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Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent


Martyrology - 22nd of March

On the morrow we keep the feast of the holy Confessor Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, who suffered many things from the Arians for the faith's sake. He was several times driven from his see, but at length fell asleep in peace, illustrious for the glory of holiness. The Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, in writing to Pope Damasus, gave a noble witness to the purity of his faith. Mention hath been made of him on the 18th day of this present month of March.

Upon the same 22nd day of March, were born into the better life:

At Narbonne, in Gaul, holy Paul, Bishop of that see. A disciple of the Apostle, who is said to have been the same person as the Proconsul Sergius Paulus, baptized by the blessed Apostle Paul, and on his way into Spain left at Narbonne, where he received the dignity of Bishop, laboured much in the office of preaching, and passed away to heaven, famous for miracles.

At Terracina, holy Epaphroditus, the disciple of the Apostles, who was ordained Bishop of the said city, by the blessed Apostle Peter.

In Africa, the holy martyrs Saturninus and nine others.

In Galatia, [in the year 252,] the holy martyrs Callinice and Basilissa.

At Ancyra, the holy martyr Basil, a Priest, who was put to most grievous torments under the Emperor Julian the Apostate, and gave up his soul to God.

At Carthage, the holy Archdeacon Octavian and many thousand martyrs, who were slaughtered by the Vandals for the Catholic faith's sake.

There also, holy Deogratias, Bishop of Carthage, who redeemed many captives whom the Vandals had brought from Rome, and fell asleep in the Lord, famous for holy works, [in the year 457.]

At Osimo, in Picenum, holy Benvenuto, Bishop of that see, [in the year 1276.]

In Sweden, the holy Virgin Katherine, daughter of holy Bridget, [in the year 1381.]

At Rome, the holy widow Lea, whose graces and her going hence to be with God have been recorded by Holy Jerome, [about the year 384.]

At Genoa, the holy widow Katherine, eminent for her contempt of the world and her love toward God, [in the year 1510.]

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


Wednesday in the Fourth Week: Confession

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow upon confession, and we shall see that it ought to be: first, humble; second, sincere; third, entire. We will then make the resolution to impart these three conditions to all our confessions, and we will retain as our spiritual nosegay the counsel of the Holy Spirit: “Be not ashamed to confess thy sins” (Ecc. iv:31).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Our Lord Jesus Christ instituting, in His love for us, the Sacrament of Penance; let us thank Him for so precious an institution. It is like a sacred bath which washes away all our stains, like a divine channel through which grace flows upon us; it is a school of wise counsels and encouragements to good; it is, lastly, the most efficacious means for correcting our defects and making us advance in the practice of virtues. May we always rightly use this marvellous invention of divine love.

Our confessions ought to be humble

We ought to present ourselves before the priest tilled with respect and confusion, like a sinner before an angel of God, before another Jesus Christ; like a sick man covered with hideous wounds before a doctor who can cure us if we show them to him such as they are; like a criminal who has committed high treason against the Divine Majesty, who deserves to be cast into the dungeons of hell, before the supreme Judge who holds in His hands the sentence giving us life or condemning us to eternal death. Not being able to obtain anything in the name of justice, but solely in the name of clemency and mercy, we ought to present ourselves with profound exterior and interior humility, humbly confessing our sins, and declaring them, not with the indifference of a person reciting a history, but with the shame and grief of a soul which understands its wrong-doing; not in accusing ourselves in order to avoid the confusion of appearing guilty, but in accusing ourselves without the contrivances which tend to induce the belief that our sins are less than they really are in the sight of God; not with pride and arrogance, as if we had performed some beautiful action, but with modesty and sighs over our wretchedness and as fearing the judgment of God more than that of man. Is it thus that we make our confessions?

Our confessions ought to be sincere

Sincerity in confession consists in confessing with entire candour and simplicity all we remember, without troubling ourselves about what we may possibly forget, since a defect of memory is not a sin in the sight of God. It is not right to exaggerate our sins, under the pretext that it is better to say more than less; the sick man is not wise who exaggerates what he suffers when he speaks to his doctor. It is still worse to veil our faults by artificially enveloping them with other accusations which are less painful, and gliding rapidly over what costs us the most, in the hope that the confessor will not observe it.

A sincere penitent desires only to be known for what he is, and he holds cunning and artifice in horror. It is equally wrong to excuse our faults, whilst at the same time saying what they are, or to endeavour to make them seem less by laying the blame of them on others, as Adam and Eve did, for to do so is a want of candour. But the supreme degree of evil is to hide our faults through false shame. Then the sacrament of mercy is changed into an anathema, the work of salvation into a work of reprobation, and the sentence of life into a sentence of death. Better a thousand times not to confess. We may deceive man, but we cannot deceive God, who knows the secrets of all hearts; for one sin hidden from the priest all those which we have committed will, at the judgment day, be brought to light in the face of the whole universe; and for a little shame that we try to avoid in this life we shall be covered in the next with eternal confusion. Let us here examine our confessions. Have we declared them without disguise, without excuse, without ingeniously presenting them in colors which disguise their deformity? Have we confessed certain sins as certain, doubtful ones as doubtful, and have we avoided superfluous and useless words, terms which are vague, obscure, and equivocal, and which prevent our confessor from rightly seeing the truth?

Our confessions ought to be entire

In order that they may have the necessary integrity, it is not enough to accuse ourselves of mortal sins, we must also, first, say how many times we have fallen into them, declare the aggravating circumstances of them, or such as change their character, the results or grievous consequences of them, for example, if there has been scandal, if the calumny has been serious in its nature, uttered before several persons, against a superior, or a priest; if it has been inspired by hatred, by resentment, or vengeance, and, when we accuse ourselves of disobedience, whether the disobedience was accompanied by arrogance, contempt, or bad temper. Without that, the confessor is not sufficiently acquainted with the state of his penitent to pronounce a prudent judgement upon him.

We must, second, accuse ourselves of venial faults. Although this is not a rigorous precept, it is at the same time very important to do it: first, because not to accuse ourselves of a sin of which we have a doubt whether it be mortal or venial would be sacrilege, and there is often a reason for such a doubt; second, because the confessor, knowing the penitent only imperfectly, cannot direct him with surety either as to the communions to be permitted to him, or in regard to the other acts of Christian life, or in the reform of his faults, or the acquisition of virtues; third, because the accusation of venial sins makes the penitent take greater care to avoid them, and he is helped therein by the grace of the sacrament, by the advice of the confessor, and the shame of the accusation. Let us examine ourselves as to whether such have been our confessions.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.



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