The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Ten Lepers.
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.
The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—The Ten Lepers.
(Read Luke xvii, II-19.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that to turn to God for help in public or private calamities is a thing common to all men. But these lepers, who had recourse to Jesus in order to be cleansed, show you the way in which you ought to go to God in order to obtain the graces you ask for. They stood a long way off, deeming themselves unworthy to approach Him because of their loathsome disease. They lifted up their voices, showing thereby a great desire to be healed. Master, have mercy on us, and thus they made their supplication with faith together with resignation.
APPLICATION. You should do likewise when you beg the help of God in your necessities. You must acknowledge that you are unworthy to appear in the divine presence, a leper as you are, infected by so many sins. You should show your intense desire to be healed, by fervent and constant prayers, and with perfect confidence resign yourself to the good pleasure of God. If your prayers to God are accompanied by real humility, a lively desire, and perfect confidence and resignation, you will obtain a favourable response.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Do with me, O Lord, for Thy name’s sake, for Thy mercy is sweet. Do Thou deliver me. For I am poor and needy. (Ps. cviii, 21-22.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that these ten lepers obtained the grace they asked of Jesus, of being cleansed from their leprosy, and this in the act of going to the priests as they had been commanded to do. Our Lord would hereby teach you, that in order to obtain from God what you ask, you must do what He commands you. The petitions which you present to God will certainly be heard if your actions correspond with your prayers.
APPLICATION. By the very act of praying to God, you acknowledge Him as supreme Lord and Giver of all good, and declare that you are dependent upon Him for everything. But if in your actions you obey Him not and desire to go your own way, you contradict your prayers by your actions and so render your supplications less efficacious.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I cried unto Thee, O Lord, and said: Thou art my hope, my portion in the land of the living. (Ps. cxli, 6.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that of the ten lepers only one, who was a Samaritan, returned to give thanks to God for the benefit he had received. Were not ten made clean, and where are the nine? Thus Jesus Christ gives us to see how much more anxious we are to go to God in our necessities, than to show ourselves grateful afterwards for having been aided and delivered in them.
APPLICATION. For how many benefits are you not indebted to God? And how little gratitude perhaps have you shown Him hitherto! Gratitude moreover opens the channels for the reception of new and greater gifts. Therefore this Samaritan who went back with a loud voice glorifying God, giving thanks, obtained the health of his soul besides the health of his body. Thy faith hath made thee whole.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Give glory to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever. (Ps. cv, 1.)
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 the Love of Solitude and Silence.
III. No man securely rejoiceth, unless he have within him the testimony of a good conscience.
Yet the security of the saints was always full of the fear of God.
Neither were they less careful or humble in themselves, because they were shining with great virtues and graces.
But the security of the wicked arises from pride and presumption, and will end in deceiving themselves.
Never promise thyself security in this life, though thou seemest to be a good religious man, or a devout hermit.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XX pt II.
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)
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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