On the Healing of the Woman with the Issue of Blood.
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.
On the Healing of the Woman with the Issue of Blood.
Represent to yourself, my soul, how, while Jesus, surrounded by a vast multitude of the people, was proceeding to the house of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, in order to raise his little daughter to life, a heathen woman, suffering from an obstinate malady, endeavored to approach the heavenly Physician. Partly animated by a confident hope of cure, partly restrained by a secret timidity and bashfulness, with difficulty she edges her way through the crowd, nor will she desist until she has accomplished her purpose of touching the hem of His garment. This woman is a type of the spiritually sick, who draw near to the heavenly Physician with similar confidence in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
1st. Consider the hopeless condition of the woman. For twelve years she had been troubled with an issue of blood. Many physicians had tried their skill upon her, she had spent her substance on different remedies, but all was in vain; she was nothing better, but rather worse. There is only one who can heal that poor woman, and that one is Jesus. Thus this poor diseased woman represents to us those unhappy souls who have a natural tendency to what is evil, who are enslaved by various passions, bad proclivities, propensity to sin. How much such persons have to suffer! They do indeed desire to tame their rebel nature, they strive to master their bad tendencies, they take trouble and fight hard, they try many means of cure, they have recourse to spiritual physicians, to confessors, they seek to find a cure in almsdeeds, austerities, mortifications, but all is in vain. What is to be done? Must they give up hope? Oh no, there is still one who can help them; it is Jesus, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Prostrate before the tabernacle, let them not weary of prayers and entreaties; let them, like the woman in the Gospel, “touch the hem of His garment,” the garment of the sacramental species beneath which His sacred body is concealed, and they shall be made whole. The frequent reception of this spiritual medicine, provided it be received worthily, the earnest prayer of faith sent up to the heavenly Physician will change the worst nature and heal the soul even if it has been sick for long years without hope of cure. But you will perhaps say: “This remedy does not cure me.” There is something more to be considered on this point.
2d. Consider with what humble zeal and childlike confidence the sick woman sought for help. She came behind our Lord, saying within herself: “If I shall only touch His garment, I shall be whole.” (St. Matt. ix. 21.) Think first of all, with what difficulty the woman makes her way through the crowd, with what perseverance and assiduity she tries every means of cure, and how she embraces the earliest opportunity of applying to our Lord for help. Then consider how the zeal this woman displays is coupled with touching humility. Her malady renders her legally unclean; she knows this and therefore humbly and modestly only approaches our Lord from behind, without allowing herself to be seen. She contents herself with touching the hem of His garment; she does not venture to appear before His face and beseech Him to heal her. And yet this humility is on the other hand accompanied by such uncommon faith and confidence that our Lord Himself pays to it a tribute of admiration: “Thy faith,” He says, “hath made thee whole.” (v. 22.) And now ask yourself, my soul, whether it is with similar dispositions that you draw near to the heavenly Physician in the adorable Sacrament of the Altar? Are you animated by the same eager desire, the same solicitude for the cure of your diseased nature, so that you omit no opportunity of applying to your Lord for healing, and do you go to the heavenly Physician with the same reverent humility, the same truthful, filial confidence as did that heathen woman? Oh confess it to yourself, you did of a truth ask our Lord to make you whole, but not with the same dispositions, and therefore this medicine, otherwise so salutary in its effects, does not benefit you. I say this salutary medicine, and with justice, for in the next point.
3d. Consider what virtue the sacred body of our Lord must possess if even His garments when touched, be it remembered, for this is an indispensable condition, with unwavering faith effected an instantaneous cure. Wherefore let not him who in faith and confidence touches the wondrous sacramental garment which veils the body of Christ from our view doubt that he will be healed. Rise up then, unhappy soul, tormented as you are by bad tendencies, hampered by evil habits; come, hasten with the heathen woman to Jesus; go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament joyfully, hopefully, remembering the words of the Imitation (B. iv. ch. 4): “This most lofty and most excellent sacrament is the health of soul and body, the remedy of all spiritual languor; in it my defects are healed, my passions restrained, temptations overcome or lessened, greater grace is infused, virtue once begun increased, faith confirmed, hope strengthened, charity inflamed and enlarged.”
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.
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.
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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