« EelmineJätka »
Have you neglected to pay dues to Have you married within the for
bidden degrees, or clandestinely?
Have you eaten or drunk too much? How often? With what scandal?
A PRAYER FOR OBTAINING CONTRITION.
I have now here before me, O Lord, a sad array of the manifold offences whereby I have displeased thy divine Majesty, and which I am assured will appear in judgment against me, if, by repentance and a hearty sorrow, my soul be not prepared to receive thy pardon. But this sorrow and this repentance, O Lord, must be the free gift of thy mercy, without which all my endeavours will be in vain, and I shall be for ever miserable, Have pity, therefore, on me, O merciful Father, and pour forth into my heart thy grace, whereby I may sincerely repent of all my sins; grant me true contrition, that I may bewail my base ingratitude, and grieve from my heart for having offended so good a God. Permit me not to be deluded by a false sorrow, as I fear I have been too often, through my own weakness and neglect; but let it now be thy gift, descending from thee, the Father of Lights, that so my repentance may be accompanied by an amendment and a change of life ; that being thus acquitted from the guilt of my sins, may once more be received into the number of thy servants. Amen.
To this prayer may be added "Come, O Holy Ghost," p. II; a short prayer to Mary; the " Angel of God," p. 15; then meditate for a short time on the following points :
CONSIDERATIONS TO EXCITE SORROW.
I. By sin I have deserved hell. What is hell? What its terrible torture? A spark of fire on my finger-how painful is it? What to be surrounded by a sea of fire! How long? For eternity. O eternity, never ending, how awful art thou! What should I do to avoid tortures so incomprehensible, especially when they never end?
II. By sin I have lost what is infinitely more precious than life itself. In Baptism I was made a child of God, and my name was written in the Book of Life. By a mortal sin-for a filthy thought, or word, or action of a moment, I blotted it out. what madness! Then I flung away God's grace and love, I became his enemy, and in his very presence. For what? O madness inconceivable! Yet in him I live, and move, and have my being. O my God, teach me to know what sin is; teach me to hate it as I ought. O Mary, my mother, obtain for me true contrition!
To these considerations may be added others on judgment, or heaven lost; on our ingratitude to God, who proves his love to us by so many blessings of body and soul, by saving us from hell, which we deserved, by offering us again his holy grace.
After these considerations, make a fervent act of contrition, and go to Confession. When Confession is over, thank God for his mercy by the following
PRAYER AFTER CONFESSION.
What thanks do I not owe to thee, my God, not only for having created me, redeemed me, and called me to the bosom of thy Church; but still more for having waited for my return whilst I was wandering from thee in the miserable paths of sin, for having so often pardoned me, as I hope thou hast done this day,
and for having preserved me from so many other sins, into which I should have fallen had I not been prevented by thy gracious hand!
But my enemies will not cease to tempt me until death, and, if thou support me not, alas! I shall soon begin again to offend thee more grievously than ever. Grant me then, through the merits of Jesus Christ, the precious grace of final perseverance. This divine
Saviour has assured us that whatever we ask in his name thou wilt grant it to us. I entreat thee, therefore, through all that thy dear Son has suffered for me, never to let me forsake thee any more. I feel the greatest confidence that, if I continue to pray for this grace, I shall obtain it, because thou hast promised to hear our prayers. But I tremble with fear lest, in some unguarded moment, I should forget my dependence upon thee, fail to invoke thy help, and thus relapse into my former misery. Grant, therefore, that under all my temptations, I may have instant recourse to thee by invoking the holy names of Jesus and Mary. Thus, O my God, I may confidently hope to die in thy grace, and to love thee for ever in heaven, where I shall be sure never to be separated from thee, and to be consumed in the fire of thy holy love for all eternity. Amen.
Devotions for Holy Communion.
AN ACT OF FAITH.
My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I firmly believe that thou art really present in the most adorable Sacrament of the Altar. I firmly believe that under the appearance of bread, thou art living, body and blood, soul and divinity, the Son of God, the Second Person of the most holy Trinity, the God of heaven and earth, before whom all creatures are as if they
Yes, O Jesus, I believe with my whole heart, and, with all the choirs of heaven, prostrate in most profound respect, adore thee as my God. But what adoration that is worthy of thy infinite Majesty can I offer thee? Who am I, dust and ashes, to stand even in thy awful presence, and to offer thee my most insignificant and worthless adoration? No, my adoration is too contemptible to present thee. Then, O holy Mary, and all ye holy angels and saints, and choirs of heaven, most earnestly do I entreat of you to adore for me Jesus, the Son of God made flesh, ever present in the most Blessed Eucharist. This adoration, then, I offer thee, O Son of God; deign in thy mercy to accept it as mine.
AN ACT OF HUMILITY.
But what am I going to do? I am going to receive into my heart this God of infinite Majesty-I? and who am I? A worm of the earth. My body, what is it? The grave tells me. Holy Job tells me "I have said to rottenness: thou art my father; to worms, my mother and sister." Would to God that this misery were all; but I have sinned. If I have committed mortal sin, I have, then, deserved hell, I should be now a devil there. If not, O it was thy loving providence alone preserved me. I should there be herding now with demons. Who am I, then, to receive thee, O Son of God, O God of infinite Majesty, of infinite holiness? The very choirs of heaven are not pure before thee-and what am I? O my God, I acknowledge before thy throne my misery, my nothingness, my infamy. Most unworthy, then, do I feel myself even to stand in thy sight. What to receive thee!
AN ACT OF CONFIDENCE AND DESIRE.
Yet, O my God and my Brother-Oh, dare I call thee brother! Dare I, odious sinner as I have been,
and am, dare I call thee my brother? Oh, blessed be God! My soul doth magnify thee, O God of infinite mercy and love. O truly, thy mercies are above all thy works. Yes, I may call thee my brother. Then, away with the fears which assail me! Thou wishest me to come to thee, and to enter into my heart. Away, then, thoughts of fear or distrust-thou tellest me to receive thee. Then, welcome, Jesus, my brother, welcome, ten thousand times over. Yes, I desire with my whole soul to receive thee; would that I could receive thee more worthily than I do! Indeed, I do confess my extreme unworthiness, but, since thou overlookest this in thy mercy, I can only thank thee again and again. Blessed be God! Blessed be Jesus, the Son of God! I thank thee, I bless thee, my soul doth magnify thee. Come, then, O sweet Jesus, come into my heart, and fill it with thy holy love, and grant that I may love but thee, O Jesus, my God, and yet my brother.
[Repeat these acts if you have time, over and over again, slowly going through them, thinking on each sentiment they contain, and try to make it your own. If, however, you feel cold or hard-hearted, then beg, by short ejaculatory prayers to the B. Mother of God, to St. Joseph, to your good angel guardian, to all the saints, that they may pray for you and assist you. Then offer to Jesus their adorations,
humility, and love, in place of your own. pared, receive the most Blessed Sacrament, it is needless to say how reverently, for reverence will spring naturally, as it were, from this preparation.]
[Remain for some time reflecting on the great mystery of love contained in the most holy Sacrament. Renew your acts of faith, humility, and love;