Consideration upon Mortal Sin.
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 Mortal Sin.
Have you ever sinned? Alas, what did you then do? You endeavoured, as far as ever you could, to destroy and annihilate your Creator, your Father, your Redeemer, your Spouse, your God, your all. What disobedience, what rebellion, what ingratitude, what enormity! You lost grace, your sonship to God, the merits of your past life, the inheritance of Paradise! You were hurled down from heaven to the brink of hell! How disgraceful!
And will you now still sin? Poor soul! Do you know who is your enemy? It is God! Do you know of whom you are the daughter? Of the devil! You play, walk about, sleep, laugh; but if God were wearied of you, in a single moment you would be dead, you would be damned. Thousands of angels have fallen into hell for a single sin of thought. And do you, with so many sins, think yourself safe? What excessive blindness!
But if not in sin, you are still always in danger of falling into it. A temptation somewhat violent, an event unexpected, may make you sin when you least think it. An angel sinned in heaven, Adam sinned in Paradise, Judas and Peter sinned in the school of Jesus Christ. Do you then, also, remember that from an angel, an innocent, an apostle, you may in a moment become a demon? Remember this, and tremble.
If you wish to escape sin, be specially devout to MARY. It was very extraordinary how she preserved a youth in Messina unhurt (Auriem. t. ii. p. 60). Although he served the Blessed Virgin with great purity in the Congregation, he nevertheless once found himself in great danger of losing it. The devil excited a wicked woman to solicit him to sin, and managed to bring about, that one day she should find herself alone with him, and, availing herself of the occasion, she made a vigorous assault upon his chastity. The good youth, reduced to these straits, and not having any means of defence, turned himself feelingly to MARY with this short prayer: “Mary, most pure, help me; abandon me not in this my need.” So he said, and soon he experienced the efficacy of her patronage; for this woman appeared to his eyes such as in her own soul she was. He saw her so transformed and hideous, that she seemed a monster come out of hell, with a horrible countenance, with hair like serpents, which made him shudder with fear to look at her rather than created any feeling towards her. Then he immediately perceived all guilty temptation towards her extinguished, and with severe words reprehended her for the boldness and impertinence she had used, remaining victorious in this battle, in which those of his age are often such sad losers.
ACT OF HOMAGE.
If you feel yourself tempted, take up the chaplet and kiss it. To displease MARY while you kiss her rosary; this you surely will not do.
“A peccato mortali libera me, Domina!”
“Mary! make haste thy child to win
From sin, and from the love of sin.”
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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