The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mother of God, ora pro nobis.
Humility is the Guardian of all the Virtues.
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.
Humility is the Guardian of all the Virtues.
Humility is to virtue and to merit what the source is to the brook, the root to the tree, the foundation to the building. In vain we may have practised many virtues and acquired merits; if humility does not protect and cover them, if self-love or a complaisant glance cast upon ourselves intervenes, all merit disappears, our virtues become vices, our acts fruits of death, worthy of reprobation. In the same way that the brook separated from the fountainhead ceases to flow, that separated from its root the tree does not bear either blossom or fruit, that separated from its foundation the building falls down, so, separated from humility, all virtue vanishes, all merit departs. Self-love feeds upon it, and nothing is left for heaven. Is not this very sad? We have labored much, we have performed actions very holy in themselves, we had wherewith to obtain a beautiful place in paradise, and behold, it is all reduced to dust which is carried away by the wind: the breath of vanity has dissipated it all. Whence we ought to conclude that the more good works we perform, the more deeply humble ought we to be, lest pride and vanity, greedy of feasting upon praise, take from us the whole merit of what we have done. O humility, guardian of all virtue and of all merit, how worthy art thou of all our esteem and of all our efforts!
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.
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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