On the Holy Ghost As the Father of the Poor.
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.
On the Holy Ghost As the Father of the Poor.
In order that your heart may be duly filled with love and gratitude towards the Holy Ghost, you have in the preceding meditations contemplated several of His glorious characteristics. You have seen Him to be the Light of the world, the Author of your salvation, the Spirit of charity; now you are invited to fix your thoughts in devout meditation on another most attractive, attribute of that same Spirit, which the Church recalls to our mind when she invokes Him as the “Father of the poor.” Veni, pater pauperum. This name is rightly given to the third Person of the Holy Trinity, as we shall proceed to show.
1st. The Holy Ghost is the Father of all men, and all men may well be called poor. Are we not all poor banished children of Eve, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears, and moreover unhappy sinners, who in addition to all other tribulations have the dread of hell before our eyes? We poor mortals have, it is true, a Father, God the Father who created us. We are, it is true, His children, but, be it observed, we are “children of wrath,” children who have lost their right to the heavenly inheritance destined for them, children who have been justly rejected, disowned by their father. Thus we do indeed deserve to be called poor. Yet let us take courage; poor and destitute as we are, we still have a Father, the Holy Ghost. For He it is who lovingly adopts the disinherited; He it is who in the regenerating waters of baptism makes us who are children of wrath to be born again as the children of God; He it is who as a kind and tender father nourishes and fortifies us by the holy sacraments; He it is of whom the Apostle speaks when he says: “You have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry Abba, Father.” (Rom. viii. 15.) Wherefore give thanks to the divine Spirit for His fatherly loving-kindness, and ask yourself whether you can at this present moment say that you are really and truly His child.
2d. Consider that the Holy Ghost is the Father of those who are actually poor. Poverty is one of the consequences of sin and dates from the moment when God said: “Cursed is the earth for thy sake; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” (Gen. iii. 17, 18.) The lot of the poor was indeed terribly sad until the advent of Christ. God appeared to regard them as His step-children; they were abandoned and despised by men, until at length the “Father of the poor” appeared, the Holy Ghost came to their aid. See how He immediately preferred the poor to the rich. He chose a poor Virgin to be His spouse; poor fishermen were the first on whom He poured forth in richest measure the treasures of His grace; and in His spiritual kingdom, the community of Christian believers in Jerusalem, there was no distinction between poor and rich, for they had all things in common like brethren. And as He was then, so is He now the Father of the poor, for where He holds undisputed sway, where His grace is all-effectual, the hungry are fed, the thirsty are given drink, the naked are clothed. Men and women who are “filled with the Holy Ghost” erect hospitals and found Orders for the care of the sick and needy, and dedicate themselves to the service of poor suffering humanity. O my soul, look with wondering admiration on this great Father of the poor; give thanks to Him this day and humbly adore Him.
3d. Consider that the Holy Ghost is the Father of the spiritually poor. The Spirit of the Lord speaking by the mouth of the prophet Osee, says: “I will lead her into the wilderness and I will speak to her heart.” (Osee ii. 14.) The Holy Ghost Himself and all the souls whom He inspires know only too well that the riches, the pleasures, the turmoil of the world leave the soul so destitute and comfortless that she is forced bitterly to exclaim in the words of that king who had tasted all that earth can offer: “Vanity of vanities, and all things are vanity.” But those whose hearts are filled with the Holy Ghost perceive that to forsake this world where wealth is worshipped, to hide oneself amid the poverty and barrenness of a desert-like solitude is that which makes the soul truly rich and above measure happy. As in the early Church at Jerusalem, the first-fruits of Christianity, so now in the same manner the Holy Ghost is the Father of the poor; through the power of His grace He begets sons and daughters who, impelled by His spirit, forsake the luxuries of the world and fly into seclusion, where they embrace voluntary poverty and renounce all things for the love of God. You, my soul, are such a child of that Father of the poor. You also have espoused the bride of the Holy Ghost, holy poverty. But woe betide you, if you have not been faithful to that spouse. If like Ananias and Saphira you have kept back a part, if you do not sacrifice your all, the words of the wise Cassian may be applied to you: “I hardly know how to speak of a ridiculous weakness on the part of some Religious. After they have parted with everything that they called their own in the world, in the cloister they cling to trifles, they hold to some comfort of an insignificant nature, and that with such tenacity and mental disquiet that the anxiety concerning these trifles far outweighs the attachment they felt to their former possessions.” Such souls are not poor in spirit, they are not true children of the Father of the poor. Therefore ponder well these weighty words of St. Bonaventure: “What madness it is on our part if after we have abandoned what is greater, to our own injury we cling to what is lesser, a particular cell, a certain book, a special habit, etc. When once we have shown our contempt for the world, renounced the claims of affection to our relatives, imprisoned ourselves in the cloister as in a dungeon, and even given up our own will, ought we not to strain every nerve lest through our own folly and negligence all that we have done should be but labor lost?”
Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
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.
Prayer to the Holy Ghost.
O HOLY SPIRIT, divine spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, heart and will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations, and to the teaching of the Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbour; may my will be ever conformed to the Divine Will, and may my whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, to whom with the FATHER and Thee be honour and glory for ever. Amen.
300 Days, once a day.
Pius X, June 5, 1908.
Indulgences for a Novena for Pentecost.
i. Seven Years and Seven Quarantines, each day.
ii. Plenary, once during the Novena, Feast or Octave.
This Novena may be made publicly or privately, and the same Indulgences are granted for special prayers said every day during the Octave. Any prayers to the HOLY GHOST may be used.
Veni Sancte Spiritus
Sequence during the Mass of Pentecost (This Sequence is said each day until the following Saturday, after Pentecost, inclusive.)
Come, Holy Ghost, send down those beams,
Which sweetly flow in silent streams
From Thy bright throne above.
O come, Thou Father of the poor;
O come, Thou source of all our store,
Come, fill our hearts with love.
O Thou, of comforters the best,
O Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
The pilgrim’s sweet relief.
Rest art Thou in our toil, most sweet
Refreshment in the noonday heat;
And solace in our grief.
O blessed Light of Life Thou art;
Fill with Thy Light the inmost hearts
Of those that hope in Thee.
Without Thy Godhead nothing can,
Have any price or worth in man,
Nothing can harmless be.
Lord, wash our sinful stains away,
Water from heaven our barren clay,
Our wounds and bruises heal.
To Thy sweet yoke our stiff necks bow,
Warm with Thy love our hearts of snow,
Our wandering feet recall.
Grant to Thy faithful, dearest Lord,
Whose only hope is in Thy Word,
Thy sevenfold gift of grace.
Grant us in life Thy grace, that we
In peace may die and ever be
In joy before Thy face. Amen. Alleluia.
Vexilla Regis prodeunt
The royal banners forward go;
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow,
Where Life for sinners death endured,
And life by death for man procured.
Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled, Water flowed, and Blood.
Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
‘Amidst the nations, God,’ saith he,
‘Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.’
O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy Limbs should find their rest.
On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung:
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.
O Cross, our one reliance, hail,
Thou glory of the saved, avail*
To give fresh merit to the Saint,
And pardon to the penitent.
*Instead of: ‘Thou Glory of the saved,’ during Passiontide, say: ‘This Holy Passiontide’, during the Paschal Season: ‘Thou joy of Eastertide’, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: ‘On this triumphant day.‘
To Thee, Eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
Whom by the Cross Thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.
Vexilla Regis pródeunt,
Fulget Crucis mystérium,
Qua vita mortem pértulit,
Et morte vitam prótulit.
Quæ vulneráta lánceæ
Mucróne diro, críminum
Ut nos laváret sórdibus,
Manávit unda et sánguine.
Impléta sunt quæ cóncinit
David fidéli cármine,
Regnávit a ligno Deus.
Arbor decóra et fúlgida,
Ornáta regis púrpura,
Elécta digno stípite
Tam sancta membra tángere.
Beáta, cuius bráchiis
Prétium pepéndit sæculi,
Statéra facta córporis,
Tulítque prædam tártari.
O Crux, ave, spes única,
Gentis redémptæ glória!*
Piis adáuge grátiam,
Reísque dele crímina.
Te, fons salútis, Trínitas,
Colláudet omnis spíritus:
Quibus Cricis victóriam
Largíris, adde præmium. Amen.
(ex. Breviario Romano)
An indulgence of 5 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this hymn throughout an entire month (S.C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S.P.Ap., April 29, 1934).
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.
May Devotion: The Blessed Virgin Mary
O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special keeping, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen. (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins and Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
(For either of the above prayers: An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this prayer.)
The faithful who during the month of May take part in public exercises in honor of the B.V.M. may gain: An indulgence of 7 years on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence if they assist at the exercises on at least 10 days, and moreover, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.
Those who perform their devotions privately during the aforesaid month are granted: an indulgence of 5 years once on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if they perform these devotions every day during the month; but where public exercises are held, this indulgence is granted only to those who are lawfully hindered from taking part in the same.
(from The Raccolta (c)1957).
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.
Most glorious prince of the heavenly hosts, Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the battle and in the tremendous struggle we carry on against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of darkness and all evil spirits. Come to the help of man, whom God created immortal, fashioned to His own image and likeness, and rescued at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. With the great army of the holy angels fight to-day the battle of the Lord as thou didst of old fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud, and his apostate angels, who were powerless against thee, and they had no longer a place in heaven; and that monster, the old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, that seduces the whole world, was cast into hell with his angels. But now that first enemy and homicide has regained his insolent boldness. Taking on the appearance of an angel of light, he has invaded the earth, and, with his whole train of evil spirits, he is prowling about among men, striving to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to capture, to destroy, to drag to eternal perdition the souls destined to the crown of eternal glory. That malignant dragon is pouring abroad, like a foul stream, into the souls of men of ruined intellect and corrupt heart the poison of his wickedness, the spirit of lying, of impiety and blasphemy, the pestilent breath of impurity and of all vice and iniquity. Most cunning enemies have filled with bitterness and drenched with gall the Church, the Spouse of the Lamb without spot, and have lifted impious hands against all that is most sacred in it. Even in the holy place where the See of Blessed Peter and the chair of truth was set up to enlighten the world, they have raised the abominable throne of their impiety with the iniquitous hope that the Shepherd may be stricken and the flock scattered abroad. Arise, then, unconquerable Prince, defend the people of God against the assaults of the reprobate spirits, and give them the victory. Holy Church reveres thee as its guardian and patron; it glories in thee as its defender against the malignant powers of hell; to thee God has committed the souls that are to be conveyed to the seats of the Blessed in eternal happiness. Pray, then, to the God of peace, that He may put Satan under our feet, so completely vanquished that he may no longer be able to hold men in bondage and work harm to the Church. Offer up our prayers before the Most High, so that the mercies of the Lord may prevent us, and lay hold of the dragon, the old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and hurl him bound in chains into the abyss where he may no longer seduce the souls of men. Amen.
V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, fly ye hostile ranks.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has conquered.
V. May Thy mercies, O Lord, be fulfilled in us.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray.
O God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin and our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.
His Holiness, Leo XIII., Motu Proprio, September 25, 1888, granted to the faithful who recite the above prayer
AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in praelio,
ut non pereamus
in tremendo judicio.
Holy Archangel Michael,
defend us in battle,
that we may not perish
in the tremendous judgment.
His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, August 19, 1893, granted to the faithful who recite the above antiphon
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
Prayers in Time of Calamity
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