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.
1. On the first day of the year we commemorate the first shedding of the Precious Blood for us. Christmas week, as it draws to a close, introduces us to the new-born King in the weakness of the nature that He shared with sinful man. We now learn that He came, not to manifest His power and majesty, but to be made like unto us in all things as far as it was possible for One Who was the Eternal Son of God. We begin to appreciate that He is flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.
2. To-day He also proclaims that He is come to suffer for us. We listen to His first cry of pain, and see the strange spectacle of the first commencement of that Life of which the agony upon the cross was the final consummation. How shall we ever thank Him as we ought? How great a joy we should consider it if we have the privilege of suffering some little pain for Him in return!
3. He also declares to us to-day that He is come to suffer with us, to take part in all the miseries of humanity, to learn by His own experience all that we have to endure in this valley of tears. This it is which should console us in all our troubles. Christ not only knows them all, but has in His mercy felt them all Himself in His sacred Humanity.
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.
St. Sylvester, ora pro nobis.
Twelfth Night Prayer for the Seventh Day of Christmas.
O most sweet Jesus, how glorious is that name which is given to Thee this day! I rejoice that it is not borne by Thee a mere empty name, the shadow of a name, as others have borne it; but a name full of truth and of all perfection.
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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