Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: Wednesday – Third Week After Easter

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Consider first, that this petition is near akin to the two foregoing petitions; inasmuch as the main drift of the former was to deliver us from the evil of our past sins, and the latter to keep us from the evil of sin for the time to come; and in this petition we beg to be delivered from all evil, past, present, or to come. Now, of all these evils sin is not only the greatest, but is, in some sense, the only thing that deserves to be called evil; because all other things that we call evils are either the consequence of sin, or cease to be real evils when not accompanied with sin. So that the main business of this petition is to beg of God that he would deliver us from all sin, past, present, or to come: from all the consequences of sin and the punishments which our sins have deserved; from the slavery of our passions and sinful habits, and from the tyranny and possession of the evil one, who has the dominion over all wilful sinners. Good God, for thy mercy’s sake, and through the precious blood of thy Son, our redeemer, deliver us from all these dreadful evils.

Consider 2ndly, by descending into particulars, all the scenes of numberless evils to which we are liable on account of sin in this miserable world, and from which we here pray to be delivered by the mercy of God – such as public calamities, wars, plagues, famines, earthquakes, tempests, inundations, &c., besides a multitude of private evils to which each particular person is so frequently exposed. Then all spiritual evils, which are much more deplorable, whether public or private – heresies, schisms, persecutions of the church, errors, abuses, oppressions of the poor, sacrileges, scandals, national vices, and the general reign of Satan and sin in the thoughts, words, and actions of the children of this world. And, with regard to the future, the dreadful evil of unprovided death and final impenitence; the dismal sufferings of another world; the judgment and sentence of eternal damnation; and the second death of a miserable eternity. And do not so many and such lamentable evils well deserve that we should continually pray that God in his mercy would deliver us all from having any share in them.

Consider 3rdly, as to thyself in particular, how many and how great evils thou hast reason to apprehend to be either actually upon thee or to threaten thee on every side. Reflect on the multitude of thy past and present sins, infinitely more numerous and more enormous than thou imaginest; the uncertainty, the weakness, and inconstancy of thy repentance; the dreadful debt of punishment due to thy sins, and how little thou hast done towards the discharge of it; the vices and passions thou art daily subject to; the many enemies that daily encompass thee, and are continually laying snares for thy soul; the corruption of thy own heart, the blindness of thy understanding, thy weakness in all that is good, and the violence of thy concupiscence and inclinations to evil. Then see what thou hast to apprehend of evil for the future from the judgments of God ever hanging over the head of impenitent sinners; from the malice and subtlety of thy enemies, ever intent upon thy ruin; and the hold thou givest them by thy passions, and that unhappy self-love which keeps a continual correspondence with them; lastly, from that miserable death, judgment, and hell, which are the portion of all who, by occasion of mortal sin unrepented of; fall into the hands of the living God, – and thou wilt be convinced of the necessity of thy continually crying out to thy holy redeemer: ‘Deliver us from all evil.’ Amen.

Conclude to embrace humble and fervent prayer, as the sovereign means by which thou canst be delivered from all evils, past, present, or to come and as these evils continually threaten thee, so let thy prayer also be in some measure continual.

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