Thought for the Day – 13 November – The Memorial of St Stanislaus Kostka SJ (1550-1568)
Although the life of St. Stanislaus was short in years, it contains a simple roadmap for us all.
The Three things all saints possess and these things will make us saints too – great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, our Holy Mother and Prayer. Follow him in these points. Assist daily, if you can, at Holy Mass, attend Our Lord in the Tabernacle or at Eucharistic Adoration, as often as possible, even for just a few minutes and always prepare yourself carefully for holy Communion; honour the divine Mother and invoke her with filial trust. To ask her blessing, morning and night, after the example of St Stanislaus, is easily done and is, moreover, a sign of love and confidence.
And finally, especially during this month of the holy souls, remember to contemplate your own death each day and do not delay your penance until you are lying on your sick-bed. While you are in the possession of health, examine your conscience, in order to ascertain if there is nothing which might trouble you on your death-bed. Should you find anything, remove it without delay. “For it is difficult, it is very difficult,” says Hugo of St. Victor, “to do true penance at that time and to awaken, in a troubled conscience, earnest repentance.” Perhaps, at that moment, one does not even think of it, or knows, not what to do in the anxiety of his mind. “At the time of sickness, you can hardly think of anything but what you feel,” says St Jerome; and St Augustine writes: “It is in accordance with Divine Justice that he who forgets God during his life, forgets himself in the hour of death.” “Therefore, whoever wishes to die quietly and peacefully, let him do penance while he enjoys health,” says S. Bernard. While you are in the possession of health, you would daily employ a few minutes to examine your conscience, in order to ascertain if there is nothing which might trouble you on your death-bed. Should you find anything, remove it without delay!
A practice of worth for us all, is to beg St Stanislaus to be our patrons of a holy and peaceful death. Therefore, we pray:
Saint Stanislaus, patron most tender and most powerful, angel of purity and of love, I rejoice with you in your happy death, a death rejoiced in, by your longing to see Jesus and Mary. who was taken up bodily into heaven and consummated by a mighty impulse of love toward her. I give thanks unto Mary, who was pleased to hear and answer your prayers and I implore you, by the glory of your happy death, to be the advocate and patron of my death. Intercede with Mary our Mother for me that my death, if not so happy as yours, may at least be peaceful under the protection of Mary, my Advocate and of you my special patron of my inevitable.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
Pray for us, O holy Stanislaus,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
O God, who amongst the other wonderful works of Your wisdom, has bestowed the grace of holiness on them of tender years: grant, we beseech You, that we, following in the footsteps of blessed St Stanislaus and redeeming the time by unremitting labour, may hasten without fear, to enter into our eternal rest. Through Christ our Lord, St Stanislaus, pray for us now and at the hour of our death, amen.