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Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent


Martyrology - 25th of March

The morrow is the feast of the Annunciation of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

Upon the same 25th day of March, were born into the better life:

At Rome, the holy martyr Quirinus, under the Emperor Claudius. He suffered the spoiling of his goods, a foul imprisonment, and many stripes, and was at length slain with the sword, [in the year 269.] His body was cast into the Tiber, but the Christians found it on the island of Lycaonia and buried it in the cemetery of Pontianus.

Likewise at Rome, two hundred and sixty-two holy martyrs.

At Sirmium, [in Hungary,] the holy martyr Irenaeus, Bishop of that see, who under the President Probus, in the time of the Emperor Maximian, was first put to grievous torments, then suffered for many days in prison, and at last was beheaded.

At Nicomedia, the holy Dula, a female slave belonging to a certain soldier she was killed in defending her chastity, and so gained the crown of martyrdom.

At Jerusalem, is commemorated the Good Thief, who confessed Christ upon the Cross, and won from Him the words "This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise." At Laodicea, holy Pelagius, Bishop of that see, who suffered exile and other hardships for the Catholic faith's sake, in the time of the Emperor Valens, and fell asleep in the Lord.

At Pistoia, the holy Confessors Barontius and Desiderius, [about the year 700.]

In the island of Aindre, in the river Loire, the Holy Abbot Hermeland, the glory of whose life is set forth by the fame of his miracles, [about the year 718.]

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 my 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 Fourth Week: On Direction

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow as a supplement to our meditations upon the Sacrament of Penance: first, on the obligation of allowing ourselves to be guided by our confessor; second, on the manner in which this direction ought to consist. We will then make the resolution: first, to take counsel with our confessor respecting our rule of life and the employment of our time, the reformation of our defects, the practice of virtues, and the kind of good works for which we are best suited, if we are in a position to perform them; second, to consult our confessor in the difficulties and doubts we may meet with. We will retain as our spiritual nosegay the words of the Holy Spirit: “Seek counsel always of a wise man” (Tob. iv:19).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Our Lord Jesus Christ as regards the manner in which He guided St Paul after his conversion; that great apostle aspired to nothing else excepting to know and fulfil the will of God (Acts ix:6). Our Lord, instead of enlightening him Himself, or leaving him to his own guidance, in the state of supernatural light which surrounded him, sends him to a wise director (Ibid. 7). Let us thank Him for this beautiful lesson, which teaches us not to lean upon our own prudence (Prov. iii:5), and always to take the advice of a wise man (Tob. iv:19).

The obligation of allowing ourselves to be guided by our confessor

“No one is sufficient to himself so that he can lead himself” (St. Basil, Orat. de Felic.). Our reason deceives us; the wisest lose themselves when, instead of taking counsel, they trust in their own lights, says St Bernard (Ep., lxxxii). He who sees in his confessor only a confidant of his sins in order to receive absolution of them, and not a counsellor to direct him in the road of life, is as much exposed to lose his soul as is a ship without a pilot, a blind man without a guide, a sick man without a doctor; and the devil knows no surer way of making Christians lose their souls than by inspiring them with the presumptuous opinion that they can govern themselves by their own sole judgment (St Dorotheus, Doct. 5). Therefore all the saints have been faithful to the practice of taking counsel respecting their own conduct (St Vincent Ferrer, De Vita Spirit.). Moses takes counsel of the ancients; David is reproved by Nathan and Gad, who are not such great prophets as he is; Saul is sent to Ananias by Jesus Christ, who could have instructed him; lastly, the Saviour Himself listened to and questioned simple men (Luke ii:46). It is in the order of Providence that men should be instructed by other men and should depend upon one another for guidance; it is also in the order of reason: he who sees clearly into the conscience of another does not see clearly into his own, he deludes himself in respect to his obligations, his vices and his virtues, his merits and his aptitudes; and all have need of a wise counsellor who studies them without prejudice and with the grace of his ministry. It was this which made Bourdaloue, when he was preaching in Paris, utter these remarkable words: “I cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of people living in the world who desire to have confessors and not directors, as though the one could be separated from the other” (Sermon for the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost). Let us here examine ourselves. Are we not of the number of those who would have made the holy preacher sigh?

The manner in which the direction ought to be performed

First, we must see in our director, not a man or a sage, but an angel, clothed with the wisdom of God, a Jesus Christ, nay, even a God, like the holy solitary who said (John Clim., Grad. 4): “I see the image of Jesus Christ in my superior.” We must speak to him, consequently, with entire openness of heart, and with perfect con- fidence, as to a charitable physician and the faithful friend whom God has given us for our guidance; reveal to him all the good and all the evil of which we are aware in ourselves, our inclinations, our intentions, our temptations, without reserve, without disguise, without any of those artifices of which self-love sometimes makes use in order to make the will of our director harmonise with our desires; we ought to put on one side all human respect, all shame, all repugnance, as well as all feelings of vanity or curiosity.

Second, we must listen to his counsels with respect and confidence, and follow them with fidelity and exactness, however contrary they may be to our own judgment, our character, and our will. Third, we must abandon ourselves so entirely to his guidance in all things that have relation to our salvation, that we shall never undertake anything without first consulting him about it; that we never refuse to do what he tells us, that we give him an absolute and entire liberty to tell us what he thinks; that we never discuss his counsels, but embrace them as being the best; if we have doubts, that we expose them with as much indifference as freedom, and that, whether he says one thing or another, we are equally obedient to him. Are these our dispositions and our manner of acting?

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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