How we ought to Endeavor to Resemble the Saints in the Practice of Humility.

How we ought to Endeavor to Resemble the Saints in the Practice of Humility.

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.

How we ought to Endeavor to Resemble the Saints in the Practice of Humility.

If the saints, so eminent as they are in merit and in virtue, reached heaven only by humiliating themselves and wishing to be humiliated, what likelihood is there that I shall arrive there by an entirely opposite road? Jesus Christ has placed in the firmament of His Church these admirable examples of humility that we may see how the soul is saved. When the saints, who had so many merits, nevertheless despised themselves so greatly, and made of contempt their delight, how inexcusable are we, with so many defects as we have, to esteem ourselves and to desire to be esteemed! The saints, considering all the graces which they had received, all that these graces, put largely to profit, had produced in them of what was most perfect in holiness, said in the bottom of their hearts: “If such or such a sinner had received as many graces as I have done, I believe that he would have better profited by them; whilst I, if I had been in his place, with passions as violent as his, in an atmosphere as dangerous, and an ignorance as great, I believe that I should have behaved worse than he has done.” Whence they came to the deeply-felt conclusion: “I am therefore the greatest of sinners, I deserve nothing but contempt and confusion” (St. Peter Damian). Why should not I myself come to the same conclusion? Is it reasonable of me to esteem myself and to desire to be esteemed? Oh, how humble I ought to be!

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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