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Monday in the Second Week of Lent


Martyrology - 6th of March

Upon the 6th day of March, were born into the better life:

At Nicomedia, the holy martyrs Victor and Victorinus, who were imprisoned for three years, and many ways tormented, along with Claudian and Bassa his wife, and being still recommitted to prison, died therein, [third century.]

At Tortona, the holy martyr Marcian, Bishop of that see, who was crowned under the Emperor Trajan, being slain for Christ's greater glory.

At Constantinople, holy Evagrius, who was elected Patriarch of that see by the Catholics in the time of the Emperor Valens, but was sent by the Emperor into exile, and there passed away to be ever with the Lord.

In Cyprus, the holy martyr Conon, who under the Emperor Decius had nails driven through his feet, and was then made to run in front of a chariot, under the which torment he fell upon his knees and gave up his soul in prayer to God.

Likewise, forty-two holy martyrs, who were apprehended in Amorium and brought to Syria, where they passed through a noble conflict and triumphantly grasped the palm of martyrdom, [in the year 845.]

At Bologna, holy Basil, Bishop of that city, who was ordained by holy Pope Sylvester, and both by his word and example governed in holiness the church committed unto his care, [fourth century.]

At Barcelona, in Spain, [in the year 137,] blessed Oligarius, who was first Canon and afterward Bishop of Barcelona, and Archbishop of Taragona.

At Gent, in Flanders, the holy Virgin Coletta, [in the year 1447,] who first professed in the Third Order of Friars Minors, and then being filled with the Holy Ghost, set up many monasteries of sisters of the Second Order under the primitive discipline. She was ennobled by the grace of God, and famous for countless miracles, and the Supreme Pontiff Pius VII enrolled her name among those of the saints.

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 . I complete my meditation by saying:

Evening Prayer


Monday in the Second Week: The Necessity and Method of Prayer

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

As the gospel, by representing Our Lord transfigured whilst He was at prayer, reveals to us thereby that prayer is the means whereby to bring down on us all the graces of Heaven, we will meditate tomorrow: first, on the necessity of prayer; second, on the conditions for performing it well. We will then make the resolution: first, to be very exact in preparing our subject for meditation, both in the evening and the morning, and always to begin the day with this exercise; second, to maintain within ourselves during the day the good thoughts and the good sentiments of the morning’s meditation. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of the Gospel: “Whilst He prayed the shape of His countenance was altered” (Luke ix:29).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Jesus Christ at prayer upon Thabor. What a recollected and fervent prayer! What a beautiful spectacle in the light of heaven and of earth! Whilst He was absorbed in God, His face became as shining as the sun, and His garments as white as snow. Let us thank our divine Saviour for having revealed to us the value of prayer, to give us a love for it and to teach us to practise it.

The necessity of prayer

All the saints are unanimous in telling us that meditation is essential to salvation (Luke xi:1); that a day without prayer is a lost day; that without prayer faith languishes, together with the appreciation and the sentiment of Christian truths and of our divine mysteries. He who does not meditate upon God and upon His infinite loving kindnesses is cold and indifferent towards Him; he who does not reflect upon his duties does not any longer feel the importance of them: he neglects them, or accomplishes them badly. Without meditation no prayer can be well performed. It is impossible, says St Teresa, to recite even the Pater properly; habit, routine, and wandering thoughts reduce the prayer to a simple movement of the lips, in which the heart takes no part. “My heart is withered” says David, “because I forgot to eat my bread” (Ps. ci:5). Without meditation there is no longer any recollection, any humility, any love, any virtue, says St Bonaventure. Lastly, like to the soldier without any weapons, exposed to all the assaults of the enemy, we are defenceless against the devil, against the world, against our own heart. With prayer, on the contrary, faith becomes every day more lively; we appreciate God and heavenly things, as well as the nothingness of the world and the greatness of eternal graces; we see our faults and our defects, together with the remedies necessary to apply to them; the fire of the passions is extinguished and gives place to holy love. It is in meditation that the sacred fire is kindled (Ps. xxxviii:4), and the whole life is changed and renewed (Luke ix:29). Formerly we were frivolous; we did not reflect; we were pusillanimous and devoid of energy, irascible, attached to ourselves and our own senses; by means of meditation we become serious, recollected, courageous and fervent, gentle and modest, humble and without pretension. It was all this which inspired St Augustine with those beautiful words: “To know how to pray well is to know how to live well.” Is this the idea we have of prayer?

Conditions requisite for the right performance of prayer

There are three principal ones: the habit of recollection, the detachment of the heart, the pacification of the passions.

First, the habit of recollection. The mind which is essentially dissipated is incapable of prayer; accustomed to fix itself upon nothing, to fly without ceasing from one object to another, it follows its customary habit in meditation. In vain God speaks to it—it does not listen to Him; or, if it listen to Him, it does not reflect upon what He says, and lets its thoughts wander to other things. It is only in the silence of the recollected soul that God speaks, that His voice is heard, that the soul meditates upon it, that it appreciates it and profits by it (I Imit. xx:6).

Second, detachment of the heart is necessary. The heart which has attachments takes possession of the spirit, carries it away captive, and tyrannises over it. It desires to reflect upon God and upon its salvation, but attachments to other things preoccupy and absorb the mind. It cannot any longer occupy itself except with the things to which it clings; it is a cloud which prevents the light of God from being seen; it is a noise which hinders it from hearing His voice. It desires to rise towards heaven, but the soul is attached to the earth; it may indeed agitate and torment itself, but it is impossible for it to take its flight. The soul which is detached, on the contrary, free from all ties, rises easily to God, converses with Him, and remains united to Him.

Third, the pacification of the passions is necessary. As long as the heart is possessed by any passion which it will not renounce, it will be ill at ease, troubled, and incapable of fixing itself upon God. It will be like the sick man devoured by fever, and, unable to sleep, he turns ceaselessly from side to side, and to be obliged to remain in the same position is unbearable to him. He, then, who desires to succeed in meditation and to make progress in it, must labour every day to master his passions until he has extinguished them. It will be only then that he will enter into that tranquillity of the soul which allows of sustained reflection and of an enduring union with God. Let us examine whether we have fulfilled the three conditions necessary for succeeding in meditation.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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