In what the Practice of Humility Consists.
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.
In what the Practice of Humility Consists.
Humility may be practised: 1st, in our relations with God, by behaving in His presence like a poor man who has nothing; like a sick man who is ashamed of his infirmities; like a worm, crawling in the dust at the foot of His throne, saying to Him with a feeling of deep abasement, “O Lord, I am nothing and Thou art all; I can do nothing and Thou canst do everything; I am filled with horror and shame of myself, so profound is my wretchedness, whilst Thou dost ravish heaven with Thine infinite amiability.” Oh, how agreeable to God is a soul which is in this state, and how many graces does it not attract towards itself! 2d. We can practise humility in our relations with our neighbor, always taking for ourselves the least share and the lowest place, treating every one with great consideration and respect, willingly seeing all held in greater esteem than ourselves, and rejoicing to be looked upon as possessing neither wisdom nor knowledge; so that we may, at the expense of our own self-love, honor the humiliations of the Incarnate Word, receiving with a good grace advice, reproaches, even contempt, without trying to justify ourselves; never speaking of ourselves; suffering contradiction meekly and without impatience; loving to occupy ourselves with the lowly and the simple, and preferring their society to that of the great and the rich. It is by such behavior as this that the saints established and perfected themselves in humility, and it is in following their example that we shall succeed in doing so ourselves. 3d. Humility may be practised in ourselves, by cheerfully suffering such of our natural defects as humiliate us; by often keeping present to ourselves of how little worth we are, how little intelligence and judgment we possess, how insignificant is our virtue compared with that of the saints; and by turning away promptly from anything that self-love attempts to say to us about our merits and our graces; lastly, and above all, by counting as nothing the opinion of men, and placing ourselves in our own opinion below everyone else, below even the greatest sinners and infidels, who, if they had received as many graces as we have, would perhaps have been much better than we are; below even the devils, who committed only one single sin of pride, whilst we have committed so many. Let us here examine our conscience. Are these practices of humility familiar to us?
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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