Brother Giles on Holy Chastity.
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.
Brother Giles on Holy Chastity.
Our frail and miserable human flesh resembles the swine, which ever delight in wallowing in the mire, looking on the mire as their greatest delectation. Our flesh is the devil’s champion, for it combats and resists in all things that which is according to God, and for our own salvation.
A Brother once asked Brother Giles thus: “Father, teach me in what manner we may guard against carnal vices;” to which Brother Giles replied: “My Brother, he who would move a heavy weight, or great stone out of his way, must do so rather by skill than by force. And thus we also, if we would overcome carnal vices, and acquire the virtue of Chastity, shall rather attain thereto by humility, and by a good and discreet spiritual rule, than by our own presumptuous austerities, and the weight of much penance. All vices trouble and obscure this holy and resplendent Chastity; because Chastity is like to a clear mirror, which is dimmed and obscured, not only by contact with unclean things, but even by a man’s breath.
“And it is impossible for one to attain to any spiritual grace, so long as he finds himself inclined to carnal concupiscence: and thus, worry thyself as thou wilt, thou wilt find no other remedy or way of attaining spiritual grace, but by overcoming all carnal vices. Therefore combat valiantly against thy sensual and fragile flesh, thy true enemy, which would thwart thee both day and night; which mortal enemy of our flesh, if a man subdue, of a surety all his other enemies shall be subdued, and he shall quickly attain to spiritual grace, and to a state of virtue and perfection.”
Brother Giles said also: “Amongst all the other virtues, I prefer the virtue of Chastity: because most sweet Chastity contains alone in itself all perfection; but there is no other virtue which can be perfect without Chastity.” A Brother once asked Brother Giles: “Father, is not the virtue of Charity greater, and more excellent than Chastity?” To which Brother Giles answered: “And tell me, my Brother, what is more chaste than holy Charity?” Many a time did Brother Giles sing this canticle: “O Holy Chastity, how good thou art! Verily thou art precious, and such and so great is thy fragrance, that he who has not tasted thee knows not thy worth. Therefore the foolish do not understand thy value.”
A Brother asked Brother Giles thus: “Father, tell me, I pray thee, thou who dost so commend Chastity, wherein consists Chastity?” To whom Brother Giles replied: “My Brother, I tell thee, that rightly is Chastity called the careful custody and continual guard of all the senses, corporal and spiritual, by which they are kept pure and immaculate for God alone.”
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.
That temporal Miseries are to be borne with Patience after the Example of Jesus Christ.
[Christ.] 1. Son, I came down from heaven for thy salvation; I took upon me thy miseries, not of necessity, but moved thereto by charity, that thou mightest learn patience, and mightest bear without repining the miseries of this life.
For from the hour of my birth till my expiring on the cross, I was never without suffering.
I underwent a great want of temporal things; I frequently heard many complaints against me; I meekly bore with confusion and reproaches; for my benefits I received ingratitude; for my miracles, blasphemies; and for my heavenly doctrine, reproaches.– Thomas à Kempis – Imitation of Christ Bk III, Ch XVIII.
February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)
Virtue to practice: Humility
I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ – St. Francis de Sales
An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a monh (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).
Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from where thou dost dispense thy favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for thy favors, I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share in thy glory. R. Amen.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
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