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Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent





 

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

 

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 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.


 



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