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in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest one God, for ever and ever.
O Heavenly Father, I commend my children unto thee. Be thou their God and Father; and mercifully supply whatever is wanting in me, through frailty or negligence. Strengthen them to overcome the corruptions of the world, to resist the solicitations of evil, whether from within or without; and deliver them from the secret snares of the enemy. Pour thy grace into their hearts, and confirm and multiply in them the gifts of thy Holy Spirit, that they may daily grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and so faithfully serving thee here, may come to rejoice before thee hereafter; through the merits of the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest. Amen.
For a Child. O Almighty God, who hast given unto me my father and mother, and made them to be an image of thy authority, and love, and tender watchfulness, and hast commanded me to love, and honour, and obey them in all things; give me grace cheerfully and with my whole heart to keep this thy law. Help me to love them fervently, to honour them truly, to yield a ready obedience to all their commands, to comply with all their wishes, to study their happiness in every thing, and to bear with patience and humility all their rebukes. Deliver me, O God, from pride, rebellion, and wilfulness, from passion and stubbornness, from sloth and carelessness. Make me diligent in all my duties and studies, and patient in all my trials; that so living, I may deserve to be thy child, who art our Father in heaven, through Jesus Christ, thine only Son our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for choosing a Stale of Life. O Lord, I beseech thee to grant me thy divine light, that I may know the designs of thy providence concerning me, and that, filled with a sincere desire for my soul's salvation, I may say, with the young man in the Gospel: " What miist I do to be saved ?” All states of life are before me; but, still undecided what to do, I await thy commands, I offer myself to thee without restriction, without reserve, with a most perfect submission.
Far be it from me, O Lord, to oppose the order of thy wisdom, and, unfaithful to the inspiration of thy grace, to strive to subject the will of the Creator to the caprice of the creature. It is not for the servant to choose the way in which he will serve his master: do thou lay upon me what commands thou pleasest. “My lot is in thine hands.” I make no exception, lest perchance that which I except be that which thou willest, and because I am too short-sighted to discover in the future the different obstacles I shall meet with, if, without thy guidance, I make myself the arbiter of my own conduct. Speak, Lord, to my soul; speak to me as thou didst to the youthful Samuel : “Speak to me, Lord; for thy servant heareth.” I cast myself at thy feet, and I am ready, if it be thy will, to sacrifice myself as a victim to thee for the remainder of my days, in such wise as thou shalt deem most worthy of thy greatness.
O my God, overrule the affections of my parents, and guide their projects according to the counsels of thine eternal wisdom. Lord, I desire to consult thee as the oracle of truth, sincerely and without preference; grant that they also may submit themselves to its decrees, faithfully and without reserve.
A Prayer in Times of threatened Calamity. O Jesus Christ, we call upon thee, holy immortal God. Have mercy upon us and upon all men. Purify us by thy holy blood, forgive us by thy holy blood, save us by thy holy blood, now and for ever. Amen.
ON ETERNAL HAPPINESS. Preparation 1. Having put away all earthly cares and affections, say,
Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of thy love.
Prayer. O God, who hast taught the hearts of the faithful, by the light of thy Holy Spirit, grant us, by the same Spirit, to have a right understanding in all things, and continue to rejoice in his consolation; through Christ our Lord.
2. Picture to yourself, as well as you are able, the spacious and most beautiful mansions of the blessed, and in them God, with his holy angels, &c. &c.
3. Ask grace of God, that, as far as may be, you may be able to see and appreciate that heavenly glory.
First Point for Consideration. Consider what the happiness of heaven is. It is the perfect combination of every good, without any admixture of evil, in which the blessed repose securely in the fullest satisfaction of all their desires. According tu Psalm xvi.: “I shall be satisfied when thy glory shall appear.”
Affections. What have I in heaven, and what do I desire upon earth, besides thee?
Second Point. Consider how sweet, in that heavenly city (the brightness of whose walls and gates and streets are described in Apoc. xxi.), will be the society of Christ, and of the blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Apostles, and the other saints, when all shall be united to God, and God shall be in all ; where the highest will embrace the lowest without the least admixture of contempt, and the lowest embrace the highest without any envy of their superiority.
Affections. “How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord,” &c. Ps. lxxxiii.
Third Point. Consider the differences of glory. 1 Cor. xv. 41: “One is the glory of the sun, another the glory of the moon, and another the glory of the stars. For star differeth from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.” For the glory of each one shall be greater in proportion as he has in this life done or suffered more for the sake of God.
Affections. And shall I, then, seek to escape from labours and the cross, although the sufferings of this world are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come ?
Colloquy. Give thanks to God, that he has prepared a great reward for such slight services as we can render unto him. Reproach thyself for thine own ingratitude and negligence. Commend the whole of this act of devotion to the protection of the blessed Virgin Mary; and say, We fly to thy patronage, &c.; p. 73.
ON DEATH. Preparation, same as before for Sunday.
Imagine yourself in your last agony, lying on your bed, with a crucifix in one hand and a taper in the other.
First Point. Consider that “it is appointed to all men once to die" Heb. ix ); but that the day and hour is uncertain. For “ the day of the Lord shall so come as a thief in the night. For when they shall say peace and security, then shall sudden destruction come upon them." 1 Thess. v. 3. The wise man
truly observes (Eccles. ix.): “ As fishes are taken with the hook, and as birds are caught with the snare, so men are taken in the evil time.”
Affections. Why, then, do I not hold myself in readiness every day and every hour, as Christ exhorteth ? Matt. xxiv. : “ Be ye ready, for ye know not at what hour the Son of man 'will come."
Second Point. Consider how great may be at that time your bodily pain : on account of which, you may neither be able to pray, or to repent, or even to remember your sins. For that shall be fulfilled. Ps. xl. : “ Thou hast turned all his couch in his sickness.”
Affections. “Therefore, while we have time let us do good.” Gal. vi. 10. But, concerning this present time, it is said (2 Cor. vi. 2): “ In an accepted time have I heard thee, and in the day of salvation have I helped thee: behold now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation.”
Third Point. Consider in what great straits will thy soul then be, when it is about to leave the body, and knows not " whether it is worthy of hatred or love ;' whether it is to be received into heaven or thrust down into hell. The soul of Hilarion, who had served Christ for nearly seventy years, trembled at its departure from the body. “Why art thou afraid, O my soul, to depart?” said he. Job, also, at the prospect of death, says (x. 20), “Suffer me that I may lament my sorrow a little before I go, and return no more to a land that is dark, and covered with the mists of death." How much more cause for fear have you! “ But the souls of the just are in the hands of God, and the torments of death shall not touch them.” Wis. iii. 1.
Affections. Would that I might so ponder these things, and so arrange my life, that I might be able to say, “ To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil. i. 21.
Colloquy. Accuse yourself to Christ of having neglected meditation on death, and promise him to amend.