The Marvellous Effects of the Love of God for Humble Souls.

The Marvellous Effects of the Love of God for Humble Souls.

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.

The Marvellous Effects of the Love of God for Humble Souls.

The author of the Imitation thus recounts the tenderness of the divine love for the humble soul. When God, he says, sees it in trouble He consoles it (II. Imit. ii. 2); when He finds it sunk in the feeling of its own nothingness He draws near to it (Ibid.) and gives it a great abundance of graces (Ibid.); and in proportion as it humbles itself He raises it to glory (Ibid.); He reveals to it His secrets, and draws it sweetly to Himself (Ibid.). The lower it descends into the abyss of its miseries, the more God raises it in grace here below and in glory in heaven (Luke i. 52). When it has something to ask of Him, its prayer is always well received (Ecclus. xxxv. 21). Even when it does not know how to speak to God and feels itself incapable of praying, humility supplies all that is wanting and stands in place of it. God beholds it and sees that it is filled with low and humble sentiments in presence of His greatness and His infinite holiness; He sees that it is ashamed and confounded at its own coldness and its in-sensibilities, its distractions, and its aridities, and He is content; He looks upon its prayer as being perfect (Jud. ix. 16). The publican cannot say anything else save the humble words: “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke xviii. 13); and these words are worth everything to him: they are worth his justification. If the humble soul be assailed by a thousand temptations, and afflicted by falls, and if, instead of giving way to being vexed by self-love, it humbles itself peacefully and asks forgiveness like the publican, it issues victoriously from its temptations and corrects itself of its backslidings. Lastly, the humble soul is an elect deposit of grace and predilection, because in its fidelity it leaves to God all the glory and attributes none of it to itself. Mary was chosen from among all other creatures to be the mother of God only because she was the most humble (Luke i. 48), and St. Teresa was elevated to such lofty contemplations only on account of her humility. “When I was,” she says, “confounded in the presence of God to such an extent as to present myself at the foot of His throne like a little worm crawling in the dust, it was then that He seized me and united me to Himself.” What a lesson for us! What an encouragement to be very humble in the presence of God!

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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September Devotion: The Holy Cross

Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer

O Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.

An indulgence of 500 days (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957).


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