Evening Devotions

 

In the Old Law God commanded that a sacrifice should be offered up to Him at evening as well as at morning, to teach us that we should begin and end every day with Him. Gentle sleep is the balm of our nature; but you will never sleep more quietly than when you go to rest like a Christian and lay yourself down in the peace you find in God. [cf. 1 Chronicles 16:39-40.]

 

GIVE THANKS TO GOD.

O God, Whose most holy presence I acknowledge and with all submissiveness adore; O God most gracious, Who with such fatherly kindness has preserved me and renewed to me this day so many graces, how shall I repay You for so many benefits? Your saints shall praise and bless You therefor. Jesus, I kiss the holy wound of Your right hand, and give thanks to You, in union with the thanks which You, when on earth, did pay to Your Father. "Praise the Lord, O my soul, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever" (Ps. cxxxv. 1 DR)[Ps. 136:1 in the NIV.] [See also, Philippians 4:6; Col. 4:2 NIV.]

 

PRAY FOR LIGHT, THAT YOU MAY KNOW YOUR SINS.

But, O Lord, how can my thanks please You when I have this day, sinned so often before You, to Whom all things are open and known. I pray You, O Jesus, Who are the true light that enlightens every man, enlighten me by Your Holy Spirit that I may know wherein I have erred. I will now in bitterness of soul examine all my actions of this day. [John 8:12 NIV, NAB]. ["Bitterness of soul" would come from shame and disappointment that we didn't do better, as well as renewed humility. cf. CCC 1481.]

[Editor's note: You my be surprised that the author assumes each person has sinned often each day. However, have you loved every person you have met? Have you treated each one as you would want to be treated yourself? See, Gospel Morality: What the New Testament says.]

(Here examine your conscience, whether you have sinned by willful distraction in prayer, reading, meditation, at Mass, at sermon, at confession, or communion, or by irreverent behavior in church. Think whether you have resisted the grace and inspirations of God; whether you have sinned by cursing and swearing, or by want of confidence in God. Examine yourself, whether you have offended God by rash judgment against your neighbor, or by despising him; by hatred, envy, anger, strife, revenge, calumny, slander, mockery, false accusation, injustice, bad example, disobedience, unfaithfulness. Ask yourself before the all-knowing and holy God, whether you have sinned, by pride, by vain fear and human respect, by lies, by thoughts, desires, words, or deeds opposed to purity, with others or by yourself; by sinful thoughts and wishes of other kinds, by intemperance, by slothfulness in the performance of your duties; by misuse of time, by sinful pleasures or useless occupations; how you have conducted yourself at home, at church, at table, in the street, in your intercourse with others, and whether you have made yourself guilty of the sins of others. But particularly, direct your attention to your habitual sins. Examine carefully what causes you to fall into them so frequently. Have a firm purpose to be on your guard against them the following day; impose upon yourself a penance proportioned to your sins and faults, and pray God to strengthen you in your resolution, with His Grace. [See, Types of Sin - capitol Sins, The Chief Commandments, and Moral Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. On a positive note, think about what we should be working towards, Virtue.]

 

MAKE AN ACT OF CONTRITION.

 

Father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt - my great guilt. I am ashamed at the sight of my faults and imperfections; I am heartily sorry for, and detest all my past sins, not because I have thereby lost all that is temporal and all that is eternal, but because I have thereby so often and so grievously offended You, my Lord and my God, my supreme and eternal Good, Whom I love above all things, and desire to love forever. O Jesus, Who has so loved me that for me You did offer up Your life, I beseech You by the holy blood which flowed from Your right foot, forgive me all my sins. Cleanse me from all the stains which defile my soul - Your image - before Your strict judgment shall visit me with punishment. With the penitent David I cry out, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, have mercy on me." [Psalm 57:1, NIV; NAB.]

 

MAKE A RESOLUTION TO AMEND YOUR LIFE.

By the blood which flowed from your wounds, O Jesus, I beseech of You the grace that, as I now earnestly purpose, I may shun every sin, and seek out and make use of every means of amendment. O God, Who gives grace to undertake what is good, give grace also to accomplish the same until the day of Jesus Christ. [The resolution to amend life means "the firm purpose of sinning no more.." CCC1490.]

 

COMMENDATION AND PETITION.

 

I hide myself, O Jesus, in the wound of Your holy side, and by the blood and water which at the piercing of the spear flowed therefrom, I beseech You to receive me under Your almighty protection. According to Your great mercy, spare all who this day offend You. Have patience with those children of darkness who shall abuse this night to manifold evil. Let not drunkards die in their sin. Grant that all who are this day at variance may not suffer the sun to go down upon their anger. Strengthen those who must lie down in hunger. Have mercy upon those who this night lie sleepless through care or sickness, and upon those who draw near to death; deliver them in their necessity, relieve their pain, watch over the sick, and cause them, through faith in You, to partake of Your holy consolation. Have care of all travelers, for all in authority over us, preserve the innocent from temptation, and protect our whole community from every harm and misfortune. Bless me and all that belong to me, my relatives, benefactors, friends, and enemies, bless all people]. Let the suffering souls in purgatory experience the effects of Your blessing; bring them out of their pain into everlasting rest and heavenly joys.

Our Father. Hail Mary. I believe in God, etc." [Text of these prayers and information About our Basic Prayers.]

Litany of the Blessed Virgin


The text is from Goffine's Devout Instruction, Benzinger Brothers, (1896) pp.528-531,except the material in brackets. Some editing has occurred to change archaic language. [Imprimatur Archbishop Michael Augustine, NY, on April 29, 1896.]

 
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