Consideration on the Inspirations of God.
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 on the Inspirations of God.
God calls us by His inspirations, and oh, in how many ways He calls us! At one time with deep impulses and lively recognitions of eternal truths; at another, with private hints insinuated into the ear by a friend, or by a confessor; at another, by hints in public, by chastisements, preachers, and spiritual books. A converted sinner seems to say to our heart, Change your life; a sudden death replies to us, Confess, confess; a continual disquietude preaches to us, Come, dismiss that habit; an unexpected sweetness makes us exclaim, Oh, how sweet it is to serve God! God calls us, but it depends upon us to obey His calls. The Holy Spirit is truly a light that cheers, He is a ray that fructifies, a physician that cures; but He recovers those that wish to be cured; He fructifies those hearts that open their interior to Him, and refreshes those souls that do not close their windows to the sun’s light. Grace wishes us to be saved, but not saved in spite of ourselves; wishes us to be saints, but not saints by force. But what are you to say of those who leave a preacher, a confessor, or a spiritual book, because it hits them hard, because it stings them? This is not only disobeying, but downright rebellion against the Holy Spirit.
God calls us, but woe to us if we do not respond at once to His calls! St. Matthew had scarcely heard himself called by Jesus Christ, when he rose up and followed Him, and of a publican became an apostle; St. Peter, at a single glance from his Master, broke into tears of penitence, was converted, and became a saint: Judas at admonitions, at reproaches, at remorse, did not give in; he despaired, and was damned. The first inspiration which you reject, that which you feel now, may be the last extraordinary grace which God will send you. If God calls you to a state of life, and you do not say yes at once, He perhaps, being offended, will not let you hear His voice any more. You will take up a state at your own humour, and then what will become of you?
Happy he that responds at once to the calls of God! One of Mary’s Congregation in Bologna had a striking proof of this. This person (Auriem. t. ii. p. 163) went one day to find the father who had the charge of the Congregation, and told him that he felt a strong desire for a change of life; so he prayed him to help him, “And who knows, father,” said he, “if I may not die unexpectedly?” The tears and the feeling with which he said this were signs of an efficacious will. He further gave him a great deal of good advice, and enjoined him to frequent the Sacraments, at all events on all the feasts. He obeyed; and two months had not passed, before he went one feast-day straight off to the hospital to wait on the sick, and gave the poor pilgrims a large alms; he returned home to dinner, went up the steps, and before the hall-door he felt himself faint, was going to sit down, and just said, Jesus and MARY, and expired!
ACT OF HOMAGE.
Imagine yourself about to die, and think what would give you most remorse, if you found yourself at that point this moment; and resolve to cure yourself of it at once, imploring for that purpose the aid of MARY.
“Doce me, Domina, facere voluntatem tuam.”
“O thou, dear Mistress of my heart,
What thou wouldst have me do impart.”
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.
Sequence of Pentecost
O HOLY SPIRIT! Lord of light!
From Thy clear celestial height
Thy pure and beaming radiance give.
Come, Thou Father of the poor!
Come, with treasures which endure!
Come, Thou light of all that live!
Thou of all Consolers best,
Visiting the troubled breast,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.
Thou in toil art Comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal! Light Divine!
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.
If Thou take Thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness, pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
In Thy sevenfold Gifts descend.
Give them comfort when they die;
Give them life with Thee on high;
Give them joys which never end. 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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