Martyrology - 8th of March
Upon the 8th day of March, were born into the better life:
In England, [in the year 646,] the holy Confessor Felix, Bishop of Dunwich, who converted the East Angles to the faith.
At Granada, in Spain, [in the year 1550,] holy John of God, founder of the Order of brethren Hospitallers of the Sick. Famous for his pity toward the poor, and for his lowly esteem of himself, whom the Supreme Pontiff Leo XIII. declared the patron in heaven of all the sick and those who nurse them, whose feast we keep upon the 11th day of this present month of March.
At Antinoe, in Egypt, the holy martyrs Philemon and Apolonius the Deacon. They were arrested, and brought before the judge, but as they steadfastly refused to sacrifice to idols their heels were bored through, and they were cruelly dragged about the city until at last they were dispatched with the sword.
There also the holy martyrs the President Arian, [governor of Thebes,] Theoticus, and three others whom the judge caused to be drowned in the sea, but their bodies were brought to the shore by dolphins, [in the year 287.]
At Nicomedia, the holy martyr Quinctilis, Bishop of that city.
At Carthage, holy Pontius, Deacon to blessed Bishop Cyprian, with whom he remained in exile even unto the day of his death, and hath left unto us an excellent book of his life and passion.
In his own sufferings he glorified the Lord always, and hath earned the crown of life, [about the year 262.]
In Africa likewise, the holy Bishop Cyril, Rogatus, Felix, another Rogatus, Beata, Herenia, Felicitas, Urban, Silvan, and Mamillus.
At Toledo, in Spain, the blessed Confessor Julian, Bishop of that see, [and also native of the same place.] Very famous for his holiness and teaching, [in the year 690.]
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 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:
Ask the Prayers of the Blessed Virgin, your Guardian Angel, and your Patron Saint.
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 in the Second Week: Holy Desires after Heaven
Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation
We will consider tomorrow in our meditation: first, that the mystery of the Transfiguration ought to kindle in us holy desires for heaven; second, that these holy desires are very useful to the soul. We will then make the resolution: first, to detach ourselves from the earth and no longer to love anything excepting heavenly things; second, often to give vent to holy desires in the form of ejaculatory prayers. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of St Bernard: “How beautiful thou art, O my country, how beautiful!”
Meditation for the Morning
Let us adore Jesus Christ, Our Lord, revealing the splendour of His glory upon Thabor, in order to detach us from the world and to make us desire heaven, by showing us how happy we shall be there (Matt. xvii:4). At this spectacle let us raise our hopes on high and let us conceive great desires in our heart for heaven. There is nothing more sanctifying.
The transfiguration of Our Lord teaches us to desire Heaven
If, in fact, some rays of glory for one moment only have overwhelmed the apostles with so sweet a joy that Peter, being carried out of himself and overpowered with happiness, exclaimed: “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Matt. xvii:4)—what will it be, O Jesus, to see Thee face to face in all the splendour of Thy majesty, in all the brilliancy of Thy glory, and that, not for a few fleeting moments, as upon Thabor, but always, eternally! For eternally we shall contemplate the beauty of Thy face, eternally shall we enjoy Thy ravishing society, not merely in company with Moses and Elijah, but together with all the patriarchs, all the prophets, all the apostles, the martyrs, the confessors, and the virgins, not merely in a tabernacle, raised by the hand of man, but in the very city of God.
O sweet and glorious hope! O ravishing destiny! It was that which consoled Job in all his sufferings. “I know,” he says, ”that my Redeemer liveth and in the last day I shall rise from out of the earth, and I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I shall see my God. This, my hope, is laid up in my bosom” (Job xix:25–27). It was this that made the Apostle so ardently sigh for the dissolution of his body (Philipp. i:23), and inspired St Teresa with such longing desires to die: “O life too long!” she exclaimed; “O death too tardy, how my exile is prolonged!” It was this that made St Gregory of Nazianzen say: “When I consider the great happiness which we gain in dying and the little we lose in parting with life, I can hardly contain the ardour of my desires; and I say to God: When, O Lord, wilt Thou take me away from earth and bring me to my home?” (Greg. Naz., Oral. x in Sacerd.)
Such ought to be the feelings of every Christian. For he, says St Augustine, will never rejoice in heaven as a citizen who does not sigh here below as an exile. The true Christian, he says elsewhere, suffers at being obliged to live and is delighted to die; life is a cross to him, death an enjoyment. Are these our dispositions? Do we not love exile more than our country, earth more than heaven; and do we not esteem it a happiness to be long exiled from Paradise and to enter into it as late as possible? Oh, what inconsequence is ours! We say to God, Thy kingdom come, and our captivity pleases us, and we seek to establish ourselves in it as if we were to live here always. We are making our way towards happiness and we are in no haste to attain it; we are sinking in the midst of waves and we do not long for the port!
How useful to the soul are Holy desires
First, they console it in all the trials of life and in all bodily infirmities. What, indeed, are all these trials to a soul kindled with holy desires for Paradise, where it hopes to receive a magnificent compensation? It says to itself, I suffer, it is true, but what is that compared with the happiness which awaits me, and the glory I shall enjoy when my body, transformed into the likeness of the body of my Saviour, shall be clothed with light as with a garment, shining with the splendour of the sun, impassible, immortal? Blessed be the suffering which will be the means of obtaining so much happiness for me!
Second, holy desires for heaven detach from all temporary things; the soul which is filled with these great hopes sees that the whole world is infinitely below it; it henceforth aspires only to the eternal bliss of Paradise, and it says with St Ignatius: “How vile the earth seems when I look at heaven!”
Third, these holy desires fill the soul with a holy ardour for salvation, and it says to itself, as did St Augustine, “If trials make me afraid, may the recompense for them encourage me.” When we remember that the smallest trials endured in a Christian manner, the least act of virtue, the least sacrifice, the least prayer well performed, shall have as recompense an eternal weight of glory, there is naught which costs us anything, and we seize joyfully upon all that tends to our salvation. Oh, of how many graces do we deprive ourselves by this forgetfulness of heaven which is so habitual to us! Let us acknowledge it and raise our hearts to heaven. Sursum corda.
Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.