Humility Rightly Understood is Eminently Reasonable.
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.
Humility Rightly Understood is Eminently Reasonable.
For what is more reasonable than to keep to what is true? and is there not disloyalty in lying to ourselves, in not allowing ourselves to be looked upon as what we are, because it is displeasing to us, as if it could be changed on account of our not confessing it? God, the Author of all good, has sown the good grain in the field of our soul; we, who alone are authors of all that is evil, have sown in it tares; is it seemly for us to glorify ourselves and say: This harvest is my work? What more reasonable, also, when we know the root of an evil, than to tear out the root? Now, the bad passions which are in us—pride, ambition, vanity, the love of riches, and other attachments which make us commit so many sins, which render us so unhappy because of the deceptions they inflict upon us, have all of them the common root, which is self-esteem together with the desire to be esteemed; and this root humility destroys. Lastly, what more reasonable than to lean upon an immovable pillar, rather than upon a reed which bends? Now, this is what the humble man does. Being aware of his weakness, he does not lean upon himself, and he does not expose himself to temptation; he counts only upon God, who has promised him His help, and he confides in Him alone, becoming thereby strong with the strength of God Himself, so that he is able to say with the Apostle: “I can do all things in Him who strengthened me” (Philipp. iv. 13). “When I am weak, then am I powerful” (II. Cor. xii. 10). The proud man dare not undertake any thing; and, if he undertake it, he is troubled and annoyed in executing it; the least difficulty discourages him: his self-love fears humiliation and failure. The humble man, on the contrary, after having taken counsel of prudence, goes forward with his eyes fixed upon God, in whom he places all his confidence (Ps. xvii. 30). He goes forward leaning on the pillar, which is God, not upon the reed of human misery, and is thereby capable of great things. Let us ask of God this treasure of humility, which is the foundation of wisdom, reason, and good sense.
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).
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