Mercy towards our Neighbour: Fifth 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.
Mercy towards our Neighbour: Fifth Beatitude.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.—ST. MATT. V.
To-day we have another declaration from the lips of the Divine Oracle to consider: we hear Him saying: Blessed are the merciful.
O most Merciful Heart of Jesus, teach us how to acquire and practise that characteristic virtue of hearts truly devoted to Thee: the virtue of mercy.
The love of Jesus Christ, and zeal for His glory, should excite us to the practice of mercy towards others.
If we love Jesus our Adorable Saviour really, we ought to desire to be agreeable to Him: if we are animated by His Divine Spirit we must necessarily desire to procure His glory. An infallible means of attaining this double purpose, is the exercising of that tenderness and clemency of which Jesus has given, and still gives, such touching examples. Yes! we shall please the Heart of God, when He sees us practising in regard of our neighbour generally—and especially towards any person who may have wronged us, or made us suffer—that indulgence which the Divine Master uniformly shewed towards His Disciples, notwithstanding their imperfections. If we imitated Him in that tender compassion to which He was moved, at the sight of the infirmities or the necessities of the unfortunate; in that unvarying gentleness towards the weak, and that unspeakable goodness towards penitent sinners, which we cannot fail to see displayed by our Lord, our neighbour would be drawn to enter the service of a Master whose followers were so merciful and kind. Discovering evident proofs of our charity, they on whom it was exercised would yield to its influence; and being filled with confidence, would receive the good advice which grace might inspire us to give. What a power—an undying power—is there in acts and words of mercy, and compassion!
It is to our own interest, and in the interest of justice that we should exercise mercy.
Let us be merciful to those who need our mercy, so that we may draw down upon ourselves the Divine mercy. What have we that we have not received? Everything that is good in us we owe to the mercy of God; and we are still in need of many other graces, which He alone can bestow. We are told by our Lord that the measure of our mercifulness towards others, will be the measure wherewith God will apportion to us His gifts of mercy. Shouldst thou not have compassion on thy fellow-servant even as I have had compassion on thee? And further, is it not just that we should bear with the defects of others most patiently? It may be they unwittingly try our patience; we perhaps give cause for annoyance, even deliberately. Have we no need of indulgence? We ought never to forget that we have our own failings; if others sometimes make us suffer, how often do we not give suffering? We hope to obtain that which we ask, in the oft-repeated petition: Lord! have mercy on us: if denied, what could we expect, but that stern justice would take its course and condemn us? For judgment without mercy, to him that hath done no mercy, is the unalterable decree of God. Let us question our thoughts, our words, our actions, on this point most searchingly; for we see clearly how much depends upon the verdict our conscience gives.
I adore, O my God, Thine infinite mercy, in bearing with the numberless offences of sinners, with which each hour, each moment is laden. And my own defects are amongst them! How justly art Thou called the God of Mercy: be Thou ever blessed and praised for all the clemency and compassion Thou hast displayed in my regard. May the remembrance of this fill me with such a real sense of gratitude, that I may prove it by shewing mercy to others, especially to such as have injured me;—forgiving all, even as I hope to be forgiven by Thee.
To shew a constant readiness to forgive.
Thought for the Day.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Our Father, and Hail Mary.
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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