Friday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Remembrance of Christ.
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.
Friday after the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.—Remembrance of Christ.
Do this for a commemoration of Me. (Luke xxii, 19.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that you should ever be diligent as the Apostle St. Paul counsels us (Heb. xii, 3-4), in thinking about Jesus Christ. He, our crucified Redeemer, is the remedy of all your ills. Let therefore your assiduous thought be to think diligently Who it is Who suffered for you. It is the King of glory Who indeed from the beginning of the world suffered in His saints, in Abel, in Joseph, in Jeremiah; but now He no longer suffers in His own servants only, but in Himself. And from whom does He suffer? Even from the very persons for whom He hung on the cross, from sinners. What does He suffer? A torment in every way most cruel, most ignominious and unjust.
APPLICATION. Enter into yourself in order to penetrate fully these truths. For you will thus gain great help in the small sufferings you have to endure.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. Look upon the face of thy Christ. (Ps. lxxxiii, 10.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY that nothing will so strengthen you to suffer, as to think often of the passion of Jesus Christ. Nothing so animates and invigorates a soldier as to see his king himself, covered with wounds and bathed in blood, in the front line of the battle.
APPLICATION. Yet perhaps you may think you do not need to strengthen yourself. Reflect a little how you so easily lose heart at every slight thing, and then neglect the service of your Lord.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. My hand shall help him, and mine arm shall strengthen him … nor the son of iniquity shall have power to hurt him. (Ps. lxxxvii, 22-23.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY the confusion that all your own unworthiness should arouse in you, when you ponder on it at the foot of the cross. Your sin does not harm Christ, yet see how much He did on the Cross to deliver you from it. But to yourself sin does infinite harm. Yet, notwithstanding, what have you done to remove it far from you? Have you gone so far as to give even a drop of blood for it? Ah truly does the Apostle say: You have not yet resisted unto blood (ibid.)
APPLICATION. Reflect then that not only will you not shed a drop of your blood to atone for your sin, but neither will you bear any slight on your reputation, any injury to your health, nor will you deprive yourself of the least satisfaction. Is it not so? When St. Paul bids us resist and fight until the very end of the struggle, even unto blood, he means that we are not to tolerate sin, which Jesus shed the very last drop of His blood to destroy.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Ps. 1, 19.)
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.
IV. If thou canst not continually recollect thyself, do it sometimes, and at least once a day, that is, at morning or evening.
In the morning resolve, in the evening examine thy performance, how thou hast behaved this day in word, work, or thought; because in these perhaps thou hast often offended God and thy neighbour.
Prepare thyself like a man to resist the wicked attacks of the devil: bridle gluttony, and thou shalt the easier restrain all carnal inclinations.
Be never altogether idle; but either reading, or writing, or praying, or meditating, or labouring in something that may be for the common good.
Yet in bodily exercises a discretion is to be used; nor are they equally to be undertaken by all.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XIX pt IV.
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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