The Lord’s Prayer: Sixth 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: Sixth Request.
Lead us not into temptation.—St. Matt. VI.
We are to-day to learn from the Lips of Jesus how to profit by temptations; and by claiming the help of God, ensure victory over them.
Give us grace, O God, to understand how great our weakness is, and the need we all have of Thy succour to keep us from falling.
That the advantages we may derive from temptations are great.
We are warned repeatedly by the Saints that none should expect to be free from temptation. They one and all bear witness to the truth of Holy Scripture on this subject. Saint Anthony says: “The demons are the mortal enemies of all Christians, but especially of those whose lives are in an especial manner consecrated to God: they weary not of spreading their snares, in order to pervert them”. “Nothing pleases the devils better,” says Saint Hilary, “than to gain some advantage over those who are advanced in sanctity.” And this—because they are wishing to belong entirely to Jesus, and to please Him. The devils watch with deadly hatred the actions of Jesus’ friends, and never cease to plan their destruction. We need to be cautioned continually against these inveterate enemies; we should be always prepared to fight with them. That God would exempt us from temptation, we are not taught to pray; but that He will never permit us to be vanquished by it. In fact, the attacks of our foes, if we lose no time in repulsing them, far from harming us, serve very certainly to strengthen us in virtue, elevate us towards perfection, and render us more pleasing to the Divine Majesty! From the malice of the enemy we may suffer, but let us suffer courageously—gladly; for we gain at the same time the inestimable advantage of being exercised in humility. God’s powerful protection is encircling us. Harassed though we may be, we should, like Saint James count it all joy: knowing that the trying of our faith worketh patience: And patience hath a perfect work, that we may be perfect and entire: failing in nothing.
Though it is advantageous to endure temptation, we must be careful never to rely on our own strength.
God allows us to be assailed by temptation, nevertheless He has distinctly promised that He will not suffer us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear. With His grace we may overcome the most furious and prolonged assault; without His grace, not even the least. It is this thought—that God Himself metes out the measure of our temptations—which has filled the Saints with courage and confidence. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear, we may say with the Psalmist, for the Lord is the Protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? Yet we know that it is not permitted for us to expose ourselves to temptation—to seek it in any way; but on the contrary to avoid all occasions of sin; and most fervently pray: Lead us not into temptation, O my God. For, as Saint Augustine says: “we are so weak and inconstant, that we often fall through small temptations into greater ones”. Therefore, far from running into them, we should act as the most faithful friends of God have done—to have an unbounded trust in Him with regard to the greatest—and be distrustful of ourselves with regard to the smallest; remembering that it is these which have been the cause of the most terrible crimes—the beginning of those evils which have precipitated so many poor souls into the abyss of hell. Perhaps, for instance, the temptation to slothfulness has been allowed to give rise to unpunctuality in the performing of some religious duty of obligation; and the fault is repeated, insensibly perhaps relaxation ensues, and sooner or later there is a deplorable fall. God’s grace was not invoked in the first slight temptation, because it was considered too small to be feared. If we really knew how prejudicial temptations are, when we rashly run into them on our own responsibility as it were, we should pray with greater fervour: O God! lead us not into temptation.
O my God, how wonderful are Thy designs regarding Thine elect! Notwithstanding their natural weakness, Thou permittest them to be exposed to the malice of their enemies: but then the power of Thy grace, and the fidelity of Thy friends are to be thus made manifest. When a tempted soul triumphs over the forces of hell, this miracle is witnessed by the Angels, causing them to exult, and praise the greatness of Thy strength, made perfect in infirmity. If it be Thy holy will to purify my soul, O God, in this furnace—to bless me by causing me to endure temptation—let me repose on Thee in the midst of these fiery trials, and never forget Thy promise that when I have been proved, I shall receive the crown of life.
To watch over my senses—to be prompt to discover the artifices of the enemy—and however slight a temptation may be, to repulse it at once, calling on God for assistance.
Thought for the Day.
Lead us not into temptation.
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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