Consideration on Jesus as a Babe.
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 Jesus as a Babe.
Mark well the poverty of this Divine Infant. Of what is He in want? Of every thing! He is in want of a house; He must needs go to a stable. He is in want of a bed; He must needs stretch Himself on a handful of straw. He is in need of fire; He must warm Himself at the breath of two animals. He is in want even of swaddling clothes; Joseph must cover Him with his tattered cloak! JESUS so poor, and you so in love with riches!
Consider, too, His mortification. What a delicate little body is this! What cold it has to suffer in so severe a season! What discomfort must it experience on those prickly straws! How many inconveniences come to its share out of its father’s house! And yet from that lip no cry at all is heard; from those eyes not one tear even starts. JESUS so mortified, and you greedy after every pleasure!
Note, finally, that humiliation of His. How was JESUS born? In the deepest silence of the night, and in a place among the most unknown. By whom is He served? He has no servants; His father and His mother are those who serve Him. To whom does He make Himself known? Only to some poor shepherds. What figure does He make in the world? That of a poor beggar, who does not find any one to lodge Him one single night for charity. How is this? JESUS so humble, and you so jealous of being respected! Come, Christian, to the cradle of the babe JESUS to be judged. Listen to that stable, to that straw, which condemns you.
A little girl, of seven years old (Auriem. t. i. p. 131), hearing the beauties of JESUS Christ recounted, was inflamed with an ardent desire of seeing Him. With great naturalness and simplicity, she went to pray MARY to be so gracious as to shew Him to her once only; but as the favour she asked was no ordinary one, she was not soon heard. She continued this prayer of hers for the space of seven years, practising herself from time to time in doing acts of love towards her spouse, who had smitten her heart. The wounds of love, says the devout John of the Cross, are not made, except by the presence of the beloved. The little girl kept always knocking at MARY’s gate, to receive the health which the Son’s visit would give her. One holy Christmas night, a night to her most happy, she, quite inflamed with this wish, retired into the Oratory, and put up her most fervent prayers that the favour might be granted her, when she saw the blessed Mother, with the Child in her arms, and heard her say, “Take Him, my daughter, and converse with Him.” The devout little maiden took Him, and as she held Him in her arms, was asked by Him if she loved Him. “Yes, Lord, I love you much,” she answered. “How much?” said JESUS. “ More than my body,” she answered. “Do you really wish me well?” replied the holy Babe. “I love you more than my heart,” said she. “And how much,” replied He, “do you love me?” “Lord,” said she, “I have not words to tell you; my heart speaks this.” She could not, after such an excess of love, and a sight so great, keep in this life any longer; her heart broke, and the Virgin MARY took that soul, and with celestial harmony conducted it to Paradise.
ACT OF HOMAGE.
Make a habit of writing, in front of all you write, these sweet words : “All hail, JESUS! MARY, all hail!” Or else utter these names before you set about your business, intending to invoke their assistance in your employments.
“Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui nobis post hoc exilium ostende.”
“O Queen of heaven! on that bright day
To me thy womb’s chaste Fruit display.”
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.
Copyright © Holy Cross Publications, 2013 – 2018. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holy Cross Publications with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.