Saturday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Temptation.
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.
Saturday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Temptation.
Begone Satan, for it is written: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore and Him only shalt thou serve. (Matt. iv, 10.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that when the demon tempts you to evil, he wishes to put his foot on your neck, and to trample upon you as on a vile slave. As, however, he can never force you or do you violence, he can but instigate and incite you. Therefore he strives to bend your will, and make you abase yourself by freely consenting to his wicked suggestions.
APPLICATION. What is to be thought of this shameful homage that, by sinning, you have perhaps so often paid to the devil? Are you not filled with confusion, in recalling that you have so often placed yourself under the foul feet of one whom you should rather have trampled upon?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? (Ps. xii, 4.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that the devil has always the very worst designs upon you, though he seems to ask you only to bend and relax a little. For by so asking you merely for a beginning of evil, which does not seem great, or frighten you, such as a look at or a wish for forbidden fruit, as he did with Eve, it is afterwards easy for him to obtain all he wants, on account of the extraordinary facility we have of passing from a small evil to a greater one.
APPLICATION. Why then not make a determined resistance to the suggestions of your enemy? At least do not add that prostration of yourself before him, which is involved in the passing on to the commission of grave sin?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord. To Thee have I fled. (Ps. cxlii, 9.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that from the act of prostrating oneself to be trampled upon by Satan, one passes on to the state of being a public highway whereon he is allowed to pass forward or backward at will. Such is the condition to which the sinner arrives at last, passing from actual sin to habitual sin. By actual sin, thou hast laid thy body on the ground, as the prophet Isaias says; by habitual sin, as a way to them that went over. (Isa. li, 23.) This is what Satan aimed at when he asked of you but one step. He wishes never to lift his foot off you, and to trample on you as his slave for all eternity.
APPLICATION. Do not be so senseless as to let him delude you into taking the first step, and afterwards becoming a highway to all that is evil. How many, alas! even among the good, have been tricked in this way, by giving way to very little in the beginning, and afterwards to the greater evil, and that without any remedy! Guard against yielding even one step before your sworn enemy and betrayer.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Keep me from the snare, which they have laid for me, and from the stumbling blocks of them that work iniquity. (Ps. cxl, 9.)
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 Exercises of a good religious Man.
V. Those things which are not common are not to be done in public; for particular things are more safely done in private.
But take care thou be not slack in common exercises, and more forward in things of thy own particular devotion; but having fully and faithfully performed what thou art bound to, and what is enjoined thee, if thou hast any time remaining, give thyself to thyself according as thy devotion shall incline thee.
All cannot have the self-same exercise; but this is more proper for one, and that for another.
Moreover, according to the diversity of times, divers exercises are more pleasing; for some relish better on festival days, others on common days.
We stand in need of one kind in time of temptation, and of another in time of peace and rest.
Some we willingly think on when we are sad; others when we are joyful in the Lord.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt V.
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)
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