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Tuesday after Low Sunday

Morning Meditation

Purity of Intention

In the estimation of men, the value of an act increases in proportion to the length of time spent in the performance of it; but with God, the value of an act depends on the purity of intention with which it is performed. Men look only to the external act; God regards the heart, that is, the intention with which the act is done. For man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth; the heart - (1 Kings xvi. 7).


Purity of intention consists in doing everything from a simple desire to please God. Jesus Christ has said that according to the intention, whether it be good orevil, so is our work judged before God. If thine eye be single, thine whole body shall be lightsome; but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be darksome - (Matt, vi. 22, 23. The single eye signifies a pure intention of pleasing God; the dark and evil eye signifies a want of such honest and holy intention - when our actions are done from a motive of vanity, or from a desire to please ourselves.

Can any action be more noble than for a man to give his life for the Faith? And yet St. Paul says that he who dies from any motive but that of a pure desire to do God's will, gains nothing by his martyrdom.

If, then, martyrdom avails nothing unless it be endured for the sake of God alone, of what value will be all the preaching, all the labour of good works, and also all the austerities of penitents, if they are done to obtain the praise of men or to satisfy one's own inclination?

The Prophet Aggaeus says that works, even the holiest, if not done for God, are put in bags full of holes; which means that they are all lost directly, and that no good comes of them. On the contrary, every action done with an intention of pleasing God, of however little value in itself, is worth more than many great works done without such pure intention.

We read in St. Mark that the poor widow cast into the alms-box of the temple only two mites; but yet of her the Saviour said: This poor widow hath cast in more than all - (Mark xii. 43). St. Cyprian remarks on this, that she put in more than all the others because she gave those two little pieces of money with the pure intention of pleasing God.

One of the best signs by which we may know whether a erson's work is done with the right intention is that if the work has not the effect desired he will not be at all disturbed. Another good sign is that when a person has completed any work and is spoken ill of because of it, or is repaid with ingratitude, he nevertheless remains contented and tranquil. On the other hand, if it happen to anyone to be praised for his work, he must not disquiet himself with the fear of being filled with vainglory; but should such a temptation come upon him only let him despise it in his heart and say with St. Bernard, "I did not begin it for thee, nor because of thee will I leave it."

When, O my Jesus, shall I begin to love Thee truly? Miserable that I am! If I seek among my works for any that are good--for one work done only to please Thee, my Saviour--I shall not find it. Alas! then, have pity on me, and suffer not that I continue to serve Thee so ill up the time of my death.


To work with an intention of acquiring more glory in Heaven is good, but the most perfect is the desire to give glory to God. Let us be sure that the more we divest ourselves of our earthly interest, so much the more will our Saviour increase our joy in Paradise. Blessed is he who labours only to give glory to God, and to follow His holy will. Let us imitate the love of the Blessed, who, in loving God, seek only to please Him. St. Chrysostom says: "If we can attain to the fulfilment of God's pleasure, what more can we desire? If thou art counted worthy to do anything that pleases God, dost thou ask any other reward?"

This is that single eye which pierces the Heart of God with love towards us; as He says to the holy Spouse: Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast wounded my heart with one of thine eyes­ (Cant. iv. 9). This single eye signifies the one end that holy souls have in all their actions - that of pleasing God. And this was thecounsel that the Apostle gave to his disciples: Therefore, whether you eat or drink. or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God - (1 Cor. x. 31). The Venerable Beatrice of the Incarnation, the first daughter of St. Teresa, said : "No price can be put on anything, however small, that is done entirely for God." And with great reason she said this, for all works done for God are acts of Divine love. Purity of intention makes the lowest actions become precious, such as eating, working, recreation, when they are done from obedience and from a desire to please God.

We must then, in the morning direct to God all the actions of the day; and it will be very useful to us to renew this intention at the beginning of every action, at least of the most important, such as Meditation, Communion, and Spiritual Reading - pausing a little in the beginning of these, like the holy hermit who, before beginning anything, lifted his eyes to Heaven and remained still; and when he was asked what he was doing, replied: " I am making sure of my aim."

My God, grant me Thy help that what remains of life I may spend only in serving and loving Thee. Make me overcome all, that I may please Thee, and do all only to fulfil Thy good pleasure; through the merits of Thy Passion, I ask it. O my great advocate, Mary, obtain for me this grace by thy prayers!

Spiritual Reading



As the glorious Virgin Mary has been raised to the dignity of Mother of the King of kings, it is not without reason that the Church honours her, and wishes her to be honoured by all, with the glorious title of Queen.

"If the Son is a King," says St. Athanasius, "the Mother who bore Him is rightly and truly considered a Queen and a Sovereign." "No sooner had Mary," says St. Bernardine of Sienna, "consented to be Mother of the Eternal Word, than she merited by this consent to be made Queen of the world and of all creatures." "Since the flesh of Mary," remarks the Abbot Arnold of Chartres, "was not different from that of Jesus, how can the royal dignity of the Son be denied to the Mother?" "Hence we must consider the glory of the Son, not only as being common to His Mother, but as one with her."

"And if Jesus is King of the Universe, Mary is also its Queen. "And as Queen," says the Abbot Rupert, "she possesses, by right, the whole kingdom of her Son." Hence St. Bernardine of Sienna concludes that "as many creatures as there are who serve God, so many there are who serve Mary: for as Angels and men, and all things that are in Heaven and on earth are subject to the empire of God, so are they also under the dominion of Mary!" The Abbot Guerricus, addressing himself to the Divine Mother on this subject, says: "Continue Mary, continue to dispose with confidence of the riches of thy Son; act as Queen, Mother, and Spouse of the King: for to thee belongs dominion and power over all creatures!"

Mary, then, is a Queen; but, for our common conso­lation, be it known that she is Queen so sweet, so clement, and so ready to help us in our miseries, that the holy Church wills that we should salute her in this prayer under the title of Queen of Mercy.

"The title of Queen," remarks Blessed Albert the Great, "differs from that of Empress, which implies severity and rigour, in signifying compassion and charity towards the poor." "The greatness of kings and queens," says Seneca, " consists in relieving the wretched," and whereas tyrants when they reign have their own good in view, kings should have that of their subjects at heart. For this reason it is that, at their consecration, kings have their heads anointed with oil, which is the symbol of mercy, to denote that, as kings, they should above all things nourish in their hearts feelings of compassion and benevolence towards their subjects.

Kings should, then, occupy themselves principally in works of mercy, but not so as to forget the just punish­ments that are to be inflicted on the guilty. It is, how­ever, not thus with Mary, who, although a Queen, is not a Queen of Justice intent on the punishment of the wicked, but a Queen of Mercy, intent only on com­miserating and pardoning sinners. And this is the reason for which the Church requires that we should expressly call her "the Queen of Mercy." The great Chancellor of Paris, John Gerson, in his commentary on the words of David, These two things have I heard, that power belongeth to God, and mercy to thee, O Lord-(Ps. lxi. 12), says that the kingdom of God, consisting in justice and mercy, was divided by our Lord: the kingdom of justice he reserved for Himself, and that of mercy He yielded to Mary, ordaining at the same time that all mercies that are dispensed to men should pass through the hands of Mary, and be disposed of by her at will. These are Gerson's own words: " The kingdom of God consists in power and mercy; reserving power to Himself, He, in some way, yielded the empire of mercy to His Mother." This is confirmed by St. Thomas in his preface to the Canonical Epistles, saying, "that when the Blessed Virgin conceived the Eternal W'ord in her womb, and brought Him forth, she obtained half the kingdom of God; so that she is Queen of Mercy, as Jesus Christ is King of Justice."

Evening Meditation




St. Bonaventure says there is no devotion more fitted for sanctifying a soul than meditation on the Passion of Jesus, Christ; hence he advises us to meditate every day upon the Passion, if we would advance in the love of God. " If you would make progress, meditate daily on the Passion of the Lord ; for nothing works such an entire .sanctification in the soul as the meditation of the Passion of Christ." And before him St. Augustine, as de Eustis relates, said that one tear shed in memory of the Passion is worth more than fasting weekl on bread and water. Wherefore the Saints were always occupied in considering the sorrows of Jesus Christ : it was by this means that St. Francis of Assisi became a seraph. The Seraphic Saint was one day found shedding tears and crying out with a loud voice. Being asked the cause, " I weep," he replied, " over the sorrows and ignominies of my Lord; and what causes me the greatest sorrow is, that men, for whom He suffered so much, live in forgetfulness of Him." And on saying this he wept the more, so that this gentleman began also himself to weep.

O Jesus, bring continually to my remembrance, I beseech Thee, all that Thou hast suffered for me, so that I may never more forget to love Thee. O cords that bound my Jesus, bind me to Jesus; thorns that crowned my Jesus, pierce me with the love of Jesus; nails that transfixed my Jesus, nail me to the Cross of Jesus, that I may live and die united to Jesus. O Blood of Jesus, inebriate me with His holy love! O death of Jesus, make me die to every earthly affection!

Pierced feet of my Lord, I embrace you! Deliver me from hell which I have deserved. My Jesus, in hell I could no more love Thee, and yet I desire to love Thee always. Save me, my dearest Saviour; bind me to Thyself, that I may never again lose Thee. O Mary, refuge of sinners and Mother of my Saviour, help a sinner who wishes to love God, and who recommends himself to you: succour me for the love you bear to Jesus Christ.


When St. Francis heard the bleating of a lamb, or saw anything which reminded him of the Passion of Jesus, he immediately shed tears. On one occasion, being sick, he was told to read some pious book. "My book," he replied, "is Jesus crucified." Hence he did nothing but exhort his brethren to be ever thinking of the Passion of Jesus Christ. Tiepoli writes : " He who becomes not inflamed with the love of God by looking on Jesus dead upon the Cross, will never love at all."

0 Eternal Word, Thou hast spent three-and-thirty years in labours and fatigues; Thou hast given Thy life and Thy Blood for man's salvation; in short, Thou hast spared nothing to make men love Thee ; and how is it possible that there should be those who know this, and yet do not love Thee? O God, among these ungrateful ones I also may be numbered! I see the wrong I have done Thee; O my Jesus have pity upon me! I offer Thee this ungrateful heart - ungrateful, it is true, but penitent. Yes, I repent above every other evil, O my dear Redeemer, for having despised Thee! I repent, and I am sorry with my whole heart.

O my soul, love a God Who is bound like a criminal, for thee; a God scourged like a slave for thee; a God made a mock king for Thee; a God, in short, dead upon a Cross, as the vilest outcast for thee! Yes, my Saviour, my God, I love Thee, I love Thee!