In Order to Appreciate Ourselves at our Real Value, we must Take for Points of Comparison the Virtues of the Saints.

In Order to Appreciate Ourselves at our Real Value, we must Take for Points of Comparison the Virtues of the Saints.


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.

In Order to Appreciate Ourselves at our Real Value, we must Take for Points of Comparison the Virtues of the Saints.

We will meditate upon a seventh reason for being humble, which is often to ask ourselves, What am I in comparison with the saints? and in order to understand this reason we will consider: 1st, that to appreciate ourselves at our real value we must take, as points of comparison, the virtues of the saints; 2d, that this comparison is deeply humiliating for us. We will then make the resolution: 1st, often to ask ourselves, How would a saint perform this prayer, this action; how would he employ this present day? 2d, to humble ourselves every day, saying, Oh, how far am I from being what the saints were! 

I will make myself meaner than I have done, and I will be little in my own eyes” (II. Kings vi. 22).

Let us adore and bless God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who from all eternity has chosen us and called us to be saints (Eph. i. 3, 4). Let us thank Him for so beautiful and glorious a vocation, and let us ask of Him grace to fulfil it rightly.

Baseness inspires us sometimes to make perfidious comparisons. It leads us to compare our life with the life of great sinners or of worldly persons who are only half Christians, and it tempts us to say, “I am not like this person or that; my life is not in the least degree scandalous; there are no great immoralities or notable disorders in it which are worthy of reproof.” At other times, by means of a still more dangerous piece of deceit, it makes us compare ourselves with certain pious and devout souls in which a malignant spirit finds some defects of character to be reprehended, certain susceptibilities springing from self-love or other imperfections from which we flatter ourselves that we are exempt. In consequence we imagine ourselves to be better than these pious souls, and we take pleasure in ourselves. What deplorable reasoning! What matters to us, who desire to save ourselves, the conduct of those who do not care about compromising or risking their salvation? If we are free from the defects which characterize certain pious persons, have we the virtues which compensate them? Do we think that we shall be justified when we appear before the tribunal of the sovereign Judge, because we shall be able to say to Him: I do not commit the faults of such a one; I have not the defects of such or such a person? If we aspire after paradise, we ought to know that paradise is reserved for the saints, only for the saints; and that whoever is not holy will not be able to enter therein. If, then, we desire to be saved, let us compare ourselves with the saints, and correct, in accordance with these beautiful examples of holiness, the too high opinion we entertain of ourselves. Is this what we do?


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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