On Gluttony and Temptation – continued (2).
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.
On Gluttony and Temptation – continued (2).
Of temperance and fasting.—Thirdly, I am to consider the great benefits and rewards that I shall receive of Almighty God, if I mortify gluttony and perfectly embrace temperance and fasting, reducing them also to three classes, opposite to the three punishments of gluttony. Some are proper to themselves, like good fruits of a good tree; others our Lord adds, to show how much this virtue pleases Him; others are rewards of heaven, with which He rewards it.
I. For, first, abstinence pays in ready money the pain which it has in the beginning; for it tempers the body—it preserves from infirmities—it preserves health—it prolongs the life—it recreates the soul, it renders it fit for prayer and receiving celestial comforts—it takes away the arms of its enemy the flesh, and subjects it to the spirit, to encourage it to undertake glorious enterprises in the service of God.
2. Besides this, Almighty God being so liberal and compassionate as He is, does not command that we should live void of some pleasures; and therefore those who abstain from bodily food He refreshes with the food of the soul, and for sensual consolations He gives them spiritual. So that they lose no consolation, but rather increase it, changing it from the flesh to the spirit. To these He communicates celestial illuminations, as He did to Daniel—gives them notable victories, as He did to His three companions against Nabuchodonosor—and exalts them to very high contemplation, as He did Moses and Elias, giving them part in His glorious transfiguration, in reward of their fasting and mortification.
3. Finally, Almighty God rewards them in heaven with a spiritual fulness, setting them with Christ at His table, that they may eat and drink in His kingdom of that food which God Himself eats. Therefore, O my soul, if thou desirest to attain to great sanctity upon earth, and to obtain great rewards in heaven, begin with temperance and fasting, in reward of which God is said to “repress vices, exalt the spirit, grant virtues, and crown with rewards.”
Colloquy.—O sweet Jesus, seeing all who are on Thy side ought to “have crucified the flesh with its vices and concupiscences,” grant me that I may mortify mine as Thou didst mortify Thine! By that thirst which Thou sufferest on the cross, and by the gall and vinegar which they gave Thee to drink, grant me, I beseech Thee, a temperance so perfect that in eating and drinking I may satisfy my necessity, and not serve my delight; and a fasting so strict that, like the Ninevites, I may appease Thy wrath, satisfy for my sins, terrify the devils, give joy to the angels, and be made partaker of Thy gifts, world without end. Amen.
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 Supporting Injuries, and who is proved to be truly patient.
[Prayer] O Jesus! be our model. Thou hast taught us to say to God: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. That is what we ask every day, what we promise every day. Grant that our prayer may be fulfilled. Amen.– Imitation of Christ Bk III, Ch XIX.
February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)
Virtue to practice: Humility
I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ – St. Francis de Sales
An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a monh (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).
Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from where thou dost dispense thy favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for thy favors, I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share in thy glory. R. Amen.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
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