The Sunday before Pentecost. —On Preparation for the Coming of the Holy Ghost.

The Sunday before Pentecost.
On Preparation for the Coming of the Holy Ghost.

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 Sunday before Pentecost.
On Preparation for the Coming of the Holy Ghost.

Transport yourself in imagination to the chamber where the apostles are wont to assemble in Jerusalem, and see how the disciples, subsequently to their Lord’s Ascension, await the coming of the Comforter promised to them by the Saviour in devout recollection and retirement.

1st. Consider the ignorance, the instability, the timidity the apostles displayed before the advent of the Holy Ghost. Our Lord Himself previous to His departure told them: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” (St. John xvi. 12.) In what a cowardly manner they behaved during our Lord’s Passion, and what timidity they displayed after their Master’s death, for St. John expressly states that the doors were shut where the disciples were gathered together, “for fear of the Jews.” (ch. xx. 19.) And only think, these apostles, who were as yet so ignorant and uninformed about many things, who were as yet so fearful and fainthearted, were destined to preach the Gospel to the whole world, to shed their blood and lay down their lives for their Master’s cause, and go forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Supernatural assistance was indeed requisite for them, and most necessary also was it that they should prepare themselves to receive that assistance.

2d. Consider how our Lord Himself made known His desire that such preparation should be made, by expressly commanding them “that they should not depart from Jerusalem but should wait for the promise of the Father.” (Acts i. 4.) Thus in accordance with our Lord’s will they were to remain in the city and wait, that is to say, prepare themselves for the coming of the Holy Ghost. They were to wait, to persevere in believing, confident anticipation of the promised Comforter, that by this hopeful anticipation their faith might be increased and their longing become more intense, for as St. John Chrysostom remarks, their desire ought indeed to be great if they were to receive the great grace which the Holy Ghost would confer on them. Just as it was God the Father’s will that the whole world should wait so long in expectation of the advent of His Son, and by this waiting their hope and longing for the promised Redeemer should wax ever greater and greater, so the Son of God with the same object required His disciples in like manner to await the coming of the Holy Ghost. If it was so needful for the disciples to prepare for the descent of the Holy Spirit and our Lord expressly commanded that such preparation should be made, does not this command apply to you also?

3d. Consider whether you are not in altogether the same condition as were the apostles. Think in how many matters connected with your salvation you are still so pusillanimous in adversity, so weak in temptation, so timid in the confession of your faith, so easily deterred from the conscientious observance of the rule of your Order or the duties of your sacred ministry, and this merely from motives of worldly prudence, earthly considerations, from human respect and the desire of the favor of man! Therefore you too need power from on high, and in order to merit it, remain, according to Christ’s behest, in the city of Jerusalem; keep during this week in your quiet cell; stay there in holy solitude and seclusion; shut the doors of your heart out of fear, out of a just and salutary fear of the enemies of your salvation who seek to prevent you from making due preparation for the holy festival of Pentecost. Before you rise from your meditation to-day, consider not in a general manner but in detail when, where, and how you will pass this week waiting in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Ghost; for the more perfect the preparation you make, the greater will be the graces granted you on the festival of Pentecost.

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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June Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Virtue to practice: Obedience, piety, dutifulness

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee!
Jesus meek and humble of heart,
make my heart like unto Thine!

O Jesu! Creator of the world,
Of all mankind Redeemer blest,
True God of God, in Whom we see
Thy Father’s image clear expressed!

Thee, Saviour, love alone constrained
To make our mortal flesh Thine own,
And, as a second Adam, come
For the first Adam to atone.

That selfsame love which made the sky,
Which made the sea and stars, and earth,
Took pity on our misery,
And broke the bondage of our birth.

O Jesus! in Thy Heart divine
May that same love for ever glow!
Forever mercy to mankind
From that exhaustless fountain flow!

For this the Sacred Heart was pierced,
And both with blood and water ran –
To cleanse us from the stains of guilt,
And be the hope and strength of man.

Jesu, to Thee be glory given,
Who from Thy Heart dost grace outpour,
To Father and to Paraclete
Be endless praise for evermore. Amen.

An indulgence of 5 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, If this hymn is devoutly recited every day for a month (S.P.Ap., March 12, 1936). (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957)

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Prayer to the Holy Ghost.

O HOLY SPIRIT, divine spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, heart and will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations, and to the teaching of the Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbour; may my will be ever conformed to the Divine Will, and may my whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, to whom with the FATHER and Thee be honour and glory for ever. Amen.

300 Days, once a day.
Pius X, June 5, 1908.

Novena for Pentecost.

i. Seven Years and Seven Quarantines, each day.
ii. Plenary, once during the Novena, Feast or Octave.
This Novena may be made publicly or privately, and the same Indulgences are granted for special prayers said every day during the Octave. Any prayers to the HOLY GHOST may be used.

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