2nd Point. Advantages of this Hidden Life.
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.
2nd Point. Advantages of this Hidden Life.
1. It serves to disengage us from the world and from ourselves. Deafened and distracted by the jar of earthly interests, we can never hear the still, small voice of conscience urging us to better things, or hearken to the secret inspirations of God’s grace. Blinded by the glare and glitter of the world, we can never see aright the things of God, or follow up the path that leads to heaven. Nay, like those wandering lights that guide the traveller, night-bound on the treacherous morass, to his destruction, the allurements of the worldly objects that attract the senses draw us speedily and surely to destruction. It is only by withdrawing from this outer darkness of the world and keeping in the light of sanctifying grace that we can hope to reach our everlasting home in safety.
2. This hidden life secures the peace and quiet of the soul. The roar and turmoil of the world is inimical to our salvation. The ship that sails on stormy waters is in danger of being wrecked, and may never reach the port. The passions are the storms that wreck the soul. Within the quiet shelter of the hidden life their violence is checked, and they are held in sway.
3. The hidden life promotes the spirit of prayer. Amid the countless dissipations and frivolities of worldly life it is impossible to live the life of prayer. Within the sheltering haven of the hidden life prayer becomes natural and easy. It is the very atmosphere of one’s surroundings, the breath and nourishment of the interior life.
4. The hidden life is full of sweetness, fostered by the choicest gifts of heaven. The votaries of worldly pleasure often find it bitter to the taste. Like Dead Sea fruits that “tempt the eye, all bitterness within,” the pleasures and enjoyments of this life are often sadly disappointing. On the other hand, the pure, serene enjoyments of the hidden life of grace are true and solid. Melancholy is a thing that is unknown to the interior soul. It has, no doubt, its sorrows and its trials, but, like the winds that sweep the ocean, they merely touch the surface, and leave the depths below unruffled and at peace.
Resolution.—In your visits to the Blessed Sacrament ask the Sacred Heart to teach you how to enter on this hidden life, of which He gives you such a wonderful example.
Aspiration.—“In peace, in the self same, I will sleep and I will rest” (Ps. iv. 9).
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.
June Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Virtue to practice: Obedience, piety, dutifulness
O Jesu! Creator of the world,
Of all mankind Redeemer blest,
True God of God, in Whom we see
Thy Father’s image clear expressed!
Thee, Saviour, love alone constrained
To make our mortal flesh Thine own,
And, as a second Adam, come
For the first Adam to atone.
That selfsame love which made the sky,
Which made the sea and stars, and earth,
Took pity on our misery,
And broke the bondage of our birth.
O Jesus! in Thy Heart divine
May that same love for ever glow!
Forever mercy to mankind
From that exhaustless fountain flow!
For this the Sacred Heart was pierced,
And both with blood and water ran –
To cleanse us from the stains of guilt,
And be the hope and strength of man.
Jesu, to Thee be glory given,
Who from Thy Heart dost grace outpour,
To Father and to Paraclete
Be endless praise for evermore. Amen.
An indulgence of 5 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, If this hymn is devoutly recited every day for a month (S.P.Ap., March 12, 1936). (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957)
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