Saint John the Baptist, ora pro nobis.
Eleventh Week after Pentecost.—Thursday.
The Lord’s Prayer: Preface.
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.
Eleventh Week after Pentecost.—Thursday.
The Lord’s Prayer: Preface.
Thus shall you pray: Our Father, Who art in Heaven.—ST. MATT. VI.
Let us imagine that we hear from the Lips of the Son of Mary, the Lord’s Prayer, for the first time.
O God, our Father! inspire us with thoughts and sentiments worthy of our Divine adoption; and may we always entertain towards Thee the love and respect which are Thy due.
Jesus wills that we should call God our Father.
Let us here see the love of Jesus for us! He, the only Son of the Father, but united to our nature in order to save us, adopts us as His brethren, and raises us to the dignity of being entitled the children of God He desires that we should call God our Father, by so doing to augment our love, and further increase our confidence. For, as Saint Augustine says: “What is dearer to children than the word, Father? It is a name full of love, and God wills that we pray to Him with hearts which breathe forth only sentiments of loving devotion.” O infinite bounty of the Creator towards the creature! Which of us would have dared to address God by this Name, had He not Himself commanded us to do so? . . . . It fills us with unbounded confidence if we use it thoughtfully; for what will not a father give at the request of a beloved child? It puts us in mind also of the nobility of our adoption, and that in having God for our Father, we become through Jesus Christ—Who has been made like unto us—inheritors of the Kingdom of His Father and ours. Jesus says—Father, and therefore, so do we. Both He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one: For which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren. Let us thank Jesus for admitting us to share in His dignity; and to honour it by the saintliness of our lives, the perfection of our love, and the extent of our confidence. Our Father: what more can we say? O Father! by Thy love for Thy Well-Beloved Son—Jesus, fill our hearts with His love for Thee.
Our Father, Who art in heaven.
Heaven!—It is towards that blessed Country, which has become ours by the right of our Divine adoption, that Jesus would direct our thoughts, hopes, and desires, when we begin to pray. He would have us remember that this earth is a place of exile, where we are separated from God our Father; and He wishes also that we should be better prepared to pray in a right spirit, by recalling to our minds, the infinite greatness of Him Who reigneth in glory. So we find Jesus on another occasion, when praying alone, thus addressing God in the beginning of His prayer: O Father, Lord of Heaven! This thought places us in the Presence of God, and lifts both heart and mind up to Him. Jesus would open Heaven to us when we pray, and gain us admission into the celestial Court, amongst the Saints and Angels. What an honour! What a privilege! The Son of Mary raises us up together with Himself, to speak with the Lord of Heaven. Do we enter into, and appreciate the designs of Him Who is our Master in the science of prayer? are our hearts always full of love and filial respect when we say: Our Father, Who art in Heaven? Do we go on to speak to Him with child-like simplicity, and profound humility? Let us ponder over this manner of addressing God, which is at all times appropriate to our requirements, and suitable under every circumstance.
Thou dost, O Jesus, invite me to call upon God by the self-same Title Thou didst Thyself use in prayer. Oh, that I could at all times enter into the full sense and energy of the words: Our Father, Who art in Heaven! My Father—the Father of all Christians—Thy Father, O Incarnate Word, Who art equal to Him, according to Thy Godhead. Like Thee, I may call Him—Father, Who is Lord of Heaven and earth. Make me to esteem this sublime dignity, and to prove my gratitude to Thee unceasingly, by my actions as well as by my words, for causing me to participate in it. Teach me how to pray in Thee and with Thee.
To place myself in the Presence of God at the beginning of my prayer; and raise my heart and mind to Him as to my Father, Who dwells in Heaven.
Thought for the Day.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven.
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).
Prayer to Saint Joseph Calasanctius, Confessor.
Saint Joseph Calasanctius, protector of youth, great servant of Our Lord, who didst work such marvels in their behalf; thou who, having made thyself a mirror for them of burning charity, of unwearied patience, of deep humility, of angelic purity and of every other heroic virtue, by a holy example, by words full of the Spirit of God, didst inspire them to flee dangerous occasions, to hate sin, to detest vicious courses, and to love piety and devotion, and thus didst guide countless souls to Heaven; thou who didst obtain for them the visible benediction of the Child Jesus and His holy Mother, obtain the like for us, thy humble and devoted servants; obtain for us a lasting hatred for sin, victory in the midst of temptation, and help in time of danger, so that, by living in the perfect observance of the law of God, we may attain to eternal salvation. Amen.
An indulgence of 300 days.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this prayer is said with devotion every day for a month (Leo XIII, Audience, October 19, 1897; S. P. Ap., April 12, 1932 and June 12, 1949.).
A Mother’s Prayer to St. Augustine for her Children.
O God, Who enlightened St. Augustine by Thy grace, and inflamed him with Thy love in the midst of the darkness and miseries of a life of sin, have mercy likewise on my poor soul and upon those of my children and relatives! Pardon our ingratitude, our disobedience, our want of reverence, our indifference, finally, all the offenses of which we have ever been guilty against Thy Holy Name. We acknowledge that there is in this world no pain or punishment so severe as that which we deserve; therefore, full of dread of what is in store for us, we invoke the intercession of Thy holy servant Augustine, so inflamed with love of Thee!
O holy penitent Augustine, seraph of divine love, unspeakable miracle of Divine Mercy, obtain for us from God a true, perfect, and heartfelt sorrow for our sins, a devout and constant love of God, a love that triumphs over all difficulties, temptations, and tribulations, a wise and unremitting fervor in the observances of the divine Commandments and the fulfillment of our duties! Assist us especially in the training of our children. Behold to how many dangers their virtue and innocence are exposed in the world! See how numerous are the snares and deceits prepared for the ruin of their souls by the flesh, and through the words and example of evil and worldly-minded men! If they do not receive extraordinary help, how can they withstand such allurements? O great St. Augustine, take them under your protection! To our efforts in their behalf, join your intercession for them with God.
Exert all your influence and, with the compassion of your loving heart, intercede with the Most Holy Trinity for them. Permit not that our children, sanctified in the waters of Baptism, should through mortal sin be banished from the presence of God and suffer eternal punishment. Preserve them from the greatest of all evils here below, namely, that of denying the love of Jesus Christ, through affection to some creature or the fear of some misfortune. No, O great St. Augustine! Rather let them and us, their parents, die in the grace of God, than live to offend Him mortally! This favor we implore through your intercession, O holy son of a sainted mother, you who gladly receive and graciously hear the prayers of a mother! I confidently hope that you have already heard my petitions, and that you will obtain for me a favorable answer from God! Amen.
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