Thursday after the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Crown of Victory.
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.
Thursday after the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Crown of Victory.
He that shall persevere to the end he shall be saved. (Matt. x, 22.)
Consider firstly that in order to be crowned you must fight against your own disorderly inclinations. For the crown of glory is prepared for holiness and for perfection, and is not attained by the performance of devotions and mortifications and fastings done at our own caprice. It is gained by the perfect victory over oneself, all other things being merely helps or means to arrive at this victory.
Application. Of what value will these external acts be to you if interiorly through untamed passions you are ever thinking yourself better than others, judging them, being upset at every slightest word, unwilling to submit and obey, seeking yourself in everything? It is not in this way the crown is won.
Affections and Resolutions. My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. (Ps. lxxxiii, 3.)
Consider secondly that, in order to be crowned, it is not enough merely to strive, but necessary to strive constantly. St. Augustine says our efforts must be indefatigable as long as we are in the arena of this life. You must never lay aside the lance from out of your hand.
Application. If at times you receive some little hurt, have but patience. God does not bid you to crush your appetites in such a manner that they will not make themselves felt any more; but He does wish you to strive without any thought of truce. Strive for justice for thy soul even unto death. (Ecclus. iv, 33·)
Affections and Resolutions. Deliver my soul from the fear of the enemy. Thou hast protected me from the assembly of the malignant: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity. (Ps. lxiii, 2, 3.)
Consider thirdly that this continuous strife against your evil inclinations should not alarm you. If you give them any truce they do but gain strength. Moreover these spiritual combats are dissimilar from all material warfare. In the latter the longer you fight, the more tired, the weaker you become; whilst in the former, the longer you combat, the stronger you grow. For divine grace which is your only strength is always increased therein.
Application. The weapons then with which you are to fight are distrust of self, confidence in God, and prayer. Distrust of yourself will cause you not to presume. You will proceed with reflection and circumspection, and if sometimes you fall, you will then humble yourself. You will not give way to disquiet, being convinced that of yourself you can do nothing. Confidence in God will result in God’s giving you the victory, which He alone can give and which He so much desires to give you. Prayer will ensure your receiving all the help you need. In the Olympian games the prize was given by the judge, but he gave no help to the wrestlers; whereas God promises you the crown of glory, and gives you the help of His grace, provided you ask it faithfully and continually.
Affections and Resolutions. They are many that make war against me; but I will trust in Thee. (Ps. lv, 3-4.)
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.
Put not off till to-morrow what you can do today.-
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.
Prayers in Time of Calamity
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