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The start of period 2 - First Sunday in Lent


Martyrology - 26th February

On the morrow we keep in England the feast of holy Ethelbert, King of Kent, whom holy Augustin, first Archbishop of Canterbury, converted to the faith of Christ, and of whom mention hath been made upon the 24th day of this present month of February.

Upon the same 26th day of February, were born into the better life:

At Perga, in Pamphylia, [in the year 251,] blessed Nestor, Bishop [of Magydensis.] During the persecution under Decius he was instant in prayer by day and by night that Christ's flock might be kept safe. When he was arrested he confessed the name of the Lord with wonderful freedom and readiness. By command of the President Pollio he was most cruelly racked, and as he steadfastly declared that he would alway cleave unto Christ, he was at last crucified, and from the cross passed to heaven a conqueror.

At Perga likewise, [in 251,] the holy martyrs Papias, Diodorus, Conon, and Claudian, who suffered before holy Nestor.

Also the holy martyrs Fortunatus Felix, and twenty-seven others.

At Alexandria, [in the year 326,] the glorious Elder, holy Alexander, Pope of that see, wherein he succeeded blessed Peter. He it was who cast his priest Arius out of the church when he became perverted with wicked heresy, and reprobate from the truth of God, and he was afterward one of the three hundred and eighteen fathers who condemned him in the Council of Nice.

At Bologna, [in the fourth century,] the holy Bishop [of that see,] Faustinian, who by the preaching of the word of God strengthened and increased that Church when it had been troubled in the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian.

At Gaza, in Palestine, [in the year 420,] holy Porphyry, Bishop of that see, who in the time of the Emperor Arcadius cast down the idol Mama and its temple, and after many sufferings fell asleep in the Lord.

At Florence, [in the fifth century,] the holy Confessor Andrew, Bishop of that city, [who succeeded St. Zenobius.]

In the country of Troyes, [Vitre, in Champagne, in the sixth century,] the holy Confessor Victor, [Victor of Plancy, Priest and Hermit,] whose praises have been written by holy Bernard.

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


First Sunday in Lent: Temptations in General

Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was hungry. And the tempter coming said to Him: If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Who answered and said: It is written, not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and set Him upon the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him: If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down, for it is written: That He hath given His angels charge over Thee, and in their hands shall they bear Thee up, lest, perhaps, Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord Thy God. Again the devil took Him up into a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and said to Him: All these will I give Thee, if, falling down, Thou wilt adore me. Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan; for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil left Him; and behold angels came and ministered to Him.

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We shall see tomorrow in our meditation: first, that temptation, far from being an evil, may be turned to great advantage; second, on what conditions is the temptation thus changed into good. We will then make the resolution: first, to prevent temptations as much as possible by watchfulness over ourselves and union with God; second, promptly to turn away from the temptation as soon as we perceive it, and not allow it to trouble us. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of the apostle St James: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation” (James i:12).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Jesus Christ tempted in the desert by the devil. It was, indeed, by far the greatest humiliation that a God could suffer, but He suffered it, because He knew that His example would encourage us in the midst of our trials and would teach us that the more a soul is dear to God, the more it ought to be proved by temptation (Tob. xii:13). Let us thank Him for such great goodness.

Temptation, far from being an evil, may be turned to our great advantage

No moral evil is possible excepting insofar as the will consents to it; as long as the door of the will is closed, the devil and the imagination may make a noise around the heart, but they cannot soil its purity. This is why Jesus Christ and all the saints have been subjected to the trials of temptation, without their trial having occasioned the least injury to their holiness. This is why to be cast down in temptation is unreasonable; it is either occasioned by self-love being annoyed at seeing itself so miserable, or else a want of confidence in God, who never fails anyone who calls upon Him, or else it is the cowardice of a soul which imagines that it stands alone with its weakness, and without the help or God.

Far from temptation being an evil, it may, on the contrary, be turned to our great advantage. For, first, it gives us an opportunity of glorifying God, since by generously resisting it we prove our fidelity to Him, we combat His enemies, and we triumph; second, it exercises us in humility, by revealing the evil basis which exists in us; in the spirit of prayer, by making us feel the need of having recourse to God; in vigilance, by warning us to mistrust our own strength and to fly from occasions of evil; in divine love, by its causing to shine forth the goodness of God, who is willing to lower His grace, to lower even Himself by communion to so depraved a level as ours; it prevents laxity, it awakens fervour, it gives to virtue a firmer and more solid character (II Cor. xii:9); it teaches us to know ourselves (Sirach xxxiv:9).

It gives the soul an opportunity to acquire more graces in this world, and more glory in the next world in proportion to the merits with which it enriches it, and renders it more worthy of God, like the saints of whom it is written, “God hath tried them and found them worthy of Himself ” (Wis. iii:5). This is why God said to the people of Israel: “I would not destroy them from your face, that you may have enemies” (Judges ii:3), and Pope Leo also said in the same sense: “It is well for the soul to be afraid of falling, and to have a battle constantly to wage” (Serm. iii). The faithful soul derives from temptation to evil the same fruit as from inspiration to good. It is an opportunity for it to tend towards perfection in the contrary virtue, with all the good-will of which it is capable. In temptations of the senses, it raises itself to the infinite glory of God, placed so high above all low and sensual views; in mental temptations it takes refuge in its nothingness; in temptations to pleasure it loves to embrace the cross. Is it thus that we profit by temptation?

On what conditions temptations are changed into good

There are certain conditions required before, during, and after temptation. First, before temptation we must avoid all that exposes us to it or inclines us to evil, for example, dangerous society and books; looks which are kept too little in check; manners which are too free; the delights of an effeminate and sensual life. He who loves danger shall perish in it; he who counts upon his own strength shall be confounded. Mistrust is the mother of safety, and to expose one’s self voluntarily to danger is to tempt God and to render ourselves unworthy of His help. On the other side, we must not be afraid of temptation, because by fearing it we give birth to it; the best is not to think of it and to be given up entirely to what we have to do. Second, during temptation we must not amuse ourselves with it, under the pretext that it is slight, otherwise it will take the upper hand; but we must turn away promptly, firmly, and quietly from it; turn our back upon it with contempt, without even deigning to look at it; and if it produce some impressions upon us, we must disown them peacefully, applying ourselves wholly to present actions. Whoever fights with it risks soiling himself; and he who repels it with excessive efforts loses peace of heart, recollection of the mind, and the unction of piety.

If we cannot succeed by these means, we must have recourse humbly to God, saying to Him: “O my Lord, how great is my misery; how wrong I should be still to cherish self-love, and how good Thou art to love a sinner such as I am! O Jesus! O Mary! O all ye angels and saints, bless the Lord who deigns to abase His love down to my nothingness”. Third, after the temptation we must forget it; reflection will bring it back to life. It is better to encourage ourselves peaceably to the repairing of the past wrong-doing, if any such has existed, by performing very perfectly the action in which we are engaged; by uniting ourselves to God, and casting ourselves into His arms with confidence and love, saying to Him as did the prodigal: “Father I have sinned against heaven and before Thee” (Luke xv:18), or like the publican: “O God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke xviii:13). Let us examine ourselves as to whether we have observed these rules, before, during,

and after temptation.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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