We ought to be very Humble because we have Sinned.
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.
We ought to be very Humble because we have Sinned.
We will meditate upon a fifth reason for being very humble, which is that we are sinners: 1st, we have sinned; 2d, we are capable of sinning again. We will thence deduce the resolution: 1st, to elevate ourselves, by means of these considerations, to praise, admire, and love the goodness of God, who is willing to love such miserable creatures as we are: 2d, to confound ourselves and be humiliated by every temptation to pride which may present itself to us, because it ill becomes so miserable a being to have any esteem for itself.
“My sin is always before me” (Ps. 1. 5).
Let us adore Jesus Christ on the cross teaching us by all His ignominies and all His sufferings how constantly humble he ought to be who has had the unhappiness of sinning one single time. Our divine Saviour bore only the shadow and appearance of sin, for which He made Himself security and the victim; it is enough to cover Him with confusion (Ps. lxviii. 8), and to make Him in His own sight as it were an object of anathema and of malediction (Gal. iii. 13). O heavenly Father, what then ought we to think of ourselves? If nothing more than the appearance only of sin rendered Thine own Son infamous and abominable in His own eyes, what ought we to feel, who in reality have sinned, have sinned so often, and are capable of sinning again?
If we had only committed one single sin during the whole of our life, it would be enough to keep us forever in the lowest degree of humiliation. It would be better never to have been created than to make use of our creation in order to offend God. By sinning we abase ourselves beneath everything which is most miserable, even below the clay of the earth, which is superior to us in that it has the honor of never having offended God. What is a man who has committed but one single venial sin? He is a being who has a bad heart, who has offended his Benefactor and his Father, who has wounded Him sometimes by actions, sometimes by words. Is there not matter herein to make us ashamed and humiliated? But above all, what is a man who has committed a mortal sin? He is an exile from heaven, a creature condemned to eternal punishment, a rebel against his God, a traitor who has been faithless to his oaths, a deicide who has crucified Jesus Christ in his heart and trodden underfoot the blood of the Testament. O opprobrium! O ignominy! And what is it then if he has committed this great offence many times, if he has multiplied it like the hairs of his head? No, we shall never be able to conceive the contempt which such a man as this deserves. Do not let it be said that all this has been pardoned. First, no one can be sure that it has been (Eccles. ix. 21). We know quite well that we have deserved hell; we do not know, we shall never know in this life, whether we do not still deserve it. What matter for humiliation! But even if we had had the revelation of our pardon made to us, we should even then be only as a creature who has escaped hell, like a brand torn from the burning, a criminal released from perpetual servitude, who had deserved to be always trodden under foot by demons, to be the object of their insults and of their deadliest contempt. Now when we have deserved to be thus treated, is it reasonable to be proud and haughty, not to be able to bear a slight humiliation? Ought we not, on the contrary, to keep ourselves always in a state of the most profound humility and to be covered with confusion?
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).
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.