Tuesday after the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Value of the Soul.
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.
Value of the Soul.
What exchange shall a man give for his soul? (Matt. xvi, 26.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY what is the honour which holy writ tells us we owe to our own soul. Keep thy soul in meekness and give it honour according to its desert. (Ecclus. x, 31.) It is in the first place that you remember its indisputable right to command, being made to command as a queen, and not to obey like a servant the mere inclinations of your body. The lust thereof shall be under thee, and thou shalt have dominion over it. (Gen. iv, 7.)
APPLICATION. Think therefore what wrong you do your soul by making it subservient to your flesh, or to any part of your lower nature. Do not act thus but keep for your soul its place of ruler.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Shall not my soul be subject to God? For from Him is my salvation. (Ps. 1xi, 2.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY another honour you should give to your soul. It is that you should prefer it, as it deserves, to everything of less value than itself, namely to all that perishes and is temporary. For all things temporal pass away and your soul is eternal.
APPLICATION. Hence you should prize it more than the empty friendship of men, more than reputation, more than the things of this life, more even than that bodily life which is so dear to you. All that a man hath he will give for his life. (Job ii, 4.) Alas! that there should be found so many in the world, who for a mere nothing do not fear to sell it to their mortal enemy!
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS, Let the poor seek and rejoice. Seek ye God and your soul shall live. (Ps. lxviii, 33.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that the third honour you should do your soul is that you not only treat it as a ruler, and prefer it to all the goods of earth, as it is your duty to do, but that you make it also to rejoice in God. This is the end for which it was created. You should not defer this honour to God until the next life, but give it to Him now as much as ever you can, by attending earnestly to prayer, by thinking of God, by speaking of God, by conversing with God, and by living in His divine presence. We shall live in His sight. (Osee vi, 3.)
APPLICATION. This third honour makes it more easy for you to give also the other two. He who converses much with God will not subject his soul as a slave to his senses. Still more does he despise all exterior things, nor will he esteem them as of more value than his soul. By means of this interior recollection your soul will not go wandering abroad, but will remain within like a queen on her throne.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. And to Him my soul shall live: and my seed shall serve Him. (Ps. xxi, 31.)
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 Consideration of the Misery of Man.
IV. O senseless people, and infidels in heart, who lie buried so deep in earthly things, as to relish nothing but the things of the flesh !
Miserable wretches! they will in the end find to their cost, how vile a nothing that was which they so much loved.
But the saints of God, and all the devout friends of Christ, made no account of what pleased the flesh, or flourished in this life; but their whole hope and intentions aspired to eternal goods.
Their whole desire tended upwards, to things everlasting and invisible; fearing that the love of visible things might draw them down to things below.
Lose not, brother, thy confidence of going forward to spiritual things; there is yet time, the hour is not yet past.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXII pt IV.
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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