Monday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Death.
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.
Monday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Death.
Lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven. (Matt. vi, 20.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY how great is the misery of him, who has placed all his peace in the good things of this earth, in its honours, pleasures, riches. He cannot think of death. He cannot think of that for which alone life was given him, the preparation for that passage on which depends a whole eternity of reward or of punishment. And observe that in Holy Writ it is not the expectation, but the remembrance, of death that is said to be bitter to such a man: O death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee! (Ecclus. xli, I.) For such men never expect it and never prepare themselves for it. If they hear, or see under their very eyes the death, now of a friend, now of a fellow-citizen, now of a relative, great is the anguish that fills them. Immediately they think out some reason, by which they promise themselves not to die, at least of that sickness, or in that way.
APPLICATION. Deplore the misery of so great a part of mankind, and strive to avoid it yourself.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Remember what my substance is, for hast Thou made all the children of men in vain? Who is the man that shall live and shall not see death? (Ps. lxxxviii, 48.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY the intense bitterness men so unprepared will feel when death separates them not only from their bodies, but from all those good things that they loved even as much as their bodies, and far more than they loved their souls. Then indeed those miserable people will cry out: Doth bitter death separate in this manner? (I Kings xv, 32.) They will reply each time: Yes, even so: in this manner it separates from all the pleasures of this world: it separates from friends, from relatives, from country: it separates from honours, dignities and riches.
APPLICATION. Oh how much better would these unhappy ones have done to have separated themselves voluntarily beforehand little by little, and that with merit, from those things, from which at last they will be torn forcibly by death to their great sorrow.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. (Ps. cxv, 15.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY how you are bound to thank God, if He has given you the grace of detachment in heart and spirit from these goods of earth now before your death. The good things of the earth the world imagines it cannot subsist without, and therefore it cannot cease from loving them. But he who has proved that it is possible so to live, and even to live contentedly, oh how much more easily then he separates himself from them.
APPLICATION. If you desire that death should not bring you sorrow, act now in such a manner that you may have nothing which it shall take from you against your will.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Consider, and hear me, O Lord my God. Enlighten my eyes that I may never sleep in death. (Ps. xii, 4.)
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.
IV. Oftentimes, they that were bitter in the judgment of men, have been in greater danger by reason of their too great confidence.
So that it is better for many not to be altogether free from temptations, but to be often assaulted, that they may not be too secure; lest perhaps, they be lifted up with pride, or take more liberty to go aside after exterior comforts.
Oh! how good a conscience would that man preserve, who would never seek after transitory joy, nor ever busy himself with the world.
Oh! how great peace and tranquility would he possess, who would cut off all vain solicitude, and only think of the things of God and his salvation, and place his whole hope in God.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XX pt IV.
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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