Friday after the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.—Jesus our Helper in the Combat.
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.
Friday after the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.—Jesus our Helper in the Combat.
Have confidence, I have overcome the world. (John xvi, 33.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that the combat which we have to sustain is against those three well-known enemies, an immoderate love of possessions, of pleasures, and of praise or reputation. You should prepare yourself for this combat by a courageous determination to suffer, and to accept with patience, the privations, the sorrows, the slights which are to be met with every day.
APPLICATION. In order to do this you must not only lay aside, as the Apostle says (Heb. xii, I), the weight of the sins which you have committed, but also all the occasions of committing sin again. For how could you ever hope to abstain from the vain pleasures of the world, to shun its glory and grandeur, while you remain amidst so many occasions that attract you?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Know ye also that the Lord hath made His holy one wonderful: the Lord will hear me. (Ps. iv, 4.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that after having laid aside all impediments, you need to strengthen yourself by the example of Christ. Having suffered so much for love of you, He will help you to acquire the desire and the patience to suffer for love of Him. In order to encourage yourself, look upon Jesus Who, to set before you an example, refused the glory due to His Sacred Body and chose rather poverty, and suffering, and contempt. Who having joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. (Heb. xii, 2.)
APPLICATION. Think often then how the life of Jesus was a continual and a heavy cross, to which He was nailed by those constant attendants upon Him, poverty, suffering and contempt. These were ever at His side, His companions at His birth, during His life, and at His death. Fix your gaze attentively on Him. It will give you strength against your weakness, as did the sight of the bronze serpent to the Jews in the wilderness.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. He is my God and my Saviour. He is my protector: I shall be moved no more. (Ps. lxi, 3.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that Jesus is also called by the Apostle the author and finisher of faith. (Ibid.) As author or beginner He encourages you by that which He now promises you; as finisher by that which He will afterwards give you. Jesus is author of the faith on earth, teaching it by His doctrines, manifesting it by holy examples, and confirming it by such abundant lights to the mind and impulses to the heart. He will hereafter be the finisher in heaven, rewarding the faith you have here professed in Him with that clear vision, into which faith will at last be resolved.
APPLICATION. This transcendent vision will be in proportion to the degree, in which you have now conformed yourself to His example, in embracing poverty and despising riches; in embracing suffering and refusing pleasures; and in embracing contempt and flying from honours.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thy kingdom is a kingdom of all ages: and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. (Ps. cxliv, 13.)
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.
Of a Monastic life.
What is a good religious? He is a Christian always occupied in striving after perfection. The religious life is but a life, so to speak, more Christian, and the abnegation of self is the epitome of all the duties that it imposes. Now those duties are also ours, since it is not only to some, but to all that Jesus Christ has said: Be you, therefore, perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. v. 48). In order to fulfil this great vocation, let us renounce ourselves; let us unite ourselves fully to the sacrifice of our divine leader; let us love especially dependence, humiliations and scorn. Salvation is a building which can only be erected on the ruins of pride.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XVII reflection.
August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary
Virtues to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901)
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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