Correspondence with Grace.
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.
Correspondence with Grace.
If in Tyre and Sidon had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in you, they had long ago done penance in sackcloth and ashes. (Matt. xi, 21.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that as no ground can by itself produce a blade of grass without the benefit of rain, so no soul can of itself bring forth any fruit of virtue without the rain of divine grace. Strive to understand this truth well, and so to come utterly to distrust yourself. But grace does not suffice without your correspondence.
APPLICATION. Observe the difference there is between one piece of ground and another, both of which are watered in the same way, but which are not fruitful to the same degree. So two souls may receive equal graces from heaven without being equally grateful, and consequently one is blessed far above the other. To which of these classes do you belong?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I stretched forth my hand to thee: my soul is as earth without water unto thee. (Ps. cxlii, 6.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY how much more frequently and liberally heaven has rained upon your soul, than it has on many souls that are left in circumstances where there is a greater scarcity of spiritual helps. Reflect therefore and see how far you have corresponded. What fruit of good works have you produced considering the great help God has given you?
APPLICATION. If you have produced some fruit, console yourself with the thought that God has blessed you by preparing your reward in heaven. But if instead of good works you have produced only thorns and thistles (Gen. iii, 18), your lesser sins figured by the thorns and the greater by the thistles, what is the meed of punishment you may then expect?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS, Come and hear, all ye that fear God: and I will tell you what great things He hath done for my soul. (Ps. lxv, 16.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY the three maledictions uttered by Holy Scripture upon the unfruitful earth. (Heb. vi, 7-8.) The first is a reproof, because one of the most certain signs of a soul’s being rejected by God is frequently to have received help from Him to do good, and all the same not to have made use of it. The second is the imminent danger of receiving the sentence of condemnation, for God does not usually suffer such ingratitude very long. The third is the chastisement of hell itself, because the fire and punishment will be in proportion to the sterility of the ground.
APPLICATION. Strive then to correspond with all the innumerable graces that God continually showers upon you. Thus you will be a ground pleasing in God’s sight, and one which will be watered every day more and more by the favouring showers of His divine grace.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. (Ps. cxxvii, 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 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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