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Thursday after Septuagesima


Martyrology -9th February

On the morrow we keep the feast of the holy Confessor Cyril, Pope of Alexandria, a most eminent champion of the Catholic faith, and illustrious for his teaching and holiness, of whom mention is made upon the 28th day of January, on the which day he fell asleep in peace.

Upon the same 9th day of February, were born into the better life:

At Alexandria, [in the year 249,] the holy Virgin Apollonia. The persecutors under the Emperor Decius first beat out all her teeth, then they built and kindled a funeral fire and threatened to burn her alive upon it unless she would join them in uttering sinful words. She thought a little while within herself, and then the fire of the Holy Ghost flaming up within her, she tore herself suddenly out of the hands of those wicked men and leapt of her own accord into the fire which they had made ready, so that the very actors in this cruelty were awestruck to find a woman more ready to die than were they to kill her.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Alexander, and thirty-eight others who were crowned at the same time.

At Solis, in Cyprus, the holy martyrs Ammonius and Alexander.

At Antioch, [in the year 260,] the holy martyr Nicephorus, who received his crown by being beheaded, under the Emperor Valerian.

In Africa, in the castle of Lemele, the holy Deacons Primus and Donates, who suffered martyrdom in defending the altar in the church against the Donatists, [sixth century.]

In the monastery of Fontenelle, holy Ausbert, Bishop of Rouen, [in the year 695.]

At Canosa, in Apulia, the holy Confessor Sabinus, Bishop of that see, [in the year 566.]

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 willcome 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...

Ask the Prayers of the Blessed Virgin, your Guardian Angel, and your Patron Saint.

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:

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

Thursday after Septuagesima: How we must make use of Creatures for the Service of God

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will tomorrow consider in our meditation how we must serve God by the use of creatures, and we shall see how, in order to do so, we must use: first, things which are necessary to life; second, things which are not necessary. We will then make the resolution: first, to look upon all that happens to us and all that we have to do only as means for sanctifying ourselves; second, to desire nothing upon earth except the good pleasure of God, and in everything to prefer that which best leads us to our end, which is our salvation. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the same as that of yesterday: “How will that serve me for God and for eternity?

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore God as the essential end of all things, as the adorable centre towards which all our thoughts and all our affections, all our projects and all our actions ought to converge. With this end in view let us render Him our homage.

First Point

How to use things which are necessary to life

Things which are necessary to life are sleep, food, clothing, lodging, and the thousand little attentions which the body claims and the relaxations which our weak nature cannot do without. The worldly man places his happiness in low and miserable things. To sleep well, to eat well, to be well clothed and well lodged, to want for nothing, to amuse himself, and to do nothing—this, in his opinion, is supreme happiness, and he would willingly addict himself to it throughout eternity. But the true Christian thinks very differently. He feels himself humiliated at being the slave of so many necessities, condemned to act the corpse during the large portion of his existence which is given to sleep; to play the animal several times a day, in browsing like the beasts and assimilating his food like them; in hiding himself beneath clothing by a very legitimate shame of himself; to have for his lodgement and for comforts of the simplest kind so many needs which require the concurrence of the products of the earth and the fleece of animals and the arms of a thousand labourers; lastly, to do nothing during a notable part of his life, because otherwise his mind and his body would be overwhelmed with fatigue. If he satisfies these miserable necessities it is only in sighing and in observing the three rules of the saints: take, thank, fear.

First, take—take what is simply necessary, and nothing beyond that; take it, not to satisfy your body and to give it pleasure, but only from the desire to obey God, who so wills it. Take it in a spirit of humility and resignation, which submits to the necessity of its condition for the good pleasure of God, which is its only love.

Second, give thanks; in taking what is necessary thank God who gives it you in a better measure and under more advantageous conditions than to many others. If what is necessary is pleasant to your taste and to your senses, thank God who spoils you and treats you far better than you deserve; if you do not like it, still give thanks to God who gives you an opportunity of mortifying yourself and acquiring merits.

Third, fear—be afraid of attaching your heart to the creature, be afraid of taking more than is necessary, and make God a generous sacrifice of what is superfluous. Be afraid lest the body should weigh down the soul; be afraid lest being too well satisfied it should revolt (Prov. xxix:21). The observance of these holy rules will cause effeminacy, intemperance, the loss of time, pleasure taken solely because it is pleasure, to disappear; by means of them all ill-regulated habits will be restrained, all useless expenses will be retrenched, and all desires will be moderated. How many things there are which I can do without, we shall say to ourselves. But of them will be formed a rich foundation for charity, and the spirit of sacrifice, entering into the whole of our conduct, will raise the soul to holiness. Let us sigh, in the presence of God, that we have observed these holy rules so little, and let us propose henceforth to conform our conduct to them.

Second Point

How to use things which are not necessary to life

By things not necessary is to be understood the more or less of amusements we might have for ourselves, the more or less of wealth which we might amass, the more or less of glory and reputation we might acquire, a certain kind of life, certain occupations, certain pastimes, such as games, visits, and other like things. The rule to be followed is to ask ourselves: What use can I make of that for God, for my eternity? If it be useful for these ends we must lovingly embrace it; if, on the contrary, it is hurtful, we must reject it with horror. If it be in itself neither hurtful nor advantageous, we must be indifferent to it, not desiring one thing more than another, health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honour rather than contempt, a long life rather than a short one. The only legitimate preference in the use of created things is when they lead us more surely. Thus pious exercises well performed, profound devotion in prayer, habitual recollection, useful and moderate occupations, will bring me nearer to God; I will therefore apply myself to them. Sin, voluntary imperfections, dangerous occasions, too natural attachments, dissipation, an excessive desire to succeed, too great intercourse with the world, would turn me away from God; therefore I renounce them. If I meet in my path with indifferent things, I will make the sacrifice of them, and then they will become useful for my salvation. Alas! why have I not followed these rules? How much better should I have lived!

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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