule of our Congregation requires.” “But that is not binding under sin,” answered his companion; “I want to amuse myself, it is a holiday to-day; I have no mind for prayer.” The other, for all this, set himself to recite it alone. Meantime, the wind got up, and the water ran very strong; they, being but little practised in managing the boat, could not steer it against the force of the water, or put it ashore. The boat turned over, and sunk in the water; they both invoked the Blessed Virgin, and she was soon there, and took by the hand him who had recited the office, drew him out of the danger, and conducted him into safety. The other (his companion) expected the like; but our Lady returned, and said to him, “You were not obliged to honour me, nor am I to help you!” And he was left to the mercy of the stream. His companion heard and saw all this, and thanked the Blessed Virgin for his life, which he acknowledged that he had from her hands for the homage he had done her.
ACT OF HOMAGE.
Recite the office of our Lady, or the five Psalms which are sung in her Congregation.
“Vitam præsta puram, iter para tutum.”
“Mother! be love of thee a ray
From heaven, to shew the heavenward way.”
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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