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Saturday in the First Week of Lent


Martyrology - 4th of March

Upon the 4th day of March, were born into the better life:

At Vilnius, in Lithuania, the blessed Casimir, [Duke of Lithuania,] son of Casimir III, King of Poland, whose name the Roman Pontiff, Leo X, numbered with those of the Saints, [in the year 1458-83.]

At Rome, upon the Appian Way, the holy martyr Pope Lucius. He was first banished in the persecution under the Emperor Valerian, but was afterwards permitted by the will of God to return to his church, and after toiling much against the Novatians, finished his testimony by being beheaded. He is highly praised by holy Cyprian.

Likewise at Rome, upon the Appian Way, nine hundred holy martyrs, [led by Aristion and Licinius, both Bishops,] who are laid in the cemetery called that of St. Cecilia.

Upon the same day, the holy martyr Caius, [an officer of the Imperial Palace,] who was drowned in the sea, and twenty-seven others.

At Nicomedia, the holy martyr Hadrian, and twenty-three others, who, under the Emperor Diocletian, all had their legs broken, and were so left to die. The principal feast in memory of Hadrian is kept upon the 8th day of September, when his body was brought to Rome.

Likewise the holy martyrs Archelaus, Cyril, and Photius.

In the Crimea, the holy Bishops Basil, Eugenius, Agathodormus, Elpidius, Aetherius, Capito, Ephrem, Nestor, and Arcadius.

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


Saturday in the First Week: The Particular Examination

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow, first, upon the nature and importance of the particular examination; second, upon the manner of making it. We will then make the resolution: first, to be henceforth very faithful to this exercise; second, to make it according to the rules laid down by the teachers of the spiritual life. We will retain as our nosegay the words of Jeremiah: “I have set thee this day to destroy and to build and to plant” (Jer. i:10).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Our Lord who, animated by a desire to render us perfect, teaches us, by means of masters of the spiritual life, the exercise of the particular examination as one of the most powerful means of salvation. Let us thank Him for this goodness, always attentive to what may be useful to the soul.

The nature and importance of the particular examination

There is this difference between the general and the particular examination, that the first embraces the whole of the sins which we have committed during the day, or the space of time to which the examination is limited, whilst the particular examination has for its aim a special subject, for example, a vice, a virtue, an exercise, above all, the besetting sin, which is the weak side by which we are most exposed to lose our souls.

This exercise is of great importance: first, because it is right first of all to provide for the safety of the part where our soul is most exposed to peril; now each man has in his soul a feeble side by which the devil principally attacks him, imitating therein the general who, in order to take a town, studies the weakest point and directs all his efforts to it.

Second, because our attention, disseminated over all our miseries at one and the same time, acts less efficaciously than when it concentrates its energies on one particular point.

Third, because the principal vice having been overcome, we shall easily conquer the others, in the same manner as an army which has lost its chief is easily put to rout. Let us here examine our conscience. Have we esteemed, as we ought to do, the particular examination, and do we make it assiduously every day? Do we bring to it all the attention necessary to search out and become acquainted with our least faults in regard to the matter which is the object of it? Do we not sometimes perform it with a great deal of negligence, because we do not appreciate all the importance of it? Do we not imagine that a minute research into our smallest failings would render us scrupulous, and that we can dispense ourselves from it?

The manner of making the particular examination

In order to do this well, we must: first, lay down the subject clearly, choosing the vice, the passion which is the most ordinary source of our temptations and our failings, or the virtue which is the most opposed to the vice; for example, humility for the proud, fraternal charity for those who are the most exposed to fail in it, mortification for too effeminate souls, gentleness and patience for the ill-tempered, chastity for tempted souls, conformity to the will of God, the perfection of our ordinary actions, and other practices, according to the need of each person. Let us here examine ourselves. Have we a subject of particular examination which is well adapted to the needs of our souls? If we have not, let us fix upon one from today.

Second, the subject once chosen, we must divide the parts and the relations of it, examine ourselves during a certain time, for example, on words contrary to humility, charity, or patience; later on, upon the acts which are contrary to these vices; later on still, upon the thoughts and sentiments contrary to them.

Third, after having examined ourselves, we must set down in writing, or at least retain thoroughly in our memory, the number of failings, and impose upon ourselves a penance proportioned to the number of falls, for example, a trifling alms put in reserve somewhere; it will be, in addition to the good work, an easy means for becoming acquainted with our failings. Fourth, this examination being thus made beneath the eyes of God, in presence of Jesus Christ our judge, we must disavow our faults, ask pardon for them, make resolutions to preserve ourselves better from them in future, and pray to obtain the grace of our conversion. Is it thus that we daily make our particular examination?

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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