Friday after the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Strength in Christ’s Sufferings.
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.
Friday after the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Strength in Christ’s Sufferings.
Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John xv, 13.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that Christ suffered so grievously in the flesh, not indeed because He had need to subdue it, for it was always most pure and most obedient, but because it was necessary to conquer and subdue your flesh, which is ever recalcitrant and rebellious. Hence it is with reason that St. Peter exhorts you to bring your flesh into subjection by similar sufferings: Christ therefore having suffered in the flesh, be you also armed with the same thought. (I Peter iv, I.)
APPLICATION. Observe bow the Apostle, knowing your weakness, desires at least that if you do not participate in the actual passion of Christ, you should arm yourself with the thought of it. Therefore what excuse can you have if you do not do it?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. There is no health for my flesh, because of thy wrath; there is no rest for my bones because of my sins. (Ps. xxvii, 4.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that this arming is to be twofold; defensive in order to resist the assaults of your rebellious flesh, and offensive so as to make war on it and bring it into obedience. The thought of what Christ suffered for you is your best armour in both ways. Defensive, such as that of which the prophet speaks: Thou shalt give them a buckler of heart thy labour. (Lam. iii, 65.) For how is it possible that, contemplating Christ bathed in His blood upon the cross for your sins, you should at the same time think of giving yourself up to unlawful pleasures? It will likewise be to you as offensive armour, for you will feel yourself burning with a holy desire to ill-treat and mortify your body, in order to inflict the just punishment that is due to your flesh.
APPLICATION. But for this, however, it is not enough to recall the passion of Christ merely in a superficial manner. You must ponder it with assiduous attention. For if the flesh is at all times ready to make war on you, you must never think of laying down these holy weapons against it.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Behold, O Lord, our protector, and look upon the face of thy Christ, (Ps. lxxxiii, 10.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that, besides reflecting upon the passion, to gain much profit from it you must above all strive to understand Who it is that suffers so much for you. If the Son of God had done nothing more for you than merely taste just one drop of bitter gall, that should be sufficient motive for you to live for the love of Him in an ocean of bitterness. But what if you consider the excessive sufferings, which the Son of God endured in His body for you, and for which He had need to provide Himself with miraculous strength? Tobias fell to the ground as if dead, when he learned that his loving guide was the Archangel Raphael.
APPLICATION. Thus should it be with you, at the thought that He Who descended from heaven to earth to suffer for you, is none other than the Son of God Himself. This thought should make you live as if dead to yourself, as if your body were no longer able to burden you. I will be mindful and remember and my soul shall languish within me. (Lam. iii, 20.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ. (Ps. ii, 2.)
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.
VI. Ah!I the lukewarmness and negligence of our state; that we so quickly fall away from our former fervour, and are now even weary of living, through sloth and tepidity.
Would to God that advancement in virtues was not wholly asleep in thee, who hast often seen many examples of the devout.–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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