Meekness: Second Beatitude.
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.
Meekness: Second Beatitude.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.—S. MATT. V.
Having in spirit taken our places on the mountain-side with the disciples of Jesus, let us listen reverently to His words: Blessed are the meek.
Loving Jesus, Thou desirest that Thy disciples should seek to resemble Thee; give to us therefore the knowledge and love of true meekness, which Thou didst practise so perfectly.
What is meekness?
He who has the spirit of meekness, having like our Divine Example the mastery over his own heart and mind, is self-possessed under every provocation; in all circumstances, even the most trying. A perfect practice of this virtue supposes a continual spiritual combat: the emotions of the heart have to be watched over constantly; angry words have to be suppressed at the very moment they would break forth: natural impetuosity has to be calmed, directly any irritating cause arises. Meekness goes further still: it excludes from the soul all bitterness, all impatience, all susceptibility;—by means of it we bear tranquilly the trials God sends us; our own infirmities of body and soul; and the defects of our neighbour. From within, this virtue passes to the exterior; and is perceivable in the countenance, words, and actions,—giving to all these that gentleness of expression, which renders true piety so lovable. And ought not gentleness to be apparent in those who profess to imitate Jesus Christ? Oh! with what care should we watch over the hidden life of the soul, so that it rightly regulate our outward conduct. True meekness is not a natural quality, or there would be little or no merit attached to it: it increases in proportion to the contradictions and trials we meet with; and is acquired perfectly only by such as, aided by grace, fight valiantly against self. Sweet Jesus! help us to triumph over all that is opposed to meekness, by the all-powerful assistance of Thy grace, and the force of Thy Divine example.
The advantages of meekness.
The actual consequences of meekness may be certainly said to be unexpected. Humanly speaking, we should be slow to predict that this quality would ensure to its owner the right to possess anything very vast or important. And yet, in a spiritual sense, are not the meek possessors of their own heart—the heart of their neighbour—and the heart of God? Yes, the Heart of God! Who contemplates with pleasure the combats and the victories of the meek. He loves to incline Himself towards the good and gentle; they are peculiarly His children. He dwells in them, sheds abroad His grace in their souls, gives them true riches now, and hereafter an eternal inheritance: they will possess forever the good Land. They who are guided by the spirit of gentleness have the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Where are we with regard to this excellent virtue, which adds a charm to all other virtues? What progress have we made towards its attainment? We sometimes see persons who profess great zeal for religion, and a strong attachment for exercises of piety, whose virtue is strangely disguised by their external demeanour. It seems in the eyes of the world to be repulsive, disagreeable, frigid, and selfish: the impression thus made by certain acts of discourtesy, and gestures of impatience—by unrestrained anger and annoyance—by a want of common politeness, is most unfavourable to the interests of religion. How opposed is any such line of conduct to the true spirit of piety; that spirit which we find so simply enjoined in the Apostle’s admonition: Be gentle: shewing all mildness to all men.
Divine Author of every virtue! I thank Thee for having taught me, by Thy lessons, and Thy example, the beauty and the advantage of meekness; let me now begin to practise it more perfectly. In my words and my actions I desire, by the help of Thy grace, to preserve that calmness, and gentleness, which has often caused Thy true followers to exercise so benign an influence over the hearts and minds of others. Increase in me this virtue of meekness, the source of which is in Thy Sacred Heart; that I may glorify Thee by my victories over all that is contrary to it in myself.
To bear to-day what may be annoying and inconvenient, in a spirit of meekness.
Thought for the Day.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Soul of Christ.
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.
August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary
Virtue to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901).
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