Faults to be Avoided in Conversation.
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.
Faults to be Avoided in Conversation.
“Be you in all manner of conversation holy” (I. Pet. i. 15).
Let us adore Our Lord Jesus Christ conversing in the world, and doing men the favor to hold intercourse with them (Baruch iii. 38). Oh, how holy were His conversations, how far removed were they from all the miserable features which are so often to be met with in ours! (Wis. viii. 16.) Let us contemplate and bless this adorable pattern.
The first fault of conversation is dissipation or want of reflection, which is the cause, 1st, that we lose considerable time in useless speeches; 2d, that the soul, being subjected to no restraint, becomes unskilful in prayer, meditation, and serious matters (Ecclus. xxi. 29); 3d, that we abandon ourselves to immoderate gaiety, to jesting and frivolous talk, to words characterized by scurrility, which are quite unworthy of issuing from the mouth of a Christian, to obstinate and regrettable disputes, to clamor, and vivacious speeches, which are imprudent and to be regretted. “The lips of the unwise” the Holy Scripture says, “will be telling foolish things; but the words of the wise shall be weighed in a balance” (Ibid. 28); do not expect from a man quick to speak either words of wisdom or amendment of life (Prov. xxix. 20); 4th, we render ourselves disagreeable to our neighbor by always endeavoring to speak, interrupting others, and talking without caring to listen, which is the sign of a fool (Ecclus. x. 14). The second fault in conversation is the spirit of criticism. We fall upon the absent, we mock at the defects of others, we find something to speak against in every one, above all in those whom we dislike; calumnies, falsehood, deceit, season all that we say, foment divisions, and weaken charity. We exaggerate defects and we diminish virtues, sometimes from vanity, sometimes from wanting to make ourselves esteemed, sometimes from vengeance, anger, and contempt, lowering as much as possible the merit of those whose life, being better regulated than ours, is a reproach to us, and turning into ridicule the good actions of virtuous souls, their maxims and practices of piety. The third fault is anti-Christian discourse, in which we extol the enjoyments of life; we boast of the happiness of those who enrich themselves, who procure for themselves pleasures, and attain to honors and glory; we pity poverty, which the gospel beatifies; we envy riches, which the gospel curses; we make a profession of not suffering humiliation and contradiction, to ministering to our own comforts, of liking to be at our ease, of satisfying our tastes; and the mouth speaking out of the abundance of the heart, we make of the pleasures of the table, of the delights and enjoyments of the world, the ordinary subject of our conversation. Now what can be more anti-Christian, or more opposed to the gospel, than such language as this? Is it not, as it were, an apostasy? Let us here examine ourselves, and see whether our conversations are not often tainted by some of the faults which we have been pointing out.
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.
July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus
Virtue to practice: Simplicity, Faith, Liberty of Spirit, Cheerfulness
Almighty, and everlasting God, who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world, and hast been pleased to be reconciled unto us by His Blood, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation, that the power thereof may here on earth keep us from all things hurtful, and the fruit of the same may gladden us forever hereafter in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers to St. Philomena
Novena to St. Philomena (from July 1st through August 10th)
Illustrious Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena, behold me kneeling in spirit before the throne on which it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I beseech thee to intercede for me with God. From the height of thy heavenly country, deign to cast a look upon thy humble servant. Spouse of Jesus Christ, console me in my troubles, strengthen me in temptations, protect me in the dangers which surround me on every side; obtain all the graces necessary for me, especially (here mention your particular intention), and, above all, assist me at my death. Amen.
For Victory over Temptations.
O God, who dost sustain us by the merits and example of the blessed Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, mercifully grant that, strengthened in faith and charity, we may never be separated from Thee by any temptation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Growth in Virtues.
O glorious Virgin! whose glory God has been pleased to make known by singular miracles, we address ourselves to thee with entire confidence. Obtain for us that, following thy example, we may fight courageously against whatever is opposed to the reign of Jesus Christ in our heart; that we may adorn our souls with virtues like thine, particularly with that angelic purity of which thou art the perfect model; and that inflamed with the love of Jesus, we may continually walk in the way which He has marked out, to the end that we may one day partake of thy everlasting happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, lives and reigns one God in perfect Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer for Purity.
O glorious Saint Philomena, who, animated by a burning love for Jesus our Savior, didst shine in Holy Church by the splendor of perfect virginity and the practice of the most heroic virtues, obtain for us of thy Divine Spouse the grace to keep ever unsullied the precious treasure of chastity and to practice with generosity the virtues of our state, that having, after thy example, walked in His footsteps during our life on earth, we may, with thee, rejoice in His glory eternally.
Saint Philomena, happy virgin, adorned with all the charm of innocence, and beautified, besides, with the purple of martyrdom, obtain for us the grace to know how to suffer all, and to sacrifice all in order to be faithful to God till death, and possess Him eternally in paradise. Amen.
For Detachment from Earthly Goods.
O Saint Philomena, faithful virgin and glorious martyr, who so courageously preferred to the visible goods of this world the invisible goods of a holy eternity, obtain for us a lively faith, an ardent charity, and a piety always increasing, in order that, faithfully serving our Lord Jesus Christ during our life, we may merit after our death the happiness of contemplating Him face to face in life eternal. Amen.
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