We ought to have it Greatly at Heart to become Humble.
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.
We ought to have it Greatly at Heart to become Humble.
After meditating upon so many reasons for being very humble, we will now meditate on the means of becoming so, and we will consider: 1st, that the first means is to have it strongly at heart to acquire humility; 2d, that it is a labor of the whole of our life. Our resolution shall be: 1st, often to ask God for this virtue as being the most necessary thing in the world; 2d, cheerfully to accept all opportunities of humbling ourselves.
“Humble thy spirit very much” (Ecclus. vii. 19).
Let us adore God, finding in humility such great attractions, such powerful charms, that He delights to look upon the humble (Ps. cxii. 6; cxxxvii. 6); and that having to choose a mother, He gives the preference to her whom He considers to be the most humble (Luke i. 18), to which St. Bernard adds: “Mary, by her humility, conceived the Word of God incarnate.” O Lord, couldst Thou better teach me to understand how this virtue ought to be dear to me above all others, and how greatly and constantly I ought to have it at heart to acquire it?
To become humble is a difficult enterprise, which often requires more strength of soul and more true courage than are necessary to expose our life upon a battle-field. All that wounds our self-love touches us so to the quick, that it is only great energy of character and of will that can triumph over it. To become humble is an affair of supreme importance of which we must think far more highly than of fortune or of health, than of reputation and of all earthly possessions, since eternity depends upon it. We must therefore take greatly to heart holy humility, desire it ardently even as we desire what we most esteem, earnestly ask it of God, and often meditate upon the inestimable value of it. We must read by preference books which speak of it, and delight in everything that leads us to and confirms us in it; for example, simplicity in our clothing and in everything of which we make use, modesty in our manners and language, charity, which, far from blushing at it, takes pleasure in the society of the poor and the insignificant; which, far from imagining itself to be lowered by rendering to its neighbor the most humble services, is glad to seize upon all opportunities of doing so. Lastly, we must imitate the man of business, who has it greatly at heart to make a fortune, and who consequently pursues his aim night and day, looks out narrowly for everything that may lead to it, and never loses an opportunity of enriching himself; every evening he goes over his accounts, balances his losses and his gains, and takes precautions either not to incur the same losses the next day or to add fresh profits to preceding ones. Thus ought we to act in regard to humility, which is the great fortune to be amassed by the Christian, his riches and his treasure; every day we must take for our text the acquisition of this virtue, refer to it all our spiritual exercises, meditations, communions, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and every evening we must examine our conscience on this subject, that we may see at what point we have arrived, what is our progress, and what have been our falls. Is this our practice?
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.
October Devotions: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary
Virtue to practice: Confidence
PRAYER TO ST. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL. Glorious Archangel, St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day. .
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