This is so important: The English version of the prayers are beautiful, but so different in meaning, to what God intended. This is so much more relevant to these times. For myself, I am going to say this version from now on.
If you know anything about the approved apparitions of Our Lady and Saint Michael the Archangel at Fatima, Portugal, in the years 1916-1917, then you probably have heard of this prayer, which Saint Michael — the Angel of Peace — taught the three children, on his first Mission to meet them.
O My God, I believe in Thee, I adore Thee, I hope in Thee and I love Thee! And I ask pardon for those who do not believe in Thee, adore Thee, hope in Thee and love Thee!
However, that is NOT, what the Angel of Peace said. The original Portuguese, in fact, reads thus:
Meu Deus! Eu creio, adoro, espero e amo-Vos. Peço-Vos perdão para os que não crêem, não adoram, não esperam e Vos não amam.
Which in English is this:
My God! I believe, adore, await and love Thee. I ask Thee…
Come, O Holy Spirit, come!
From Your bright and blissful Home Rays of healing light impart.
Come, Father of the poor,
Source of gifts that will endure Light of ev’ry human heart. You of all consolers best,
Of the soul most kindly Guest, Quick’ning courage do bestow.
In hard labor You are rest,
In the heat You refresh best, And solace give in our woe.
O most blessed Light divine, Let Your radiance in us shine, And our inmost being fill.
Nothing good by man is thought,
Nothing right by him is wrought, When he spurns Your gracious Will. Cleanse our souls from sinful stain, Lave our dryness with Your rain, Heal our wounds and mend our way. Bend the stubborn heart and will, Melt the frozen, warm the chill, Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful who humbly.
Trust in Your Divinity, Deign Your sevenfold gift to send. Give them virtue’s rich increase, Saving grace to die in peace, Give them joys that never end.
(In honour of the Most Holy Trinity, Spirit of God Himself, most Gracious and Most Holy. If any one has been touched by Him, or felt His Presence, words cannot describe Him-only tears; of great love, thanksgiving and repentance. May He touch all those in most need of His Guidance and Mercy right now, especially those for whom God’s will us to pray, and fill us all with His Love.)
The traditional Latin Mass today ,had in the Propers Scripture quotes which are part of a prayer many of us say every day. It is so meaningful especially for the times today:
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful.Enkindle in them the fire of Thy Love. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created , and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.”
What we definitely need is a new Pentecost.The faithful have dwindled, but we know that you will renew the face of the earth. We are just waiting for the day. The Mass Propers today give us a lot to think about.
The Mass Propers today:
The Introit: (Wisdom 1:7)
The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world, alleluia;
and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Psalm:. Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. …
O God, who on this day hadst taught the hearts of Thy faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost,grant us by the same Spirit tohave a right judgment in all thingsand ever to rejoice in His consolation. …
The Epistle: (Acts of the Apostles 2. 1-11 )
When the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place; and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming,and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with diverse tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews,devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered,saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans? And how have we heard every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and Proselytes, Cretes and Arabians; we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.
Alleluia verse: (Ps 103:3) “Alleluia, alleluia. V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of earth.”
GOSPEL Jn 14:23-31
At that time Jesus said to His disciples If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and will make Our abode in him: he that loveth Me not keepeth not My words. And the word which you have heard is not Mine; but the Father’s who sent Me. These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. But the Paraclete,the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved Me, you would indeed be glad,because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh, and in Me he hath not any thing. But that the Father hath given Me commandment so do I.
POSTCOMMUNION: “May the outpouring of the Holy Ghost purify our hearts, O Lord, and by the inward sprinkling of His heavenly dew may they be made fruitful. …”
In Australia, it is a first Class Feast. Our Cathedral in Sydney is named after her. Her image is displayed there. Most importantly, she is Patroness of Australia. We are so fortunate to have her as our Protectress.
In Masses today, ( live-streamed and in small Masses of 10 people at a time), there will be the words of the hymn that I like to think was especially written for us. It was written by academic, poet, journalist, literary critic and hymn writer James McAuley (1917-1976). and set to a tune by composer Richard Connolly (b 1927).
The words are like a National Anthem – indeed it raises and inflames our hearts with love: to our Blessed Mother and for our country. It is sung with full voice. There were only 10 at Mass today, but it sounded like a battle hymn. Indeed,m what comes to mind is a verse from Song of Songs ( or Canticle of Canticles /Song of Solomon in Douay Rheims version) , which is used in the Legion of Mary as an introduction to the Magnificat:
” Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?” (Ch. 6:9)
“Terrible as an army in battle array” – Our Lady is the army General, ready for battle. The enemy flees at her sight and her Name. She is Queen of Heaven and Earth, and Co-Redemptrix. In the image, both she and her Son, Jesus, wear a Crown. She holds the sceptre of authority; Jesus holds the “orb” – the globe with the Cross on top of it indicating that Christ rules the world.
The best news is that today, the Bishops of Australia are to consecrate Australia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Help of Christians!
It is a great shame, though, that not many faithful will be able to be at Masses to celebrate this. In fact, it has not been advertised. I guess,” No Mass, no bulletins”
Our Lady – Mary Help of Christians- , as Patroness of Australia is placed with Australia at her feet. The words of our hymn are heartfelt and strong:
“Help of Christians, guard this land, From assault or inward stain, Let it be what Christ has planned, His new Eden where you roam.
Teach us that in Christ your Son
Lies the wisdom to be free;
For the Cross, which we would shun,
Is man’s Tree of Liberty.”
Other stanzas mention:
“powers of hell’; “coward heart”;
“our peace be trampled down”;
and the final line’ “Draw us to your victory”
Mary, our Queen and our Mother and “Help of Christians” has always been fighting for her children, in the worst times of our history: at the Battle of Lepanto, and others.
When Napoleon took over France. Pope Pius VII was kidnapped by Napoleon and imprisoned and subjected to trials and humiliations for 5 years. In the Battle of Leipzig, a coalition of armies from Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sweden defeated the army of Napoleon. When the pope was released, he attributed the victory to Mary’s intercession. After Napoleon’s defeat, the pope gave thanks to God and Mary by declaring May 24 as the Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians in Jan.1814
“The Feast Day of Our Lady Mary Help of Christians has been celebrated in Australia since 1844. …
The infant church in Australia had a special reason for turning to Mary. No priests were sent to the colony in its early days and Mass was not allowed except for one brief year until 1820. It was largely the Rosaryin those early days that kept the faith alive.
The Australian Catholic community remained faithful to Mary and Australia was the first nation to choose her under the title, ‘Mary Help of Christians’ as principle Patroness.
Australia also became the first country to have a cathedral dedicated in Our Lady,Mary’s name. St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney was dedicated in her honour by the Irish pioneer priest, Fr John Therry who arrived in Sydney in 1820.”
Prayer to Our Lady Help of Christians for Australia
Lord, You place deep in our hearts,the love of Mary, Help of Christians. Through her prayers grant wisdom to our leaders and integrity to our citizens.Under her protection may Australia be granted harmony, justice and peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Crusade of Prayer for the Safety of Australia as a Christian Nation
(Imprimatur T. F. Little 13th November, 1975)
Almighty God, we thy people cry out in our affliction. Do not scorn us, but for the glory of Thy name, come to our rescue. Look mercifully upon us in our tribulation, and, though we have justly deserved punishment, turn away Thy wrath. Through Jesus Christ, Our lord, Amen. Mary, Help of Christians, bring succour and peace to Australia.
Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Help of Christians, Patroness of Australia.
O Mary, Help of Christians,Patroness of Australia, Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart.To you we consecrate our country, our families, our hearts, our souls and all that we have.And in order that this consecration may be truly effective and lasting, we renew today the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation; and we undertake to live as good Christians – faithful to God,the Church and the Holy father. We desire to pray the rosary, partake in the Holy Eucharist,attach special importance to the first Saturday of the month and work for the conversion of sinners.Furthermore, we promise, O most holy Virgin,that we will zealously spread devotion to you, so that through our consecration to your Immaculate Heart and through your own intercession,the coming of the Kingdom of Christ in the world may be hastened. Amen.
The month of May is traditionally dedicated to our blessed Mother.
I love the words of some of our timeless hymns to Our Lady:
The chorus of “Bring flowers of the fairest”
“O Mary we crown thee with blessings today Queen of the Angels And Queen of the May.”
The words of these hymns, the titles with which we address Our Blessed Mother, are heart-rending and inspire us to so much love and devotion:
“On this day, I beautiful Mother On this day we give thee our love. Near thee Madonna, fondly we hover, Trusting thy gentle care to prove.”
“…Our full hearts are swelling..
“Queen of angels, deign to hear, Lisping children’s humble pray’r…. “Rose of Sharon, lovely flow’r,.... Cherished lily of the vale… Tower of strength in that dread hour…”
We express our trust:
“ Daily, daily, sing to Mary Sing my soul, her praises due……. Call her Mother, call her Virgin, Happy Mother, Virgin blest”
” Jesus will give if thou wilt plead…”
We ask for her help:
“O teach me Holy Mary,…”; “Get me the grace to love thee more…” “Bless dearest Lady, the land of our birth..”
” O Mother of Sorrows, hail! We mourn for our evil done O soften our selfish hearts And lead us back to thy Son.”
“Queen of the world and Queen of Peace, Help us in sorrow and pain By penance and prayer For sin to atone…”
Our Lady is a powerful Intercessor:
“For this is the month during which Christians, in their churches and their homes, offer the Virgin Mother more fervent and loving acts of homage and veneration; and it is the month in which a greater abundance of God’s merciful gifts comes down to us from our Mother’s throne” – Pope Paul VI, Mense Maio, Encyclical on Prayers During May for Preservation of Peace.
Georgette Bechara on May 1, 2020, in an article wrote: “Just as though perpetual darkness would engulf the earth if the sun ceased to rise, so too would desolation overshadow the world if no one implored Our Lady’s aid in times of need.
She is our powerful mother, queen, protectress, hope, refuge and the Mediatrix of All Graces.
She is the “woman clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet” (Revelation 12:1), who by giving birth to Christ, the Source of Life, has also given humanity the gift of new life.
In the words of St Bernard of Clairvaux, “Take away the sun, and where will be the day? Take away Mary, and what will be left but the darkest night?”
“Remember that in this world you are tossed about on a stormy sea; you are not walking on solid ground. Remember that if you don’t want to be lost at sea, you must keep your eyes fixed on this bright star and call on Mary.” …
“To obtain the efficacious favor of Our Lady so that she is moved to pray for us and receive us under her mantle, we must also seek to imitate her examplebypracticing the virtues that she perfectly and heroically practiced in her own life.
At all times, we need our dear Mother. What would we do without her? Jesus gave her to us on the Cross. We must run to her and turn to her for all our needs. Jesus is sharing His Mother with us. “To Jesus, through Mary”
In this time of plague, we must turn to her to help us. We must increase our devotion to her. The Rosary, especially; the Regina Caeli (in lieu of the Angelus at this time); Litanies, Novenas.
The Miraculous image of Our Lady was used in times of Plague
The Shrine of Our Lady (Salus Populi Romani),is at Santa Maria Maggiore. The original basilica of the Blessed Virgin was built about A.D. 350. The location of the church was determined by the appearance of snow on the Esquiline Hill on a summer day.
This miraculous image of the Madonna with the Infant Jesus is traditionally said to have been painted by St. Luke – the same painter who painted the image of our Lady of Perpetual Succour.
In 597, Pope Gregory I carried the painting in solemn procession to St. Peter’s when Rome was being decimated by the Black Plague;
Pope Pius XII said his first Mass before Mary’s altar in this cathedral,
“The Greek initials ΜΡ ΘΥ on the two corners of the image indicate “Mother of God,” which was bestowed by the Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Salus Populi Romani, meaning the “Salvation of the Roman People,” is venerated for such crises that we face in the most recent days. …
In the year 590, a great plague took many lives of the Romans, including the bishop of Rome Pelagius II. Gregory the Great (Pope from 590-604), who was still a deacon, succeeded Pelagius II. In the midst of the battle with the epidemic, he organised a procession with the Salus Populi Romani image with groups of people. Historical accounts tell us that this was probably unusual at the time as the people of Rome believed in St Peter’s protection over the city. In the year 593, Pope Gregory again carried out a procession with this icon in the streets of Rome.”
“The image became important for the whole city of Rome at the height of World War II. Afraid that the war would reach the city, the Roman people begged the priests and the pope to take the image from its sanctuary to the Church of St. Ignatius in the middle of Rome.When the Allies liberated the city on June 4, 1944, Pope Pius XII declared the Mother of Divine Love as Rome’s savior. “https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/22/our-lady-coronavirus
Since then, other popes have taken this image in procession against other mass illnesses like cholera.
There is a special Rosary with a prayer before each decade which was especially designed for this time:
This is the normal Rosary, but before each decade a special prayer is said, which has been designed for this time, we are going through:
Before the 1st decade: Prayer for the Suffering and Dying Before the 2nd decade: Prayer for the Workers Before the 3rd decade: Prayer for Gratitude Before the 4th decade: Prayer for Understanding Before the 5th decade: Prayer for Courage
I opened up my daily Missal today on the Common of a Doctor of the Church. The readings seemed so relevant to us today and good to meditate upon. The epistle from St Paul describes the darkness that is in the Church today: the Gospel tells us that we are “the light of the world”.
We have to let out light shine in the darkness!
2 Timothy 4: 1-8
I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom:
Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebukein all patience and doctrine.
 For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober.
 For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.  As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day:and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming.
Thought:Are we ready to preach the Word? Are we vigilant?
Can we fulfill our mission? Are we ready “to be sacrificed”?
Matt. 5: 13-19
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.  Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.  He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven
Thought: We have to be the “salt”, otherwise we are useless. We have to be the light and let Jesus’ Light shine. We have to stay in the state of Sanctifying Grace and close to Jesus in order to do this. Every prophecy will be fulfilled. If we filfil, we shall reapthe reward promised to us. our Mission and teach God’s Holy Word
“Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and then throughout the whole world. I promise that the soul that venerates this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on Earth, especially at the hour of death. (…) I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy. I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of Mine towards the souls of sinners” (Diary, 47-49).
“By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces, so let every soul have access to it” (Diary, 570).
ACT OF CONSECRATION to the Divine Mercy
We consecrate our entire life from here on to you without reserve.
Into your hands we abandon our past, our present, our future.
Jesus, we ask You, from this day on, to look after this family.
Help us to be true children of God and children
of Your blessed Mother Mary.
Through this Image, may Your Divine Mercy triumph
over all the powers of evil the world over.
May all who venerate it never perish.
May it be their joy in life, their hope in death and their glory in eternity.
This we ask through Christ Our lord. Amen
In His message to St Faustina,, the merciful God manifests Himself in Jesus Christ, the Savior, as a Father of love and mercy,especially for the unfortunate, the errant, and sinners.
“You are the secretary of My mercy. I have chosen you for that office in this life and the next life” (Diary, 1605).
“Your task is to write down everything that I make known to you about My mercy, for the benefit of those who by reading these things will be comforted in their souls and will have the courage to approach Me” (Diary, 1693).
“The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is – trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive” (Diary, 1578).
Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, hugging it to My Merciful Heart (…) before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy” (Diary, 1588).
“I have opened My Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be strengthened in goodness”
“Conversion, as well as perseverance, is a grace of My mercy”(Diary, 1577).
“I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners (…). I pour out an ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that accepts the sacrament of reconciliation and receives the Eucharist shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and avoid punishment; on that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow will be opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet”(Diary, 699).
“Even if a soul is like a decaying corpse, so that, from a human standpoint, there would be no hope of restoration and everything would already be lost – it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full” (Diary, 1448).
THE CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY
Lord Jesus dictated the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to Sister Faustina in Vilnius (Lithuania) on September 13-14, 1935 as a prayer for God’s grace of mercy toward sinners.
“Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will” (Diary, 1731).
“Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever recites it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even the most hardened sinner, if he recites this chaplet only once, will receive the grace of My infinite mercy” (Diary, 687).
“It pleases Me to grant everything souls ask of Me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one. Write this for the benefit of distressed souls; when a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with trust let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother (…). Tell them no soul that has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul that has placed its trust in My goodness. Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Saviour” (Diary, 1541).
“At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same. When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated and his unfathomable mercy envelops the soul” (Diary, 811).
Crusade Prayer for those who refuse Mercy
Jesus, I urge You to forgive those sinners, so dark of soul, who will refuse the Light of Your Mercy. Forgive them, Jesus, I plead with You, in order to redeem them from the sins, which they find it so difficult to extract themselves from.
Flood their hearts with Your Rays of Mercy and allow them the chance to return to Your fold.
We all know that today is a very special Feast Day that carries with it many special blessings, but I was feeling exceedingly sad in the lead up to this Sunday. It feels like so long since we were able to receive the Sacraments and it is Divine Mercy Sunday- the 20th Anniversary. I feel somewhat abandoned by our local shepherds who have not made an effort to at least hear Confessions, which is not disallowed under current Australian laws.
I remarked to a friend that for some time now, our Churches have closed the doors to us, as prophesied; it did not happen as we imagined it might, but with God’s prophecies- our interpretation can be different to the actual event. God’s Ways are way above men’s.
I prayed about my feelings of desolation last night and asked God to help me find a solution. By morning I was sent two solutions: one was a link to full Divine Mercy celebrations online by the Divine Mercy organisation in Australia, including Adoration, Mass and all devotions.
Secondly, I was sent the prayers for a Jesus to Mankind worldwide prayer initiative. Upon opening the attachment and reading the prayers planned, my feelings of sadness and desolation turned suddenly to joy! Here are very real prayers to combat the evil in the world and to convert many sinners- and on a great Feast Day.
This is the perfect day to do battle.
May the Holy Spirit inspire you also to join in these prayers today and offer them to the Divine Mercy of God.
They are attached in English*in PDF form, if you wish to join us in prayer.
Rome time 3pm is the suggested time that we unite in prayer. To pray for The Church and for the world in this way, is an act of Mercy. To also spread devotion to the Divine Mercy brings with it many special graces and blessings.
May you avail yourself fully of the Fountain of God’s Mercy and make it
a way of life.
(*If you desire to join in but prefer them in another language, contact me and I can send you other options).
“And when they came to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified Him there.” (Luke 23:33)
Prior to the crucifixion, we can imagine the infinite beauty of Our Lord, the beauty of His physique and the luminosity of His Sacred Face, where the aesthetic principles of the universe resided. The grace of His gestures, the elegance of His bearing, the sobriety of His manners and goodness must have exerted a strong attraction. When He spoke, who could imagine the tone of His voice, its inflections and unique capacity of expression?
But when He was nailed to the cross, He was deformed, without beauty, and one massive, bloody wound. This great victim was innocence itself. He had never sinned. He was the personification of virtue. He never had the need to make up for anything, but nonetheless, did so without measure.
Why? Because of the gravity of our sins. We should feel deep sorrow and regret at the sight of Him, the Innocent One Who bore sins with the sinner. He Who was most pure, most sacred, carried them for me! This should stir us to a great trust. One who was redeemed at such a price need only ask to obtain the necessary grace to practice virtue and the good that will lead him to Heaven.
Today, Our Lord’s pains are caused by the blasphemies and scorn against the Catholic Church, as well as the worship of the idols of a pagan society: egalitarianism, sensuality, revolt, impurity, murder, theft, adultery. Which of God’s commandments are not transgressed today? What is my attitude in face of this situation?
Facing my sins and the insufficiency of my atonement, I must kneel, strike my breast, and firmly resolve to sin no more.
“When Jesus therefore had seen His mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He said to His mother: ‘Woman, behold thy son.’ After that, He said to the disciple: ‘Behold thy mother.’ And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” (John 19:26-27)
Saint John the Evangelist was at the foot of the cross also representing a sort of summit. His love had reached a high point. He was the “beloved” disciple.
On Holy Thursday, he had rested his head on Our Lord’s breast and heard the pulses of the Sacred Heart of Jesus then beating with love for all mankind. Later that night, just as the other apostles, he had slept and fled. However, he was the virgin Apostle, the beloved Apostle, and virgin souls, even in deplorable situations, find the means and strength to fulfill their duty.
On the other hand, God protects virgin souls. God attracts virgins to Himself. Thus, not only did Saint John have the honor of being the disciple of love, but also of being present at that summit of love when Our Lord died on the Cross. In this way he represented all the Apostles and rescued the Apostolic College from complete disgrace.
Furthermore, in this zenith of love he received the ultimate reward, because there can be no greater gift than for a person to receive Our Lady as a present. When Our Lord said, “Woman, behold your son,” and then to Saint John, “Behold your mother,” he received a priceless gift.
“One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side: and immediately there came out blood and water.” (John 19:34)
Our Lord had already died when the soldier, known as Longinus, pierced His side. In this way, Our Lord’s Sacred Heart shed the last drop of blood, the last drop of water, for our salvation. What extreme mercy! What extreme goodness! What extreme compassion!
All the blood in the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ was shed, to show that He gave us everything. He did this without holding back a single drop, because of His immense desire to save us. One drop of His blood would have sufficed to save the world, yet He shed all His blood to the point that the last drops were mixed with water. He wanted to hold back nothing in order to redeem us.
My God, how many times have I pierced the Heart of Jesus like the lance of Longinus? It could have been through grave sin; but certainly through my chronic habit of indifference, which is the reason I do not change, I do not progress nor do I want to progress. I see others progressing, but I can’t be bothered.
According to tradition, Longinus was blind in one eye. A bit of the water gushing from Our Lord’s side fell on his blind eye, which was healed, and he later became a saint. Who knows, maybe I will also receive this grace of becoming a saint. Oh Lord, at the moment of Your death, I beseech You to grant me this grace.
“And taking Him down, he wrapped Him in fine linen, and laid Him in a sepulcher that was cut in stone, wherein no man had yet been laid.” (Luke 23:53)
Lord Jesus, I contemplate Your body taken down from the cross, Your humanity seemingly crushed, and Your infinitely precious blood shed during Your Passion. Oh, Man of sorrows, your soul and body suffered as much as a man could suffer.
As long as this world exists, You will be our model of suffering with all its nobility, strength, gravity, sweetness, and sublimity. This is a model of suffering not only considered rationally, but also from the infinite perspective of faith; a suffering understood theologically, as a necessary penance and an essential means of sanctification.
It is only by understanding the role of suffering and the mystery of the Cross that humanity can save itself from the tremendous crisis it undergoes. It is just this understanding of suffering that can save from eternal punishment those who, even at the moment of death, reject Your invitation to accompany You on the Via Dolorosa.
Multiply on Earth souls who love the Cross. This is the marvelous grace we ask of You this Holy Week in the twilight of our civilization.
“Then Pilate took Jesus, and scourged Him.” (John 19:1)
Pilate thought that, by scourging Jesus, he would satisfy the mob and so be able to set Him free. This is how the weak always think: compromise, give in to evil so as to appease it.However, this only makes things worse.
The torturers bound His hands and brought Him to the pillar amidst blows, shoves, and laughter. His meekness, goodness, and willing unwillingness to defend Himself contrasted with the brutal, senseless, and cruel hatred.Oh foolish illusion that by tying His hands He would be immobilized! It would be enough for Him to say, “Cords, loosen,” and they would fall to the ground! Had He so wished, the cords could have also become serpents to attack His evildoers.
What is extraordinary is that He gave Himself up to be scourged.We can imagine His sweet groans, His Most Holy Body writhing in pain, His adorable flesh torn by the whip. This was the flesh of the God-Man! He stood, full of dignity, meek and without protest, conversing with the Eternal Father within Himself.
We can also imagine at that moment the Son of God, Supreme Governor of all events, thinking about the blessed civilization that would one day be built on the merits of His Passion. Alas, He also saw that at a certain moment the Christian reign of satannations would turn against Him and would be dominated by an anti-civilization.Because this world would deny a personal God, it would also deny man’s personhood and individuality.
In this flattened anti-civilization, mankindwould affirm total equality, thus becoming enslaved to a rebellious communist utopia. This utopia would deny property, and therefore justice; would deny the family, and therefore purity; would deny religion, and therefore all that is sacred; would deny tradition, and therefore history.By inverting all values, this anti-civilization would produce a great chaos, a great vacuum in which the former-Christian peoples would drown. This anti-civilization is the tyranny of matter, of the machine, of anonymity, and of atheism— in a word, the reign of Satan.
Our Lord could have lamented like the prophet David: “What profit is there in my death…?” (Psalm 30:9) What profit is there in my blood, which I shed so generously and so abundantly?
The Crowning With Thorns
“And the soldiers weaving a crown of thorns, put it upon His head; and they put on Him a purple garment.” (John 19:2)
Our God, crowned with thorns! Does this not prove that God’s royalty is the royalty of pain?Let us accept suffering:suffering from humiliations; suffering from injustice; suffering from the untiring effort to do good; suffering from self-denial.To take suffering out of Christianity is to insult Christ Who accepted a crown of thorns.To be Christian and to be afraid of suffering for God is to reduce God to a mere banker who satisfies our every whim, or to a simple servant who serves us at our bidding. To eliminate suffering from Christianity is to remove its backbone.
Are we only fair-weather friends? Indeed, it is not Christian to be afraid to sacrifice ourselves for Christ, our greatest Friend. Let us not commit the felony of abandoning Jesus on Calvary. Let us not strike a blow to His face, wounded for love of us, by sinning. Let us not be heartless hyenas, but rather “meek, and humble of heart” as He. (Matthew 11:29)
The Carrying of the Cross
“And bearing His own cross, He went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha.” (John 19:17)
Each one of us has a cross to carry. Each one of us would like to be something he is not, to have something he has not, to be able to accomplish something he cannot. We need to let go of being what we are not, having what we have not, and accomplishing what we cannot; this is the way for all of us.
May Our Lord give us a love of our cross just as He had for His.Instead of bearing the Holy Wood with disgust, our Redeemer embraced and kissed it because He was fulfilling His mission on earth. Our cross consists in fulfilling our mission. Let us embrace it tearfully, but lovingly. And let us say, “I will never cease to ask for strength, and I will thus carry my cross to the height of my Calvary!”
Our Lord bore every pain as though He were a king going to his coronation.He did this with dignity, with serenity, steadfastly, and without hesitation. Nothing was spared Him, whether physically or spiritually. He entered into the depths of suffering with the resolution of a hero, thus appearing before the justice of the Eternal Father resplendent with pain. This is how He saved the human race: with each step, the worst happened to Him, yet He accepted everything, entirely, without asking for any delay. He never asked anyone to pity Him. The suffering was such, that, at times, His strength failed, but He immediately arose and went on.
This thought helps me overcome my faintheartedness! If I wish to meet Our Lord Jesus Christ in His sublime beauty and sanctity, I must embrace my own cross, too.
“Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said to them: ‘Whom seek ye?’ They answered him: ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus saith to them: ‘I am he.’ And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them. As soon therefore as he had said to them: ‘I am he; they went backward, and fell to the ground. Again therefore he asked them: ‘Whom seek ye?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus answered, ‘I have told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way.’” (John 18:4–8)
When Our Lord was arrested, He did two seemingly contradictory things. On the one hand, He spoke in such an authoritative voice that His listeners fell to the ground. On the other hand, He stooped to pick up Malchus’ ear, severed by Peter’s sword, and reattached it to the man’s head. He Who terrified also consoled. The same One Who speaks forcefully replaces the severed ear. Is there not some teaching here?
Our Lord is always infinitely good. He was good to those who sought Him that night as Jesus of Nazareth, and also good when replacing Malchus’ ear. If we desire to be good, we should learn to imitate Our Lord’s goodness. We should learn from Him that there are moments when it is necessary to know how to energetically hurl the enemies of the Faith to the ground, as well as to know when it is necessary to show compassion to those who want to hurt us.
Why did Our Lord say, “I AM He”? Was it only to physically shake those who wanted to arrest Him? Why do such a thing when He would, a little while later, voluntarily give Himself up? The reason is that if He spoke so loudly to the ears, it was only so He could speak even more loudly to the hearts.
We do not know if those men ultimately profited by the grace they received, but the fear they certainly felt when falling at the sound of the Master’s voice was just as valuable as when that same voice shouted, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?”
Our Lord spoke loudly to the ears. Though they fell to the ground, the same voice that struck the bodies and deafened the ears raised the souls that were prostrate by opening the ears of the spirit that were deaf. Sometimes it is necessary to speak forcefully in order to heal.
“Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And the name of the servant was Malchus.” (John 18:10)
The Redeemer acted differently with Malchus. When He replaced his ear, cut off as a result of Saint Peter’s zeal, Our Lord certainly wanted to grant him a temporal good. However, by healing his ear, Our Lord wanted, above all, to open the ear of his soul.So, He Who had healed the spiritual deafness of a few with the forcefulness of His Divine voice, cured the same spiritual deafness of Malchus with words of sweetness, and a physical miracle.
We live in an epoch of terrible spiritual deafness. If there was ever a time when mankind needed to listen to God’s voice, ours is such a time; but ours is also an era that certainly has the hardest of hearts.
The Divine Master shows us that, if we want to cure our own spiritual deafness, as well as our neighbor’s, He is the only one who can do so, as mere human means are useless.
Let us be one with the blind man of the Gospel who shouted to Our Lord, “Domine, ut videam!”—“Lord, that I may see!”
Let us take advantage of the celebrations of Holy Week to ask Him to help us to hear, “Domine, ut audiam!” — “Lord, that I may hear!” We don’t know how Our Lord will heal our spiritual deafness—nor does it matter. Let us fulfill His Divine will whether He speak with the terrible voice of reprimand and punishment or with the sweet voice of consolations. What really matters is that we beseech Him, “Lord, that I may hear!”
Let us at least listen wholeheartedly to Our Lord’s voice and, by sincerely opening our souls to the graces He grants us, bring about within ourselves the fullness of the kingdom of Jesus Christ,which the enemies of the Church hope to banish from the face of the earth.