Tuesday after the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.

On the Call of Matthew.


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.

On the Call of Matthew.

By the lake of Genesareth, at the landing-place of the boats, and the cross-roads where the highways met, there was a custom-house and in that custom-house there sat a publican, named Matthew. Imagine that you see him at the moment when our Lord, passing by, cast upon him one of those looks which went to the inmost heart, which converted Magdalen and awoke in Peter the deepest contrition. And when you have placed this scene vividly before your eyes, proceed to meditate upon the following points:

1st. The grace of a vocation, which was conferred upon the apostle. Matthew was sitting at the receipt of custom. He was sitting, St. Chrysologus remarks, to indicate that he was heavily laden with the burden of insatiable covetousness, and depressed by the reproaches of his conscience; and, to quote the beautiful words of St. Chrysostom, the irresistible voice of the Redeemer calling him summons this man from the greedy pursuit of worldly gain to follow Him. O gracious call, which so suddenly, so instantaneously transforms a sinner into a just man, a despised publican into an illustrious apostle, an avaricious worldling into an evangelist who treads the world under foot. The charity of the Redeemer, manifested in the gracious vocation of this sinful publican, awakens your astonishment and your admiration; but remember, my soul, that our Lord bestowed the same grace upon you. He called you also from the custom-house of secular life to be His disciple in the state of Holy Orders or in the Religious life. Do not underrate the grace of this vocation. “What shall I render to Thee for this favor?” exclaims the great ascetic, “For it is not given to all that, forsaking all things, they should leave the world and embrace the monastic life.” This privilege has been bestowed on you. Now ask yourself do you consider it as a privilege or do you find it somewhat of a burden?

2d. Consider the prompt obedience of him who was called. Immediately upon hearing the one word: “Follow Me,” the publican rises up, leaving the custom-house, his means of livelihood, his account-books, all the money and other property he possesses, and hastens to follow Him who had nothing of His own. Thus, St. Chrysostom observes, in one and the same incident we behold both the miraculous effect of the all-conquering charity of God, and an example of humble, unquestioning docility in the person of the man who was called. May this apostle also be a model to you; may you learn of him to obey instantly, without hesitation and without delay, when our Lord, either by His secret inspirations or by the voice of your Superior, bids you perform this good work, make that sacrifice, avoid certain occasions of sin. The monk is known by his obedience; the good monk, the good Christian, by his prompt obedience. “One who is truly obedient,” says St. Bernard, “never hesitates.

  • He abhors postponement,
  • dilatoriness is unknown to him,
  • he anticipates eagerly the orders given to him.
  • His eyes are always ready to see,
  • his ears to hear,
  • his tongue to speak,
  • his hands to work,
  • his feet to run,
  • in execution of the command of his Superior;
  • he summons all his faculties in order to accomplish the will of his Superior as perfectly as possible.”

You will do well, my soul, to look into the mirror of obedience which St. Bernard here holds up before you.

3d. Consider the joyful gratitude displayed by him whom our Lord called. In the gladness of his heart he prepares a great feast, celebrating the close of his former life and the commencement of his new life by a festive entertainment in honor of his Master, to testify, as St. Augustine remarks, his gratitude towards Him. And it is this joyous thankfulness on the part of the converted sinner that determines Jesus willingly to accept his invitation. Do you therefore, my soul, prepare a like feast for your Lord. Show yourself truly thankful, thankful and joyful in return for your vocation to the service of God.

Be cheerful; God does not like to see His servants with gloomy faces. He does not regard with complacency those who serve Him with sadness, discontent, reluctance of heart. St. Francis did not like to see his monks look sad; he wished all the members of his Order to have a cheerful and joyous air, because he regarded joy as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and as a token of the indwelling of God’s grace in their soul. “A secure mind is like a constant feast, we are told in the Proverbs (ch. xv. 15); let the resolution you form to-day as a thanksgiving for the grace of your vocation be to prepare a feast for our Lord by the prompt and cheerful fulfilment of the duties of your calling.


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.


July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus

Virtue to practice: Simplicity, Faith, Liberty of Spirit, Cheerfulness

Prayers in honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls! I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, wash in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony, and who are to die this day. Amen.

Heart of Jesus, once in agony, pity the dying.

100 days indul.—Pius IX., Feb. 1850.

“May Thy Blood, shed for us, O Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the remission of all my sins, my negligences, my ignorance; may It strengthen, increase and preserve within me, Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and every virtue, may It bring me to everlasting life; may It deliver the souls of my parents and of all those for whom I am bound to pray.” —St. Catharine of Sienna.

Almighty, and everlasting God, who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world, and hast been pleased to be reconciled unto us by His Blood, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation, that the power thereof may here on earth keep us from all things hurtful, and the fruit of the same may gladden us forever hereafter in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Roman Missal)

Prayers to St. Philomena

Novena to St. Philomena (from July 1st through August 10th)

Illustrious Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena, behold me kneeling in spirit before the throne on which it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I beseech thee to intercede for me with God. From the height of thy heavenly country, deign to cast a look upon thy humble servant. Spouse of Jesus Christ, console me in my troubles, strengthen me in temptations, protect me in the dangers which surround me on every side; obtain all the graces necessary for me, especially (here mention your particular intention), and, above all, assist me at my death. Amen.

For Victory over Temptations.

O God, who dost sustain us by the merits and example of the blessed Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, mercifully grant that, strengthened in faith and charity, we may never be separated from Thee by any temptation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Growth in Virtues.

O glorious Virgin! whose glory God has been pleased to make known by singular miracles, we address ourselves to thee with entire confidence. Obtain for us that, following thy example, we may fight courageously against whatever is opposed to the reign of Jesus Christ in our heart; that we may adorn our souls with virtues like thine, particularly with that angelic purity of which thou art the perfect model; and that inflamed with the love of Jesus, we may continually walk in the way which He has marked out, to the end that we may one day partake of thy everlasting happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, lives and reigns one God in perfect Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Purity.

O glorious Saint Philomena, who, animated by a burning love for Jesus our Savior, didst shine in Holy Church by the splendor of perfect virginity and the practice of the most heroic virtues, obtain for us of thy Divine Spouse the grace to keep ever unsullied the precious treasure of chastity and to practice with generosity the virtues of our state, that having, after thy example, walked in His footsteps during our life on earth, we may, with thee, rejoice in His glory eternally.

Saint Philomena, happy virgin, adorned with all the charm of innocence, and beautified, besides, with the purple of martyrdom, obtain for us the grace to know how to suffer all, and to sacrifice all in order to be faithful to God till death, and possess Him eternally in paradise.

For Detachment from Earthly Goods.

O Saint Philomena, faithful virgin and glorious martyr, who so courageously preferred to the visible goods of this world the invisible goods of a holy eternity, obtain for us a lively faith, an ardent charity, and a piety always increasing, in order that, faithfully serving our Lord Jesus Christ during our life, we may merit after our death the happiness of contemplating Him face to face in life eternal. Amen.


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.


Prayers in Time of Calamity

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