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Monday in the First Week of Lent


Martyrology - 27th February

On the morrow we keep

The feast of holy John, Patriarch of Constantinople, (in the years 398-407,) surnamed Chrysostom that is to say, golden mouth on account of the golden stream of his eloquence, whose word and example much profited the Church, but after many toils he ended his life in exile. Mention is made of him upon the 14th day of September, but the 27th of January is the day whereon his sacred body was brought to Constantinople under the Emperor Theodosius the younger, whence it was afterward brought to Rome, and buried in the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles.

At Sora, the holy martyr Julian. He was arrested in the persecution under the Emperor Antonine, and while he was being tortured, the temple of the idols fell down, whereupon he was beheaded, and so received the crown of martyrdom.

In Africa, (in the third century,) the holy martyr Avitus.

Likewise in Africa, the holy martyrs Datius, Reater, and their companions, who suffered in the persecution under the Vandals.

Likewise in Africa, the holy martyrs Dativus, Julian, Vincent, and twenty-seven others.

At Rome, (in the year 671,) holy Pope Vitalian.

At Mans, (in the year 117,) holy Julian, the first Bishop of that city, whom holy Peter sent thither to preach the Gospel.

At the monastery of La Val-Benois, the holy Maurus, Abbot of Val-Benois.

At Brescia, (in the year 1540,) the holy Virgin Angela Merici, Foundress of the Society of Nuns of St. Ursula, whose first duty is to lead young maidens into the paths of the Lord. We keep her festival upon the last day of May, in accordance with an ordinance of Pius VII.

And elsewhere many other Holy Martyrs, Confessors and Holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God


Morning Prayer

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Place Yourself in the Presence of God, and adore His holy Name.

Most holy and adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I believe that Thou art here present: I adore Thee with the deepest humility, and render to Thee, with my whole heart, the homage which is due to Thy sovereign majesty.

An Act of Faith

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

An Act of Hope

O my God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

An Act of Love

O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

Thank God for All Favours and Offer Yourself to Him.

O my God, I most humbly thank Thee for all the favours Thou hast bestowed upon me up to the present moment. I give Thee thanks from the bottom of my heart that Thou hast created me after Thine own image and likeness, that Thou hast redeemed me by the precious blood of Thy dear Son, and that Thou hast preserved me and brought me safe to the beginning of another day. I offer to Thee, O Lord, my whole being, and in particular all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of this day. I consecrate them all to the glory of Thy name, beseeching Thee that through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour they may all find acceptance in Thy sight. May Thy divine love animate them, and may they all tend to Thy greater glory.

Resolve to Avoid Sin and to Practice Virtue.

Adorable Jesus, my Saviour and Master, model of all perfection, I resolve and will endeavour this day to imitate Thy example, to be, like Thee, mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable, and resigned. I will redouble my efforts that I may not fall this day into any of those sins which I have heretofore committed (here name any besetting sin), and which I sincerely desire to forsake.

Ask God for the Necessary Graces.

O my God, Thou knowest my poverty and weakness, and that I am unable to do anything good without Thee; deny me not, O God, the help of Thy grace; proportion it to my necessities; give me strength to avoid anything evil which Thou forbiddest, and to practise the good which Thou hast commanded; and enable me to bear patiently all the trials which it may please Thee to send me.

The Lord’s Prayer...

The Hail Mary...

The Apostles’ Creed...

At this point, please go to the relevant text of Fr Hamon’s Meditation. Once I have read and meditated on the text, and its various points.

Ask the Prayers of the Blessed Virgin, your Guardian Angel, and your Patron Saint.

I complete my meditation by saying:

Holy Virgin, Mother of God, my Mother and Patroness, I place myself under thy protection, I throw myself with confidence into the arms of thy compassion. Be to me, O Mother of mercy, my refuge in distress, my consolation under suffering, my advocate with thy adorable Son, now and at the hour of my death.

Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom His love commits me here, Ever this day be at my side, To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

O great Saint whose name I bear, protect me, pray for me, that like thee I may serve God faithfully on earth, and glorify Him eternally with thee in heaven. Amen.

Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, hear us.

Jesus, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, ... Jesus, Son of the living God, ... Jesus, splendour of the Father, ... Jesus, brightness of eternal light, ... Jesus, king of glory, ... Jesus, sun of justice, ... Jesus, son of the Virgin Mary, ... Jesus, most amiable, ... Jesus, most admirable, ... Jesus, mighty God, ... Jesus, father of the world to come, ... Jesus, angel of great council, ... Jesus, most powerful, ... Jesus, most patient, ... Jesus, most obedient, ... Jesus, meek and humble of heart, ... Jesus, lover of chastity ... Jesus, lover of us, ... Jesus, God of peace, ... Jesus, author of life, ... Jesus, model of virtues, ... Jesus, zealous for souls, ... Jesus, our God, ... Jesus, our refuge, ... Jesus, father of the poor, ... Jesus, treasure of the faithful, ... Jesus, good shepherd, ... Jesus, true light, ... Jesus, eternal wisdom, ... Jesus, infinite goodness, ... Jesus, our way and our life, ... Jesus, joy of angels, ... Jesus, king of patriarchs, ... Jesus, master of apostles, ... Jesus, teacher of evangelists, ... Jesus, strength of martyrs, ... Jesus, light of confessors, ... Jesus, purity of virgins, ... Jesus, crown of all saints, ...

Be merciful, Spare us, O Jesus. Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus.

From all evil, Jesus, deliver us. From all sin, Jesus, deliver us. From Thy wrath, ... From the snares of the devil, ... From the spirit of fornication, ... From everlasting death, ... From the neglect of Thy inspirations, ... Through the mystery of Thy holy incarnation, ... Through Thy nativity, ... Through Thine infancy, ... Through Thy most divine life, ... Through Thy labours, ... Through Thine agony and passion, ... Through Thy cross and dereliction, ...Through Thy faintness and weariness, ... Through Thy death and burial, ... Through Thy resurrection, ... Through Thine ascension, ... Through Thy joys, ... Through Thy glory, ...

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us, O Jesus.

Jesus, hear us. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast said: Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; grant, we beseech Thee, unto us who ask, the gift of Thy most divine love, that we may ever love Thee with all our hearts, and in all our words and actions, and never cease from showing forth Thy praise. Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name; for Thou never failest to govern those whom Thou dost solidly establish in Thy love. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

The Angelus

℣ The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.

℟ And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.

Hail, Mary...

℣ Behold the handmaid of the Lord.

℟ Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail, Mary...

℣ And the Word was made flesh.

℟ And dwelt among us.

Hail, Mary...

℣ Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.

℟ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord! Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may, by His passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Evening Prayer


Monday in the First Week: The Three Temptations of Jesus in the Desert

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow upon the three temptations of Jesus in the desert, that is to say: first, an excessive care of the body and of health: second, the self-love which presumes upon itself and desires to attract notice; third, ambition and self-seeking. We will then make the resolution: first, to avoid excessive delicacy in the care of our body; second, to seek God only in all things. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the advice of the apostle St James: “Resist the devil and he will fly from you” (James iv:7).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Jesus Christ in the desert allowing Himself to be tempted by the devil, in order to teach us how to act in similar temptations. Let us bless this charitable High-Priest, who was willing to be tried by all kinds of temptations that He might resemble us in all things except sin, and let us put all our confidence in Him (Heb. iv:15).

First temptation: an excessive care of the body and of health

The devil draws near to Jesus, and says to Him, why dost Thou not eat? Thy body will not be able to bear it. Why dost Thou not tell these stones to change themselves into bread? (Matt. iv:3) Man does not live by bread alone, Jesus Christ answers, one word issuing from the mouth of God suffices to make him live. I have given to the Lord My life, My strength, My health; it is His property, He will take care of it; I abandon Myself to His providence. What a lesson for us is contained in these words of the Saviour, and He confirms them by His example. He lives during forty days in the desert, in a savage place, exposed upon a mountain to all the inclemencies of the weather; He fasts there during the whole of that time without tasting either bread or water; He watches during a great part of the night; and when He reposes, it is either upon a rock or upon the bare ground. He does not mean to tell us thereby to treat our own bodies with such severity, for it would try them too much. Health is a gift He has made us, and which He forbids us to deteriorate by excesses of any kind; but apart from this precaution, He interdicts us all sensual delicacies as regards our food, our clothing, our beds, and our lodging; He wishes that we should always feel that we are well placed where God wills we should be; and like St Francis de Sales to go so far as to say, I am never better than when I am not well. He wills also that, following the example of St Paul, we should not refuse to chastise our bodies and reduce them to servitude, whether for the purpose of expiating our past sins, or to prevent backsliding, or to appease the anger of God. Are these our dispositions?

Second temptation: self-love presumptuous and jealous to attract notice

The devil transports Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple, that He may be seen there by the whole world, and proposes to Him to cast Himself down from there, so that if He falls without injuring Himself He should be filled with a vain complaisance. Jesus Christ, repelling the temptation, renders Himself invisible to all the people, and returns by Himself to His beloved solitude. It is a beautiful example, which teaches us that, instead of wishing to attract observation and to show ourselves off in the presence of others, we ought: first, to show ourselves only through necessity, and always to tend to avoid esteem and praise, to be unknown and hidden; second, to keep ourselves on our guard against presumption, which esteems itself to be worthy of being honoured, and thinks itself capable of bearing honours without ruining itself through pride. Let us here enter into ourselves and judge ourselves.

Third temptation: ambition and self-interest

From the summit of a high mountain the devil places before the eyes of Jesus Christ all the kingdoms of the world, with their riches and their glory. I will give it all to Thee, he says, if Thou wilt prostrate Thyself before me and adore me. Get thee behind Me, tempter, answers Jesus Christ; it is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Luke iv:5). Thus ought every Christian soul to act. It ought to hold in horror all baseness, all intrigues, all insinuations tending to obtain the good graces of those who can obtain for it a good position, or enable it to rise to high places, or to maintain itself therein. It does not allow itself to be seduced by the bait of honours, and it cannot bend its knees to those who are the dispensers of them. It says, like the Apostle: “To me it is a very small thing to be judged by you or by man’s day; but neither do I judge my own self ” (I Cor. iv:3); in all things I think of nothing but my duty. If I please God, that suffices me, and all the rest is as nothing to me. O happy liberty! O holy freedom of a soul which has such dispositions! Let us examine ourselves before God as to whether these are our own dispositions.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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