Holy Feast day of the Transfiguration of our Lord.
Rules to be Observed before our Visits.
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.
Rules to be Observed before our Visits.
The words in which Our Saviour tells us the object of His visit to this world: “I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly” (John x. 10).
We will continue to meditate upon visits, and we will study the rules to be observed before, during, and after our visits. We will then make the resolution: 1st, to make all our visits in a Christian spirit, with the object of pleasing God, and for God; 2d, in making them, to watch over our words and our actions, so that we may banish from them anything that may breathe the spirit of the world.
Let us adore Our Lord in the different visits He made to men; He visited them all in general, through descending from heaven upon earth by the Incarnation (Luke i. 78); He visited them in particular during His life, as when He visited Zacharias (Luke xix. 5); He visits them every day in general and in particular in the Sacrament of the Altar (Ps. viii. 5). Let us love and bless our divine Saviour for the great goodness He shows us by this behavior.
We must first of all examine, in the presence of God, whether it is permissible, proper, and useful to make the visit, or whether it is not a dislike to solitude, the love of the world, frivolity, a spirit of dissipation and of curiosity which leads us to make it, rather than a solid reason of duty and propriety. The visit being decided upon after this examination, we must settle the intentions in which it is to be made. These ought to be the same intentions which Jesus Christ would have had if He had been in our place. If those whom we visit are afflicted persons, we must propose to ourselves to honor the suffering Saviour in His members, and to imitate Him carrying consolation to all who were in sorrow, for example to Mary and Martha after the death of Lazarus, to the apostles and St. Mary Magdalene after His resurrection. If they are poor persons, we must propose to honor in them Jesus Christ, who was poor, and to treat them with kindness, love, and respect, as being the best friends of the Saviour, who embraced their position and chose them to be the foundation of His Church and the apostles of the universe. If they are sinners who have wandered away from God, we must propose to withdraw them from so unhappy a state, and to recall them to a better life, with all the tenderness which a perfect charity inspires. Lastly, whoever they may be whom we visit, we must propose to induce them to esteem Christian truths, a love of the maxims of the gospel, the practice of solid virtues, by frankly condemning the spirit and the maxims of the world, by laboring with zeal to strengthen and perfect in their souls the reign of Jesus Christ, according to the example of the Blessed Virgin, who visited her cousin Elizabeth for the sole purpose of making all who were in her house know and love God. The means for having grace to do all these things in a holy manner is, before we go out, earnestly to ask God for it (St. Jerome, Ep. xxii.). Are we faithful to this practice?
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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