Wednesday after the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost.

Wednesday after the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Strength in 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.

Wednesday after the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Strength in God.

Without Me you can do nothing. (John xv, 5.)

CONSIDER FIRSTLY the magnificent courage which the Apostle showed when he said: I can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me. (Phil. iv, 13.) He spoke of himself as almost omnipotent: I can do all things, not indeed in his own strength, but in that of God, Who alone could render him such. This was not pride in him but courage. For humility does not consist in believing that we can do nothing for God, but in believing that we cannot do anything of ourselves, as of our own strength.

APPLICATION. It sometimes seems to you impossible to conquer your own defects, to perform some duty, to continue in a certain place or office because you look only at yourself. Lift up your eyes and look on God. Believe that you have only to act in the strength of Him Who wishes to make use of you, weak and incapable as you are, to show that He is the author of the work that He lays on you. Then you will be humble and will be at the same time courageous.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thou art my strength and my refuge: and for Thy name’s sake Thou wilt lead me and nourish me. (Ps. xxx, 4.)

CONSIDER SECONDLY the aim of the Apostle in saying: 1 can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me. He would show that he was really able to do everything not by virtue of his natural forces, but in virtue of Him Who infused into him supernatural strength.

APPLICATION. That which should give you courage to do great things, is the thought that you have to do them in the strength of God. But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me. (2 Tim. iv, 17.) So it was that St. Paul wrote to Timothy. Hence you may understand that the strength of grace is given us, that we may co-operate with our free-will in work which we cannot really attribute to ourselves.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Lord, who is like to Thee? Who delivereth the poor from the hand of them that are stronger than he? (Ps. xxxiv, 10.)

CONSIDER THIRDLY of what things the Apostle speaks when he says, 1 can do all things. He means to speak of the difficulties of poverty, and of sufferings which of themselves would be insupportable to our natural strength. By reason however of the divine strength, though he ceased not to suffer, he suffered courageously.

APPLICATION. Do you likewise trust to God and put no obstacles in the way of receiving the grace which He has at hand to strengthen you. By thus acting you will not lose heart in the midst of your gravest difficulties and afflictions. You will say with the Apostle: 1 can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me.

AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Do ye manfully, and let your heart be strengthened, all ye that hope in the Lord. (Ps. xxx, 25.)

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.

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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

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PRAYER IN HONOR OF THE NORTH AMERICAN MARTYRS

O GOD, Who by the preaching and the blood of Thy Blessed Martyrs, John and Isaac and their Companions, didst consecrate the first fruits of the faith in the vast regions of North America, graciously grant that by their intercession the flourishing harvest of Christians may be everywhere and always increased. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son Who liveth and reigneth in union with the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

PRAYER OF PETITION

O GOD, Who didst inflame the hearts of Thy Blessed Martyrs with an admirable zeal for the salvation of souls, grant me, I beseech Thee (here make your request), so that the favors obtained through their intercession may make manifest before men the power and the glory of Thy Name. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary. Glory be to the Father.

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lnvocation of St. Thomas Aquinas to the Cross.Crucifixion

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.

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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.

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Prayers in Time of Calamity
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