Our Duties towards the Mercy of God.
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.
Our Duties towards the Mercy of God.
We ought, 1st, to love it, for is it not infinitely amiable, this mercy of a God who, offended everywhere, at every moment, by all kinds of persons, and in all kinds of ways, bears everything in silence, and heaps blessings even on those who offend Him; this mercy which might have visited us with death when we were in a state of mortal sin, which has borne with us up to the present day, in which He offers us pardon with His paradise, and conjures us to accept both the one and the other? Touching goodness, symbolized by the king in the gospel, who had pity on his servant and allowed him time in which to pay his debt! (Matt, xviii. 27.) We ought, 2d, to have confidence in the Divine Mercy. Oh, how ill they understand the goodness of God who mistrust it, are discouraged, give way to grief and exclaim: Heaven forsakes me; I shall not be saved! Let us better understand God and His mercy. In the service of so good a God, he who wills it may be saved; it is sufficient to will it. Whatever may be our wretchedness, we ought always to have confidence and courage, to strive against obstacles, and to look upon it as certain that we shall be saved if we will to be saved. Whatever reverses God may send us, let us remember that He strikes only to save. 3d. We ought to imitate the mercy of God in our relations towards our neighbor. The servant in the gospel, after having obtained pardon himself, would not forgive his fellow-servant; the king hears of it, sends for him, and retracts the favor accorded to him. “I had pity upon you” he says to him, “ought not you also to have pity on your fellow-servant?” “Thus” says Jesus Christ, “will your heavenly Father do towards him who does not forgive his brother from the bottom of his heart.” There is therefore no forgiveness for him who does not forgive, for him who retains any resentment for wrongs inflicted on him. God bears all our sins without revenging Himself, without being carried away by anger, without even showing that He is displeased. It is to teach us that we must not be so sensitive to the ill that is done us, or that we imagine to be done us, or be impatient, angry, vindictive, implacable, often for a trifle; that we must, on the contrary, be good, gentle, indulgent, merciful, like our heavenly Father, and, like Him, to feel great pity for the miseries of humanity in the person of our brethren.
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.
October Devotions: The Holy Angels and the Holy Rosary
Virtue to practice: Confidence
PRAYER TO ST. RAPHAEL, ARCHANGEL. Glorious Archangel, St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travellers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as thou didst once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, June 21, 1890, granted to the faithful who shall recite the above prayer AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day. .
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