Saturday after the Fourth Sunday after Easter.
On Mary Standing Beneath the Cross.
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.
Saturday after the Fourth Sunday after Easter.
On Mary Standing Beneath the Cross.
Since you have hitherto been contemplating in pious meditation the sacrifice of the cross perpetuated as it is in holy Mass, to-day, the day of the week dedicated to the Blessed Mother of God, cast your eyes upon Mary standing beneath the cross for the sake of learning from her example how one ought to assist at Holy Mass. Imagine that you see her, how with glowing devotion and keen grief she witnesses the first, the great Sacrifice of the Mass offered with shedding of blood, not as now, in an unbloody manner.
1st. Consider how few souls there were who with deep piety and heartfelt compassion were present at the sacrifice of Christ, who is High Priest forever. John is there, and Magdalen and a few women, and prominent among them all the holy Mother of God herself. Those only join in celebrating the sublime sacrifice of the cross who love our Lord most tenderly; they stand beside the cross; they alone assist in pious devotion at the great oblation, and amongst them the most holy Virgin holds the first and foremost place. Look upon her, see with what tender devotion she fixes her tear-dimmed eyes on the sacred Victim bathed in blood; look at her devotion beside yours, and reflect how far removed your love for the Crucified must be from hers, if your piety will not bear comparison with hers.
2d. Consider that the Blessed Virgin stood for three whole consecutive hours beneath the cross, a witness of the oblation her divine Son made of Himself, although she had to endure many a taunt and scornful speech from the brutal soldiers, although many a vicious, envenomed glance was directed against her by the Pharisees, and the sight of her suffering Jesus filled her heart with inexpressible anguish. Mary’s soul overflowed with love of the crucified Redeemer, and love gives strength and fortitude to bear all things. Had you more love, my soul, you would assuredly not be so tepid, so indifferent in regard to the Holy Sacrifice. Moreover it costs you nothing to hear Mass, it does not expose you, as Mary was exposed, to contempt and derision, to the hatred of others, to keen grief of heart, and consequently your tepidity and carelessness are all the more inexcusable.
3d. Consider that Mary, while present at the sacrifice of her Son upon the cross, was so absorbed in devout contemplation that she did not appear so much as to notice what went on around her; in spirit she was nailed to the cross with her Son, transfixed by three mystic nails. The first nail was a vivid conception of the pain her Son endured and which she shared with Him, suffering with Him, His agony piercing her soul like a sharp-edged sword. The second nail that fastened her to the cross with Christ was the lively faith wherewith she gazed on the sacred Victim, which enabled her to see in the pitiable, mangled form extended on the cross her God and Lord, her merciful Redeemer, the Saviour of all mankind. The third nail was her maternal affection, which only saw before her her suffering Child, and, heeding not soldiers and Pharisees, concentrated itself with tenderest compassion on the one object, her crucified Son. O let your soul also be fastened to the cross with these three nails; when you are present at Holy Mass represent to yourself the sufferings of your Lord in vivid colors; firmly grasp by faith the fact that it is your God, your Redeemer who offers Himself up upon the altar; give Him all the love of your heart, let the world, the flesh, your fellow creatures have no place in your affections, and doubtless you will find that you will experience many fewer distractions in hearing Mass, your devotion will be far more fervent, and you will derive greater profit from it than you have done heretofore.
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.
Of supporting Injuries, and who is proved to be truly patient.
[Disciple.] V. May Thy grace, O Lord, make that possible to me, which seems impossible to me by nature.
Thou knowest that I can bear but little, and that I am quickly cast down by a small adversity.
Let all exercises of tribulation become amiable and agreeable to me, for Thy name’s sake; for to suffer and to be afflicted for Thee is very healthful for my soul. – Thomas à Kempis – Imitation of Christ Bk III, Ch XIX pt V.
May Devotion: The Blessed Virgin Mary
Virtues to practice: Meekness, purity, the spirit of poverty
O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special keeping, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen. (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
(For either of the above prayers: An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this prayer.)
The faithful who during the month of May take part in public exercises in honor of the B.V.M. may gain: An indulgence of 7 years on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence if they assist at the exercises on at least 10 days, and moreover, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.
Those who perform their devotions privately during the aforesaid month are granted: an indulgence of 5 years once on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if they perform these devotions every day during the month; but where public exercises are held, this indulgence is granted only to those who are lawfully hindered from taking part in the same. (Raccolta).
Act of Perfect Contrition
Oh my God! I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee and
I detest all my sins because
I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell;
But most of all because I have offended Thee, My God,
Who art all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,
To confess my sins, to do penance,
And to amend my life. Amen.
Vexilla Regis prodeunt
The royal banners forward go;
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow,
Where Life for sinners death endured,
And life by death for man procured.
Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled, Water flowed, and Blood.
Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
‘Amidst the nations, God,’ saith he,
‘Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.’
O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy Limbs should find their rest.
On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung:
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.
O Cross, our one reliance, hail,
Thou glory of the saved, avail*
To give fresh merit to the Saint,
And pardon to the penitent.
*Instead of: ‘Thou Glory of the saved,’ during Passiontide, say: ‘This Holy Passiontide’, during the Paschal Season: ‘Thou joy of Eastertide’, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: ‘On this triumphant day.‘
To Thee, Eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
Whom by the Cross Thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.
Vexilla Regis pródeunt,
Fulget Crucis mystérium,
Qua vita mortem pértulit,
Et morte vitam prótulit.
Quæ vulneráta lánceæ
Mucróne diro, críminum
Ut nos laváret sórdibus,
Manávit unda et sánguine.
Impléta sunt quæ cóncinit
David fidéli cármine,
Regnávit a ligno Deus.
Arbor decóra et fúlgida,
Ornáta regis púrpura,
Elécta digno stípite
Tam sancta membra tángere.
Beáta, cuius bráchiis
Prétium pepéndit sæculi,
Statéra facta córporis,
Tulítque prædam tártari.
O Crux, ave, spes única,
Gentis redémptæ glória!*
Piis adáuge grátiam,
Reísque dele crímina.
Te, fons salútis, Trínitas,
Colláudet omnis spíritus:
Quibus Cricis victóriam
Largíris, adde præmium. Amen.
(ex. Breviario Romano)
An indulgence of 5 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this hymn throughout an entire month (S.C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S.P.Ap., April 29, 1934).
Prayers in Time of Calamity
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