My soul reflect on the unspeakable privileges and glories of being a child of the Catholic Church. Meditate on the bountiful providence of God in thy regard. Today there are millions " who sit in darkness and the shades of death," who know not God, and who pay supreme homage to the lifeless creature, instead of to the great Creator; today there are millions who never heard of the sweet name of Jesus; today the Jews, as of old, blaspheme the Redeemer, and look out for another Messiah; today there are millions of heretics who are outside the pale of salvation, and who imagine they honour God by insulting His Saints.
In the Catholic Church thou hast "the clean oblation," the adorable sacrifice of the Mass, daily offered to God on countless altars, and the grace of the Sacraments; in the Catholic Church thou hast faith as true and immutable as God Himself, " yesterday, and today and the same for ever" (Heb. xiii. 8).
Besides these, and countless other spiritual favours and privileges in the Catholic Church, my soul, thou hast in heaven Mary for thy mother and advocate, and hosts of legions of Saints and Angels as thy friends and intercessors.
My God, during my life, little have I appreciated the priceless privileges of being a Catholic, and few have been my acts of thanks to Divine Providence, Rod of mercy and compassion, pardon my past ingratitude. For the future I resolve, first, to thank God frequently, nay, daily, for the grace of being a member of the Holy Catholic Church; secondly, on all occasions I resolve to glory in, and defend, even at the cost of my life, the doctrine of the Church of God; lastly, I resolve to manifest before men the greatest respect and reverence for the Pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ; for bishops, priests, religious, churches, altars, ceremonies, and approved devotions. God Almighty help me, a poor sinner, to keep my resolutions.
Prayer of St. Ignatius.
Receive, 0 Lord, my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my will. Take me and all I possess and am. Thou hast given them all; behold I restore all to Thee, to be disposed of according to Thy good pleasure. Give me only Thy love and Thy grace. These are sufficient for me; with them 1 shall be happy, and shall have no more to ask.
ASPIRATION OF ST. IGNATIUS.
"May the most just, the most high, and the most holy will of God be accomplished in all things. May it be adored, praised, and glorified by all creatures now and for ever. Amen."
THE PRAYER OF ST. BERNARD TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.
Remember, 0 most glorious Virgin Mary, that it was never known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy aid, and sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother, to thee 1 come before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. 0 Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH.
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever virgin, my loving Protector, Joseph, that never hath it been heard that anyone invoked thy protection, or asked aid of thee, who has not been consoled. In this confidence I come before thee. I fervently recommend myself to thee. Despise not my prayer, reputed Father of the Saviour of men, but do thou in thy pity receive it. Amen.
THE INVOCATION OF ALL THE BLESSED SPIRITS, ANGELS AND SAINTS IN HEAVEN.
Angels, Archangels, Thrones and Dominations, Principalities and Virtues, Cherubim and Seraphim, Patriarchs and Prophets, Holy Doctors of the law, Apostles, all the Martyrs of Christ, Holy Confessors, Virgins of the Lord, Anchorites; all saints intercede for us.