Thursday after the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Seed Time of Life.
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.
Thursday after the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Seed Time of Life.
The son of man … will render to every man according to his works. (Matt. xvi, 27.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the present life is the time for sowing and the future that for reaping. The seed is the work done; the harvest the reward or the punishment. He who has sown good seed, that is who has done well, will receive blessings; he who has sown tares, that is done evil, will receive punishment. This is a law that admits of no exception; it applies to all. Be you prince or be you peasant, there is no difference.
APPLICATION. Why then do you take so little care as to what you do? Your actions are seeds that cannot be without fruit for eternity. Make sure therefore whether they be good or bad. If they are bad, unhappy indeed are you, and how much evil awaits you! If they are good, scatter them plenteously and with joy, that you may reap a blessed eternity.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Give them according to· their works. (Ps. xxvii, 4.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that in order to have a good harvest it is not enough to sow good seed; it must be sown in good soil: They have sown wheat and reaped thorns. (Jer. xii, 13.) Within yourself there is a twofold soil, the good one which is the spirit and the bad which is the flesh. Therefore the Apostle says: He that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. (Gal. vi, 8.) Therefore it suffices not that your actions be good. You must direct them to the good of your spirit and not to that of the flesh.
APPLICATION. When with pure intention you discharge the duty imposed upon you by obedience, as when you study or when you preach, you sow good seed; but if you do all this from motives of pride or ambition you sow in the flesh, and as such you will reap corruption. If then you would reap a profitable harvest, sow for the good of the spirit, and not in order to pander to the disordered desires of the flesh.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I set the Lord always in my sight, for He is at my right hand. (Ps. xv, 8.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that if the man who does well were immediately to receive good things in this world, and he who does evil should receive evil, men would assuredly walk more cautiously. But such is not the case. The life work of man resembles the sowing of seed, and so for the reward or punishment he must await the future harvest in eternity.
APPLICATION. If then you have done ill, do not say: I have sinned, and what harm hath befallen me? (Ecclus. v, 4.) For it is but too true that in due time you must reap its punishment. But if you have done well, be also sure that you will reap your eternal reward. Do you not see with what patience the husbandman awaits the harvest? Do you likewise have patience: For the coming of the Lord is at hand. (James v, 8.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. For the Lord knoweth the way of the just; and the way of the wicked shall perish. (Ps. i, 6.)
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 the Examples of the holy Fathers.
V. Oh! how great was the fervour of all religious in the beginning of their holy institution.
Oh! how great was their devotion in prayer! how great their zeal for virtue.
How great discipline was in force amongst them! How great reverence and obedience in all flourished under the rule of a superior!
The footsteps remaining still bear witness that they were truly perfect and holy men, who, waging war so stoutly, trod the world under their feet.
Now he is thought great who is not a transgressor, and who can with patience endure what he hath undertaken.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XVIII pt V.
August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary
Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)
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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