Thursday after the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Things of God.
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 Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Things of God.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice. (Matt. vi, 33.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that if you will distinguish within you the good from the evil and separate the precious from the vile (Jer. xv, 19), attributing to God what comes to you from God, which is the precious, and attributing to yourself what comes from yourself, namely all the vile, then thou shalt be as the mouth of God (ibid.), because thus you will always utter the truth. All men are called liars. All men are liars, says the Psalmist (Ps. cxv, II), and that because they attribute to themselves that which is not theirs.
APPLICATION. What is it you possess of things that are precious? Is it nobility or talent or knowledge? All these are God’s gifts. Much more so are the gifts of grace. Therefore of yourself you possess nothing unless it be sin. Make then the separation by attributing to God that which is God’s, and to yourself that which is yours. If there be any good in your action, say with all your heart, that it is not you that do it but God, because you never do anything of yourself alone but what is bad.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thou, O Lord, do with me for Thy name’s sake: because Thy mercy is sweet. Do Thou deliver me. (Ps. cviii, 21.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY a second sense, in which these words are used, namely that if wisely you separate that which is worthy of value in this world from that which deserves contempt, you will be like the mouth of God. By the mouth of men, he that is rich, powerful, and has means to enjoy himself is accounted happy: They have called the people happy that hath these things. (Ps. cxliii, 15.) In the language of God he that has placed in Him all his contentment is called happy: Happy is that people whose God is the Lord. (Ibid.)
APPLICATION. How do you speak of these things? Have you yet learned to make this necessary separation, and to prize no other good than the grace of God? The other benefits are only good in so far as we despise them, that so we may obtain grace.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Blessed is the people that knoweth jubilation. They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance, and in Thy name they shall rejoice all the day. (Ps. lxxxviii, 16, 17.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY a third sense, which is that if you would draw souls from sin, you will separate the precious from the vile, and you will thus be the mouth of God Himself, for thus will God speak by your mouth. This is the office that Jesus filled on earth, acting as the mouth-piece of His divine Father. This the apostles afterwards did and all who have followed them.
APPLICATION. Strive yourself also to do this faithfully, as far as your condition and your capacity permit you. If it be not yours to preach from the pulpit, or go to the missions to rescue souls from sin and from hell, do not at least neglect to rescue them by your good example and by good counsels in familiar discourse. These oftentimes sink more deeply into the heart than does the word of the preacher.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS, The Lord will reward me according to my justice; and will repay me according to the cleanness of my hands. (Ps. xvii, 21.)
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 Love of Solitude and Silence.
I. Seek a proper time to retire into thyself, and often think of the benefits of God.
Let curiosities alone.
Read such matters as may rather move thee to compunction, than give thee occupation.
If thou wilt withdraw thyself from superfluous talk and idle visits, as also from giving ear to news and reports, thou wilt find time sufficient and proper to employ thyself in good meditations.
The greatest saints avoided the company of men as much as they could, and chose to live to God in secret.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XX pt I.
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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