How we ought to Conduct ourselves toward the Different Persons with whom we have to Converse.
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.
How we ought to Conduct ourselves toward the Different Persons with whom we have to Converse.
“A man wise in words shall make himself beloved” (Ecclus. xx. 13).
Let us adore Our Lord in His conversation. He converses by preference with the poor, the little, and the simple, and above all with those recommended to Him by His Father (John xvii. 24), and He holds with them pious conversations calculated to lead them to God; it is thus that He teaches us to converse in a manner worthy of the gospel (Philipp. i. 27). Let us thank Him for the beautiful example which He gives us.
1st. Whoever may be the persons with whom we have to converse, religion prescribes that we shall always be kind, amiable, and obliging (Ecclus. vi. 5); to treat every one according to his deserts, his dignity, his character, behaving towards some in a serious manner and in a happier manner towards others (Coloss. iv. 6); always to avoid affectation in our deportment, pride and austerity, contradiction and dissimulation, so that no one should have to complain of us and that every one should be edified (I. Tim. iv. 12).
2d. If they are persons whom we dislike, we must conceal our repugnance beneath a gracious exterior, and not allow any feeling of annoyance or of austerity to show itself. If, on the contrary, they are persons who are pleasing to us, we must be on our guard against being too free and too frivolous, say nothing which is not according to propriety, and mistrust sensible attachments and too great friendships, which captivate the heart and preoccupy it. We must be friendly towards all, familiar with hardly any one; and this observation, which is always true, is above all true in regard to persons of different sex.
3d. If they are inferiors, poor, simple, or ignorant, charity forbids us to avoid them or to repel them, to grieve them by a proud and disdainful manner, to be melancholy in their presence, and to make use of a pretext for sending them away. It commands us, on the contrary, to welcome them joyfully, to place ourselves within their reach, to speak to them kindly, and to act in such a manner that they shall leave us in a contented frame of mind.
4th. If they are great personages, humility forbids us to seek their society and to endeavor to insinuate ourselves into their good graces; to use flattery towards them, and to show complaisance, and to utter applauses in regard to what they do or say which conscience reproves. We must, says St. Francis de Sales, treat them as we do fire, and not go too near them; when we are obliged to do so, we must observe the perfect modesty which indicates that we respect them, and a frank liberty which proves that we love them.
5th. If they are fervent souls, whose conversation tends towards God and virtue, we must seek them out and take pleasure in their society; but if they are persons who are tepid or devoid of religion, it is well to try and gain them over by amenity of language and of manners; and if we do not succeed, and on the contrary, we see that their society is hurtful to us, we must avoid them. Are these the rules which we have followed?
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.
August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary
Virtue to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901).
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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