6th Sunday for St. Thomas Aquinas novena.
The Second Sunday in Lent.
On Our Lord’s Transfiguration.
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.
The Second Sunday in Lent.
On Our Lord’s Transfiguration.
To-day, my soul, you are invited to leave the hard and sorrowful way of the cross, whereon in your meditation during the past week you have followed our Lord’s footsteps, and seek rest and refreshment in the contemplation of the sublime and glorious picture unfolded before your eyes in to-day s Gospel. Gaze in imagination on your Lord upon Thabor; see how His countenance shines as the sun, and His raiment has become white and glittering as snow. Behold Him in such glory, such majesty that the enraptured apostles would fain remain forever on Thabor that they might continually enjoy this beatific vision. If you, my soul, witnessing only in spirit the majesty of our Lord experience something of that same felicity, consider what follows:
1st. Jesus has good reasons for selecting Peter, James and John to be the witnesses of His glorification. These three were most deserving of all the apostles to be thus privileged, for none other was as firmly rooted in faith as Peter, who before any one else declared his unquestioning belief: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” (St. Matt. xvi. 16.) And that which Peter was the first to proclaim with such certitude, James was the first to seal with his blood, for he was the first of the apostles who suffered martyrdom. John testified to the truth by his life; he was the virgin apostle, the apostle of charity. Wherefore, my soul, if you desire to be admitted to enjoyment of the divine favors and taste somewhat of celestial bliss on Thabor, ask yourself previously if you have Peter’s faith; if you can drink with James the chalice of suffering; if, remembering our Lord’s words: “The clean of heart shall see God” (St. Matt. v. 8) you can say that, like John, you possess the most beautiful, the indispensable ornament of a Priest and a Religious, holy chastity?
2d. Consider why our Lord was transfigured before entering upon His Passion. Only a short time previously, before He went up on the heights of Thabor, our Saviour taught His disciples the all-important doctrine of the cross; saying: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily.” (St. Luke ix. 23.) That same cross which our Lord Himself took upon His shoulders shortly after His transfiguration, and the fact that the transfiguration took place within the period wherein our Lord by precept and example calls upon His followers to bear the cross, shows us that He intends thereby to set before us the grand, the glorious goal whither the way of the cross leads, to reveal to us the sublime reward of those who bear the cross with cheerful patience. Never forget that, my soul! It is indeed true that you must suffer here below—pre-eminently if you are striving to be a good Priest, an exemplary Religious, a devout Christian, and a zealous servant of Christ—you must suffer much affliction, many tribulations; you must take on yourself the practice of self-denial and mortification; but be of good heart, by means of all this you will attain to be glorified with Christ; your countenance, now so sorrowful, shall shine as the sun, and your body, chaste and mortified, shall glitter as the snow in the bright radiance of celestial light.
3d. Consider that, in spite of Peter’s entreaty: “Lord, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles” (St. Luke ix. 33) our Lord comes down from Mount Thabor, in order to take the same three apostles with Him onto another mountain, the Mount of Olives. Hence we may learn an important lesson. It happens sometimes that our Lord grants you even on earth an earnest and foretaste of future glory; that He imparts to your soul such joy and sweetness, He gives you such sensible devotion and supernatural happiness, that you are ready to exclaim with St. Peter: It is good to be here, let us make tabernacles here. But remember, this is not possible here on earth. Only occasionally does our Lord allow these precious drops of heavenly dew to distil into your soul; only once does He take you up onto Mount Thabor to renew your strength and revive your courage. Afterwards you must be prepared for fresh sufferings, you must nerve yourself to encounter fresh trials, and ever bear in mind that it was not from Mount Thabor, but from Olivet, that our Lord’s ascension took place. Let the remembrance of this preserve you from pride in the hour of consolation, from despondency in the season of tribulation.
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.
February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)
Virtue to practice: Humility
I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ Amen. – St. Francis de Sales
An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a month (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).
GRANT unto us O Lord Jesus ever to imitate the example of Thy Holy Family that in the hour of our death being met by Thy Glorious Virgin Mother, with Blessed Joseph, we may be found worthy to be received by Thee into everlasting dwellings, Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
(Roman Missal.) 3 years each time; PLENARY ONCE A MONTH (usual conditions)
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who being made subject to Mary and Joseph, didst hallow domestic life by Thy ineffable virtues, do Thou grant that with the assistance of both of them, we may be taught by the example of Thy Holy Family, and attain to everlasting fellowship therewith: Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
(Roman Missal.) 5 years each time; PLENARY ONCE A MONTH (usual conditions)
Prayer for One’s Family.
Defend we beseech Thee, O Lord, through the intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, this family from all adversity; and as in all humility we bow before Thee, with all our hearts, do Thou graciously defend us from all the snares of the enemy. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
3 years each time; PLENARY ONCE A MONTH (usual conditions)
Sweetest Jesus Who being subject as a child to Mary and Joseph at Nazareth, didst leave to children an excellent example of affection and obedience to parents, and of wondrous reverence for all men, grant, I most earnestly beg Thee, that I may strive to see Thee always and in everything, so that as I grow older in years, I may increase in Thy grace and love: Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen. 300 days
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