Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis.
What Pride is.
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.
What Pride is.
We will meditate upon the state which is the most opposed to humility, which is pride, and we shall see; 1st, what pride is; 2d, how we render ourselves guilty of it. We will thence deduce the resolution: 1st, carefully to watch over our interior in order to keep ourselves on our guard against the inspirations of pride, of self-esteem, and of the desire to be esteemed; 2d, to hold pride in horror, and every day to endeavor to correct ourselves of it.
“Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind or in thy words; for from it all perdition took its beginning” (Tob. iv. 14).
Let us adore God severely chastising pride in the person of Lucifer and of the bad angels. Hardly had these rebels conceived the first thought of raising themselves above what God had made them, than God casts them down from highest heaven into the lowest depths of hell, and makes them pass in one moment from extremest happiness to extremest misery. Thus is punished one single proud thought. O God, who would not tremble in presence of so terrible a chastisement? (St. Bernard, Serm. liv. in Cant.)
Pride is an inordinate esteem of our own excellence which is always aspiring to raise itself higher and higher. It is a subtle poison which insinuates itself insensibly into the soul, and corrupts, if it does not destroy, the most sublime virtues. It is a mental malady which makes us lose our mental balance, and leads to insanity, there being no greater madmen than the proud, who feed upon wind and smoke, and lose eternal glory for the glory of a moment. It is a poisoned fountain whence flow forth all kinds of sin (Ecclus. xi. 15), and this evil is more common than we think; for it is pride which, after having been the ruin of the bad angels, is still the cause of every day casting so great a number of men into perdition. It is an execrable evil which tends to nothing less than to dethrone God in the soul by stealing His glory from Him, an evil which the Holy Spirit for this reason strikes with the anathemas of heaven and earth (Ibid. x. 7). Therefore God takes pleasure in confounding the proud, first in this world, by permitting them to fall into shameful sins; then in the next world, by casting them into the lowest depths of hell, there to be eternally insulted by the devils. Are these the sentiments we entertain in regard to pride? and do we thoroughly understand the horror with which it ought to inspire 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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