The blessed effects of tribulation: Third 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.
The blessed effects of tribulation: Third Beatitude.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.—St. Matt. V.
We remain, in thought, near Jesus on the mountain, and hear Him say: Blessed are they that mourn.
Grant to us, O Lord Jesus, to comprehend the full meaning of these words; and that there is always a blessing attached to afflictions borne for Thy Sake.
Who they are to whom this third Beatitude is promised.
Blessed are they that mourn. This maxim which the world rejects, because it cannot understand its meaning, is adopted gladly by faithful souls, and forms their truest consolation. They feel that they are prone to sin, and subject to the perverse inclinations of nature: they perceive that they are far away from their own country, and in danger of not reaching it, unless they walk most warily. They witness the outrages committed against the God Whom they love, and from Whom they receive such continual benefits. Is not all this sufficient cause for lamentation? May we not, ought we not to mourn, under such afflicting circumstances? Tears of compunction—tears of penitence—it is these which wash away the stains of sin that we may have contracted: repentant love purifies and consoles. We may weep because our exile is still prolonged; we may sigh because Heaven still seems so very far off: our sighs and our tears are not unheeded by Jesus, for they proceed from love for Him; and in return He sends us peace and consolation even here, as assurances of His love for us. Tears which are the effect of true love, of sincere repentance, or profound humility, bear witness to the truth that we are pilgrims and strangers on the earth; liable to fall into the perils with which we are beset, as we know by sad experience. Therefore we desire greatly that the days of our mourning may be ended: but so long as it shall please God that they shall last, let us take comfort in this thought: They who sow in tears, shall reap in joy.
Jesus Christ and His Saints have passed their lives in affliction.
The doctrine of our Lord on the subject of affliction, is entirely confirmed by the example of His own Life, and that of the Saints. For thirty-three years our Dear Saviour endured privations and sufferings, and mourned with all the intensity of Divine sorrow, over the insults offered by sinners to the Majesty of God; and wept and agonised because He foresaw that numberless souls would refuse to be redeemed by Him from eternal perdition. Mary, His Mother, who imitated Him in all things more closely than any other being ever did, or could, entered into His sufferings; shared them with Him as far as it was possible: the sword of sorrow pierced her own soul also. If we turn to the life of each individual Apostle or Saint, is it not clear that, one and all, they have trodden the same pathway of affliction, through this valley of tears? Do we, who have made profession to follow Jesus, expect to find our way through life all smooth, and carpeted with flowers? And such as have retired within the precincts of the cloister—is it so that they look there for repose? to live at their ease? to have nothing to mourn over? no cause for tears? If they actually find that tribulations and trials have not followed them, or rather do not meet them there, there is cause for alarm rather than satisfaction; and the hope might as well die out, of being comforted by Him Who said to His chosen companions : You shall weep and lament: you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
I adore Thee, O Divine Teacher of truth! and thank Thee for the goodness with which Thou dost deign to instruct me. I grieve to think how often I try to escape some affliction which Thou wouldst have me bear; and put aside the remembrance of the affronts Thou still receivest, lest I should feel the keen edge of that sword of sorrow which pierced Thy Sacred Heart, and that of Thy Holy Mother. Let the thought of Thy own promise of comfort make me indeed not only resigned, but glad to suffer tribulation for Thy Sake.
To bear courageously all the afflictions of this life: remembering how Jesus and all His saints have had cause to mourn.
Thought for the Day.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Take, O Lord, and receive.
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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