The Flight into Egypt.
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.
The Flight into Egypt.
History. By God’s command the Holy Family fly into Egypt to escape the vengeance of Herod (Matt. ii. 13).
Mental Picture. See them on their journey, or resting on the way.
Petition. To share my Saviour’s lot.
FIRST POINT. How soon Our Lord has become “a sign of contradiction”! Already Herod seeks His life. Am I ready to undergo persecution for His sake? Whether it is deserved for past sins or not, whether it comes from bad men or good, let me bear it for love of Him and in union with Him and I know all will be well with me. If my Christianity is worth anything, I can not expect to escape it, and indeed I ought not to wish to do so. “The servant,” says Our Lord, “is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me they will also persecute you” (John xv. 20). “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. iii. 12). How dear to God was this persecuted family!
SECOND POINT. Almighty God could have delivered His Son from the hands of Herod in some other way; but it was His will that He should be saved by flight. So wicked men in every age have waged war against His Church, and He lets them work their will, seems to give way before them; but when they have sung their song of triumph they go down to the grave, and then the Church which they thought to have trodden into the dust rises once more above them in all its strength and beauty. “There is no wisdom, there is no prudence, there is no counsel against the Lord” (Prov. xxi. 30). We also must sometimes fly before those that oppose us. When a principle is involved we may have to defend our rights; otherwise it is often better to give way, leaving our cause in God’s hands. God’s ways are inscrutable. He knows how to draw victory from what looks like defeat.
THIRD POINT.—The obedience of St. Joseph.—Without a word of protest or excuse he does exactly what he is told. In the middle of the night an angel appears saying: “Arise, and take the child and His mother, and fly into Egypt, and be there till I shall tell thee. Who arose and took the child and His mother by night and retired into Egypt; and he was there until the death of Herod. But when Herod was dead behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph saying: Arise, and take the child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel. Who arose and took the child and His mother and came into the land of Israel.”
How pleasing to God is this perfect readiness to do His will! Mary and her child left themselves in Joseph’s hands; and to us, as to them, God’s will is commonly made known through our parents, or pastors, and other lawful superiors. So long as we are truly submissive we may trust God to protect us. “He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most High shall abide under the protection of the God of Jacob. . . . He will overshadow thee with His shoulders, and under His wings thou shalt trust. His truth shall compass thee with a shield; thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night. . . . For He hath given His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Ps. xc. 1, 4, 5, 11).
Colloquy with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Sleep, Holy Babe.
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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