« EdellinenJatka »
sinews and veins burst. Behold yet again, in your inward mind, how they dealt with him when he thirsted. They gave him strong vinegar mixed with gall, and dipped a sponge full of it; and one thrust it on a reed, and put it to his mouth, to suck or to drink. But his thirst received it not. It was for your sake, and for the sake of all sinful men, that, of his pure mercy, he thirsted for the Redemption of all mankind. Thus sealed he the high charter of our Redemption with the red wounds of his agony, and so yielded up his holy Spirit to the hands of the Father. Then pierced they his side and his heart with a spear, and blood and water flowed thereout for the cleansing of mankind.
And when you have seriously, with faithful heart, compared your unkindness with his great kindness; your sinful wretchedness, with his pure innocence without spot; your cruel dealing towards your brother, with his merciful and gracious dealing again towards you; then if you see your heart softened to true devotion, this is the time for you to speak for yourself, who are a sinner, and for them whom you wish to pray for. Then bow down your body to the ground, and lift up your heart in the holiness of its sorrow, and so make your petition. And if you will, you may say thus : T ORD God, be merciful to me, a sinner, and I forgive me all my ingratitude. Blessed be thou, O Lord, who madest me a Christian man. Thou boughtest me, and by thy suf
ferance and bountiful grace I have been allowed to live so long in sin. Thou, Lord, hast preserved and saved me, even till I would forsake sin, and by thy loving-kindness thou hast turned me wholly to thee. Wherefore, Lord, with a sorrowful heart I know very well that I have sadly and grievously broken thy commandments: I have, without profit to my soul's health, misspent the talents which thou didst entrust to me, who am a reasonable creature, and I pass my life as a beast which perishes. All the limbs of my body I have indulged in sin and superfluity: the grace and virtue of my Baptism I have weakened by pride and lusts of the flesh; and truly, good Lord, I have loved too much other things than thee. And yet, Lord, notwithstanding all my great unkindness, thou of thy mercy hast nourished and tended me, when I understood but little of thy kindness and long-suffering. I took small heed of thy love. I cared not to thank thee for thy special gifts which I receive of thee daily; but I have rather deserved thy wrath, than the bounty of thy grace and mercy. Wherefore, merciful Lord, I know not what to do or say, but only as the publican said to thee, Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. I know well, O Lord, that all goodness comes only of thee, and all that is sinful or evil comes of myself alone. I acknowledge that without thee all is sin and misery. Wherefore, Lord God, I humbly beseech thee, of thy mercy and kindness, do not unto me as I have deserved, but lovingly give me the grace of the Holy Ghost to enlighten my dark heart. Open the blind inward eyes of my soul, and comfort my spirit in the right way of understanding thy word, so that I may have perseverance and strength to vanquish the fleshly lusts from Adam's nature, and to lead a Christian life, as thy Commandments and Holy Testament shall teach ; so that I may not again be separated from thee, through sinful life or temptations of the enemy. O Lord God, I am worthy to be chastised for my wickedness with whatsoever rod shall please thee. Welcome be thy grace, for I am sure that thou lovest me, when thou chastenest me. Give me patience, O Lord, to suffer meekly; and when thy will is done, gently withdraw thy rod of visitation, and take me to thy mercy. Yet, Lord, though temptation and thy visitation be bitter and painful to my weak flesh, I faithfully trust that patiently suffered it shall be meritorious to me at length. But, good Lord, thou knowest well that my heart is feeble ; great is my weakness and unsteadiness. Strengthen me therefore, O Lord; stablish me and teach me with the virtue of the Holy Ghost, which thou hast promised us to the end of the world. Thou madest me. Thou again boughtest me. So, Lord, defend me both in body and soul. Take thou thy will and pleasure on me; and as thou wilt, so be it done. And now, sweet Jesus, only Son of God the
Father, who sees in secret, defend me from all wicked thoughts, that I displease thee not in delighting therein, nor in assenting thereto. Full often, Lord, have I offended thee in delight and in conceit, when I have indulged in pleasure. Therefore, Lord God, it is right that I should be tried and vexed by such thoughts as are grievous to me. But yet, gracious Jesu, when it is thy will, put them away from me, and take me to thy mercy and grace. O kind Jesu, as thou stoodest before the judge and answeredst nothing to him, keep, Lord, my tongue and govern it, till I think what and how to speak, so that it may be to thy honour and glory. Blessed Lord Jesu, who stoodest bound full hard and sore before the Judge; govern, Lord, my bands and all my other limbs, so that all my works may, through thy grace, begin in virtue and end to thy pleasure and will. Amen.
Thus you may pray in the beginning. And when you have well entered into devotion, you may perhaps feel moved more intensely to prayer and meditation, and God will shed down upon you his grace in many ways. Sometimes you will plead more earnestly with God in short and fervent prayers, than in prayers which are long and many. Let each man therefore pray as he shall receive grace of the Holy Ghost.
MOST bountiful Lord Jesu Christ, who
after thy last Supper enteredst into a garden to pray, leaving Peter and James and John, and so wentest somewhat apart to pray to thy Father for strength in the Passion, which was in thy dear heart, for the love which thou hadst to mankind, beseeching of him that his will not thine might be done; where presently thou wast comforted by an angel, and so didst arise comforted in thy Humanity: I humbly, Lord, pray to thee by those pains and agonies, and by the precious drops which fell from thy glorious Body, and by thy Wounds and Passion, to comfort us who intrust all our pains and distress to thee, that having suffered with thee here, we may with thee also attain to everlasting joys in the world to come: who livest and reignest with the Father and Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
If you will, you may use these prayers for every day in the week:
For Sunday. SWEET, merciful, and bountiful Lord D Jesu, this day I beseech thee humbly that my heart may be with thee aloft on high in the Church Militant, which is the very perfect and true mount of perfection; and that I may live in this vale of misery free from all vain thoughts and business. Who livest.
For Monday. T ORD God, I beseech thee that my heart I may be inflamed with the love of thy