Saturday after the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.—The Soldier of Christ.
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.
Saturday after the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.—The Soldier of Christ.
He that shall lose his life for My sake shall save it. (Luke ix, 24.)
Consider firstly that every true Christian should be a soldier of Jesus Christ. He must combat either as the martyrs did against tyrants, as the Doctors of the Church did against errors, or as all the faithful must do against the desires of the flesh and the assaults of the evil one. You may think that these three kinds of combat do not concern you, but it is not so. For if it be not always necessary to be in action, it is always necessary to be prepared for the fight. For this reason the Apostle St. Paul does not say fight but labour. Labour as a good soldier of Christ. (2 Tim. ii, 3.) Soldiers are not idle in time of peace.
Application. Though perhaps not liable now to be persecuted by tyrants, yet you must imitate the martyrs of Christ by preparation, by keeping alive in yourself the faith as much as if you had to defend it before a public tribunal. Despise life, hate and mortify your body, even as if you were about to give it up into the hands of the executioner. But if you are set upon the love of ease, if you cherish too delicately your body, how can you boast of being a soldier of Christ?
Affections and Resolutions. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. If a battle should rise up against me, in this will I be confident. (Ps. xxvi, 3.)
Consider secondly that it may never be yours to fight against errors as did the Doctors of the Church. All the same, as a soldier of Christ you should be prepared and well instructed in your religion. Thus you will be able to fight against the many false maxims which are heard even among Christian people against the truths and practice of the gospel, as for example that it is shameful to forgive your enemies, to be too yielding, to control yourself, to humble yourself, and similar principles.
Application. Can you profess yourself to be a soldier of Christ, and yet not show yourself ready to disapprove of and to condemn such errors, which are spread by the followers of the world against the gospel truths taught by Jesus Christ? Labour as a good soldier of Christ.
Affections and Resolutions. Give me understanding, and I will search Thy law; and I will keep it with my whole heart. Lead me into the path of Thy commandments; for this same I have desired. (Ps. cxviii, 34, 35.)
Consider thirdly that you have not only to fight against your evil inclinations, that are allied to the devil, when they assault you, but that if there is a little truce, you have to stand like a true soldier, always with your arms in your hand. When you think yourself most secure, then must you stand most of all on your guard. For God sometimes allows you to be assaulted most fiercely in order to punish you for your negligence. Actual fighting is never absolutely continuous and uninterrupted for any soldier, but the bearing of labour is always so.
Application. In order then to comport yourself as a good soldier, you must not fight as a mercenary whose only aim is his pay. You have voluntarily entered the service of your King, having the one aim, whilst fighting against the enemies of God, to please Him alone. He watches from heaven how His faithful follower bears himself in his dangers: that he may please Him to Whom he hath engaged himself. (2 Tim. ii, 4.)
Affections and Resolutions. I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: Praising, I will call upon the Lord: and I shall be saved from my enemies. (Ps. xvii, 2, 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.
July Devotion: The Precious Blood of Jesus
Virtue to practice: Simplicity, Faith, Liberty of Spirit, Cheerfulness
Prayers in honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.
Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls! I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, wash in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony, and who are to die this day. Amen.
Heart of Jesus, once in agony, pity the dying.
100 days indul.—Pius IX., Feb. 1850.
“May Thy Blood, shed for us, O Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the remission of all my sins, my negligences, my ignorance; may It strengthen, increase and preserve within me, Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace, and every virtue, may It bring me to everlasting life; may It deliver the souls of my parents and of all those for whom I am bound to pray.” —St. Catharine of Sienna.
Almighty, and everlasting God, who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world, and hast been pleased to be reconciled unto us by His Blood, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation, that the power thereof may here on earth keep us from all things hurtful, and the fruit of the same may gladden us forever hereafter in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers to St. Philomena
Novena to St. Philomena (from July 1st through August 10th)
Illustrious Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena, behold me kneeling in spirit before the throne on which it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I beseech thee to intercede for me with God. From the height of thy heavenly country, deign to cast a look upon thy humble servant. Spouse of Jesus Christ, console me in my troubles, strengthen me in temptations, protect me in the dangers which surround me on every side; obtain all the graces necessary for me, especially (here mention your particular intention), and, above all, assist me at my death. Amen.
For Victory over Temptations.
O God, who dost sustain us by the merits and example of the blessed Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, mercifully grant that, strengthened in faith and charity, we may never be separated from Thee by any temptation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Growth in Virtues.
O glorious Virgin! whose glory God has been pleased to make known by singular miracles, we address ourselves to thee with entire confidence. Obtain for us that, following thy example, we may fight courageously against whatever is opposed to the reign of Jesus Christ in our heart; that we may adorn our souls with virtues like thine, particularly with that angelic purity of which thou art the perfect model; and that inflamed with the love of Jesus, we may continually walk in the way which He has marked out, to the end that we may one day partake of thy everlasting happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, lives and reigns one God in perfect Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer for Purity.
O glorious Saint Philomena, who, animated by a burning love for Jesus our Savior, didst shine in Holy Church by the splendor of perfect virginity and the practice of the most heroic virtues, obtain for us of thy Divine Spouse the grace to keep ever unsullied the precious treasure of chastity and to practice with generosity the virtues of our state, that having, after thy example, walked in His footsteps during our life on earth, we may, with thee, rejoice in His glory eternally.
Saint Philomena, happy virgin, adorned with all the charm of innocence, and beautified, besides, with the purple of martyrdom, obtain for us the grace to know how to suffer all, and to sacrifice all in order to be faithful to God till death, and possess Him eternally in paradise.
For Detachment from Earthly Goods.
O Saint Philomena, faithful virgin and glorious martyr, who so courageously preferred to the visible goods of this world the invisible goods of a holy eternity, obtain for us a lively faith, an ardent charity, and a piety always increasing, in order that, faithfully serving our Lord Jesus Christ during our life, we may merit after our death the happiness of contemplating Him face to face in life eternal. Amen.
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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