St. Simon and St. Jude Teach us to be Apostles.
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.
St. Simon and St. Jude Teach us to be Apostles.
We will meditate upon these two apostles, and we shall learn from them: 1st, to be apostles by our zeal in hindering all that is evil and procuring all that is good for religion; 2d, to be martyrs by means of the spirit of sacrifice and of renunciation of ourselves. We will then make the resolution: 1st, to do all that is possible to lead the hearts of those around us to virtue; 2d, to renounce an effeminate and sensual life, in order courageously to embrace all that is crucifying in the practice of virtue.
“May the God of peace fit you in all goodness that you may do His will” (Heb. xiii. 20, 21).
Let us adore Jesus Christ calling St. Simon and St. Jude to follow Him; let us congratulate these two apostles on their vocation. At the first call of Jesus they leave all; Jesus takes the place of all in their hearts. Let us admire their generosity, and let us ask for grace to imitate it.
After Pentecost St. Simon goes to evangelize Egypt, St. Jude Mesopotamia, and both of them unite together to convert Persia. They attack with intrepidity the idolatry which prevails in those countries; they brave torments and a thousand perils of death; they cast down idols, they chase away devils, and they force the King of Babylon to confess that the apostles of Jesus Christ are more powerful than the gods of paganism (Archiep. Joan., Serm. de SS. Simone et Juda). Who is there that would not admire such zeal? But we ought not to confine ourselves to admiring it; we must also imitate it. Zeal is not the duty of apostles only; it is the duty of every Christian; it is the practical consequence of the great precept of charity. If we love God ever so little, we ought to prevent, so far as in us lies, that He should have cause to be offended, that His name should be blasphemed, that His worship should be despised; we ought to use all the means in our power for gaining hearts to Him and making His laws to be respected. In the same way, if we have any love for our neighbor, we shall endeavor to preserve the souls of our brethren from the eternal misfortune of damnation, and obtain for them the happiness of heaven. To see any one about to be lost, to be able to prevent him from perishing, and not to take the trouble of doing so, is evidently not to love him; and all the more so because such an apostolate as this is easy to every one. There is the apostolate of prayer; and what soul is there which cannot pray? There is the apostolate of example; and who is there that cannot, by his meekness and his virtues, prove to the world how beautiful religion is, how amiable is true virtue, and thereby open hearts to conversion? There is the apostolate of good advice; and who is there that has not an opportunity of giving it now to a poor man who is in want of assistance; now to a servant whom we may treat with kindness; now to an equal, or even to a superior, in certain moments of confidence, when friendship is in a frame to be ready to receive advice given delicately? There is the apostolate of good books, which we must contrive prudently to introduce to those we desire to convert. There is the apostolate of the word of God, to the hearing of which we attract sinners by wise procedures. How often have we, until now, fulfilled this duty of the apostolate, above all, in regard to our friends or relatives, to whom we owe it more than to any one else?
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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