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Sexagesima Sunday


Martyrology -12th February

On the morrow we keep in England the feast of the holy Confessor Benedict Biscop, founder and Abbot of the monastery of Jarrow-upon-Tyne, of whom mention hath been made upon the 12th day of January.

Upon the same 12 th day of February, were born into the better life:

At Barcelona, in Spain, the holy Virgin Eulalia, who received a glorious crown in the time of the Emperor Diocletian. She suffered racking, tearing with hooks, and scorching with fire, and was finally crucified, [in the year 304.]

In Africa, the holy soldier and martyr Damian.

At Carthage, the holy martyrs Modestus and Julian.

At Benevento, the holy martyr Modestus the Levite.

At Alexandria, the holy children Modestus and Ammonius.

At Constantinople, [in the year 381,] holy Meletius, Patriarch of Antioch, who passed away to be ever with the Lord, when he was in exile, which he oftentimes suffered for the Catholic faith's sake. Holy John Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa have greatly praised him.

At Constantinople, [in the year 895,] in the time of the Emperor Leo VI, holy Anthony, Bishop [of Constantinople.]

At Verona, the holy Confessor Gaudentius, Bishop of that see.

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 Thoudost 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

Sexagesima Sunday: The Excellence of the Word of God

And when a very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities unto Him, He spoke by a similitude. The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed some fell by the wayside, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it choked it. And other some fell upon good ground; and, being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundred fold. Saying these things, He cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And His disciples asked Him what this parable might be, to whom He said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to the rest in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the wayside are they that hear, then the devil cometh and taketh the word out of their heart, lest, believing, they should be saved. Now they upon the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no roots; for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation they fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they who have heard, and going their way are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground are they who in a good and very good heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate during the whole of the week on which we are about to enter upon the gospel of tomorrow, which treats of the word of God; and in our next meditation we will consider: first, the excellence of this divine word; second, the ways in which God points it out to us. We will then make the resolution: first, to receive with great respect and lively gratitude the word of God, in what manner soever it may reach us, whether by public instructions, or by good books, or by good thoughts; second, after having listened to the divine word, to preserve it as a treasure in the bottom of our hearts and to conform our conduct to it. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the passage in the gospel which presents the Blessed Virgin to us as a model in this as well as everything else: “Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart” (Luke ii:19).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Jesus Christ teaching us, by the parable of the seed, that which is most useful for us to know with regard to the word of God. Let us bless Him for this condescension, which, in order to bring within reach of the most humble minds the most sublime truths, lowers the elevation of its thoughts down to the

most simple and most common comparisons.

The excellence of the word of god

St Ambrose, after having quoted the passage of the psalm, “Thy Word is exceedingly refined” (Ps. cxviii:140), adds this beautiful commentary: Fire purifies by separating gold from rust; it lights, it heats. In the same way, the word of God purifies souls, enlightens the intelligence, warms the heart.

First, it purifies. It renders the proud humble, the vain modest, the unchaste pure, the miser generous. How many sinners owe their con- version to it! How many lukewarm owe to it a better life! (Ps. cxviii:8)

Second, it enlightens. On one side it reveals to the soul the falsity of earthly pleasures, the nothingness of riches, the illusion of glory, and it rectifies the false judgments of our blind passions and of our corrupted senses; on the other side, it makes the pure light of faith shine before our eyes like the pillar in the desert, it guides our steps in the path of life (Ps. cxviii:105); and a few pages of the catechism teach more to man of those things which it is most important for him to know than all the books of human wisdom (Ps. cxviii:99).

Third, it inflames. It kindles the fire of life in souls which are dead in sin, and makes charity burn where once passion burnt. Carried by an Augustine into England, by a Boniface into Germany, by a Xavier into India, by a St Dominic, a Vincent Ferrer, a Thomas of Villanova, a Borromeo, a St Francis de Sales, into diverse parts of the earth; by zealous pastors into thousands of Catholic parishes, everywhere it kindles the sacred fire in the heart. And here what reproaches have I not to address to myself? Through my fault, the holy word has not purified me; it has not freed my virtue from all alloy; the rust of a thousand little passions is still eating into my soul. What attachments soil me! What ill-regulated affections share my heart! Through my fault, the holy word has not enlightened me. Blinded by a life of habit and of routine, entirely human and natural, I cannot derive my judgment and my manner of looking at all things from my faith. Lastly, through my fault, it has not inflamed me; I am lukewarm, if not cold, in the service of God.

The different ways in which god speaks to us

God, in His infinite goodness, has multiplied the channels through which to make His word reach our hearts: first, by oral instruction, whether given in Christian pulpits, or at the holy tribunal, or in the administration of the sacraments, or in the counsels which His providence gives us by diverse organs. How great goodness is there in this conduct of God towards us, and how much more He favours us than He does so many millions of men who are spread over the globe!

He speaks to us, second, by the holy books and all the pious works which we can read. This kind of reading has converted thousands of sinners, and every day it feeds and perfects piety in souls.

He speaks to us, third, by good thoughts, pious movements, salutary remorse, warnings, and the light His grace sheds on us; sometimes in prayer, at Holy Communion, in visits to the Blessed Sacrament; sometimes at even the most unexpected moments. Happy the souls who are sufficiently recollected to listen to this voice, and generous enough to obey it.

He speaks to us, fourth, by the good examples He places before our eyes. Each good example is a sermon which teaches us, here, meekness, patience, devotion; there, reverence in church, assiduity in assisting at its offices, frequentation of the sacraments. What fruit do we derive from so many means of salvation?

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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