7 - 10 minutes readMonday – First Week after Pentecost ~ St Alphonsus

Reader Mode Text to speech

Monday – First Week after Pentecost

Morning Meditation

PREPARATION AND THANKSGIVING

The Saints derived great advantage from Holy Communion because they were most careful in preparing themselves for it. Their fire immediately burns dry wood, but not green wood, because it is not fit for burning.

I.

Cardinal Bona asks how it happens that so many souls after so many Communions make such little advancement in the ways of God? And he answers: “The fault is not in the Food, but in the dispositions of those who receive it.” There is nothing wanting in the Holy Communion, but preparation is wanting on the part of those who receive it. The fire immediately burns dry wood, but not green wood, because it is not fit for burning. The Saints derived great advantage from Holy Communion because they were most careful in preparing themselves for it. There are two things which we should endeavour to acquire in preparing ourselves for Holy Communion. The first is detachment from creatures, by banishing from our hearts everything that is not of God and for God. Although the soul is in the state of grace, yet if the heart be taken up by any earthly affection, the less room will there be for Divine love. One day St. Gertrude asked our Lord what preparation He required of her for the Holy Communion; and Jesus answered: “I require no other of thee but that thou come to receive Me devoid of thyself.” The second thing we should endeavour to acquire, in order to be prepared to reap great fruit from the Holy Communion, is a desire to receive Jesus Christ with a view to love Him much more for the future. Gerson says that at this banquet only those are filled who feel great hunger. Hence St. Francis of Sales writes that the principal intention of the soul in communicating should be to advance in the love of God. “He,” says the Saint, “should be received for love, Who for love alone gives Himself to us.” And on this account our Lord once said to St. Mechtilde: “When thou art about to communicate, desire all the love that any soul ever had for Me, and I will receive thy love as though it were what thou wouldst have it to be.”

O God of love, dost Thou so much desire to dispense Thy graces to us, and are we careless in seeking for them? How great will be our distress when we come to die, to think of this neglect, so pernicious to us! Forget, O Lord, what is past; for the future, with Thy holy assistance, I will prepare myself in a better manner, by being careful to detach my affections from everything that can hinder me from receiving all those graces Thou desirest to impart to me.

II.

Thanksgiving after Communion is also necessary. No prayers are so acceptable to God as those which we offer to Him after Communion. During this time we should employ ourselves in acts of love and petitions. The holy affections in which we then exercise ourselves have greater merit before God than those we offer to Him at other times, because they come before Him inflamed by the presence of Jesus Christ, Who has united Himself to our souls. And as to petitions, St. Teresa says that Jesus Christ after Communion remains in the soul as on a throne of grace, and says to her: What wilt thou that I should do for thee?-(Mark x. 51). I am come down from Heaven to bestow My graces upon thee: ask of Me what thou wilt, and as much as thou wilt, and thou shalt be heard. Oh! what treasures of grace are lost by those who offer but few prayers to God after Communion.

After Holy Communion, dear Jesus, I will endeavour, as far as I am able, to obtain Thy help to advance in Thy love. Do Thou give me grace to accomplish this. O my Jesus, how careless have I hitherto been in loving Thee! The time of life, which in Thy mercy Thou dost allot me, is the time to prepare myself for death, and to make amends for the offences I have committed against Thee. I desire to spend it all in bewailing my sins and in loving Thee. I love Thee, O Jesus, my Love; I love Thee, my only Good; have pity on me and do not abandon me. And, O Blessed Virgin Mary, never cease to succour me by thy holy intercession.

Spiritual Reading

CORAM SANCTISSIMO

FIFTH VISIT

The sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest for herself, where she may lay her young ones: thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God!-(Ps. lxxxiii. 4). The sparrow, says David, finds a dwelling in houses; turtle-doves in nests; but Thou, my King and my God, hast made Thyself a nest and found a dwelling on earth on our altars, that we might find Thee, and that Thou mightest dwell amongst us.

Lord, we cannot but say, that Thou art too much enamoured of men; Thou no longer knowest what to do to gain their love. But do Thou, my most amiable Jesus, give us the grace that we also may be passionately enamoured of Thee. It would indeed be unreasonable to be cold in our love towards a God Who loves us with such affection. Draw us to Thee by the sweet attractions of Thy love; make us understand the endearing claims which Thou hast on our love.

O infinite Majesty, O infinite Goodness, Thou lovest men so much, Thou hast done so much that Thou mightest be loved by men, how is it that amongst men there are so few who love Thee? I will no longer be as I have hitherto been, of the unhappy number of those ungrateful creatures. I am resolved to love Thee as much as I can, and to love no other than Thee. Thou deservest it, and Thou commandest me with so much earnestness to do so, I am resolved to satisfy Thee.

Grant, O God of my soul, that I may fully satisfy Thee. I entreat Thee to grant me this favour by the merits of Thy Passion, and I confidently hope for it. Bestow the goods of the earth on those who desire them; I desire and seek the great treasure of Thy love alone. I love Thee, my Jesus; I love Thee, infinite Goodness. Thou art all my riches, my whole satisfaction, my entire love.

Ejac. My Jesus, Thou hast given Thy whole self to me; I give my whole self to Thee!

AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

My Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love Thee above all things, and I desire to possess Thee within my soul. Since I am unable now to receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace Thee as already there, and unite myself wholly to Thee; never permit me to be separated from Thee.

VISIT TO MARY

My Lady, St. Bernard calls thee “the ravisher of hearts.” He says that thou goest about stealing hearts by the charms of thy beauty and goodness. Steal also my heart and will, I beseech thee: I give them wholly to thee: offer them to God with thine own.

Ejac. Mother most amiable, pray for me!

Concluding Prayer

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee, who art the Mother of my Lord, and Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse today I, who am the most miserable of all. I render thee my most humble homage, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces thou hast conferred on me until now, particularly for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, O most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise to serve thee always, and to do all in my power to make others love thee also. I place in thee all my hopes; I confide my salvation to thy care. Accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask a perfect love of Jesus Christ. From thee I hope to die a good death.

O my Mother, for the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me at all times, but especially at the last moment of my life. Leave me not, I beseech thee, until thou seest me safe in Heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen. So I hope. So may it be.

Evening Meditation

THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

XVIII.-HE THAT LOVES JESUS CHRIST IS NOT VAIN OF HIS OWN WORTH, BUT HUMBLES HIMSELF, AND IS GLAD TO BE HUMBLED.

I.

It was the saying of St. Teresa, “Think not that thou hast advanced far in perfection till thou considerest thyself the worst of all, and desirest to be placed below all.”

And on this maxim the Saint acted, and so have done all the Saints; St. Francis of Assisi, St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, and the rest, considered themselves the greatest sinners in the world, and were surprised that the earth sheltered them, and did not rather open under their feet to swallow them up alive; and they expressed themselves to this effect with the sincerest conviction. The Blessed John of Avila, who from his earliest infancy had led a holy life, was on his death-bed; and the priest who came to attend him said many sublime things to him, taking him for what indeed he was, a great servant of God and a learned man; but Father Avila thus spoke to him : “Father, I pray you to make the recommendation of my soul, as of a criminal condemned to death; for such I am.” This is the opinion which Saints entertain of themselves in life and death.

II.

We, too, must act in this manner, if we would save our souls, and keep ourselves in the grace of God till death, reposing all our confidence in God alone. The proud man relies on his own strength and falls on that account; but the humble man, by placing all his trust in God alone, stands firm and falls not, however violent and multiplied the temptations may be; for his watchword is: I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me-(Phil. iv. 13). The devil at one time tempts us to presumption, at another time to diffidence: whenever he suggests to us that we are in no danger of falling, then we should tremble the more; for were God but for an instant to withdraw His grace from us, we are lost. When, again, he tempts us to diffidence, then let us turn to God, and thus address Him with great confidence: In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, I shall never be confounded-(Ps. xxx. 2). My God, in Thee I have put all my hopes; I hope never to meet with confusion, nor to be bereft of Thy grace. We ought to exercise ourselves continually, even to the very last moment of our life, in these acts of difference in ourselves and confidence in God, always beseeching God to grant us humility.

2nd Week after Pentecost – HOME