Seventh of January.
Manifestation of Jesus to the Magi.
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.
Seventh of January.
Manifestation of Jesus to the Magi.
There came Wise Men from the East to Jerusalem, saying; where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the East, and are come to adore Him.
Let us picture to ourselves the hilly and difficult roads, and the deserts by which the Magi travelled, and the length of their journey. Their enquiry troubles Herod, and all Jerusalem with him.
Grant us the grace, O Jesus, to copy in ourselves the generosity and constancy of the Magi; so that we, too, may receive the plenitude of Thy benedictions.
Jesus calls the Gentiles.
Jesus had already drawn the Shepherds to His Crib; but this single call did not satisfy His most ardent desire, which was that all nations should receive the Faith. Therefore He created a miraculous Star; and while the attention of the Wise Men was thus arrested, He solicited by His grace all who wondered at the appearance of this Star, to come and visit Him.—Three only were faithful to this call of grace.—But then to make up for the general insensibility of the rest these three kings proved the sincerity of their zeal, so far as to merit from Jesus, rare and precious favours. And such is still the bounty and liberality of Jesus towards those who make efforts to act in accordance with His inspirations. He pours on them that plentiful supply of grace, which those who are cowardly and indifferent disdain. The Star represents the means, God makes use of, to draw us into His service. How appropriately chosen was the Star for the Magi, whose occupation it was to study the science of astronomy:—we may be sure that God’s grace is proportioned to each of us, according to our character and intelligence; and that He takes into account our disposition, our needs, our employments, and the way in which we may best act for our own good and that of others. This Star in the East had not a fixed and regular motion in the firmament, as others have; its course depended on the direction expressly given it, for the guidance of the Wise Men:—and grace too, along its whole course, depends on the directing power of the Will of God, expressly manifested. The Star disappeared for a time,—grace is not always perceived;—sometimes its light is hidden, to punish our infidelities; sometimes to prove the constancy of our love. God tries souls according to the degree of perfection for which they are destined. The reason of these trials is that the knowledge of God and those spiritual delights which flow from the Divine Source cannot dwell in, nor even enter a soul, before the mind, heart, and senses are disengaged from, at least, greater imperfections. Affliction and mortification purify them from that which is material; and render them more susceptible to the impressions of grace. God knows it is needful for us to pass through trials, such as temptations, desolation, obscurity:—causes of discouragement and similar difficulties arise, to dispose our souls for union with God here,—just as the holy Souls pass through Purgatory to arrive at eternal union with Him in Heaven. In times of such suffering the solid virtues—firmness—and perfection are acquired: for power is made perfect in infirmity, as Saint Paul says: and virtues are better cultivated, when crosses exercise our patience. At length the Star leads the Magi to the Feet of the Infant King, and the luminary of grace leads us there also.
Jesus calls the Jews.
Jesus, Who came from Heaven to bring happiness to all mankind, called the Jews first to the Cave in Bethlehem,—then the Gentiles;—desiring to reunite them as one people. But the Jews were ungrateful; their pride and worldly business robbed their intelligence of the meaning of the Scriptures deposited in their hands; and made them to have misconceptions concerning the Redeemer promised to Israel. What did Jesus do? He sent them the Magi to awaken their attention by their questionings. He would, with that tenderness of feeling, which has its home in the Sacred Heart, spare them the vexation and shame of receiving a hard lesson or direct reproof: it was to find out for themselves the Birthplace of the King of kings that the Magi spoke of Him. The Volume they professed to study could utter this timely reproach to the high priests: “The time of waiting is accomplished and you think not of this”. And the love—the wisdom—the mercy—the condescension of the Sacred Heart are repaid with ingratitude, indifference, and even treason. The doctors of the Law point out the place where the Messias is to be born, but do not deign to take one step to go and see Him. O Good Jesus! we are also Thy privileged children, who have a fuller knowledge of Thy Mysteries; are we as faithful as we should be, considering our advantages? Do we not often fail in the duties of our religious state, through indifference or indolence? Bending in spirit at Thy Feet, it is for us to ask pardon for our past negligences, and that Thou wilt give us grace to be more faithful in future, in the fulfilling of our particular obligations.
Divine Jesus, full of goodness, Who wouldst save all men, deign to give me the grace to serve Thee with fidelity: and since Thou dost expect great generosity of soul, in those whom Thou hast prevented by Thy special favours, grant that I may never lose courage; but triumph over every obstacle. O Mary, my Mother; be thou my guiding Star, to lead me to Jesus.
To seek Jesus, by the practice of that virtue for which He has given us the strongest attraction.
Thought for the Day.
O Jesus, draw me; we will run after Thee, to the odour of Thy ointment.
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.
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
Let Us Pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.
Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
– Raccolta 113 An indulgence of 7 years. A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name
O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. You are the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that your Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis
Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:
“The Golden Arrow”
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.
Prayer in honor of the Holy Name
O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.
Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you; may I die for you; may I be wholly yours, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for your love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether yours; yours in life, and yours in death, when I hope by your help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to you; Jesus and Mary, I love you, and I give and deliver up to you my whole soul.
The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)
Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nine Day Novena
(December 31 – January 8)
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, thou are after Jesus our only hope. O Most Holy Virgin, whose merits have raised thee high above angel choirs to the very throne of the Eternal and whose foot crushed the head of the infernal serpent, thou art strong against the enemies of our salvation. O Mother of God, thou art our Mediatrix most kind and loving. Hasten, then, to our help, and as thou didst once save thy beloved City from ravaging flames and our Country from an alien foe, do now have pity on our misery, and obtain for us the graces we beg of thee. Deliver us from the wiles of Satan, assist us in the many trials which beset our path in this valley of tears, and be to us truly Our Lady of Prompt Succor now and especially at the hour of our death. Amen.
O Mary, Mother of God, who amid the tribulations of the world, watches over us and over the Church of thy Son, be to us and to the Church, truly, Our Lady of Prompt Succor; make haste to help us in all our necessities, that in this fleeting life thou may be our succor, and obtain for us [mention your request here] Help us to gain life everlasting through the merits of Jesus, thy Son, Our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times.)
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