Monday after the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Judging Others.
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.
Judge not, that you may not be judged. (Matt. vii, I.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY how unreasonable it is that you observe, criticise and condemn the little defects of your brethren. You have far greater ones in yourself to which you should attend, and yet you pay no heed to these. Before setting yourself to judge the defects of others think of your own: Before judgment examine thyself. (Ecclus. xviii. 20.) Do not seek to act the zealot. For Christ gave the most ignominious title of hypocrite to him who acts in this evil way. Thou hypocrite, cast out the beam first out of thine own eye; and with reason. For such a one wants to appear to be better than others, as hypocrites do, not because of his good works, alms, prayers or similar deeds, like the pharisee in the temple, but by arrogantly despising his neighbour, whom he ought indeed to think better than himself.
APPLICATION. See to yourself lest you deserve a like appellation by seeking to raise your own self by depreciating him who is better than you.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Thou judgest the people with justice, and directest the nations upon earth. (Ps. lxvi. 5.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that in condemning the lesser faults of your brethren, even if this be done from motives of real zeal, you yourself do not derive any profit from it. For even supposing that you succeeded in clearing all the motes from the eyes of others, what good would that do to you if you still keep the beam in your own which will bring about your ruin? Thou that teachest another teachest not thyself. (Rom. ii, 21.)
APPLICATION. By showing your zeal for the slight defects of others, without attending to your own graver ones, they will only be scandalised to see that you want to make yourself superior and a judge in that in which you are yourself more guilty than they. If you would amend the defects of others with profit, correct them by a good example. Thus by reflecting upon yourself and by amending your own defects, you will lead others to amend theirs.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Who can understand sins? From my secret ones cleanse me, O Lord. (Ps. xviii, 13.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that in reproving the defects of others without correcting your own, you are doing not only what is useless and wrong, but also what is most harmful to yourself. For wherein thou judgest another thou condemnest thyself. (Rom. ii, I.) You usurp an authority which has not been given you and which does not belong to you in any way. You provoke also the divine anger of God, Who has not appointed you to be judge over your neighbour.
APPLICATION. Think first then of freeing yourself from your own sins. Then you may lawfully admonish your brethren with charity of those defects, which of themselves perhaps they do not know or perceive.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. If in very deed you speak justice: judge right things, ye sons of men. For in your heart you work iniquity. (Ps. lvii, 2-3.)
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 Consideration of the Misery of Man.
III. For the inward man is very much burdened with the necessities of the body in this world.
And therefore the prophet devoutly prays to be freed from them, saying: From my necessities, deliver me, O Lord.–Ps. xxiv. 17.
But woe to them that know not their own misery, and more woe to them that love this miserable and corruptible life.
For some there are who love it to that degree, although they can scarce get necessaries by labouring or begging, that if they could live always here, they would not care at all for the kingdom of God.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XXII pt III.
September Devotion: The Holy Cross.
Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer
Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.
An indulgence of 500 days
Crux mihi certa salus.
Crux est quam semper adoro.
Crux Domini mecum.
Crux mihi refugium.
The cross is my sure salvation.
The cross I ever adore.
The cross of my Lord is with me.
The cross is my refuge.
His Holiness, Pope Pius IX., by an autograph rescript, June 21, 1874, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall say these prayers, drawn up in the form of a cross by the Angelic Doctor, S. Thomas Aquinas: AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
Adoramus te, sanctissime Domine Jesu Christe, benedicimus tibi; quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
We adore Thee, O most blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, we bless Thee; because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of indulgences, March 4, 1882, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall recite this ejaculation: AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
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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