Palm-Sunday. On Communion. – continued.
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.
Palm-Sunday. On Communion. – continued.
2. From this short view of the subject, you will be convinced that confession is not the only proof of a reform of life, which the law requires. The minister who rashly absolves habitual sinners, exceeds his commission; for his delegated powers extend only over the truly contrite: his sentence will not be ratified in heaven; or rather, his sentence will be reversed, and your condemnation will be pronounced in heaven, instead of your pardon: the blood of the Lamb, which he pours on your head, will cry to heaven for vengeance; you will receive the stroke of death from the hand that was stretched out to save you from destruction. – The pastor, therefore, is authorised and required to exact proofs of the sincerity of your protestations, (if your protestations have hitherto been without effect,) before he admits you to the sacraments, and to certify whether you have renounced the occasions of sin, whether you are for ever divorced from the objects of your passions, and whether you have commenced the course of penitential atonement for your former offences.
According to the ancient discipline of the Church, the notorious sinner was not allowed to receive the Holy Communion until he had devoted whole years to the painful works of humiliation, fasting, and prayer: the Eucharist was the Bread of Life, which the sinner ate, as it were, in the sweat of his brow. And can you suppose, that, because the Church has consented, for prudential reasons, to the abolition of this point of discipline, can you suppose that to confess your inveterate crimes, is to atone for them, and that the purity of soul which is required in the worthy communicant, is attained by the bare exposure of the malignity and infection of his spiritual sores? Ah! my friends, the law of God can never be abrogated by custom: the Church, indeed, may dispense with public proofs, but she will not, she cannot dispense with private proofs from the sinners of whom I speak: primitive fervour may abate; but the sanctity of the Lord is the same, and the sanctity of the receiver must be the same.
The Church appointed that the forty days of Lent should precede the Paschal Communion, on purpose that time and opportunity might be given to habitual sinners to weep over their offences, to purify their souls by prayer and fasting, and thus to dispose themselves for a worthy participation of the Holy Mysteries. By this she indicates, that the necessity, still exists of devoting some time to penance after a sinful life, before we presume to sit down to the banquet of our Lord.
There may, indeed, be exceptions to this rule. It may be sometimes expedient, on account of the lively compunction, and the wonderful conversion of a sinner, or even necessary, on account of the danger which would attend delay, when the penitent, who is sincerely converted, is of a fickle and inconstant disposition, to abridge the time of trial. The laws of the Church are replete with wisdom, charity, and prudence. The salvation of sinners is her only object: and the means which conduce more immediately to that end, are the most conformable to her spirit. But this does not operate against the general rule, namely, that sinners should do penance, and that they should prove themselves, before they eat of this Bread.
You, perhaps, may say, that the law of the Church requires that you communicate within a given time, and that you cannot defer it in order to give proofs of your sincerity. What! do you insinuate by this, that the Church commands you to communicate unworthily? and that she considers a sacrilegious Communion as the full accomplishment of the Paschal duty? You would, indeed, by such a Communion, avoid her censures, because her cognizance extends only to exterior appearances, but you would not avoid the anathemas of heaven, which would witness your concealed profanation. – She commands you to receive at this time, on the supposition that you will approach to the altar with a pure conscience; – on the supposition that you have employed this time of Lent in doing penance for your sins, and in making the necessary preparation for a worthy Communion. But if these preparations have been neglected, she commands that your Communion be deferred, and has empowered her ministers to extend the term of the paschal law to a more distant period. The fruits of the Sacrament, and the accomplishment of her precept, are not confined to times and seasons, but depend on the innocence and purity of the receiver.
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.
March Devotion: St. Joseph
Virtue to practice: Mortification
To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and, imploring the help of thy thrice-holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that charity wherewith thou was united to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray, that thou wouldst look graciously upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ hath purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength. Most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ; keep far from us most lovely father, all blight of error and corruption: mercifully assist us from heaven, most mighty defender, in this our conflict with the powers of darkness; and, even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the supreme peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; keep us one and all under thy continual protection, that we may be supported by thine example and thine assistance, may be enabled to lead a holy life, die a happy death and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in heaven. Amen.
An indulgence of 3 years.
An indulgence of 7 years during the month of October, when said after the recitation of the Rosary and on any Wednesday throughout the year. A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, If this prayer is devoutly said daily (Leo Xiii, Encyclical Aug. 15, 1889; S.C. Ind., Sept. 21, 1889; S.P.Ap., May 17, 1927; Dec. 13, 1935; and March 10, 1941). (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957) .
Litany of St. Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, pray for us.
Light of the patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most valiant, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of workmen, pray for us.
Glory of domestic life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
He hath made him master of His house,
And ruler of all His possessions.
Let us Pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph
(This prayer was said to be founded in the 50 A.D. In the 1500’s it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. According to oral tradition, whoever reads this prayer, hears it, or carries it, will not fall into the hands of the enemy, nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.)
O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O St. Joseph I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.
Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope St. Pius X
O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.
Prayer to St. Joseph for a Happy Death
O Glorious St. Joseph, behold I choose thee today for my special patron in life and at the hour of my death. Preserve and increase in me the spirit of prayer and fervor in the service of God. Remove far from me every kind of sin; obtain for me that my death may not come upon me unawares, but that I may have time to confess my sins sacramentally and to bewail them with a most perfect understanding and a most sincere and perfect contrition, in order that I may breathe forth my soul in the hands of Jesus and Mary. Amen.
Help us, St. Joseph, in our earthly strife, ever to lead a pure and holy life.
300 days indulgence.
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