October 7, 2017: THE MOST HOLY ROSARY OF MARY
October 7, 2017: THE MOST HOLY ROSARY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Rank: Double of the II Class.
“In me is the grace of every way, and of truth; in me is all the hope of life and virtue… My memory is for ever. They that eat me, shall still hunger; and that drink me, shall desire still
to drink. He that heareth me, shall not be ashamed; and they that work in me, shall not sin. And whoever maketh me known, shall have life everlasting.”
(Eccles, xxiv. 25, 28-31)
O God, whose only Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, hath obtained for us the rewards of eternal salvation; grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and come to the happiness which they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Now therefore, ye children, hear me: Blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at
the posts of my doors. He that shall find me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.”
(Prov, viii. 32-35)
IT is customary with men of the world to balance their accounts at the end of the year, and ascertain their profits. The Church is now preparing to do the same. We shall soon see her solemnly numbering her elect, taking an inventory of her holy relics, visiting the tombs of those who sleep in the Lord, and counting the sanctuaries, both new and old, that have been consecrated to her divine Spouse. But to-day’s reckoning is a more solemn one, the profits more considerable: she opens her balance-sheet with the gain accruing to our Lady from the mysteries which compose the cycle. Christmas, the cross, the triumph of Jesus, these produce the holiness of us all; but before and above all, the holiness of Mary. The diadem which the Church thus offers first to the august Sovereign of the world, is rightly composed of the triple crown of these sanctifying mysteries, the causes of her joy, of her sorrow, and of her glory. The joyful mysteries recall the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Birth of Jesus, Mary’s Purification, and the Finding of our Lord in the temple. The sorrowful mysteries bring before us the Agony of our blessed Lord, His being scourged, and crowned with thorns, the carrying of the cross, and the Crucifixion. While, in the glorious mysteries, we contemplate the Resurrection and Ascension of our Saviour, Pentecost, and the Assumption and Coronation of the Mother of God. Such is Mary’s rosary; a new and fruitful vine, which began to blossom at Gabriel’s salutation, and whose fragrant garlands form a link between earth and heaven.
In its present form, the rosary was made known to the world by St. Dominic at the time of the struggles with the Albigensians, that social war of such ill-omen for the Church. The rosary was then of more avail than armed forces against the power of satan; it is now the Church’s last resource. It would seem that, the ancient forms of social prayer being no longer relished by the people, the holy Spirit has willed by this easy and ready summary of the liturgy to maintain, in the isolated devotion of these unhappy times, the essential of that life of prayer, faith, and Christian virtue, which the public celebration of the Divine Office formerly kept up among the nations. Before the thirteenth century, popular piety was already familiar with what was called the psalter of the laity, that is, the angelical salutation repeated one hundred and fifty times; it was the distribution of these Hail Marys into decades, each devoted to the consideration of a particular mystery, that constituted the rosary. Such was the divine expedient, simple as the eternal Wisdom that conceived it, and far-reaching in its effects; for while it led wandering man to the Queen of Mercy, it obviated ignorance which is the food of heresy, and taught him to find once more ‘the paths consecrated by the Blood of the Man-God, and by the tears of His Mother.’
Thus speaks the great Pontiff who, in the universal sorrow of these days, has again pointed out the means of salvation more than once experienced by our fathers. Leo XIII, in his encyclicals, has consecrated the present month to this devotion so dear to heaven; he has honoured our Lady in her litanies with a new title, Queen of the most holy rosary; and he has given the final development to the solemnity of this day, by raising it to the rank of a (Double of the) second class feast, and by enriching it with a proper Office explaining its permanent object [At the time of Pope Leo XIII, the festival of the Rosary was celebrated on the 1st Sunday of October]. Besides all this, the feast is a memorial of glorious victories, which do honour to the Christian name.
Soliman II, the greatest of the Sultans, taking advantage of the confusion caused in the west by Luther, had filled the sixteenth century with terror by his exploits. He left to his son, Selim II, the prospect of being able at length to carry out the ambition of his race: to subjugate Rome and Vienna, the Pope and the emperor, to the power of the crescent. The Turkish fleet had already mastered the greater part of the Mediterranean, and was threatening Italy, when, on October 7, 1571, it came into action, in the Gulf of Lepanto, with the pontifical alleys supported by the fleets of Spain and Venice. It was Sunday; throughout the world the confraternities of the rosary were engaged in their work of intercession. Supernaturally enlightened, St. Pius V watched from the Vatican the battle undertaken by the leader he had chosen, Don John of Austria, against the three hundred vessels of Islam. The illustrious Pontiff, whose life’s work was now completed, did not survive to celebrate the anniversary of the triumph; but he perpetuated the memory of it by an annual commemoration of our Lady of Victory. His successor, Gregory XIII, altered this title to our Lady of the rosary, and appointed the first Sunday of October for the new feast, authorizing its celebration in those churches which possessed an altar under that invocation.
A century and a half later, this limited concession was made general. As Innocent XI, in memory of the deliverance of Vienna by Sobieski, had extended the feast of the most holy name of Mary to the whole Church; so, in 1716, Clement XI inscribed the feast of the rosary on the universal calendar, in gratitude for the victory gained by Prince Eugene at Peterwardein, on August 5, under the auspices of our Lady of the snow. This victory was followed by the raising of the siege of Corfu, and completed a year later by the taking of Belgrade. [Pope St. Pius X in 1913 changed the date to 7 October, as part of his effort to restore celebration of the liturgy of the Sundays.]
Our Lady’s mysteries are before all time in God’s sight, like those of her divine Son; like these they will endure for all eternity; like them they rule the ages, which circle round the Word and Mary, preparing for both in the days of figures, perpetuating their presence by the incessant glorification of the most holy Trinity, in whose name all Christian are baptized. Now the rosary honours all this series of mysteries; to-day’s feast is a glance back upon the cycle as it draws to its close. From these mysteries, from this view of them, we must draw the conclusion formulated by our Lady herself in this passage from Proverbs, which the Church applies to her: ‘Now therefore, my children, consider my ways; imitate me, that you may find happiness.’ Blessed is he that watcheth at her gate! Let us pray to her, rosary in hand, considering her at the same time, meditating on her life and her greatness, and watching, were it but for a quarter of an hour, at the entrance to the palace of this incomparable Queen. The more faithful we are, the more assured will be our salvation and our progress in true life.
In the Gospel it goes, ‘At that time, the angel Gabriel was sent from God, into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the Virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said to her: Hail, full of grace! the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.’ Blessed art thou among women, repeated Elizabeth a few days later, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. These two salutations, with the name of Mary added to the angel’s greeting and the name of Jesus to Elizabeth’s, constituted the Ave Maria in the time of St. Dominic, the promulgator of the rosary. The prayer, ‘Holy Mary Mother of God’ which now so beautifully completes the formula of praise, received the sanction of the Church in the sixteenth century.
Who is this, beautiful as a dove, like a rose planted by the brooks of water?
It is the mighty Virgin, like the tower of David; a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women.
The Lord hath blessed thee by his power, because by thee he hath brought our enemies to nought.
The daughters of Sion saw her adorned with the flowers of roses, and declared her most blessed.
Blessed Mother and unspotted Virgin, glorious Queen of the world, may all experience thine aid, who celebrate thy solemnity of the most holy rosary.
The Prayers in the Rosary.
This festival was instituted to implore the divine mercy in favour of the church and of all the faithful, and to thank the Almighty for the protection he has afforded them, and for the innumerable benefits he has conferred upon them, particularly for his having delivered Christendom from the arms of the infidels by the miraculous victory of Lepanto in 1571, through the patronage and intercession of the Mother of God, implored with extraordinary fervour in the devotion of the Rosary. To the same means Pope Clement XI acknowledged the church to be indebted for the wonderful victory which Prince Eugene of Savoy obtained over the Turks near Belgrade, in 1716. The isle of Corfu was also beleaguered by an army of forty thousand of the same infidels. The victory of the Christians was followed by the taking of Belgrade, and the deliverance of Corfu, and also the preservation of all Germany and Italy, which were next threatened.
The Rosary is a practice of devotion, in which, by fifteen “Our Fathers,” and one hundred and fifty “Hail Marys,” the faithful are taught to honour our divine Redeemer in the fifteen principal mysteries of his sacred life, and of his holy Mother. It is, therefore, an abridgment of the gospel, a history of the life, sufferings, and triumphant victory of Jesus Christ, and an exposition of what he did in the flesh, which he assumed for our salvation. It ought certainly to be the principal object of the devotion of every Christian always to bear in mind these holy mysteries, to return to God a perpetual homage of love, praise, and thanksgiving for them, to implore his mercy through them, to make them the subject of his assiduous meditation, and to mould his affections, regulate his life, and form his spirit by the holy impressions which they make on his soul. The Rosary is a method of doing this, most easy in itself, and adapted to the slowest or meanest capacity; and, at the same time, most sublime and faithful in the exercise of all the highest acts of prayer, contemplation, and all interior virtues. These are admirably comprised in the divine prayer which our Lord himself vouchsafed to teach us, which pious persons who penetrate the spirit of each word in those holy petitions, can never be weary in repeating, but must recite every time with new fervour, and with more ardent sentiments of love and piety. To obtain mercy and all graces, no prayer certainly can be offered to God more efficacious or pleasing than that which was indited, and is put into our hearts and mouths by his divine Son, our blessed Redeemer himself. Neither can any acts of humility, compunction, love, or praise be thought of more sublime. All other good prayers are but paraphrases or expositions of this. It is more especially agreeable and honourable to God, and beneficial to us, when it is offered in honour of the most holy mysteries of our redemption, to pay the homage of our love and thanksgiving for them, and to implore God's tender mercy, love, and compassion by the same. To honour explicitly each mystery, some express it in the prayer, as adding to the name Jesus in the “Hail Mary, who was born, crucified, &c, for us;” but this is better done by representing to God in our minds the mysteries implied in those words. Thus, in repeating “Our Father,” &c, we bear in mind, by whose decree his eternal Son was born in a stable, or sweat blood in his agony, &c.; at “Hallowed be thy name,” we add in thought, particularly for his Son's nativity, crucifixion, &c.
The Angelical Salutation is often repeated in the Rosary, because, as it contains a form of praise for the Incarnation, it best suits a devotion instituted to honour the principal parts of that great mystery. Though it be addressed to the Mother of God, with an invocation of her intercession, it is chiefly a praise and thanksgiving to the Son, for the divine mercy in each part of that wonderful mystery. The Holy Ghost is the principal author of this holy prayer which the archangel, Gabriel, the ambassador of the Blessed Trinity in the most wonderful of all mysteries, began; St. Elizabeth, another organ of the Holy Ghost, continued, and the church finished. The first and second part consist of the sacred praises which were bestowed on the Blessed Virgin by the archangel Gabriel (St. Luke, i. 28), and by St. Elizabeth inspired by the Holy Ghost (St. Luke, i. 42). The last part was added by the church, and contains a petition of her intercession, styling her Mother of God.
We add to the angel's salutation the name of this holy Virgin, this being a name of veneration and sweetness to every devout Christian. The word “Miriam,” or “Mary,” is expounded by St. Jerom, from different etymologies, to signify, in Hebrew, “a Star of the sea,” or “Bitter sea,” and in Chaldaic, “Lady.” Both the names “Lady” and “Sea-star” admirably agree to her who is the glorious queen of heaven, and our star and patroness in the stormy sea of this world. Other Hebrew women had borne this name, as the sister of Moses; but in them it was only a shadow; in the Mother of God it expressed the sublime dignity of her sacred person. We are not to pass over as insignificant those words of the evangelist, “And the name of the virgin was Mary.” (St. Luke, i. 27) For her very name is not without a mystery, and ought to be to us most amiable, sweet, and awful. “Of such virtue and excellency is this name, that the heavens exult, the earth rejoices, and the angels sound forth hymns of praise when Mary is named,” says St. Bernard. That devout client of Mary and holy father observes, that she is truly the star which arose from Jacob, and which being placed above this wide tempestuous sea, shines forth by the merits and example of her life. “O you,” goes on that devout father, “who find yourself tossed in the tempests of this world, turn not your eyes from the brightness of this star, if ye would not be overwhelmed by storms. If the winds of temptations rise; if you fall among the rocks of tribulations; look up at the star, call on “Mary.” If you are tossed by the waves of pride, ambition, detraction, jealousy, or envy, look up at the star, call on “Mary.” If anger, covetousness, or lust beat on the vessel of your soul, look up on “Mary.” If you begin to sink in the gulf of melancholy and despair, think on “Mary.” In dangers, in distresses, in perplexities, think on “Mary,” call on “Mary;” let her not depart from your mouth; let her not depart from your hearts, and that you may obtain the suffrage of her prayers, never depart from the example of her conversation. Whilst you follow her, you never go astray; whilst you implore her aid, you never sink in despair; when you think on her, you never wander; under her patronage you never fall; under her protection you need not fear; she being your guide, you are not wearied.” Such are the sentiments of confidence, devotion, and respect with which the name of Mary ought always to inspire us.
Next to this holy name, the words of the salutation come to be considered. “Hail,” is a word of salutation, congratulation, and joy. The archangel addressed it with profound reverence and awe to this incomparable and glorious virgin. It was anciently an extraordinary thing if an angel appeared to one of the patriarchs or prophets, and then he was received with great veneration and honour, being by nature and grace exalted above them; but when the archangel Gabriel visited Mary, he was struck at her exalted dignity and pre-eminence, and approached and saluted her with admiration and respect. He was accustomed to the lustre of the highest heavenly spirits; but was amazed and dazzled at the dignity and spiritual glory of her whom he came to salute Mother of God, whilst the attention of the whole heavenly court was with ravishment fixed upon her. With what humility ought we worms of the earth and base sinners to address her in the same salutation! The devout Thomas à Kempis gives of it the following paraphrase: “With awe, reverence, devotion, and humble confidence do I suppliantly approach you, bearing in my mouth the salutation of the angel, humbly to offer you. I joyfully present it to you, with my head bowed out of reverence to your sacred person, and with my arms expanded through excessive affection of devotion; and I beg the same may be repeated by all the heavenly spirits for me a hundred thousand times, and much oftener; for I know not what I can bring more worthy your transcendant greatness, or more sweet to us who recite it. Let the pious lover of your holy name listen and attend. The heavens rejoice, and all the earth ought to stand amazed when I say, ‘Hail Mary.’ Satan and hell tremble when I repeat, ‘Hail Mary.’ Sorrow is banished, and a new joy fills my soul when I say, ‘Hail Mary.’ My languid affection is strengthened in God, and my soul is refreshed when I repeat, ‘Hail Mary.’ So great is the sweetness of this blessed salutation, that it is not to be expressed in words, but remains deeper in the heart than can be fathomed. Wherefore I again most humbly bend my knees to you, O most holy virgin, and say ‘Hail Mary, full of grace.’ O, that to satisfy my desire of honouring and saluting you with all the powers of my soul, all my members were converted into tongues and into voices of fire, that I might glorify you, O Mother of God, without ceasing! And now, prostrate in your presence, invited by sincere devotion of heart, and all inflamed with veneration for your sweet name, I represent to you the joy of that salutation when the archangel Gabriel, sent by God, entered your secret closet, and honoured you with a salutation unheard of from the beginning of the world, saying, ‘Hail, full of grace, our Lord is with you;’ which I desire to repeat, were it possible, with a mouth pure as gold, and with a burning affection; and I desire that all creatures now say with me, ‘Hail,’ “ &c.
In the like sentiments of profound respect and congratulation with the angel, we style her “Full of grace.” Though she is descended of the royal blood of David, her illustrious pre-eminence is not derived from her birth, or any other temporal advantages; but from that prerogative in which alone true excellency consists—the grace of God, in which she surpasses all other mere creatures. To others God deals out portions of his grace according to an inferior measure; but Mary was to be prepared to become mother of the author of grace. To her, therefore, God gave every grace and every virtue in an eminent degree of excellency and perfection. Mary “was filled with the ocean of the Holy Ghost poured upon her,” says venerable Bede (in St. Matth, Ch i.). It was just, that the nearer she approached to the fountain of grace, the more abundantly she should be enriched by it; and, as God was pleased to make choice of her for his Mother, nothing less than a supereminent portion of grace could suit her transcendant dignity. The church therefore applies to her that of the Canticles: “Thou art all fair, and there is no spot in thee” (Cant, iv. 7) In those words, “Our Lord is with thee,” we repeat with the angel another eulogium, consequent of the former. God, by his immensity or omnipotence, is with all creatures, because in him all things have their being. He is much more intimately with all his just, inasmuch as he dwells in them by his grace, and manifests in them the most gracious effects of his goodness and power; but the Blessed Virgin being full of grace, and most agreeable in his eyes above all other mere creatures; having also the closest union with Christ as his Mother, and burning with more than seraphic charity, she is his most beloved tabernacle, and he favours her with the special effects of his extraordinary presence, displaying in her his boundless munificence, power, and love.
The following praise was given to her in the same words, both by the archangel Gabriel and St. Elizabeth, “Blessed art thou amongst women.” Mary is truly called blessed above all other women, she having been herself always preserved from the least stain of sin, and having been the happy instrument of God in converting the maledictions laid on all mankind into blessings. When Judith had delivered Bethulia from temporal destruction, Ozias, the prince of the people, said to her, “Blessed art thou, O daughter, above all women upon the face of the earth.” (Judith, xiii. 23) And “The people all blessed her with one voice,” saying, “Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honour of our people.” (Judith, xv. 10) How much more emphatically shall we, from our hearts, pronounce her blessed above all women, who brought forth him who is the author of all manner of spiritual and eternal blessings to us! She most justly said of herself, in the deepest sense of gratitude to the divine goodness, “Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (St. Luke, i. 48) By bestowing these praises on Mary we offer principally to God a profound homage of praise for the great mystery of the Incarnation. The pious woman mentioned in the gospel, who, upon hearing the divine doctrine of our Redeemer, crieth out with admiration, “Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and blessed are the breasts which gave thee suck,” (St. Luke, xi. 27) meant chiefly to commend the Son. In like manner the praises we address to Mary in the angelical salutation are reflected in the first place on her divine Son, from whom, and by whom alone, she is entitled to them; for it is for his gifts and graces, and for his sake, that we praise and honour her. On which account this prayer is chiefly an excellent doxology for the great mystery of the Incarnation. Whence, having styled the Mother blessed above all women, we pronounce the Son infinitely more blessed, saying, “And blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” He is the source and author of all her graces and blessings; she derives them only from him; and to him we refer whatever we admire and praise in her. Therefore, in an infinitely higher sense of praise, love, and honour, and in a manner infinitely superior to her, we call him blessed forever by God, angels, and men; by God, as his well-beloved Son, and in his divinity, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father; by the angels, as the author of their being, grace, and glory, inasmuch as he is their God; and in his Incarnation, as the repairer of their losses by men, as their Redeemer. We, considering attentively the infinite evils from which he has delivered us, the pains and labours which he sustained for us, the ransom which he has paid with his precious blood to redeem us, the everlasting and infinite advantages which he has purchased for us, with the boundless felicity of heaven, the excess of his goodness, love, and mercy, and his infinite majesty and perfections; we, I say, bearing all this in mind, ought, in a spirit of love and praise, ever to call her Blessed through whom we receive this so great a Saviour; but him infinitely more blessed, both for his own adorable sanctity, and for all the graces of which he is the source to us.
The most holy and glorious name of Jesus, which is added to this doxology, is a name of unspeakable sweetness and grace; a name most comfortable and delightful to every loving soul, terrible to the wicked spirits, and adorable with respect to all creatures; so that at its very sound every knee in heaven, earth, and hell shall bend, and every creature be filled with religious awe, and profound veneration and respect. The last part of this prayer is a supplication. The prayer of the blessed spirits in heaven consists chiefly in acts of adoration, love, praise, thanksgiving, and the like. We, in this vale of tears and miseries, join sighs even to our hymns of praise and adoration. So extreme are our spiritual miseries and wants, that we never present ourselves in prayer before Almighty God, but we make it one part of our addresses to implore his mercy and graces with the greatest earnestness possible, and the deepest sense of our wants. It is in this sincere feeling of our sinful necessities, and the most humble and earnest cry of our heart, that the fervour and very soul of our prayer consists. God knows, and with infinite tenderness compassionates, the depth of our wounds, and the whole extent of our numberless and boundless spiritual miseries. But our insensibility under them provokes his just indignation. He will have us sincerely to feel and to acknowledge the weight of our evils; our extreme spiritual poverty and total insufficiency; the baseness of our guilt, the rigour of his judgments, the frightful torments of an unhappy eternity which we deserve for our sins, and the dangers from ourselves and the invisible enemies with which we are surrounded. We must beg that God himself will be pleased to form in our hearts such continued sincere desires, that he inspire us with so deep a sense of all our miseries, and teach us to display them before him in such a manner as will most powerfully move him to pity and relieve us. We have recourse to the angels and saints to beg their joint intercession for us. For this we address ourselves in the first place to the Blessed Virgin, as the refuge of the afflicted and sinners. In this prayer we repeat her holy name to excite ourselves to reverence and devotion. By calling her Mother of God, we express her most exalted dignity, and stir up our confidence in her patronage. For what cannot she obtain for us of a God who was pleased himself to be born of her? We at the same time remember that she is also spiritually our mother; for, by adoption, we are brothers and co-heirs of Christ. She is to us a mother of more than maternal tenderness; incomparably more sensible of our miseries, and more ready to procure us all mercy and assistance than carnal mothers can be, as in charity she surpasses all other mere creatures. But to call her Mother, and to deserve her compassion, we must sincerely renounce and put an end to our disorders, by which we have too often trampled upon the blood of her Son.
These words, “Holy Mary, Mother of God,” are a kind of preface to our petition, in which we humbly entreat her to pray for us. We do not ask her to give us grace; we know this to be the most precious gift of God, who alone can bestow it on us. We only desire her to ask it for us of her Son, and to join her powerful intercession with our unworthy prayers. We mention our quality of sinners, to humble ourselves in the deepest sentiments of compunction, and to excite her compassion by laying our extreme miseries and necessities before her, which this epithet of sinners expresses beyond what any created understanding can fathom. Mary, from her fuller and more distinct knowledge of the evil of sin, and the spiritual miseries of a soul infected with it, forms a much more distinct and perfect idea of the abyss of our evils than we can possibly do, and in proportion to them, and to the measure of her charity, is moved to compassionate us under them. Mary, having borne in her womb the Author of grace and mercy, has put on the bowels of the most tender compassion for sinners. By this mention of our quality of sinners, we sufficiently express what it is that we beg of God; namely, the grace of a perfect repentance, the remission of all our sins, and strength to resist all temptations to sin. We ask also for all graces and virtues, especially that of divine charity. All this is sufficiently understood by the very nature of our request, without being expressed; for what else ought we to ask of God, through the intercession of her who is the mother of the Author of grace? We beg this abundance of all graces both at present, because we stand in need of it every moment of our lives; and for the hour of our death, that great and most dreadful moment, which must be a principal object in all our prayers. The whole life of a Christian ought to be nothing else but a constant preparation for that tremendous hour, which will decide our eternal lot, and in which the devil will assail us with the utmost effort of his fury; and our own weakness in mind and body, the lively remembrance of our past sins, and other alarming circumstances and difficulties, will make us stand in need of the strongest assistance of divine grace, and the special patronage of her who is the protectress of all in distress, particularly of her devout clients in their last and most dangerous conflict. “Amen,” or “So be it,” expresses an earnest repetition of our supplication and praise. As the heart, in the ardour of its affections, easily goes far beyond what words can express, so neither is it confined by them in the extent and variety of its acts. In one word it often comprises the most perfect acts of faith, hope, charity, adoration, praise, and other such virtues. Thus, by “Amen,” it with ardour repeats all the petitions and acts of the Lord's Prayer and Angelical Salutation. Some devout persons have made this short but energetic and comprehensive word one of their most frequent aspirations to God during the course of the day; meaning by it to assent, confirm, and repeat, with all possible ardour and humility, all the hymns and most perfect acts of profound adoration, humility, love, praise, zeal, thanksgiving, oblation of themselves, total resignation, confidence in God, and all other virtues, which all the heavenly spirits offer to God, with all their power and strength, and with the utmost purity of affection, without intermission, to eternity. In these acts we join by the word “Amen,” and desire to repeat them all with infinite fervour, were it possible, for ever; and with them we join the most sincere sentiments and acts of compunction, and a particular humility, condemning ourselves as infinitely unworthy to join the heavenly choirs, or faithful servants of God, in offering him a tribute of praise; most unworthy even to pronounce his most holy name, or mention any of his adorable perfections, which defiled lips and faint divided affections rather profane and depreciate than praise and honour.
Taken from: The Liturgical Year - Time after Pentecost,
Vol. V, Edition 1910;
The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, Vol. II; and
The Divine Office for the use of the Laity, Volume II, 1806.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.