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.
Imagine, my soul, that the supreme moment has come when in all your members you feel the dread approach of death, when the labored breath comes more and more painfully from your heaving breast, when all begins to grow dark before your eyes and your soul stands trembling and fearful on the threshold of eternity. Then having fully realized the solemnity of that awful moment, look up to the cross and listen to the words your Saviour utters in a similar situation: “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” (St. Luke xxiii. 46.) Meditate upon this, that you may learn of Jesus how to die.
1st. If the terrors attendant upon our last moments are to a certain degree to be mitigated to us, we must learn of Christ how to die. See, He commends His parting soul to His heavenly Father. He no longer looks around Him for earthly consolation. His dying eyes are fixed upon eternity, He looks forward into the world to come and there to His consolation He beholds His Father, the Father who was well pleased in Him as His beloved Son, the Father to fulfil Whose will was His meat and drink, the Father Whom He glorified throughout His whole life, and the thought of that Father to Whom He commends His spirit makes death easy to Him.
Supposing, my soul, that suddenly a clot of blood formed on your brain, that you felt the cold hand of death upon you, would the thought of your Father in Heaven be a consolation to you in your agony, or would it only awaken the reproaches of your conscience? Would it smooth the way for you through the dark vale, or invest it with greater terrors? Could you tranquilly say with Christ: Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit?
2d. Consider that in the moment of death our Lord does not give a single thought to His body; He does not trouble Himself as to what treatment it will receive after His soul has departed, although that body was indeed deserving of the highest respect; consider how, on the contrary, in order that He may be an example and teacher to us up to the very last, He thinks only of what concerns His soul, He commends it to His heavenly Father. Alas! poor miserable mortals, they know as little how to die as they do how to live! They are troubled and anxious about all manner of earthly matters and paltry concerns; they are most solicitous in regard to their body, which soon will become the food of worms; whilst their soul, which ought to be of more value, more consequence to them than the whole world, because it may be lost, lost for ever in the hour of death, is the last thing to which they devote their thoughts. No, learn of Christ what ought to be your primary solicitude in your last moments, yet do not postpone this until death draws near, but consider:
3d. That although you may at present be in the prime of life, your chief study should be to learn the art of dying well. The best means thereto lie in the words on which you have been meditating to-day: Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit. Live therefore from this time forth in such a manner that you would be able, if death over took you, wheresoever or whensoever it might be, to utter these words and find in them your comfort. And so it will be with you, as you saw in the first point, if you too are a son in whom the Father is well pleased, and if you also have always made the care of your soul your first and principal care. And in order to keep constantly in mind this twofold duty, recall to your memory as often as possible the thoughts suggested to you in this meditation, and repeat devoutly the words: Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.
This you ought especially to do on three several occasions:
First, every night when you lie down to rest, for you do not know whether you will awaken again in this world, and you ought to compose yourself to sleep in such dispositions as not to feel any terror should you never rise from your bed again.
Secondly, repeat them every time you go to confession, for you know not whether that time may be your last, and you ought to make your confession as if it were, in fact, your last.
Thirdly, repeat them whenever you receive Holy Communion, for it may be your viaticum that you are receiving, and you ought always to communicate so worthily, so devoutly, with such recollection of heart as if the Communion you are making were either your first or your last.
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.
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
Let Us Pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.
Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
– Raccolta 113 An indulgence of 7 years. A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name
O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. Thou art the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that Thy Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis
Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:
“The Golden Arrow”
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.
Prayer in honor of the Holy Name
O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.
Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for thee; may I die for thee; may I be wholly thine, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for thy love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether thine; thine in life, and thine in death, when I hope by thy help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to thee; Jesus and Mary, I love thee, and I give and deliver up to thee my whole soul.
The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)
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