"The Sleep of the Infant Jesus" By Sassoferrato, c. 1645 A.D.
Evening Prayers with Examination of Conscience
(Extracted from the: "St. Thomas Manual: or, Devotion of the Six Sundays in Honor of the Angel of the Schools, St. Thomas of Aquin", by H. J. Pflugbeil, pp. 107-110, 1887 A.D.,
1. To the Most Holy Trinity.
In the deepest humility, I bend
my knee before
Thee, O Most Holy Trinity, and at the close of
this day lift up my soul to Thee, adoring Thee
from the bottom of my heart!
For all the benefits I have to-day received from Thee,
be Thou eternally blessed ! and for the paternal care
with which Thou hast preserved me from many sins
be Thou forever praised and adored!
But since I can not praise Thee worthily, may the nine
choirs of angels and the multitude
of the elect thank
and glorify Thee for me! Whatever good I have done
this day and have forgotten to offer to Thee, I now
present to Thee, desiring with my whole heart that
all and everything which I have to-day done and
suffered may tend to Thy greatest glory.
I commend myself anew to Thy paternal care
protection, that the wicked enemy may
do me no harm to-night in body or soul, but that,
to Thy honor, I may rest in peace.
Here examine your conscience upon the faults of the
day. Excite your soul to compunction whilst saying:
O my crucified Jesus ! in the sorrow of my heart
before Thee. I bewail my fault of
having served Thee so negligently this day and
offended Thee by so many sins.
I firmly resolved this morning carefully to avoid
all sin; but I forgot my good intention, I have
deeply offended and irritated Thee by my numerous
sins, by my negligence. Pardon me, O my Jesus, and
the ruby stream of Thy Precious Blood wash away
all the stains by which I have disfigured my soul. I
implore Thee by the tortures
and pains which, in
Thy bitter Passion and especially on the cross, Thou
didst endure, that Thou wouldst disarm the just anger
of Thy Father against me, make satisfaction to Him
for the punishment I so well deserve, and obtain for
me the grace to serve Thee better for the future and
ever to increase in Thy divine love. Amen.
2. To the Blessed Virgin.
Loving Virgin Mary, I remind thee of the night
that thrice-blessed day which we call Good-
Friday, and which thou must have spent in deep
anguish of heart separated from
thy dear Son.
Through the bitter sighs and tears that thou didst
then pour forth, I beg thee to help me to spend this
night in honor of thy sorrowful night, and let me not
forget the Passion of thy Son. Unite my every
respiration to thine own sighs of sorrow, every
pulsation of my heart to the grief and distress of
own, and offer them all to thy Crucified Son
in honor of His Passion and in thanksgiving for
all that He has obtained for
us by it. Amen.
3. To the Guardian Angel.
I, thy unworthy child, salute thee, my dear
and thank thee for the love and fidelity thou hast
shown me to-day. O my holy angel, how can I thank
thee for all thy love and care in guarding me from evil!
Unthankful child that I am, I not only neglect thy
inspirations, but still more grieve thee by my daily sins
and imperfections. I pray thee, by the sorrowful
Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, pardon me for having
so often offended thee, and obtain for me the grace to
my sinful life. Preserve me this night from all the
snares of Satan and from a sudden and unprovided death.
Receive my every
respiration, every throb of my pulse,
and offer them to my Crucified Jesus in honor of His
bitter Passion and death. Amen.
4. The Good Intention for the Night.
O Lord Jesus Christ, in honor of Thy most painful
sleep upon the hard wood of the cross, when
Thou didst bow Thy head in death, I now betake
myself to rest, and in memory of Thy most bitter
death I will fall asleep. Ah, what a hard bed,
a rough pillow Thou didst have when,
wounded and bleeding, Thou didst hang upon the
cross, Thy sacred head resting upon the
crown! For three long hours didst Thou hang in
those cruel torments before, bowing Thy head,
Thou didst give up Thy spirit and sleep the sleep
of death! By that most bitter sleep, grant that
sleep may be directed to Thy honor and that
no effort of the evil one may lead me into sin.
As St. John rested his head upon
breast and thereon tasted the sweetest, the most
blissful repose, so do I lay my sinful head upon
Thy blessed breast and my lips upon Thy opened
side, that my every respiration may enter into Thy
Sacred Heart, and that I may thence draw into
my own poor heart Thy sweetest love.
thyself and thy bed with holy water, say:
Visit, O Lord, this little bed of mine with Thy
grace and drive far from
it the snares of the
enemy. May Thy holy angels watch over me and
keep me in peace! May Thy blessing rest upon
me and Thy divine love glow in my heart! Through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then signing thyself with the sign of the cross, say:
May God the Father, God the Son, and God the
Ghost grant all that I have asked! Amen.