Saturday after Sexagesima Sunday. —On Our Lord’s Passage over the Brook Cedron.

Saturday after Sexagesima Sunday.
On Our Lord’s Passage over the Brook Cedron.

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 Sexagesima Sunday.
On Our Lord’s Passage over the Brook Cedron.

To-day, my soul, follow your Lord in spirit when He quits the cenacle; accompany Him as He wends His way towards Mount Olivet. It is already night. When Jesus with His apostles reached the gate, the moon had not yet risen over the mountains, and it was in a holy, recollected frame of mind that they passed in silence over the brook Cedron. Keep this picture before your eyes while you meditate on the following points:

1st. The brook Cedron was one of those mountain streams which are only full in the rainy season; at other times their waters run dry, and there is nothing but mud or stones in the bed of the torrent. On that account this brook over which Jesus went forms an excellent image of the vanity of this world, its riches, its joys, its honors. Do we not see this stream widening its banks for a certain time in the case of some individuals? Then all of a sudden its waters dry up death comes to the worldling and all is over with him. What remains to him of the volume of waters that rushed on their headlong course his wealth, his pleasures, his dignities? Nothing but a heap of mire, a handful of ashes in the grave and a stone over it. Wherefore happy is he who on his entrance into the priesthood or the Religious state has already crossed the brook Cedron!

2d. Represent to yourself the Saviour passing over the brook Cedron, and fancy you hear His voice saying to you: “See, Christian soul, see Me now alone and on foot crossing this brook to-night with a terrible fate awaiting Me. Only a short time before when I came in festive pomp from Mount Olivet, I passed over it riding upon a donkey, accompanied by hosannas and shouts of rejoicing, by the acclamations of the Jewish people. Now see what has become of this torrent of jubilation, this deification of My person, how quickly it has all dried up and vanished! Now they no longer want Me for their king. Instead of giving Me the title of king they designate Me as a deceiver of the people; instead of a robe of regal purple they put on Me a garment of derision; instead of a golden diadem they place on My head a crown of thorns. Learn thence, Christian soul, how inconstant is the world; trust not in its favor; it will prove but a mountain torrent, to-day a mighty, rushing stream, to-morrow dried up and gone!

3d. Consider that Jesus had to cross the brook Cedron before coming to the Mount of Olives, where He began to suffer for man’s redemption, and whence He ascended into Heaven. The mystic meaning attaching to this brook has already been pointed out in the two first parts. And now, my soul, if you desire to share in the saving graces purchased by our Lord’s Passion; if you desire to mount up to the celestial garden of perpetual joy; if you desire also to ascend to heaven from this world, symbolized by the Mount of Olives, then you must first of all pass over the brook Cedron; that is to say, you must renounce all attachment to the world and all worldly possessions. Is this so with you? Have you not ever, since you left the world, felt a stealthy longing for it? have you not ever returned in desire to its deceptive seductions, to the brook Cedron? Examine your conscience in regard to this, and form your resolutions for the future.

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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March Devotion: St. Joseph

Virtue to practice: Mortification

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, 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.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Splendour of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful Defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most pure, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most couragious, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of all who labor, pray for us.
Glory of family life, pray for us.
Preserver of virgins, pray for us.
Mainstay of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house,
R. And ruler of all His possessions.

Let us Pray.

O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph

(This prayer was said to be founded in the 50 A.D. In the 1500′s it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. According to oral tradition, whoever reads this prayer, hears it, or carries it, will not fall into the hands of the enemy, nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.)

O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me from thy Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O St. Joseph I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thy arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.

Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope St. Pius X

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.

Good St. Joseph protect us, protect the holy Church.

O good and kind St. Joseph guide us in the way of perfection.

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