Monday after the Fifth Sunday After Easter.
On the Spot Whence our Lord’s Ascension took place.
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.
Monday after the Fifth Sunday After Easter.
On the Spot Whence our Lord’s Ascension took place.
Recall to mind, my soul, as briefly as possible the mournful scene you beheld enacted on the last occasion when you in imagination were present on Mount Olivet, when you witnessed the agony of your Redeemer, the treachery of Judas, the flight of the apostles. Now when you return thither, as you are invited to do to-day, what a different picture meets your meditative eye! Let us proceed to contemplate it.
1st. You do not see a few apostles slumbering at a short distance from our Lord, who is wrestling in His death-agony, but a joyous, gladsome multitude surrounding the risen Saviour in all the splendor of His glorified body. They do not behold Him, as at that time, prostrate upon the ground, grovelling in the dust, but resplendent with glory ascending from earth to the kingdom of Heaven. Oh how quickly, how marvellously everything has been changed! Sadness has given place to intense joy, fear is superseded by untroubled hope, great consolation succeeds uneasy apprehension. The life of Christ upon earth was, it is true, hard, arduous, sorrowful; but see now that it is at an end, now that Heaven is soon to be entered, how bright, how serene, how joyous it becomes! Wherefore take heart, O Christian, you who now mourn and weep in this valley of tears. When the day comes whereon your sad life also reaches its close and Heaven opens to receive you, then all will be bright and clear, all will be pure, unmixed joy and felicity. And in order that this may be your portion, there is something more to be considered.
2d. It was not without design that our Lord chose Mount Olivet as the place whence He should ascend into Heaven; it was the mountain where He had spent so much time in prayer, where He had fought many a spiritual conflict, where He had begun His Passion, and where He had yielded Himself in complete submission to the will of God. If you, my soul, hope one day also to ascend into Heaven forget not that your ascension can only take place from the Mount of Olives, that is to say, at the close of a life in which you have with our Lord prayed much, struggled much, suffered much, resisted much, and abandoned yourself unreservedly to the will of God. Ask yourself whether this has been the case with you hitherto, for then you will be able yourself to reply to another question of which you doubtless would gladly know the answer; whether it will be one day said of you: He has ascended into Heaven.
3d. Consider that the Evangelist St. Luke adds: “He led them out as far as Bethania.” (ch. xxiv. v. 50.) According to this the exact spot of our Lord’s ascension was the central summit of the mount, over which the road led to Bethania. This circumstance is not without a special meaning. Bethania signifies “ the house of obedience,” and it is from the spot where the road leads to this “house of obedience” that our Lord’s ascension takes place. How consoling this fact is for you, and how full of instruction! You are in the “house of obedience.” Every Religious house is one, and every Priest is subject to the authority of his Bishop. You have therefore taken the right road by which to go up to Heaven; it only rests with you to walk on this way, for it is not enough to have entered upon the road that leads to some place, in order to reach your destination. You must proceed along that road; that is, you must practise the virtue of obedience. If you could ask the thousands of happy souls who have already accomplished their blissful ascension into Heaven by what way one can most easily, most peacefully, most surely reach the celestial mansions, all would give you the same answer; they would say: “By the way that leads to Bethania, by the way of simple, humble obedience.” Do you find that way very hard, very repugnant to nature? If so, by what other means do you propose to get to Heaven?
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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