St. Laurence Justinian, ora pro nobis.
The Lord’s Prayer: Fifth Request.
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 Lord’s Prayer: Fifth Request.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.—St. Matt. VI.
We are listening to Jesus as He teaches us the perfection of Charity.
O Good Master! put into our hearts sentiments of true charity regarding those who offend us: pardoning them gladly, may we please Thee, and be ourselves forgiven.
All of us have need to implore the mercy of God.
There is no one on earth so holy as not to be a debtor to the mercy of God. If the Saints have not fallen into great sins, they have nevertheless often committed some faults; and have therefore felt so extreme a grief and profound a sincerity when praying for the pardon of their trespasses; confessing them to have been numberless. What then can we think of ourselves, who are so weak—so prone to evil? Let us compare with the sentiments of our hearts these words of Jesus Christ: Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: pray for them that persecute and calumniate you. Why have we an aversion for this or that person? Are not all Christians children of God?—members of Jesus Christ, even as we are? Have not all the Baptised been redeemed by the same Precious Blood? called to an inheritance of glory? If we hate some particular persons because of their not being exempt from failings, whom shall we love?—for all have sinned. Let us think of ourselves. Were we just when Jesus Christ first loved us? In what condition should we be, if He had not loved sinners? Is the wrong done to us to be compared with the injury we have done to God? We are despised perhaps: most probably not without cause. We are defrauded of our rights: has not God the higher right to all we possess? and can He not make any creature He pleases His instrument, if He sees fit to deprive us of anything? Do not let us call any one an enemy, who is helping us to gain Heaven. We should not stop at second causes; but lift our thoughts up to the First Great Cause, and recognise hidden treasures amongst the trials of this life which He sends us.
God will forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others.
The Christian law is a law of love. Jesus enjoins us to keep the precept touching the pardon of injuries, and would induce us to fulfil it exactly by the very form of the petition: Forgive our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. He gives us permission to claim from the Heavenly Father the same indulgence we have shewn towards our brethren, for love of Him. How advantageous then is it heartily to forgive!—to have opportunities of doing so!—since we ourselves are so often in need of God’s pardoning mercy. By acts of mercy and forgiveness, we resemble Him,—we imitate Him in the use of powers which are divine: the power of forgiving others—the power of self-government. When we have received some slight, or even a distinct injury, how do we act? If another permit words to escape which wound our feelings, do we command ourselves, and reply with gentleness? This it is that Jesus demands of us—this is something of the perfection of charity which He asks. Oh! how unworthy of His love should we be, if instead of forgiving one another for those failings to which even the most virtuous are liable—if instead of returning good for evil, there is a desire of retaliation, thoughts of revenge—would not this be to render ourselves unworthy of the blessing of God? of His clemency towards us? O happy occasions of merit—whereby payment for our own debts is placed within our reach! If we are wise, we shall not refuse the means of giving back to God that which we owe Him.
The most pressing of my wants, O my God, is to be delivered from the immense debts, which through my great fault, I have contracted with Thee. Dare I ask Thee to forgive me these, as I have forgiven those slight debts that others may have contracted in my regard? What proportion is there between mine and theirs? what comparison between the indulgence I have shewn, and Thine infinite goodness? Remove from me all resentment and susceptibility; and help me henceforth to merit Thy clemency and the pardon of my trespasses, by a sincere and ready forgiveness of those who trespass against me. O Sacred Heart of Jesus! communicate to my heart Thine own most perfect charity.
Never to keep an angry, uncharitable feeling in my heart, towards one who may have offended me.
Thought for the Day.
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
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.
September Devotion: The Holy Cross
Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer
O Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.
An indulgence of 500 days (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957).
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.
Prayer of Pope St. Pius X
O most sweet Jesus! Who didst come into the world to give to all souls the life of Thy grace, and Who, to preserve and foster it in them, hast willed to become the daily remedy of their infirmity and their food for each day, we humbly beseech Thee through Thy Sacred Heart, burning with love for us, to pour out Thy Divine Spirit upon all souls, in order that those who, unhappily, are in mortal sin may be converted to Thee and recover the life of grace which they have lost, and that those who by Thy help are already living in this Divine life, may, when it is possible for them, approach Thy Holy Table every day; so that daily receiving in Holy Communion the antidote of their daily venial sins, and daily nourishing in themselves the life of Thy grace, thus ever purifying their souls more and more, they may at last arrive at the possession of the life of eternal happiness. Amen.
Written by Pope St. Pius X and indulgenced on the 30th of May, 1905.
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