Saturday after the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.
On the Pieta
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 the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.
On the Pieta
Many a time, my soul, before now, you have contemplated the touching image of the Pieta; your gaze has been fixed upon Mary, the Mother of dolors, sitting at the foot of the cross, her heart filled with tender compassion, her eyes resting upon the lifeless body of her Son, which has been laid on her knees, her tears falling fast upon His sacred countenance, blanched with the pallor of death. Let your meditation this day, which is dedicated to the Mother of God, be upon the spectacle the Pieta presents.
1st. Mary casts her eyes on her dead Son, whose lifeless body is laid in her maternal arms. That look is expressive of the tenderest compassion, most poignant sorrow, unutterable sadness. She thinks how different it was when that same Child was clasped to her bosom in the stable at Bethlehem! Those features, now distorted by the anguish of death, then met her fond gaze with an engaging smile; the hands now pierced by cruel wounds were then stretched out towards her with childlike affection; the Sacred Body now disfigured with blood and lacerations was then for her a source of holy rapture and maternal delight. “O sin, what hast thou done to my sweet Child, what has not my divine Son suffered on account of thee!” Such were the thoughts that filled her mind when she first beheld Christ’s lifeless body. Now, my soul, the moment is approaching when the most holy body of Christ will be deposited, not indeed in your arms, but in your heart. before receiving it, cast your eyes with a look of compassion, of grief, of contrition, on that sacred form resting on Mary’s knees. Think, as she did, of the bitter suffering which that sacred body endured because of your sin; the sight of it will serve to soften your hard heart, to dispel its coldness, and thus prepare you in the best manner possible for the worthy reception of the Lord’s most holy body.
2d. Mary, holding the Sacred Body of her dead Son in her maternal arms, casts her eyes up to Heaven, raises them to her heavenly Father. That look is expressive of calm resignation, hallowed sacrifice, loving supplication. Sharply as her soul is pierced by the sword of sorrow at the sight of her dead Son, she submits to the will of God; she offers Him to her heavenly Father; she offers her own sufferings and those of her Son, and prays fervently, earnestly, the body of her divine Child still resting on her knees, imploring mercy and pardon for the miserable sinners for whom He has just undergone the agony of death. My soul, when you have that Sacred Body in your heart, as Mary had in her arms, cast your eyes upward to your Father in Heaven. Offer to Him the precious treasure which has just been given to you. In this solemn moment when you are united to Jesus, you have it within your power to offer to God the most acceptable, the most glorious oblation of praise and thanksgiving. That is the opportune time to implore your heavenly Father to grant you what you need for your soul, for whose sake Christ died, what you need for your body, in which Christ’s body is now present, what you need for your Brethren and Sisters, for the souls entrusted to your care, for all sinners on whose behalf the Sacred Body of our Lord hung and suffered on the cross. Make good use of this precious moment, and never omit thus to raise your eyes to Heaven.
3d. Furthermore Mary, still holding the most holy body of Christ in her maternal embrace, casts her eyes inward on herself. This look is expressive of thankfulness and joy even amid all her sorrows. She does indeed know full well what an inestimable treasure, what a wondrous, priceless possession now rests in her arms. This Sacred Body is the ransom of the whole sinful world; this Sacred Body is the treasury of the whole Christian Church; this Sacred Body is the strength of all future martyrs who will suffer for His sake; this Sacred Body is the bread of virgin souls, who lead on earth an angel’s life; this Sacred Body is the medicine of the sick, the viaticum of the dying. And she, Mary, is the first who is privileged to hold it in her maternal arms, to pay to it the homage of her adoration, to moisten it with her tears, to kiss it with reverent devotion. This is a thought which cannot fail to be a powerful support, a mighty solace, a source of ecstatic delight to Mary’s soul. My soul, take heed that you also cast your eyes on yourself, when you have that sacred body present in your heart. Remember that at this solemn moment you are in the enjoyment of infinite happiness, an immense privilege, a blessing exceedingly great. The angels themselves might envy you your happiness, the distinction conferred on you. Wherefore at such seasons let your heart overflow with joy and thankfulness; as often as you see a Pieta, call to mind to-day’s meditation, and when reciting Vespers on the eve of the day of your Communion, pray for grace to receive the most holy body of Christ in your heart as worthily as Mary received that same body in her maternal arms.
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.
July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus
Virtue to practice: Simplicity, Faith, Liberty of Spirit, Cheerfulness
Almighty, and everlasting God, who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world, and hast been pleased to be reconciled unto us by His Blood, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation, that the power thereof may here on earth keep us from all things hurtful, and the fruit of the same may gladden us forever hereafter in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers to St. Philomena
Novena to St. Philomena (from July 1st through August 10th)
Illustrious Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena, behold me kneeling in spirit before the throne on which it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I beseech thee to intercede for me with God. From the height of thy heavenly country, deign to cast a look upon thy humble servant. Spouse of Jesus Christ, console me in my troubles, strengthen me in temptations, protect me in the dangers which surround me on every side; obtain all the graces necessary for me, especially (here mention your particular intention), and, above all, assist me at my death. Amen.
For Victory over Temptations.
O God, who dost sustain us by the merits and example of the blessed Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, mercifully grant that, strengthened in faith and charity, we may never be separated from Thee by any temptation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Growth in Virtues.
O glorious Virgin! whose glory God has been pleased to make known by singular miracles, we address ourselves to thee with entire confidence. Obtain for us that, following thy example, we may fight courageously against whatever is opposed to the reign of Jesus Christ in our heart; that we may adorn our souls with virtues like thine, particularly with that angelic purity of which thou art the perfect model; and that inflamed with the love of Jesus, we may continually walk in the way which He has marked out, to the end that we may one day partake of thy everlasting happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, lives and reigns one God in perfect Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer for Purity.
O glorious Saint Philomena, who, animated by a burning love for Jesus our Savior, didst shine in Holy Church by the splendor of perfect virginity and the practice of the most heroic virtues, obtain for us of thy Divine Spouse the grace to keep ever unsullied the precious treasure of chastity and to practice with generosity the virtues of our state, that having, after thy example, walked in His footsteps during our life on earth, we may, with thee, rejoice in His glory eternally.
Saint Philomena, happy virgin, adorned with all the charm of innocence, and beautified, besides, with the purple of martyrdom, obtain for us the grace to know how to suffer all, and to sacrifice all in order to be faithful to God till death, and possess Him eternally in paradise. Amen.
For Detachment from Earthly Goods.
O Saint Philomena, faithful virgin and glorious martyr, who so courageously preferred to the visible goods of this world the invisible goods of a holy eternity, obtain for us a lively faith, an ardent charity, and a piety always increasing, in order that, faithfully serving our Lord Jesus Christ during our life, we may merit after our death the happiness of contemplating Him face to face in life eternal. Amen.
Copyright © Holy Cross Publications, 2013 – 2019. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holy Cross Publications with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.