Martyrology -15th February
Upon the 15th day of February were born into the better life:
At Brescia, the holy martyrs Faustinus and Jovita, who under the Emperor Hadrian, after many glorious contendings for Christ's faith, received by martyrdom a crown of victory, [about the year 122.]
At Rome, the holy martyr Crato, [the Orator,] who was baptized by blessed Valentine, Bishop [of Terni, in Umbria,] along with his wife and his whole house and no long while after, he and they together attained unto martyrdom, [in the year 273.]
At Terni, [in the year 270,] the holy Virgin and martyr Agapis.
Also the holy martyrs Saturninus, Castulus, Magnus, and Lucius.
At Vaison, in Gaul, holy Quinidius, Bishop of that see, whose death, [in the year 578,] how precious it was in the sight of the Lord miracles do oftentimes witness.
At Capua, [in the year 695] the holy Confessor Decorosus, Bishop of that city.
In the province of Valeria, [in the sixth century,] the holy Priest Severus, of whom blessed Gregory writeth that by his tears he recalled a dead man to life.
At Antioch, the holy Deacon Joseph.
In Auvergne, [in the sixth century,] the holy Virgin Georgia.
And elsewhere many other Holy Martyrs, Confessors and Holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God
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 angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
℟ And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.
℣ Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
℟ Be it done unto me according to thy word.
℣ And the Word was made flesh.
℟ And dwelt among us.
℣ 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.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Come, O Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
Place Yourself in the Presence of God and Humbly Adore Him.
O my God, I present myself before Thee at the end of an other day, to offer Thee anew the homage of my heart. I humbly adore Thee, my Creator, my Redeemer, and my Judge! I believe in Thee, because Thou art Truth itself; I hope in Thee, because Thou art faithful to Thy promises; I love Thee with my whole heart, because Thou art infinitely worthy of being loved; and for Thy sake I love my neighbour as myself.
Return Thanks to God for All His Mercies.
Enable me, O my God, to return Thee thanks as I ought for all Thine inestimable blessings and favours. Thou hast thought of me and loved me from all eternity; Thou hast formed me out of nothing; Thou hast delivered up Thy beloved Son to the ignominious death of the cross for my redemption; Thou hast made me a member of Thy holy Church; Thou hast preserved me from falling into the abyss of eternal misery, when my sins had provoked Thee to punish me; Thou hast graciously continued to spare me, even though I have not ceased to offend Thee. What return, O my God, can I make for Thy innumerable blessings, and particularly for the favours of this day? O all ye saints and angels, unite with me in praising the God of mercies, who is so bountiful to so unworthy a creature.
The Lord’s Prayer...The Hail Mary...The Apostles’ Creed...
Ask of God Light to Discover the Sins Committed this Day.
O my God, sovereign judge of men, who desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he should be converted and saved, enlighten my mind, that I may know the sins which I have this day committed in thought, word, or deed, and give me the grace of true contrition.
Here Examine your Conscience; then Say:
O my God, I heartily repent and am grieved that I have offended Thee, because Thou art infinitely good and sin is infinitely displeasing to Thee. I humbly ask of Thee mercy and pardon, through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. I resolve, by the assistance of Thy grace, to do penance for my sins, and I will endeavour never more to offend Thee.
I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, and to you, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, all the saints, and you, Father, to pray to the Lord our God for me. May Almighty God have mercy upon us, and forgive us our sins, and bring us unto life everlasting. Amen.
May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins. Amen.
Pray for the Church of Christ.
O God, hear my prayers on behalf of our Holy. Father Pope N., our Bishops, our clergy, and for all that are in authority over us. Bless, I beseech Thee, the whole Catholic Church, and convert all heretics and unbelievers.
Pray for the Living and for the Faithful Departed.
Pour down Thy blessings, O Lord, upon all my friends, relations, and acquaintances, and upon my enemies, if I have any. Help the poor and sick, and those who are in their last agony. O God of mercy and goodness, have compassion on the souls of the faithful in purgatory; put an end to their sufferings, and grant to them eternal light, rest, and happiness. Amen.
Commend Yourself to God, to the Blessed Virgin, and the Saints.
Bless, O Lord, the repose I am about to take, that, my bodily strength being renewed, I may be the better enabled to serve Thee. O blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of mercy, pray for me that I may be preserved this night from all evil, whether of body or soul. Blessed St. Joseph, and all ye saints and angels of Paradise, especially my guardian angel and my chosen patron, watch over me. I commend myself to your protection now and always. Amen.
Preparation for Meditation
At this point I will read the paragraph in the daily meditation from Hamon’s meditation of the next day entitled “Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation” and, if applicable, “Summary of the Meditation for the Feast...”
This will allow me to be passively thinking about, during the coming night, the meditation, and the points of the meditation, I will be doing in the morning, during my morning prayer.
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, 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, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us. Holy Mother of God, pray for us. Holy virgin of virgins, ...
Mother of Christ, ...
Mother of divine grace, ...
Mother most pure, ...
Mother most chaste, ...
Mother inviolate, ...
Mother undefiled, ...
Mother most amiable, ...
Mother most admirable, ...
Mother of our Creator, ...
Mother of our Saviour, ...
Virgin most prudent. ...
Virgin most venerable, ...
Virgin most renowned, ...
Virgin most powerful, ...
Virgin most merciful, ...
Virgin most faithful, ...
Mirror of justice, ... Seat of wisdom, ...
Cause of our joy, ...
Spiritual vessel, ...
Vessel of honour, ... Singular vessel of devotion, ...
Mystical rose, ... Tower of David, ... Tower of ivory, ... House of gold, ... Ark of the covenant, ... Gate of heaven, ... Morning star, ... Health of the sick, ... Refuge of sinners, ... Comforter of the afflicted, ... Help of Christians, ... Queen of angels, ... Queen of patriarchs, ... Queen of prophets, ... Queen of apostles, ... Queen of martyrs, ... Queen of confessors, ... Queen of virgins, ... Queen of all saints, ... Queen conceived without original sin. ... Queen of the most holy rosary, ... Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. 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.
Wednesday after Sexagesima: The Respect and Attention we owe to the
Word of God
Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation
We shall resume tomorrow our meditations upon the word of God, and we shall consider: first, the respect, second, the attention we owe to the divine word. We will then make the resolution: first, to listen to and to read the word of God with the same respect as though God Himself were speaking to us, and not to criticise sermons; second, to seek in instructions not what amuses the mind, but what changes the heart, and also to make practical resolutions derived from it. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of St Augustine: “To listen with a careless ear to the word of God is the same crime as to allow the sacred Host to fall to the ground through carelessness.”
Meditation for the Morning
Let us render our accustomed homage to Jesus Christ, and let us listen to Him declaring that the good ground in which the grain brings forth a hundred fold is the good heart which respects His word—the very good heart which listens to it attentively, that it may put it in practice (Luke viii:15). Let us thank Him for this lesson, and let us beg Him to make it enter deeply into our hearts.
The respect due to the word of God
As soon as God, that infinitely great and elevated Being, deigns to abase Himself so low as to speak to man, a creature so base and so miserable, is it not evident that no respect is great enough for a word which descends from on high, no veneration profound enough, and that every word which emanates from so august a source ought to be received with the whole submission of the mind and all the obedience of the will? If we had heard upon Sinai God speaking to the children of Israel in the midst of thunder and lightning; or if living at the time of Jesus Christ, we had assisted at one of His discourses, we should have looked upon it as a great crime to have lent to the divine word nothing but an indifferent ear. But is, then, this word less worthy of respect if it be contained in the sacred pages of our divine books, or in the pulpit, where our ears listen to it? Man, who comments on it, may mingle with it his weakness and his ignorance, but it does not the less remain the word of God; and as the Word Incarnate was not less adorable in the poor swaddling-clothes of His infancy than in the splendour of the saints, so the word of God is not less venerable beneath the rags with which the ignorance of men envelop it than beneath the magnificent garments with which genius can clothe it.
When an ambassador speaks we pay less attention to the more or less elegant style of his discourse than to the majesty of the prince in whose name he speaks. In the same way, in the minister of the divine word we ought to see only the ambassador of God, the lieutenant of Jesus Christ, who speaks to us by his mouth (II Cor. v:20; ii:17). And looked at in this manner, the word of God has no less a claim upon our respect than the very body of Jesus Christ, as St Augustine says; we ought to gather up all the particles of it as religiously as the priest gathers up the particles of the holy Host upon the sacred paten; and the negligence which allows them to be lost is not less culpable than that which would allow the body of the Saviour to fall to the ground. The reason is that Christ does not love truth less than He loves His own body; He seems to love it even more, since for it He sacrificed His body. He willed that it should be immortal upon earth, and His body He delivered to death. Is it thus that we respect the divine word? What reproaches have we not to address to ourselves on this subject! Let us humble and correct ourselves.
The attention with which we ought to listen to the word of God
We listen to worldly matters, to frivolous stories, with a vivacity of attention which does not lose the smallest portion of them; we read letters from our relatives and friends with an interest which impresses them on our memory. Why, then, when the divine word gives us tidings of heaven, our country, and instructions on the manner of arriving there; why, when we have in hand the sacred books which are as so many letters which God sends us, do we become careless and inattentive? Wherefore have not these things the same attraction for us? Jesus says, Listen to My word in the depths of your hearts (Luke viii:15). What does that mean? It means not only with the understanding, where the eyes see only the outward appearances, where the ears hear only the sound, the memory preserves nothing more than envelopes; but listen in that secret part of the heart which adores truth, appreciates and preserves it; listen, not in that portion of yourselves where periods are measured, but where morals are regulated; not in the place where beautiful thoughts are enjoyed, but in the place where good desires are produced; not in the place where opinions are formed, but in that where resolutions are taken; and if there be some place still more profound and more retired, where the council of the heart is held, where all its designs are decided, where the impetus is given to all its movements, it is there that we must withdraw and render ourselves attentive to the word of Jesus Christ (Luke xxi:14). It was thus that the Blessed Virgin listened (Luke ii:19); it was thus that St Mary Magdalene listened at the feet of Jesus (Luke x:39); whilst we, we are far from observing the same religious attention to the divine word, whether when our eyes read it or our ears listen to it. Let us ask pardon for the past, and resolve to do better for the time to come.
Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.