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Thursday in the First Week of Lent


Martyrology - 2nd of March

Upon the 2nd day of March, were born into the better life:

In England, [about the year 672,] holy Chad, Bishop of the Mercians and of Lindisfarne, whose eminent graces are recorded by Bede. [His body was buried at Lichfield, first in the Church of Our Lady, second in the Church of St. Peter, and thirdly in the Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady and St. Chad. The town was named Lichfield on account of the number martyred and buried there under Maximian Hercules.]

At Rome, upon the Latin Way, [about the year 258,] under the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus, the holy martyrs Jovinus and Basileus.

Likewise at Rome, under the Emperor Alexander and the Prefect Ulpian, many holy martyrs, who were long tortured, and at length put to death.

At Porto, the holy martyrs Paul, Heraclius, Secundilla, and Januaria.

At Caesarea, in Cappadocia, the holy martyrs Lucius the Bishop, Absolom, Lorgius.

In Campania are commemorated eighty holy martyrs, who would not eat meat sacrificed unto idols, nor adore a she-goat's head, and therefore, [about the year 629,] were cruelly slain by the Lombards.

At Rome, [about the year 483,] the holy Confessor Pope Simplicius.

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


Thursday in the First Week: The Manner of Making the Examination

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

Tomorrow we will meditate upon the manner of making the examination of conscience, and we shall see: first, the character of this examination; second, the acts which ought to accompany it. We will then make the resolution: first, to observe in our examination the rules laid down by the saints; second, to bring to it above all a sincere regret for our sins and a firm resolve to correct them. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of King Hezekiah: “I will recount to Thee all my years in the bitterness of my soul” (Is. xxxviii:15).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore in Jesus Christ the perfect knowledge which He has of our sins. Not a single one escapes Him; He knows all their circumstances; He penetrates into all the malice of them very different in this from men, who often perceive only the outward appearances, and who permit themselves to be deceived by the prejudices and the disguises of self-love. Let us bless this amiable Saviour, who is so willing to make us participate in His divine light that we may thoroughly know all our sins.

Characteristics of the examination of conscience

This examination ought to be made with exactness, severity, and calmness.

First, with exactness; that is to say, that it ought to embrace, first, the evil we have committed, the good we ought to do and which we have not done, and even the good we have done badly; second; sins against God, against our neighbour, against ourselves; external sins, coming from the senses, especially of the tongue; internal sins, which are thoughts, desires, attachments which have not God for their object; third, the number of times that we have fallen, the principle or the source of our faults, their circumstances and their consequences. In order to attain to this exactness it is easy to conceive that we must bring to it an attentive search, not stopping at the surface, but penetrating to the bottom of things. Is it thus that we make it?

Second, with severity; that is to say, without listening to self-love or natural tenderness, which leads us to excuse ourselves, to hide our faults from our own eyes, or at least to lessen them; we must examine ourselves as a judge would examine a criminal, or as though we ourselves were examining a stranger. A too indulgent examination sees only trifles, where serious faults really exist; for example, certain calumnies, aversions, or jealousies; in a certain kind of luxurious expenditure, a certain kind of loss of time, certain kinds of vanity, and desires to attract notice. Do we not often delude ourselves upon many of these points for want of bringing enough severity to our examinations of conscience?

Third, with calmness; that is to say, we must not torture the conscience with the fear of forgetting certain faults, but make the examination with the tranquillity of the accountant who is making up his accounts; of the judge who is summing up a lawsuit; of the doctor who studies a malady. Why should we trouble and distress ourselves? A defect of memory is not imputed to us as a sin. He who has an upright intention to say everything, a sincere desire to make himself known, a frank will to dissimulate nothing, and who employs a reasonable time in his examination, does all that is necessary. God does not ask that we should tell Him

all we have done, but only all that we remember, and anything that we forget is remitted as though we had accused ourselves of it. Consoling thought, well fitted to make us perform our examinations with calmness, simplicity, and freedom of heart.

Acts which ought to accompany the examination of conscience

This examination would be of little use to us if it were nothing more than a philosophical study of the state of our conscience. In order to be really useful to us it ought to be accompanied by the three principal exercises of piety: first, before the examination we must place ourselves in the presence of God; adore Him as our judge; keep ourselves humbly at His feet like poor criminals, and beg Him to give us His light, which alone can discover to us our faults without awaking our passions; second, after the examination we must excite ourselves to repentance for our faults with sighs and tears; make strong resolutions to correct them, and fix upon what we will do with that end in view: vague and general resolutions end in nothing; third, we must place ourselves in the state in which we would desire to be at the hour of death, and by uniting ourselves to the heart of Jesus Christ; to that heart so full of horror for sin, and of love of penance, which is the expiation of it. Is it thus we make our examinations? It is for want of being faithful to these holy practices that our numerous examinations of conscience have not changed us. We have condemned sin without condemning the sinner, and we have remained always the same.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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