Self-love Hides from us what our Neighbor is.
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.
Self-love Hides from us what our Neighbor is.
By means of tactics which are opposed to those which have to do with ourselves, self-love increases the evil to be found in others and hides the good which exists. He who does not see the beam in his own eye discerns the smallest straw in the eye of his neighbor, and observes the least defects in others. A manner of speaking or acting, now too simple and now too artificial; the tone, the air, the behavior, nothing escapes him, and, flattering himself to be exempt from the faults which he censures, he arrogates to himself a superiority over them and delights in it. Hence the inclination to criticism and raillery; hence the readiness to believe what is evil, the slowness to believe what is good, the suspicions which are caused by the slightest indications of a defect, and the difficulty of believing in a virtue supported by the strongest proofs. It gives us pain to listen to eulogiums upon others, and we take a malignant pleasure in lowering those who are raised. It is only with difficulty we see their merit; we try not to see it and we lessen it as much as we can. All praise is met by criticism; beside the merits which cannot be denied a defect is placed. It is thus that self-love hides from us what our neighbor is. Let us observe this injustice, that we may preserve ourselves from it.
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.
September Devotion: The Holy Cross
Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer
O 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 (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957).
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