Self-love is a more Serious Danger than we Imagine it to be.

Self-love is a more Serious Danger than we Imagine it to be.

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.

Self-love is a more Serious Danger than we Imagine it to be.

Be afraid of self-love, says St. Bernard; it is an arrow which pierces but slightly the mind and the heart, but it does not make a slight wound; it inflicts death upon him who is not on his guard (St. Bernard, in Ps. xc.). We easily forgive ourselves the vain complaisance of self-love in regard to ourselves, and we neglect it as a matter of no consequence in regard to our salvation. Such feelings as these are so sweet! We smile at them and we love them. Doubtless a fugitive thought of self-love is not a mortal sin; but to allow self-love to take to itself the merit of our works, is that nothing? to occasion the subtraction of graces which put to profit would have been the means of procuring for us many others, and without which perhaps we should not be saved, as it happened to St. Teresa when God showed her the place she would have occupied in hell if she had not rejected a movement of self-love—is that nothing? But after having repressed this first feeling of self-love, a second will come, then a third, and thus our self-love will go on always growing, and heaping up in us a mass of pride which will in the end close to us the kingdom of heaven; moreover, the habit of being pleased with ourselves will prevent us from seeing what are the virtues we do not possess, the faults we have to correct, and we shall thus arrive at the hour of death without being prepared for it; lastly, self-love, when it is not suppressed, will lead us to the commission of all kinds of vices, to presumption, to ambition, to the vain pretensions suggested by susceptibility, to luxury and to the desire for riches, to a dissipated, worldly, effeminate, and sensual life; lastly, to our eternal ruin. Self-love doubtless tells us that we shall not fall into these excesses; but a blind man is never better seduced than when the precipice on the edge of which he is about to put his foot is hidden from him. Hermits, after eighty years of penitence, have been known to ruin themselves through self-love. It is written that “pride goeth before destruction, and the spirit is lifted up before a fall” (Prov. xvi. 18). Let us be afraid of making the sad experience of it.

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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