Daily Devotional for January 21 – 27
Catholic Bishop Challoner meditations this week…
…when Jesus was twelve years old,
after celebrating at Jerusalem according to custom the solemnity
of the Pasch, he withdrew himself from his parents on their
return, and staid behind in the city. They, thinking he was in
the company, went one day’s journey homeward, and then not
finding him, were struck with unspeakable grief and concern
for their loss. For in proportion to their love, which was far
greater than we can conceive, their sorrow also must have been
beyond expression great. Learn hence, my soul, how thou
oughtest to value the happiness of having Jesus with thee, and
how much thou shouldst regret the loss of him.
Consider, thirdly, that although the blessed Virgin and St.
Joseph had lost their Jesus as to his sensible presence, they had
not lost him as to the presence of his grace and love: they had
him still very near them, because they had him in their hearts.
A lesson for Christians of good will, not to be discouraged nor
to give themselves up to excessive anguish, if sometimes they
experience the like substractions of the sensible presence of
our Lord, by a dryness in their devotions, and a spiritual desolation:
let them but take care to keep their heart and will with
him, and they may be assured he is not far from them. He has
often dealt thus with the greatest saints; and to their advantage
too, by making them more humble.
Conclude not to drive away Jesus by wilful sin ; and be assured,
that nothing else can ever separate him from you.
Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace good will among men.
CONSIDER, first, that when our Lord Jesus was found by his
parents in the temple, in the midst of the doctors, hearing them
and asking them questions, he said to them (Lukeii. ) “Did
you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?… secondly, how “he went down with Joseph and
Mary to Nazareth, and was subject to them,” (Luke ii. 51.) and
stand astonished to see the Lord and Maker of Heaven and
Earth, submitting himself to his own creatures, and obedient to
them. See how he serves them, even in the meanest offices;
how he works with his reputed father at his humble trade.
Christians, learn from this example of your Lord, that the highest
perfection may be found in the exercise even of the lowest
and meanest offices, if in these the soiil do but keep close to her
God, and embrace him by love.
Consider, thirdly, that our Lord Jesus, who from the first
moment of his conception was full of heavenly wisdom and
divine grace, was pleased, in proportion as he advanced in age,
to shoAv forth daily more and more, in his woids and actions,
the admirable treasures of wisdom and grace, hidden in his
soul; to teach us to make continual progress in the way of God,
and to advance every day, by large steps, from virtue to virtue,
like this our blessed model, who “increased in wisdom, and
age, and grace with God and men,” (Luke ii. 52. )
Conclude to apply yourself, in earnest, particularly to these
three lessons of the private life of our dear Redeemer: 1. To
be ever about your father’s business. 2. Always to be submissive
to your superiors. And, 3. To advance continually towards
Prayer: May the Strength of God guide us. May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us. May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us. May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us. – Against the snares of the evil one.
Prayer for the Faithful of St. Patrick Part 1
Bishop Challoner on the Baptism of Jesus…
.CONSIDER, first, that when a multitude of publicans and other
sinners resorted to St. John, the forerunner of Christ, and
were baptised by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins, and
receiving from him the rules of a new life, our Lord Jesus also
came to be baptized, as if he had been of their number, and
stood in need of that baptism of penance for the remission of
sins. The Baptist was astonished at it, and refused to baptise
him, saying; “I ought to be baptised by thee, and comest thou
tome?” But Jesus insisted upon his doing it: “for so it becorneth
us,” said he, “to fulfill all justice,” (Matthew iii. 14,
15. ) that is, to exercise and give examples of all virtues ; among
which humility is the foundation, and supports all the rest.
Grant us, O Lord, thy grace, that we also may fulfil all justice,
by the imitation of thy humility.
Consider, secondly, that Jesus, having thus humbled himself
to fulfil all justice, Avas presently exalted by his heavenly Father,
when, “being baptised, and praying, heaven was opened,
and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape as a dove upon
him; and a voice came from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son;
in thee I am well pleased,” (Luke iii. 21, 22. ) Learn from
this instance, that humility opens heaven, and conducts to God,
and to all good. Remark also, how upon this occasion the
chief mysteries of religion are displayed: how the Blessed
Trinity manifests itself; the Father, by his voice from heaven;
the Son, in his human nature assumed for us; and the Holy
Ghost, by descending in the shape of a dove. Behold, how
the mission and the whole gospel of Jesus Christ is here
May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us! May Christ be in us, Christ be over all!
May Thy Grace, Lord, Always be ours, This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.
Prayer for the Faithful of St. Patrick Part 2
On the name of Jesus…
CONSIDER, first, these words of the apostle, (Phillip, ii.)
spoken of the eternal Son of God, made man for us. “He
humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death
of the cross. Wherefore God also hath exalted him, and hath
given him a name which is above every name; that in the
name of Jesus every knee should bow,” &c. This holy name
of Jesus came from heaven: it signifies a Saviour; a Saviour
who was to deliver his people from their sins, to reconcile lost
man to God, to purchase for him mercy, grace, and salvation,
and to make him a son of God and heir of heaven. How
adorable is this sweet name of salvation in which alone we are
to be saved!
Consider, secondly, that the name of Jesus is a name of virtue
and of power. In this name the churches of God were established
throughout the world. In this name the apostles
wrought all kinds of miracles, and raised the dead to life. By
this name have millions of martyrs overcome death in all its
shapes. This name has peopled the deserts with holy solitaries,
and every nation of the Christian world in every age with
saints; who looking upon Jesus the author and finisher of their
faith, have through his name overcome the world, the flesh, and
the devil, and now sit with Jesus upon his throne, according to
Glory to Jesus Christ – Glory forever!
Name of Jesus cont…
…the name of Jesus exhibits to us all
the divine attributes stooping as I may say, to the work of our
redemption, in order to raise us from the dunghill, and to bring
us to a heavenly kingdom. Jesus is a name of mercy, a name
of comfort, a name of grace and salvation: it promises pardon
and forgiveness to all penitent sinners: it preaches to them deliverance
from their slavery, the discharge of all their debts, the
healing of their spiritual disorders, which expose them to eternal
death. This holy name is the Christian’s refuge in all dangers,
the comfort of his pilgrimage, the source of all his good:
it encourages him to pray with an assurance that there is nothing
but what he may obtain, if he prays in the name of his
Saviour. It puts to flight all the powers of hell; they cannot
bear that sacred name; and it opens heaven to all its true lovers
Conclude to have in veneration the divine name of Jesus, as
presenting to your soul the principal object of your faith, the
strongest grounds of your hope, the chief motive and most powerful
attractive to engage your love. Thus may you exercise as
often as you hear this sacred name, all the theological virtues
of faith, hope, and the most ardent love of God.
For as many have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ…Alleluia
Bishop Challoner Meditations…
Consider the great truths which the Christian faith
teaches: that there is a God *of infinite majesty, whose eye is
always upon us; a God infinitely good and infinitely just, who
hates wilful sin with an infinite hatred; our Creator and Redeemer,
who made us and sent us hither for no other purpose
than to love and serve him in this world, and to be eternally
happy with him in the next: that there is a future life, compared
with which the present is but a moment: in a word, that
after the vain and fleeting joys of life are over, judgment will
follow; and that there is a heaven and a hell. And these are
articles of the Christian faith; all most certainly true and in
themselves very moving. This every Christian readily acknowledges.
How then is it possible they should live as the
generality do? How is it possible they should live unconcerned
in sin; and walk in the broad road to eternal damnation?
Alas! it is because they will not think.
Consider, thirdly, that the great difference between the good
and bad Christian is the one thinks well on the truths he believes,
and lets them sink deep into his soul, whereas the other
does not think ; and thus the truths of the gospel make small
impression upon him: his faith is asleep, or rather dead, for
want of consideration. On the contrary, what wonderful effects
has consideration often produced even in the most hardened
sinners! it has sent numbers of these out of the midst of
Babylon to seek their God in solitude, and has rescued thousands
from the very jaws of hell.
Conclude to allow yourself daily some time to meditate upon
the great truths of eternity. It is the best means to secure the
salvation of your soul.
Christ is in our midst – He is and always shall be
CONSIDER, first, that we cannot be saved without the knowledge
of God, and such a knowledge as may effectually command
our love and obedience. But without the help of consideration
we can neither know God, nor love him as we
ought. Consideration discovers to us his infinite perfections,
and the many pressing motives we have to give ourselves
wholly to his love and service. It sets before our eyes his
eternal love and all his benefits towards us, and convinces us
that he is both infinitely amiable in himself, and infinitely
good to ns.
Consider, secondly, that God is in himself eternal; without
begining, without end, without change; self-existent, independent:
he is being itself; he alone properly is: “I am who am,”
says he to Moses…
Consider, thirdly, what God is in our regard. He is our
sovereign good: he alone can satisfy our souls. He is our eternal
lover: his thought and heart are always upon us. His love
is most faithful and disinterested: he never abandons those who
do not first abandon :him. He is our Maker, our Redeemer;
the best of Fathers, the best of Friends, the spouse of our
souls. And are not these sufficient motives to excite a generous
soul to love her God? It is only because he is so little
thought of, that he is so little known in this wretched world;
and it is only
Preserve O Lord while waking and guard us while sleeping that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace.