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Thursday in the Second Week of Lent


Martyrology - 9th of March

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

At Rome, the holy widow Frances, famous for her nobleness of birth, the holiness of her life, and the grace of working miracles, [in the year 1440.]

At Sebaste, in Armenia, the forty holy Cappadocian soldiers. Under the President Agricolaus, in the time of the Emperor Licinius, after undergoing bonds and a foul imprisonment, and after their faces had been bruised with stones, they were stripped naked, and exposed all night upon the surface of a frozen pool during the bitterest cold of winter, where their bodies perished by the frost, and at length by the breaking of their legs. The illustrious glory of them all hath been celebrated by holy Basil, and the other Fathers in their writings, the chief among them were named Cyrion and Candidus. We keep their feast upon the morrow after.

At Nyssa, holy Gregory, [in the year 396,] Bishop of that see, brother of blessed Basil the Great. He is very famous for his life and learning for defending the Catholic faith he was driven out of his own city by the Arian Emperor Valens.

At Barcelona, in Spain, holy Pacian, Bishop of that see, famous not only for his life but also for his words, who died in a good old age in the time of the Emperor Theodosius.

In Moravia, [in the ninth century,] the holy Cyril, Bishop [of Moravia,] and Methodius, Bishop [of Kiev,] who brought to believe in Christ many of the peoples of those countries and their kings, [and whose feast we keep upon the 5th day of July.]

At Bologna, [in the year 1463,] the holy Virgin Katherine, of the Order of St. Clare, famous for the holiness of her life, whose body is there reverenced with great honour.

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


Thursday in the Second Week: The Love of Suffering

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will consider tomorrow: first, that in the mystery of the Transfiguration is contained a great lesson upon the love of suffering; second, the source of the greatest blessing is found in suffering. We will then make the resolution: first, to suffer, without discontent and murmuring, all the contradictions and all the crosses we may meet with; second, not to listen to the effeminacy which, by means of too excessive care, endeavours to avoid everything which is disagreeable or inconvenient. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of St Paul to the Hebrews: “Looking on Jesus the Author and Finisher of faith, who, having joy set before Him, endured the cross” (Heb. xii:2).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Jesus upon Thabor conversing with Moses and Elijah, not respecting the glory with which He was resplendent, but the sufferings which He would endure on Calvary (Luke ix:31). The mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart, and as His heart was filled with love for the cross, His mouth delighted to speak of it Let us thank Him for the great lesson He gives us, and let us beg of Him grace to profit by it.

The mystery of the Transfiguration teaches us love of suffering

It seems to us as if Jesus, in the midst of His glory, might have given a truce, during a few moments, to the thought of suffering, but His heart sighed so ardently for the baptism of suffering which was to save the world, that even in the midst of the splendours of Thabor He seemed to be able to speak of nothing else. Jesus, Moses, and Elijah conversed together, says Holy Writ, on the terrible sufferings and the cruel death which He was to endure on Calvary. Oh, how well suited is this heavenly conversation to make us understand what we ought to love most on earth. In all circumstances, at all times, in all places, we ought to meditate upon, love, bear the cross, and often speak of it to our heart, as Jesus did upon Thabor to Moses and Elijah. St Peter, whom the Holy Spirit had not as yet enlightened respecting the excellence of the cross, thinks only of present happiness and exclaims: “It is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Luke ix:33). But the Holy Spirit who recounts this saying immediately corrects the error contained in it, by observing that St Peter did not know what he was saying (Luke ix:33). He forgets that to enjoy is the portion of eternity, suffering the portion of this present life (Rom. viii:17), that everything has its season; that, in order to be seated on a future day upon the throne we must attach ourselves here below to the cross; that, in order to have a share in the glory of the resurrection, we must first of all bear the semblance of death (Philipp. iii:10–11); that, lastly, we must pass through many tribulations in order to arrive at the kingdom of heaven (Acts xiv:21). We should be inexcusable if we were to allow ourselves to fall into a similar error, we who behold this law of suffering written in characters of blood upon the very body of Jesus Christ (I Pet. ii:21), we who have seen our divine Saviour surfeited, according to the saying of Tertullian, with the pleasure of suffering for us, and who have heard Him declare by His apostle that something would be wanting to His Passion if He did not suffer in all the members of His mystical body as He Himself suffered in all the members of His natural body; lastly, we, in a word, to whom He has given birth in suffering, who are born by His wounds, and have received upon our heads grace flowing with His blood from His veins so cruelly torn. Children of blood, children of suffering, we cannot save ourselves in the midst of enjoyments. Let us pray to Jesus Christ to make us understand these austere truths and to give us strength to put them into practice.

Suffering is the source of the greatest graces to us

First, suffering detaches from this world and obliges the heart to rise to heaven, by means of the discomfort which it makes it experience here below, and which proves to it that it is made for something better than the perishable enjoyments of this world, namely, for eternal bliss. Without suffering, our heart would be lost in the love of present things; suffering alone can break the deceptive charms which incline us towards the earth and make us recognise that God alone is the bed of our repose, that outside Him all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Second, suffering purifies virtue, disengages it from all alloy, and makes it enter into that blessed state where God alone is everything to the heart. This is why the more God loves a soul, the less He allows it to remain sleeping for a long time at its ease; He troubles it in its vain enjoyments, and does not permit its heart to be soiled by the current of the waters of Babylon, that is to say, by worldly pleasures.

Third, suffering strengthens virtue and gives it the character of solidity which atone renders it worthy of God. As long as a soldier has not exposed himself to fire in the battle, his courage is open to suspicion. It is in the same way impossible to count upon an effeminate soul which has not been tried in the crucible of suffering. A contradiction, a loss, a want of the respect due to it, is sufficient to make it murmur and complain. It is a deceptive piety which is only a mockery of true piety, false gold which shines in the sun, but which cannot resist the fire and vanishes in the crucible. The soul which is tried by tribulation, on the contrary, is fashioned to suffering and contradiction, and is accustomed to sacrifice, remains calm amidst the trials of life, kisses the hand of God which strikes it, directs a glance of submission towards heaven, and rejoices even in its trials, in which it sees the guarantee of future happiness. Whatever our fantastic nature of human judgment may cause it to suffer, the inequalities of temper which oppose it, the deceptions of self-love, the disgust to or the fatigue consequent upon labour, it is firm and unshaken, and the more its heart is wounded and made to bleed through contradiction, the happier it is to be able to offer itself to God as a victim marked with the sign of the cross of His well-beloved Son. Are these our dispositions?

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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