Tuesday after Quinquagesima Sunday. —On the Reason Why Our Lord Took the Three Apostles with Him into the Garden of Olives.

Tuesday after Quinquagesima Sunday.
On the Reason Why Our Lord Took the Three Apostles with Him into the Garden of Olives.

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.

Tuesday after Quinquagesima Sunday.
On the Reason Why Our Lord Took the Three Apostles with Him into the Garden of Olives.

To-day picture to yourself our Lord entering the Garden of Olives with Peter, James and John. It is a solemn moment. The three chosen apostles already see their Master overwhelmed with sorrow and sadness; already on His countenance, usually expressive of heavenly peace, they see signs of fear and dread, of anguish and horror; now, and this is yet more terrible, they are to behold their Master in His hour of deepest abasement. What is the reason of this? Why are these three apostles chosen for this rather than the others?

1st. Consider that the apostles who are with their Master on Olivet are the same who were with Him on Thabor. They who beheld the Lord in His glorification must now behold Him in His humiliation. This is the way God is wont to deal with His servants. He invariably visits those with greater tribulations to whom He has previously given greater graces and consolations. Wherefore if you experience extraordinary sweetness and consolation in prayer, special ease in obedience to God’s commandments and the observance of your Rule, if you can bear trials and sufferings with unusual cheerfulness, then prepare yourself; soon this Thabor will be exchanged for Olivet. Consider that, as St. Gregory says, those persons expose themselves to bitter disappointment who imagine all difficulties are overcome because they experience sweetness, fervor and devotion in the service of God, although they are but beginners; they ought on the contrary to consider that such marks of God’s favor are but the caresses He bestows on children, who will soon be subjected to severer discipline, and weaned from the love of the world. At first a gardener waters young plants freely; when they have grown stronger he does so less often.

2d. Consider that the apostles who went with our Lord on to Mount Olivet were those whom He loved most. Peter was the one He had chosen as the rock on which His Church was to be founded; John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and James was the first who was to receive the crown of glory. These were the three who were to go with Him to Olivet, who were to witness His agony. Learn from this, my soul, learn that it is a mark of singular favor and special love on God’s part, if He takes us with Him on to Olivet, if He sends us sufferings and afflictions. Perhaps at the outset of your spiritual life, after your conversion or when first you were admitted into the Priesthood, or entered a Religious Order, you were apparently the object of God’s particular favor, you were privileged to enjoy His special loving-kindness. How fervent you then were in prayer, how zealous in the service of God! Now all is changed. Do not let this disquiet you. God does not love you less because you are more frequently assailed by temptation, more visited by tribulations than you were formerly. “My brethren, count it all joy when you shall fall into divers temptations,” so says St. James, (i. 2.) We read of a hermit who when delivered from a temptation that had long tormented him, seemed quite sorrowful, and addressed to God this loving complaint: “Thou dost not deem me worthy, Lord, to suffer something for love of Thee.” Wherefore, my soul, consider it to be a signal mark of God’s love and favor when He takes you with Him on to Olivet.

3d. Consider that you must remain upon Mount Olivet with the three apostles: that is, withstand the assaults, the temptations of the evil one; bear the trials and troubles of life as St. Peter, with steadfast faith, and confidence that is firm as a rock. However high the waves of the stormy ocean of temptation rise, as long as you do not lose confidence you will not sink. Armed with this faith show yourself to be like James, whose name signifies “champion.” As long as you maintain the fight, as long as you struggle with your foe, he will not prevail against you. The victory will be yours when your opponent lays down his arms, and gives up the contest. Remember that, my soul. This thought will be a great support to you: As long as I fight, as long as I resist temptation, I shall not be defeated. Yet one thing more: you must fight like John, the meaning of whose name is the gift or grace of God. Do not trust to your own power and strength, or you will fall as did Peter. But if you fight in and with the grace of God you will be invincible; and while the self-confident Peter has to weep bitter tears over his unhappy fall, you will be able to follow our Lord with the humble-minded John from Olivet to Calvary.

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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