Friday after Septuagesima Sunday.—On our Lord’s Passion in Regard to the Personality of the Sufferer.

Friday after Septuagesima Sunday.
On our Lord’s Passion in Regard to the Personality of the Sufferer.

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.

Friday after Septuagesima Sunday.
On our Lord’s Passion in Regard to the Personality of the Sufferer.

Fully nineteen hundred years have elapsed since our Lord’s Passion and death. What a long time that is! And yet that Passion is as deeply, as vividly impressed upon the souls of thousands as if it were an event of quite recent occurrence; that Passion yet fills the heart of thousands with burning love, profound compassion, bitter contrition; it yet inspires thousands, nay millions, with eager desire to suffer and to die with Christ and for Christ. Is not this very surprising? Your surprise will soon be dispelled, my soul, if you consider who it was who thus suffered. It was God. Reflect upon this attentively, and then consider the following points:

1st. If a person of low degree, a child, or a mendicant is put to a violent death, this occurrence creates a little stir in the immediate surroundings of the victim, but it attracts little if any notice in a wider circle. But if a king or an emperor has been assassinated, all the world hears and talks of it. Now ask yourself, who is it whom the Jews put to an ignominious death upon the cross? It is the Son of God, the Lord of Heaven and earth, in comparison with whose majesty, grandeur and might, all the most powerful potentates of earth are mean and contemptible in the extreme. Indeed, if both men and angels were suddenly swept out of existence, this fact would not be as momentous, as horrible, as appalling as the truth embodied in these words: The Son of God is put to death upon the cross—God is slain by man. Nineteen hundred years are not enough, nay a million years, a whole eternity would not suffice to grasp the full import of this event, to gauge its full depth, to appreciate its horror to the full.

2d. When a valiant warrior came to David and told him that he had slain Saul, who was David’s deadly enemy, and who being already mortally wounded could not under any circumstances have lived much longer, the generous-minded king was so horrified at the deed that he rent his clothes and commanded the murderer to be put to death instantly, because he had laid violent hands upon the Lord’s anointed. What wouldst thou have said, David, hadst thou been informed that not merely the Lord’s anointed, but the Lord Himself had been slain? Thou wouldst not only have rent thy garments, thy very heart would have been rent asunder with grief and sorrow! Is it not therefore just, my soul, to say that nineteen centuries are not too many but too few, that all eternity is not too long to lament and bewail the cruel death our sins inflicted on the Son of God?

3d. It is related that the son of King Crœsus, who was dumb, seeing a soldier raise his sword to strike his royal father, felt such horror at the deed that it unloosed his tongue, and he who had been mute from his birth cried aloud: “O man, do not slay the king!”

Consider, my soul, that when an act of incomparably greater horror was committed, when the Jews raised aloft the hammer whose deadly strokes fastened the Son of God to the cross, then all mute creation spoke by signs: The sun hid its light, the earth quaked, the rocks were cleft, the veil of the temple was rent in twain; by these phenomena Nature gave voice to her horror, and exclaimed aloud: “O man, do not slay thy God! “ Now if irrational creatures thus mourn aloud, you ought not, O man, to keep silence. Nineteen hundred years ought not to prove too long but rather too short a period to praise and magnify the God who out of love to us gave Himself to be slain. Now do you perceive why it is that the Passion of Christ makes so permanent an impression on the soul? And can you at the same time understand how it is possible for any man to remain cold and indifferent, how any one can live in tranquillity, can eat and drink in peace, if the terrible, the awful consciousness rests upon him that he is guilty of a deed which caused silent Nature to lift her voice in horror—the consciousness that by mortal sin he is crucifying his God?

Horrified as you are, my soul, at the appalling crime of deicide, refrain from casting a stone at the Jews, and accuse yourself of its guilt. Bewail your sins, by which you are in a great measure inculpated in that crime, and pray from the bottom of your heart for all unhappy persons who—unaware of the heinousness of the deed—are in danger of crucifying the Son of God afresh by mortal sin.

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.

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February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)

Virtue to practice: Humility

I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ Amen. – St. Francis de Sales

An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a month (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).

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Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes

O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from where thou dost dispense thy favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for thy favors, I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share in thy glory.
R. Amen.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.

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