We ought to be very Humble at our having so High an Opinion of Ourselves.

We ought to be very Humble at our having so High an Opinion of Ourselves.

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 at our having so High an Opinion of Ourselves.

We will meditate upon a sixth reason for being very humble, which is nothing more than our own pride, and we shall see what a subject of humiliation it is for us: 1st, to esteem ourselves so highly; 2d, to desire to be highly esteemed when we really merit nothing but an entirely contrary opinion. We will then make the resolution: 1st, often to address to God this aspiration: “Lord, have pity on me for I am a proud man;” 2d, never to say or do anything from a motive of self-love.

It is good for me that Thou hast humbled me” (Ps. cxviii. 71).

Let us adore Jesus Christ so deeply hidden in the Sacrament of the Altar in order to teach us to despise ourselves and not to wish to make a parade of ourselves; let us say to Him with Isaias: “Verily, Thou art a hidden God” (Is. xlv. 15). Let us admire Him in this state, and ask of Him a share in the grace of His hidden life.

What a state of confusion we are in when we lie so boldly to our conscience, when the least want of vigilance, of combats, and of prayers puts us constantly in the wrong! We do not know ourselves, and like him who fancies himself to be rich because he neglects looking into the embarrassed condition of his affairs, and imagines himself to be safe because he shuts his eyes to the danger, in health because he is not conscious of his malady, we fancy ourselves to be perfect because we do not perceive our defects. Everyone knows our weak point; we alone are not aware of it, whether it is that, seeing it too near at hand, the eye confounds itself with the object, or whether, looking far beyond ourselves, we escape from our own ken; whether it is, lastly, the excessive love we bear ourselves which prevents us from seeing ourselves such as we are. Even when, knowing ourselves better, we allow that what is good in us comes from God, we nevertheless enjoy it and we contemplate ourselves in our own merit, like a vain woman looking at herself in her mirror; we are pleased that we rather than another should be the person on whom heavenly gifts flow down; and without saying so to ourselves we appropriate to ourselves the most beautiful of these gifts. We recount to ourselves our acts of humility, of patience, of disinterestedness; we make use of them as of so many aids for enabling us to confide in ourselves and for rendering us a good testimony of our own righteousness. Lastly, we have a high opinion of ourselves because of our imagining that we have conquered self-esteem. After having raised ourselves above vulgar sentiments, we fall back upon ourselves, and we take pleasure in receiving from our own hands the incense we refuse from the hand of another, and to feed within ourselves upon a certain hidden and interior vainglory, which is all the more exquisite in that, putting everyone else under ourselves, we suffice for ourselves and have no need of any extraneous aid. What a heap of misery! what a subject for confusion! Here indeed is the poor proud man, whom the Lord detests (Ecclus. xxv. 3, 4).

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.

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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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