Saturday after Septuagesima Sunday.—On our Lord’s Passion in Regard to those for whom He Suffered.

Saturday after Septuagesima Sunday.
On our Lord’s Passion in Regard to those for whom He Suffered.

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.

Saturday after Septuagesima Sunday.
On our Lord’s Passion in Regard to those for whom He Suffered.

To-day, my soul, picture to yourself the Saviour as He stands, a spectacle to the infuriated multitude, so weak, so exhausted, so deplorable and pitiable an object that even the pagan governor, even Pilate himself, was moved to compassion and gave vent to his feelings in the sorrowful exclamation: “Behold the Man.” Gaze, my soul, on your suffering Lord, print the image of this sad Ecce homo on your heart, and then ask yourself this question: For whom does He thus suffer?

1st. He suffers for mankind. Inquire of David, what man is, and he will answer you: “Every man living is vanity.” (Ps. xxxviii. 6.) Ask holy Job, and he will tell you: “Man cometh forth as a flower and in a short time is destroyed.” (Job. xiv. 2.) Ask the Wise Man, and he will acknowledge that man is as smoke that vanishes, a shadow, nothing. Ask God Himself, and He will tell you that you are but dust and ashes. And for such a miserable creature as this God endures death! It would be considered a generous action if a monarch were to expose his royal person to the danger of death for the sake of one of his courtiers, but if he were to do the same for one of the lowest menials employed in his stables or his kitchen, how astonished every one would be! Now however, we see the King of kings not only incurring the risk of death, but actually enduring death, a death no less ignominious than painful, not indeed for the sake of those who form His court, the choirs of angelic spirits, but for creatures of a far lower type, for miserable, sinful mortals. Who is there who would not marvel at this? But it is much greater cause for marvel, nay, it is enough to make Heaven and earth aghast with horror, that man, whom God loved so greatly, should in his base ingratitude, never think of the God who suffered such torments, and suffered them for his sake.

2d. Consider that it is for evil-doers who had incurred the penalty of death that our Lord suffered. . . what would be said if . . . a king were to give his only, his most dearly loved son to be put to death, in order that from his blood a specific should be prepared for a sick servant, one who had brought his illness on himself by his depraved life? That is an impossible case, you will say; such charity is past conception. And yet you see that this act which you pronounce to be inconceivable, really took place. God permitted the blood of His only-begotten Son to be shed, in order that man, who through his own fault had contracted the fatal malady of sin, might have within his reach an antidote to its poison. O wonder of all wonders! But the foul ingratitude, the barbarous cruelty which beggars all description, of those impenitent sinners who trample under foot the precious blood shed for their salvation, who are unheedful of the bitter pains endured for their sake!

3d. Our Lord suffered for His mortal enemy. Of all the creatures God placed upon the earth man alone has rebelled against his greatest Benefactor; for thousands of years he has offended and outraged his Creator, his heavenly Father, by transgressions great as the mountains, countless as the sand on the sea-shore. And it was for this, His mortal foe, that our Lord suffered and died. It is a great thing, to lay down one’s life for a friend. It is yet greater, to refrain from revenging oneself on an enemy; but to endure the most agonizing, the most disgraceful of deaths for that enemy is an act of such extraordinary sublimity, that in contemplation of it St. Bernard exclaims in astonishment: “O incomprehensible, inexpressible, unfathomable charity! Charity of which the height exceeds computation, the depth cannot be fathomed, the length is illimitable and the breadth immeasurable!” And yet, my soul, there is something still more incomprehensible, still more amazing; that is, the man who can look on our Lord’s sufferings with cold indifference, who even adds to them by his persistence in sin. Are you perhaps such a one as he? If so, after this meditation can you doubt a moment longer as to what you ought to do, what you must do this very day, in order no more to be ranked with such company?

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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