Tuesday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Evangelical Perfection.
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.
Tuesday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Evangelical Perfection.
Be you therefore perfect as also your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matt. v, 48.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that these words apply to all Christians. For all are bound to observe the law of the Gospel with greater perfection than were the Hebrews bound to observe that of Moses. The Mosaic Law was directed rather to the acquisition of earthly goods, and was a heavier burden because of the many precepts it contained, and of the much less help which the people had to keep it. The Evangelical law is ordained entirely for the attainment of heavenly goods. It is a yoke much more bearable, and much greater is the aid which grace gives to bear it.
APPLICATION. You have had the blessing of being born in the bosom of Christianity, in the days of so sweet a law, and therefore enjoy so many helps of grace. Think how much more, then, you are bound to observe it, and how much greater will be your condemnation if you fail to do so.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. How I have loved Thy law, O Lord; it is my meditation all the day long. (Ps. cxviii, 97.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY those words of the Apostle, Therefore ought we more diligently to observe the things which we have heard, lest perhaps we let them slip. (Hebr. ii, I.) They apply most of all to those more worthy Christians, who, detached at least in mind and heart from the world, attend more exclusively to the practice of virtue.
APPLICATION. By your very name of Christian, you are therefore bound to the more careful observance of all that God has taught you by His lights and by His divine inspirations. He gives you so many helps and devout inspirations, that you may ever become more perfect. Hence if you neglect these gifts and these lights He will be justly offended. Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest My soul depart from thee. (Jer. vi, 8.) An ordinary goodness must not suffice you. Place yourself in the way of higher virtue, and thus you will assuredly profit by it.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I looked for Thy salvation, O Lord, and I loved Thy commandments. (Ps. cxviii, 166.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that these words of the Apostle apply especially to those, whose aim is to help their neighbour. For such have more need than others to be most careful to observe perfectly that which God requires of them. Otherwise they run the risk of losing themselves while seeking the good and salvation of others.
APPLICATION. If you be of this number, you must so let the gifts of God flow for the benefit of others as to keep many also for your own good. From time to time you must retire into yourself and think of your own soul and of its needs. For it will avail you nothing to gain the whole world if in this gain you lose your own soul. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? (Matt. xvi, 26.)
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Serve ye the Lord with fear and rejoice unto Him with trembling. (Ps. ii, II.)
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 Compunction of Heart.
VI. It is oftentimes a want of spirit, which makes the wretched body so easily complain.
Pray therefore humbly to our Lord, that He may give thee the spirit of compunction; and say with the prophet: Feed us, O Lord, with the food of tears, and give us for our drink tears in measure.–Ps.lxxix. 6.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXI pt V.
[compunction = contrition, remorse, reservations.]
September Devotion: The Holy Cross.
Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer
Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.
An indulgence of 500 days
Crux mihi certa salus.
Crux est quam semper adoro.
Crux Domini mecum.
Crux mihi refugium.
The cross is my sure salvation.
The cross I ever adore.
The cross of my Lord is with me.
The cross is my refuge.
His Holiness, Pope Pius IX., by an autograph rescript, June 21, 1874, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall say these prayers, drawn up in the form of a cross by the Angelic Doctor, S. Thomas Aquinas: AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
Adoramus te, sanctissime Domine Jesu Christe, benedicimus tibi; quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
We adore Thee, O most blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, we bless Thee; because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of indulgences, March 4, 1882, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall recite this ejaculation: AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
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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