Share your favorite prayers and your most cherished means of connecting with God, including prayers that you wrote.

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By athenacp

The personal nature of our relationship with Jesus is encapsulated in the title the Good Shepherd. Jesus is someone who calls to us, who speaks amidst the cacophony of sounds. And it is a personal voice; it is not an idea that appeals to us, a conviction that dawns on us, a resolution that we take. It is a person. It is Jesus himself.

More to the point, he hears our voices. He is like a mother who can hear the cry of her child amidst a riot of sound and who can block out or ignore any sound except that of her child in distress. So, the Gospel claims, Jesus hears our voices when we call out to him.

His is the voice that is supposed to gather all the sheep: "I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must lead them too and they shall hear my voice. There shall be one flock, one shepherd." There is only one name by which people are to be saved - the name of Jesus.

His voice is the voice of our shepherd, and our King.
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By athenacp
Lenten Prayer

Father of peace, we are joyful in your Word,
your Son Jesus Christ, who reconciles us to you.
Let us hasten toward Easter with the eagerness of faith and love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
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By athenacp
Lenten Prayer

Father, help us to be like Christ your Son, who loved the world and died for our salvation. Inspire us by his love, guide us by his example, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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By athenacp

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23, 24

Loving Lord!

Thank You for bringing me into these days of introspection. I take this time to analyse my ways and meditate upon the ultimate sacrifices You have made for me, a grant sinner.

Lord! There were times when I had been so mean to others and when I had lost my patience and integrity. There were times when I had lost faith in You when I had been unfaithful to You without even acknowledging Your sacrificial love for me. Please forgive me for all the sins I have committed against You as well as my fellow-men.

Let me regain the spiritual values I have lost and restore in me the original first love for You. I rededicate myself at Your feet Lord! Search me and fill me with Your divine presence so that my life can reflect the Gospel. Let this Lenten season be a time of restoration and the means for renewed direction and perspective. Please guide me and make me a channel of blessing to others. Thank You for helping me to reflect Your love and sacrifice. In Jesus' name, I pray.

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By athenacp
Short Prayers for Lent

Heavenly Father, I am called to walk by the light of Christ, your Son, and to trust in his wisdom.

During Lent, I submit my self to him more and more and am striving to believe in him with all my heart.

I enter on this path of repentance so that in dying to self I might rise to new life.

Lord Jesus, you spoke peace to a sinful world and brought mankind the gift of reconciliation by the suffering and death you endured. I love you and joyfully bear the name 'Christian.' Teach me to follow your example. Increase my faith, hope and charity so that I may struggle to turn hatred to love and conflict to peace.

Loving Redeemer through your passion, teach me self-denial, strengthen me against evil and adversity and so make me ready to celebrate your Resurrection.

Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness in my spirit so that I may grow in holiness through your constant care.

Forgive my sins against the unity of your family; make me love as you loved me.

Good Master, make me mindful of the dignity you gave me in Baptism, may I live for you at every moment.

Give me a perfect heart to receive your work, that I may bring forth fruit in patience.

Renew my eagerness to work with you in building a better world, so that my friends may hear your gospel of peace and justice.

From The Pocket Prayer Book: A Manual for Catholics,

The Regina Press, New York.

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By athenacp
St. Louis de Montfort
Imprimi Potest, Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur, 1950


The Cross in mystery
Is veiled for us below;
Without great light to see,
Who shall its splendor know?
Alone the lofty mind
Shall this high secret trace;
And none shall heaven find
Who grasps it not by grace.

Nature the Cross abhors;
Reason gives it a frown;
The learned man ignores It.
Satan tears it down.
Despite a pious art,
Even the fervent soul
Oft takes it not to heart,
But plays the liar's role.

Essential is the Tree,
And we who know its cost
Must mount to Calvary
Or languish and be lost.
As Saint Augustine states
With outcry ominous,
We all are reprobates
Unless God chastens us.

Its Necessity

One road to Heaven runs:
The highway of the Cross.
It was the royal Son's,
His road to life from loss.
And every stone of it
That guides the pilgrim's feet
Is chiseled fair to fit
In Zion's holy street.

Vain is the victory
Of him who, conquering
The world, lacks mastery
Of self through suffering;
Vain if he has not Christ,
Slain Christ, for exemplar,
Or spurns the Sacrificed
For dread of wound and scar.

Its Victories

Christ's Cross, restraining Hell,
Has conquered Eden's curse,
Stormed Satan's citadel,
And won the universe.
Now to His faithful band
He gives that weapon bright
To arm both heart and hand
Against the evil sprite.

In this auspicious Sign
Thou shalt be conqueror,
Said He to Constantine,
Who that proud Standard bore;
A glorious augury,
Of whose prodigious worth
The records all agree
In Heaven and on earth!

Its Glory and Merit

Despite deceitful sense
And reason's fickle shift,
The Cross with confidence
We take as Truth's own gift.
A princess there we see
In whom, let faith confess,
We find all charity,
Grace, wisdom, holiness.

God's love could not resist
Such beauty or its plea,
Which bade Him keep a tryst
With our humanity.
Coming to earth, He said:
This, Lord, and nothing more:
Thy saving Cross imbed
Here in My bosom's core.

He took it, found it fair,
An object not of shame
But honor, made it share
His love's most tender flame.
From childhood's morning hour
His longing kept in sight
As beauty would a flower
The Cross of His delight.

At last in its caress
Long sought for eagerly,
He died of tenderness
And love's totality.
That dear supreme baptism
For which His heart had cried,
The Cross became His chrism,
Love's object undenied.

Christ called the Fisherman
A Satan scandalous
When he but winced to scan
What Christ would bear for us.
Christ's Cross we may adore,
His Mother we may not.
O mystery and more!
a marvel beyond thought!

This Cross, now scattered wide
On earth, shall one day rise
Transported, glorified,
To the celestial skies.
Upon a cloudy height
The Cross, full-brillianted,
Shall, by its very sight,
Judge both the quick and dead.

Revenge, the Cross will cry
Against its sullen foes;
Pardon and joy on high
And blessedness for those
Of proved fidelity
In the immortal throng,
Singing its victory
With universal song.

In life the Saints aspired
To nothing but the Cross;
'Twas all that they desired,
Counting all else but loss.
Each one, in discontent
With such afflictions sore
As chastening Heaven sent,
Condemned himself to more.

St. Peter, prison-chained,
Had greater glory there
Than when at Rome he gained
The first Christ-Vicar's chair.
Saint Andrew, faithful, cried:
O good Cross, let me yield
To thee and in thee hide,
Where death in Life is sealed.

See how the great St. Paul
Depicts with meagre gloss
His rapture mystical,
But glories in the Cross.
More admirable far,
More merit-rich is he,
Behind his dungeon bar
Than in his ecstasy.

Its Effects

Without a Cross, the soul
Is cowardly and tame;
Like fire to a coal
The Cross sets it aflame.
One who has suffered not,
In ignorance is bound;
Only in pain's hard lot
Is holy wisdom found.

A soul untried is poor
In value; new, untrained,
With destiny unsure
And little wisdom gained.
O sweetness sovereign
Which the afflicted feels
When pleased that to his pain
No human solace steals!

'Tis by the Cross alone
God's blessing is conferred,
And His forgiveness known
In the absolving word.
He wants all things to bear
The mark of that great seal;
Without it, nought is fair
To Him, no beauty real.

Wherever place is given
The Cross, things once profane
Become instinct with Heaven
And shed away their stain.
On breast and brow, God's sign,
Worn proudly for His sake,
Will bless with Power Divine
Each task we undertake.

It is our surety,
Our one protection,
Our hope's white purity,
Our soul's perfection.
So precious is its worth
That Angels fain would bring
The blest soul back to earth
To share our suffering.

This Sign has such a charm
That at the altar-stone
The priest can God disarm
And draw Him from His throne.
Over the sacred Host
This mighty Sign he plays,
Signals the Holy Ghost,
And the Divine obeys.

With this adorable Sign
A fragrance is diffused
Most exquisite and fine,
A perfume rarely used.
The consecrated priest
Makes Him this offering
As incense from the East,
Meet crown for Heaven's King.

Eternal Wisdom still
Sifts our poor human dross
For one whose heart and will
Is worthy of the Cross,
Still seeks one spirit rare
Whose every pulse and breath
Is fortitude to bear
The Christ-Cross until death.

Ardent Apostrophe

O Cross, let me be hushed;
In speech I thee abase.
Let my presumption, crushed,
Its insolence erase.
Since thee I have received
Imperfectly, in part,
Forgive me, friend aggrieved,
For my unwilling heart!

Dear Cross, here in this hour,
I bow to thee in awe.
Abide with me in power
And teach me all thy law.
My princess, let me glow
With ardor in thine arms;
Grant me to chastely know
The secret of thy charms.

In seeing thee so fair,
I hunger to possess
Thy beauty, but I dare
Not in my faithlessness.
Come, mistress, by thy will
Arouse my feeble soul
And I will give thee still
A heart renewed and whole.

For life I choose thee now,
My pleasure, honor, friend,
Sole object of my vow,
Sole joy to which I tend.
For mercy's sake, print, trace
Yourself upon my heart,
My arm, my forehead, face;
And not one blush will start.

Above all I possess
I choose thy poverty;
And for my tenderness
Thy sweet austerity.
Now be thy folly wise
And all thy holy shame
As grandeur in my eyes,
My glory and my fame.

When, by your majesty,
And for your glory's sake,
You shall have vanquished me,
That conquest I shall take
As final victory,
Though worthy not to fall
Beneath thy blows, or be
A mockery to all.

English Rendition by Clifford J. Laube, Litt.D.
User avatar
By athenacp

The personal nature of our relationship with Jesus is encapsulated in the title the Good Shepherd. Jesus is someone who calls to us, who speaks amidst the cacophony of sounds. And it is a personal voice; it is not an idea that appeals to us, a conviction that dawns on us, a resolution that we take. It is a person. It is Jesus himself.

More to the point, he hears our voices. He is like a mother who can hear the cry of her child amidst a riot of sound and who can block out or ignore any sound except that of her child in distress. So, the Gospel claims, Jesus hears our voices when we call out to him.

His is the voice that is supposed to gather all the sheep: "I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must lead them too and they shall hear my voice. There shall be one flock, one shepherd." There is only one name by which people are to be saved - the name of Jesus.

His voice is the voice of our shepherd, and our King.
User avatar
By athenacp

There are odd and precious moments in life when we sense that, behind the veil of our sensible experience, there is something more. We never see this dimension of reality directly or clearly. It is usually felt or intuited more than "seen" or "known." But when we are in touch with it, we sense that it is more real, more important, more enduring than anything in our ordinary experience.

The philosophers sometimes refer to these as "limit" experiences or "peak" experiences. The poet William Blake spoke of seeing the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower and of "holding infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour." Meister Eckhart spoke of Durchbruch, a breakthrough, when the higher world, for a moment, comes crashing into this one.

The great biblical tradition speaks of moments of revelation, when God speaks. It is easy enough for the casual rationalists and atheists of today to write all of this off as so much nonsense or as wishful thinking, but those who have experienced these moments know how important, how desperately real they are.

Anyone who has ever experienced the More - from the Blessed Mother to Bernadette of Lourdes to C.S. Lewis - knows how good it is, how joyful, how wonderful. Once it has been tasted, nothing seems as thrilling or rich. It is also why we want to hang on to the experience.

But it just doesn't work that way, at least while we remain in this world and in these bodies. Some day, on that eschatological day, we will remain with all of those who have passed definitively into the More, but for now, we have to focus on our mission at this place, and at this time.
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By athenacp

I have mentioned the French philosopher René Girard before. Much of his work has centered on the phenomenon of group psychology, especially around the scapegoating mechanism. He says that a kind of community is formed precisely when a variety of people, who would otherwise rather dislike one another, come together in a common hatred of someone else.

We can see this, Girard tells us, at all levels, from the most personal to the most collective, from families to nation-states. How often is there a "black sheep" in a family? He or she plays an important role in family stability and identity. What is the only thing that two scholars can agree on? How poor the work of a third scholar is! What is the only thing two musicians can agree upon? How awful another musician's composition is.

This dynamic is in effect in one of the most beautifully crafted stories in the New Testament: the woman caught in adultery. The text tells us "They caught her in the very act of adultery." Where were they situated in order to catch her in the very act?! The voyeurism and perversion of these men is shocking. They then come en masse, in the terrible enthusiasm of a mob, and they present the case to Jesus.

Now what does Jesus do in the face of this violent mob that is seeking release from its tension? First, he bends down and writes on the ground. Sometimes silence, a refusal to co-operate is the best opening move. But the mysterious writing might indicate something else: the writing down of the sins of each person in the group, as some early theologians surmised.

Jesus then says, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her." He forces them to turn their accusing glance inward, where it belongs. Instead of projecting their violence outward on a scapegoat, they should honestly name and confront the dysfunction within them. This story, like all the stories in the Gospels, is a foreshadowing of the great story toward which we are tending. Jesus will be put to death by a mob bent on scapegoating violence.

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By athenacp
A Prayer for Lent

God of times and seasons, you have brought us again to Lent for the study of Your Word, for the remembrance of the temptation of Your Son, and for the contemplation of His Cross. The birds know their seasons; forbid that we be blind to our times. Grant us a Lenten blessing, and may no one miss this time of growth. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
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By athenacp

Why worry excessively about what came before? Why obsess over your past sins? God is much more interested in your future than in your past. We have a God who "makes all things new." And in that we find hope.

It is a sad commentary indeed, but religious people are often tempted to trap others in their past, nail them to the cross of the mistakes they have made, using religion itself to affect this imprisonment. This is as true today as it was in the time of Christ when the mob brought the woman caught in adultery before him.

In one of the great one-liners of the entire Bible, Jesus disarms them: "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Our solidarity in sin ought to awaken in us a greater compassion for one another. At this prompting, they drifted away, one by one until Jesus was left alone with the woman.

Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore." How rich is that little word, "Go." Again, what is being emphasized is the future not the past, straining on to what lies ahead, not obsessing with what lies behind.

Do you feel terribly imprisoned by your past? Perhaps you've done something terrible, something awful and shameful and every time you think of it, you cringe. Or perhaps someone has harmed you so severely that you just can't let go of the hurt and you continue to seethe with resentment. Perhaps you feel that you've done something so wrong that not even God can forgive you. You don't even bother going to confession because you're just too ashamed, convinced that God wouldn't forgive you.

What I want you to know right here and now is that there is a way out, a way forward, a path opening up in the desert.

You might be miseria (in misery) but standing right in front of you is Misericordia (mercy).
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By athenacp
Mother of Sorrows
My Son, could I have climbed this hill for You,
How willingly had I endured each stone:
Yet, I too struggled up steep Calvary;
You have not climbed alone!

Could I have borne the monstrous cross for You,
I would have carried it unto my death.
Though I could not, still I have felt its weight,
My Son, with every breath!

Oh, could I pluck these nails from Your loved flesh,
And driving them through mine, make them a part
Of my own body's pain, I would! But Son,
I wear them in my heart!

Virginia Moan Evans
St. Anthony Messenger
March 1958
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By athenacp
Lenten Prayer

Father, you have taught us to overcome our sins by prayer, fasting and works of mercy. When we are discouraged by our weakness, give us confidence in your love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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By athenacp
(FROM JohnofGod)


"My soul is sorrowful even to death." (Mark 14:34)

"Could you not keep watch for one hour?" (Mark 14:37)

"Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave Me?" (John 18:11)

"My kingdom does not belong to this world." (John 18:36)

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)

"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." (Luke 23:46)

"It is finished." (John 19:30)

+ + + + + + + +


O Jesus, Son of God,
You were born in a stable
and died on the Cross
for our salvation.

Say to your heavenly Father
at the hour of my death:
"Father, forgive him."

Say to your loving Mother:
"Behold your son."

Say to my soul: "This day you shall be with me in Paradise."

"My God, my God, do not abandon me" in that hour.

"I thirst," my God, yes, my soul thirsts for you,
the fountain of living waters.

My life passes like a shadow.
Yet a little while and "it is finished."

So, my Savior, from this moment and for all eternity,
"Into your hands, I commend my spirit."

Lord Jesus, receive my soul. Amen.

+ + + + + + + +


Jesus, our Savior, from your pierced
heart the Church was born,
- by your holy Cross, give us new life.

Jesus, our Savior, the centurion proclaimed
you were God's Son,
- by your holy Cross, increase our faith.

Jesus, our Savior, you called the good
thief into paradise,
- by your holy Cross, call us.

Jesus, our Savior, you cured the sick
and raised the dead,
- by your holy Cross, save us.

+ + + + + + + +

You would like to know God?
Look at the Crucifix.

You would like to love God?
Look at the Crucifix.

You wonder what God is and what He is like?
Look at the Crucifix.

You wonder who you are and what you are worth?
Look at the Crucifix.

You wonder how merciful God is?
Look at the Crucifix.

You wonder how much He wants you in Heaven?
Look at the Crucifix.

You wonder what He will do to help you get there?
Look at the Crucifix.

+ + + + + + + +


Meditation on the Passion is not a matter of fine words and lofty thoughts. "Speak to the Lord from the pain of your heart; this is the prayer He appreciates most," St. Theresa says. The Saint goes so far as to say that Jesus turns from His own sufferings to comfort those who approach Him from the "pain of their heart."
Are you sad or troubled? Look at Him in the Garden of Olives. See the sorrow that so filled His heart that, though He is patience itself, He admits and complains of His sufferings. Or look at Him bound to the pillar, in pain, His flesh torn, because He loves you. Or look at Him carrying the cross, pushed on with scarcely time to breathe. He will turn to you with kindly and compassionate eyes, and forgetting His own sorrow He will console you, because you go to Him. (Way of Perfection)

Let the pain of your heart, born from your own sorrow and your compassion for a suffering world, guide you in this prayer. You will receive that blessing promised by Jesus Himself when He said, "Blessed are the sorrowing, for they shall be consoled."

(Courtesy "Following Jesus Christ" by Passionist Missionaries)


+ + + + + + + +

PSALM 22 (excerpt)

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish? My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief...I am a worm, hardly human, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me: "You relied on the LORD--let him deliver you; if he loves you, let him rescue you"...trouble is near, and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me. They open their mouths against me, lions that rend and roar. Like water my life drains away; all my bones grow soft. My heart has become like wax, it melts away within me. As dry as a potsherd is my throat; my tongue sticks to my palate; you lay me in the dust of death. Many dogs surround me; a pack of evildoers closes in on me. So wasted are my hands and feet that I can count all my bones. They stare at me and gloat; they divide my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots.

+ + + + + + + +


Lord, I give You thanks for dying on the cross for my sins.

(St. Paul of the Cross)

+ + + + + + + +


Agony in the Garden

Jesus says: "I suffered the Agony in the Garden for those who were obstinate in their choices against their own salvation. I saw the great numbers of souls who would fall to their perdition despite My sacrifice."

Scourging at the Pillar

Jesus says: "I suffered the mortification of the Scourging for those who commit sins of the flesh."

Crowning with Thorns

Jesus says: "I submitted to the Crowning with Thorns for those who have a proud heart. These are the ones whose thoughts, words, and actions are centered on self."

Carrying of the Cross

Jesus says: "I carried the Cross with great love in My Heart for sinners. Each step was for more souls. Every fall was for the lukewarm. My last fall was for lukewarm priests."


Jesus says: "My Mother's presence at the foot of the Cross gave Me strength to embrace the Cross. My Mother will intercede for all those who seek strength in embracing their own crosses."

(Triumphant Hearts Prayer Book)

+ + + + + + + +


Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, the eternal Wisdom,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, conversing with men,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, hated by the world,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, sold for thirty pieces of silver,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, prostrate in prayer,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, strengthened by an angel,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, agonizing in a bloody sweat,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, betrayed by Judas with a kiss,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, bound by the soldiers,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, forsaken by your disciples,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, before Annas and Caiaphas,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, struck by a servant on the face,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, accused by false witnesses,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, declared worthy of death,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, spit upon in the face,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, blindfolded,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, smitten on the cheek,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, thrice denied by Peter,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, delivered up to Pilate,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, despised and mocked by Herod,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, clothed in a white garment,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, rejected for Barabbas,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, torn by sources,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, bruised for our sins,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, regarded as a leper,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, covered with a purple robe,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, crowned with thorns,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, struck with a reed,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, demanded for crucifixion,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, condemned to death,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, given up to your enemies,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, laden with the Cross,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, led as a lamb to the slaughter,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, stripped of your garmenets,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, fastened with nails to the Cross,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, wounded for our iniquities,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, praying for your murderers,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, reputed with the wicked,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, blasphemed on the Cross,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, reviled by the malefactor,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, giving Paradise to the thief,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, commending Saint John to your Mother as her son,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, forsaken by your Father,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, given fall and vinegar to drink,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, testifying that all things written concerning you were accomplished
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, commending your spirit into the hands of your Father,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, obedient even unto death,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, made a propiation for us,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, taken down from the Cross,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, laid in a sepulcher,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, rising gloriously from the dead,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, ascending into heaven,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, our Advocate with the Father,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, sending down the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, exalting your Mother,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, who shall come to judge the living and the dead,
Have mercy on us.

Be merciful,
spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful,
graciously hear us, O Lord.

From all evil,
deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin,
deliver us, O Jesus.
From anger, hatred, and every evil will,
deliver us, O Jesus.
From war, famine, and pestilence,
deliver us, O Jesus.
From all dangers of mind and body,
deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your most pure conception,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your miraculous nativity,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your humble circumcision,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your baptism and fasting,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your labors and watchings,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your cruel scourging and crowning,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your thirst, and tears, and nakedness,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your precious death and Cross,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your glorious resurrection and ascension,
deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your sending forth the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete,
deliver us, O Jesus.

On the day of judgment, we sinners,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would spare us,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would pardon us,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would bring us to true penance,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would pour into our hearts the grace of the Holy Spirit,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would defend and propagate your Church,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would preserve and increase all societies assembled in your holy Name,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would bestow upon us true peace, humility, and charity,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would give us perseverance in grace and in your holy service,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deliver us from unclean thoughts, the temptations of the devil, and everlasting damnation,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would unite us to the company of your Saints,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would graciously hear us,
we beseech you, hear us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

"15 St. Bridget Prayers"

As Saint Bridget for a long time wanted to know the number of blows Our Lord received during His Passion, He one day appeared to her and said: "I received 5480 blows on My Body. If you wish to honor them in some way, say 15 Our Fathers and 15 Hail Mary's with the following Prayers (which He taught her) for a whole year. When the year is up, you will have honored each one of My Wounds."


Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary---

O Jesus Christ! Eternal Sweetness to those who love Thee, joy surpassing all joy and all desire, Salvation and Hope of all sinners, Who hast proved that Thou hast no greater desire than to be among men, even assuming human nature at the fullness of time for the love of men, recall all the sufferings Thou hast endured from the instant of Thy conception, and especially during Thy Passion, as it was decreed and ordained from all eternity in the Divine plan.
Remember, O Lord, that during the Last Supper with Thy disciples, having washed their feet, Thou gavest them Thy Most Precious Body and Blood, and while at the same time Thou didst sweetly console them, Thou didst foretell them Thy coming Passion.
Remember the sadness and bitterness which Thou didst experience in thy Soul as Thou Thyself bore witness saying: "My Soul is sorrowful even unto death."
Remember all the fear, anguish and pain that Thou didst suffer in Thy delicate Body before the torment of the Crucifixion, when, after having prayed three times, bathed in a sweat of blood, Thou wast betrayed by Judas, Thy disciple, arrested by the people of a nation Thou hadst chosen and elevated, accused by false witnesses, unjustly judged by three judges during the flower of Thy youth and during the solemn Paschal season.
Remember that Thou wast despoiled of Thy garments and clothed in those of derision; that Thy Face and Eyes were veiled, that Thou wast buffeted, crowned with thorns, a reed placed in Thy Hands, that Thou was crushed with blows and overwhelmed with affronts and outrages.
In memory of all these pains and sufferings which Thou didst endure before Thy Passion on the Cross, grant me before my death true contrition, a sincere and entire confession, worthy satisfaction and the remission of all my sins. Amen!

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

O Jesus! True liberty of angels, Paradise of delights, remember the horror and sadness which Thou didst endure when Thy enemies, like furious lions, surrounded Thee, and by thousands of insults, spits, blows, lacerations and other unheard-of-cruelties, tormented Thee at will. In consideration of these torments and insulting words, I beseech Thee, O my Saviour, to deliver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible, and to bring me, under Thy protection, to the perfection of eternal salvation. Amen!

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Creator of Heaven and earth Whom nothing can encompass or limit, Thou Who dost enfold and hold all under Thy Loving power, remember the very bitter pain Thou didst suffer when the Jews nailed Thy Sacred Hands and Feet to the Cross by blow after blow with big blunt nails, and not finding Thee in a pitiable enough state to satisfy their rage, they enlarged Thy Wounds, and added pain to pain, and with indescribable cruelty stretched Thy Body on the Cross, pulled Thee from all sides, thus dislocating Thy Limbs.
I beg of Thee, 0 Jesus, by the memory of this most Loving suffering of the Cross, to grant me the grace to fear Thee and to Love Thee. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

O Jesus! Heavenly Physician, raised aloft on the Cross to heal our wounds with Thine, remember the bruises which Thou didst suffer and the weakness of all Thy Members which were distended to such a degree that never was there pain like unto Thine. From the crown of Thy Head to the Soles of Thy Feet there was not one spot on Thy Body that was not in torment, and yet, forgetting all Thy sufferings, Thou didst not cease to pray to Thy Heavenly Father for Thy enemies, saying: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
Through this great Mercy, and in memory of this suffering, grant that the remembrance of Thy Most Bitter Passion may effect in us a perfect contrition and the remission of all our sins. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Mirror of eternal splendor, remember the sadness which Thou experienced, when contemplating in the light of Thy Divinity the predestination of those who would be saved by the merits of Thy Sacred Passion, Thou didst see at the same time, the great multitude of reprobates who would be damned for their sins, and Thou didst complain bitterly of those hopeless lost and unfortunate sinners.
Through this abyss of compassion and pity, and especially through the goodness which Thou displayed to the good thief when Thou saidst to him: "This day, thou shalt be with Me in Paradise." I beg of Thee, 0 Sweet Jesus, that at the hour of my death, Thou wilt show me mercy. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Beloved and most desirable King, remember the grief Thou didst suffer, when naked and like a common criminal, Thou was fastened and raised on the Cross, when all Thy relatives and friends abandoned Thee, except Thy Beloved Mother, who remained close to Thee during Thy agony and whom Thou didst entrust to Thy faithful disciple when Thou saidst to Mary: "Woman, behold thy son!" and to St. John: "Son, behold thy Mother!"
I beg of Thee, 0 my Saviour, by the sword of sorrow which pierced the soul of Thy holy Mother, to have compassion on me in all my affliction and tribulations, both corporal and spiritual, and to assist me in all my trials, and especially at the hour of my death. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Inexhaustible Fountain of compassion, Who by a profound gesture of Love, said from the Cross: "I thirst!" suffered from the thirst for the salvation of the human race. I beg of Thee, 0 my Saviour, to inflame in our hearts the desire to tend toward perfection in all our acts; and to extinguish in us the concupiscence of the flesh and the ardor of worldly desires. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Sweetness of hearts, delight of the spirit, by the bitterness of the vinegar and gall which Thou didst taste on the Cross for Love of us, grant us the grace to receive worthily Thy Precious Body and Blood during our life and at the hour of our death, that they may serve as a remedy and consolation for our souls. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Royal virtue, joy of the mind, recall the pain Thou didst endure when, plunged in an ocean of bitterness at the approach of death, insulted, outraged by the Jews, Thou didst cry out in a loud voice that Thou was abandoned by Thy Father, saying: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
Through this anguish, I beg of Thee, 0 my Saviour, not to abandon me in the terrors and pains of my death. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Who art the beginning and end of all things, life and virtue, remember that for our sakes Thou was plunged in an abyss of suffering from the soles of Thy Feet to the crown of Thy Head. In consideration of the enormity of Thy Wounds, teach me to keep, through pure love, Thy Commandments, whose way is wide and easy for those who love Thee. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

O Jesus! Deep abyss of mercy, I beg of Thee, in memory of Thy Wounds which penetrated to the very marrow of Thy Bones and to the depth of Thy being, to draw me, a miserable sinner, overwhelmed by my offenses, away from sin and to hide me from Thy Face justly irritated against me, hide me in Thy Wounds, until Thy anger and just indignation shall have passed away. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Mirror of Truth, symbol of unity, link of Charity, remember the multitude of wounds with which Thou was covered from head to foot, torn and reddened by the spilling of Thy adorable Blood. 0 Great and Universal Pain which Thou didst suffer in Thy virginal Flesh for Love of us! Sweetest Jesus! What is there that Thou couldst have done for us which Thou hast not done! May the fruit of Thy sufferings be renewed in my soul by the faithful remembrance of Thy Passion, and may Thy Love increase in my heart each day, until I see Thee in eternity, Thou Who art the treasury of every real good and every joy, which I beg Thee to grant me, 0 Sweetest Jesus, in Heaven. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Strong Lion, Immortal and Invincible King, remember the pain which Thou didst endure when all Thy strength, both moral and physical, was entirely exhausted, Thou didst bow Thy Head, saying: "It is consummated!" Through this anguish and grief, I beg of Thee, Lord Jesus, to have mercy on me at the hour of my death when my mind will be greatly troubled and my soul will be in anguish. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

0 Jesus! Only Son of the Father, Splendor and Figure of His Substance, remember the simple and humble recommendation Thou didst make of Thy Soul to Thy Eternal Father, saying: "Father, into Thy Hands I commend My Spirit!" And with Thy Body all torn, and Thy Heart Broken, and the bowels of Thy Mercy open to redeem us, Thou didst Expire. By this Precious Death, I beg of Thee, 0 King of Saints, comfort me and help me to resist the devil, the flesh and the world, so that being dead to the world I may live for Thee alone. I beg of Thee at the hour of my death to receive me, a pilgrim and an exile returning to Thee. Amen.

Say one Our Father and One Hail Mary---

Jesus! True and fruitful Vine! Remember the abundant outpouring of Blood which Thou didst so generously shed from Thy Sacred Body as juice from grapes in a wine press.
From Thy Side, pierced with a lance by a soldier, blood and water issued forth until there was not left in Thy Body a single drop, and finally, like a bundle of myrrh lifted to the top of the Cross, Thy delicate Flesh was destroyed, the very Substance of Thy Body withered, and the Marrow of Thy Bones dried up. Through this bitter Passion and through the outpouring of Thy Precious Blood, I beg of Thee, O Sweet Jesus, to receive my soul when I am in my death agony. Amen.


O Sweet Jesus! Pierce my heart so that my tears of penitence and love will be my bread day and night; may I be converted entirely to Thee, may my heart be Thy perpetual habitation, may my conversation be pleasing to Thee, and may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there with Thy saints, praise Thee forever. Amen.
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By athenacp

With Jesus Christ, something altogether new has entered the world, something that is deeply pleasing to God and therefore of salvific significance to us. Called "redemptive suffering," it is beautifully stated in the first letter of Peter: "If you put up with suffering for doing what is right, this is acceptable in God's eyes. It was for this that you were called, since Christ suffered for you in just this way and left you an example to have you follow in his footsteps."

What, precisely, is redemptive suffering? Well, it is not just suffering per se. Suppose you are being physically abused; suppose you are being economically and politically oppressed, and you suffer. That's just suffering, plain and simple - and there is nothing good about it. Nor is it the suffering that comes from resisting evil through violence. That has its place - as a last resort - but that is not redemptive suffering. It might be morally justified or even heroic, but it is not redemptive.

Redemptive suffering is what Jesus did on the cross: putting up with suffering for doing what is right. This is pleasing in God's eyes, precisely because it is redemptive for the world, precisely because it takes away something that God hates.

How does it work? Well, it is not tantamount to being a doormat in the presence of evil or just allowing oneself to be walked on. It always involves a clear naming of the violence or injustice or disorder. It entails speaking the truth publicly and unambiguously. And then it is being willing to suffer the effects of the injustice or violence.

What does this do? It allows the perpetrator of the injustice (and the whole world) to see what his violence has done, to really see it. And it signals that the sufferer of the injustice is living in an entirely different spiritual space.

Redemptive suffering literally redeems (i.e., buys back) the perpetrator of injustice.
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By athenacp

St. Mark tells us that Jesus approached the Holy City of Jerusalem from the east: "When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives..." The Mount of Olives was just to the east of Jerusalem, and Bethphage and Bethany were on the eastern slope of the Mount.

Why in the world would the direction of his approach be important? Well, in the prophet Ezekiel, we hear that, because of the corruption of the Temple, the glory of the Lord had departed. This was one of the most devastating events in all of the Old Testament, for the Temple of the Lord was, in practically a literal sense, the dwelling place of Yahweh. To imagine that the glory of the Lord had quit the Temple was shocking in the extreme.

However, Ezekiel prophesied that one day the Lord would return to the Temple, and from the same direction by which he departed. Upon the return of the glory of Yahweh, Ezekiel predicted, the Temple would be rebuilt, reconstituted.

Pious Jews in Jesus' time certainly knew these texts. As they watched Jesus, they couldn't help but think of them, because Jesus proclaimed himself the true Temple: "You have a greater than the Temple here." And then see what Mark saw: Jesus approaching the old Temple from the east, just as Ezekiel said the glory of Yahweh would approach the Temple. Jesus, speaking and acting in the very person of God, is the glory of Yahweh taking possession of his house.
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By athenacp

"In what place soever Thou shalt be, Lord my King, either in death or in life, there will Thy servant be."

Which of us will have the courage to say this as we kneel before our King crowned with thorns? or at the foot of the Cross? Let me look into the heart of my King. What makes Him suffer willingly in spite of the repugnance of nature? The same recognition of the Father's hand in all that befalls Him, to which His word in the Garden testified: "The chalice that My father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?" The faith that sees the Father's hand in every trial, this it is that holds the secret of meekness. To it alone belongs the strength of endurance, the peacefulness of trust, the crown of thorns today, the crown of glory hereafter."

O my King, Savior of my soul and King of my heart, may Thy most Just, most High, most Lovable will be done! Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
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By athenacp
Monday of Holy Week

"Then she dried his feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the ointment's fragrance." (John 12:3)

We usually take great pains to prepare for big occasions. The greater the occasion, the more personal preparation time we need. Brides take all day to prepare for their weddings; a teenager spends the afternoon dressing for the prom; the coroner spends a day dressing and perfuming a body for viewing. During Holy Week, we watch Jesus face the greatest events in His ministry--His Passion, death, and resurrection. In our gospel today, Jesus allows Mary to begin His preparation. The costly perfume she uses to anoint Jesus symbolizes her love and the love of His friends who will stay with Jesus through the tumultuous week ahead. For Judas, who has no love or intention to stay with Jesus, the perfume becomes a sign of conflict.

As this Holy Week begins, who will we be? Will we be Mary, who has a passionate love for Jesus and respects His mysterious personality? Can we, like Mary, take the expensive perfume of our lives and lay it at the feet of Jesus? Can we choose to love Jesus with all of our being (using even our very hair to dry His feet)? This is the love Jesus will display to us through this week!

Or will we be Judas? Will we be concerned about all the exterior things? Will we worry about how our money is used and what others will say? Will we avoid the journeys through suffering and death, eventually living more in the dark than in the day?

Renew this day your passionate love for the Lord. Choose to stay with the Lord and with yourself through the sufferings of the week.
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By athenacp
Holy Week in The Home

The week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday is the holiest of the year. This is the week we focus on the surpassing love of Jesus for us as He proves it by giving up His life for us. All the love of God is poured out on us during this week. We need to pause from our hustle and bustle of ceaseless activity to reflect on that wonderful love and receive it powerfully into our hearts. We need to let the precious Blood of Jesus wash us in the bath of purification and renewal so that we can be filled with the new life of Jesus Christ. So that the love of Jesus can just fill our being and bring us joy and peace. Father and heads of households, somehow you must bring that love of God home to your family or household. Help those in your household to be aware and appreciative of the love that Jesus has for them this Holy Week. Besides the beautiful liturgies in Church during Holy Week, bring the spirit of this Holy Week into your home to build on and Expand what you experienced in Church. Perhaps you could read and talk about part of the account of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus at the end of one of the Gospels. Or maybe you can find some other better way to celebrate Holy Week in your home.

Father Alvin J. Quade
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By athenacp

As Christians we rejoice for Jesus Christ is Lord. God is King. Sin and death have been defeated. At the same time, we mustn't succumb to a "cheap grace" interpretation of Christianity, whereby Christ is risen and all is well. As Julian of Norwich said, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." Notice the future tense!

The definitive battle has been won, but the war continues. St. Paul knew this well. His strategy, as we know, was to go to synagogues first, for the message he had was a distinctively Jewish message: that the long-awaited Messiah had come.

Many Jews listened - and this was the beginning of Paul's church. We hear that in Antioch practically the whole city gathered to listen to Paul and Barnabas. But "when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said." Please don't fall into an anti-Semitic trap here, for many of the Jews did listen to him. But from the beginning, this message was opposed.

Why? The most basic reason is that acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus means that your life has to change. For many this is liberating good news, but for others it is a tremendous threat. If Jesus is Lord, my ego cannot be Lord. My country cannot be Lord. My convictions or culture cannot be Lord.

The Resurrection is the clearest indication of the Lordship of Jesus. This is why the message of the Resurrection is attacked, belittled, and explained away. The author of Acts speaks of the "violent abuse" hurled at Paul. What was Paul's reaction to this? He "shook the dust from [his] feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium" where he was "filled with joy and the Holy Spirit."

We're up against a great mystery here. We are called to announce the good news to everyone, but not everyone will listen. Once we've done our work, we should move on and not obsess about those who won't listen. Why do some respond and some don't? Finally, that's up to God.
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By athenacp

Today the Gospa gives a Lenten message on the passion of Christ:

"Dear Children, in a special way this evening, I am calling you during Lent to honor the wounds of my Son, which he received from the sins of this parish. Unite yourselves with my prayers for the parish so that his sufferings may be bearable." (Weekly Message March 22, 1984).

In the prophet Isaiah we find the image of the suffering servant:

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. ---Isaiah 53:4-6


Both the Blessed Virgin and Isaiah speak of the Savior who suffered for our sins: "By his wounds are we healed," the prophet writes. No one in Isaiah’s day would have dreamed that God would choose to save the world through a suffering servant, rather than a messianic king. The idea was contrary to human pride and logic. True, the Israelites offered animals as sacrifices for their sins. But a human being? The Messiah himself?

He was the Lamb of God, the sinless servant who offered himself in sacrifice for the sins of mankind; the Anointed One who suffered in place of the guilty.

How can we fathom such love? Today the Virgin tells us it is through prayer: "Honor the wounds of my Son. …Unite yourselves with my prayers." The Holy Spirit will give us insight into these deep currents of love which can be understood in no other way.


From The Imitation of Christ: "Take comfort in the passion of Christ, and dwell willingly in his sacred wounds. Endure with Christ, suffer for him, if you wish to reign with him."

Today, with a crucifix in your hands, offer the Lord’s Prayer in honor of each of the Savior’s wounds, concluding with your own prayer of dedication.
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By athenacp

Saint Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises, in the third week of the month retreat which is dedicated to the contemplation of the Passion, suffering and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ accentuates the fact that Jesus suffered all in His Passion for me… This is very intimate and personal!

In other words instead of viewing the Passion from afar, 2000 years back buried in history, Saint Ignatius brings it to us right now. Jesus suffered all of the details of His bitter passion for me. The Agony in the Garden, the scourging at the pillar, His crowning with thorns with the insults, spitting, buffeting, punching and pounding, the carrying of the cross, the brutal crucifixion, the hours of agony as He hung on the cross, the profuse loss of His Precious Blood and suffocation—all of these excruciating sufferings and many more, He suffered for me!

If that were not enough, if you and I were the only person in the entire world, Jesus would have become Incarnate, lived and died accompanied with all of those gruesome and excruciating details and just for me and just for you! Still more Jesus would be willing to do it over and over, simply for love of me! How great is the love of Jesus for all, but especially for you and for me.

Saint Faustina highlights in the Diary that love can be measured by one measuring-rod—the willingness to suffer for the loved one! No greater love ever existed than the love that Jesus manifested that Holy Thursday night and Good Friday—the day of His passion, crucifixion and death on the cross.

In moments of desolation it is very propitious for all of us to recall how much Jesus really does love us by reflection on His Passion that he underwent for me individually. Furthermore, most salutary is the contemplation of Jesus shedding His Precious Blood for the salvation of my immortal soul.

How precious and valuable is your immortal soul! Saint Peter reminds us with these penetrating words:

That you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless, unblemished lamb.(I Peter 1:18-19)

Your immortal soul was saved by Jesus and the Precious Blood that He shed especially as He hung on the cross that Friday that we call “Good!” Overwhelmed by the awesome and fathomless reality of the Passion, suffering, shedding of Blood and death of Jesus, we might ask ourselves how can we plumb the depths of the greatest love story ever penned, not with regular ink, but with the Precious red Blood (INK) of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Time and time again Jesus invited Saint Faustina Kowalska, if she really wanted to plumb the depths of the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, then to contemplate the Passion of Jesus. “No greater love has a man that to lay down His life for the ones He loves.”

The following are ten helpful suggestions so that we can at least start to plumb the depths of the love of Jesus who died on Good Friday for love of you and for me and for the salvation of my immortal soul!

1. READ THE BIBLICAL PASSION ACCOUNTS. First of all we should become familiar with the Biblical narratives of the Passion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; there are four and each one of the accounts has specific details that differentiate them one from the other. They can be found in two chapters of the four Gospels: Mt. 26-27, Mk. 14-15, Lk. 22-23, and finally Jn. 18-19. Read them; meditate on them, learn them; assimilate them and take them to heart! Let them transform your life!

2. CRUCIFIX. Spend some time in silent reflection and contemplation before a graphic and moving crucifix. An important difference between most Protestants and Catholics is that the Catholics emphasize having the Corpus or Body of Jesus hanging from the cross. Look deeply into Jesus eyes, wounds and Sacred Heart pierced with the lance and derive abundant spiritual fruit. He died for you and me!

3. WAY OF THE CROSS. Make the pious practice and devotion that is called the WAY OF THE CROSS. Jesus suggested to Saint Faustina in the Diary that if her obligations did not block it that at 3:00 p.m. every day (The Mercy Hour) that she make the Way of the Cross. The past Popes have given public witness to the Way of the Cross by making them in the Coliseum in Rome on Good Friday. Slowly and prayerfully move from one station to the next (there are 14 in total) and talk to Jesus as your best friend; accompany Him as did His Mother Mary. Help Him to carry the cross like Simon the Cyrene. Wipe Jesus’ tired and dirty face as did the valiant Veronica. Be a real and active participant in the Passion of Jesus through the pious practice of the WAY OF THE CROSS!

4. SORROWFUL MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY. Always and at all times that we are free for a few minutes it is very profitable to pray the most Holy Rosary. Especially important is it to pray and meditate the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, especially the five Sorrowful Mysteries in Lent and Holy Week. They are: The Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning with thorns, the Carrying of the Cross, and the Crucifixion of Jesus. Right now, which of these mysteries touches your heart and life most? Talk to Jesus about this; He is waiting for you!

5. GOOD CONFESSION. Making frequent and heart-felt confessions is a common practice among the saints and all of us are called to become saints. Jesus said: “Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy.” However, Holy Week is a most opportune time. Saint Pope John Paul II was seen often in the confessional reconciling sinners to God especially on Good Friday. The Sacrament of Confession is a clear and practical means to apply the Passion, Precious Blood and death of Jesus to our own lives. Why? For the simple reason that by making a good confession we die to sin and rise to the new life of grace; also it is the Precious Blood of Jesus that He shed for us on Calvary that first Good Friday that washes and cleanses our soul from the dirt and ugliness of sin!

6. MEDITATE ON THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF JESUS. Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, for many years preached on the seven last words that Jesus uttered from the cross. Sheen, with his typical eloquence, stated that Jesus ascended the pulpit of the cross to preach His best and most eloquent sermon. Do you know the seven last words of Jesus from the cross? If not, now is the time to make an effort to memorize them…

1. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”

2. “I thirst.”

3. “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?”

4. “Woman, behold thy son; son, behold thy mother.”

5. “Amen, I say to you: today you will be with me in Paradise.”

6. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

7. “It is finished."

Which of these words or short sentences that were the last words that Jesus uttered from the pulpit of the cross seem to touch you most? Enter into a deep conversation with Jesus over these words; He is longing to talk to you!

7. The Passion of the Christ. View the classic film by Mel Gibson, “The Passion of the Christ.” This film has turned out to be one of the greatest classics of Hollywood. View this film, but not simply as a Hollywood rendition, but rather as if it were a contemplation, a deep prayer. As Saint Ignatius would suggest, try to enter into the Composition of Place and truly be present. Be not present simply as a passive spectator, but rather as an active participant. If you like, accompany the Blessed Virgin Mary during the whole trajectory of the Calvary climb. Walk with Jesus; console Jesus; have compassion on Jesus and love Him who loved you so much that he went through all the bitter moment so His Passion for love of you and me!

8. PENANCE. Given that Jesus sacrificed and suffered so much for you, why not offer up some form of sacrifice even if it be something very small. Jesus does not look so much at the exterior greatness of the action but in the love that accompanies even the smallest of actions. The love of the sacrifice of Jesus demands love on our part! What are you willing to give the Lord?

9. GOOD FRIDAY LITURGY. Participate fully, actively and consciously in the moving Liturgy and ceremony of GOOD FRIDAY. There is no Mass, but there is a moving and profound Liturgy that can be divided into three parts: 1) The Reading (like on Palm Sunday) of the Passion of Jesus, from the Gospel of Saint John; 2) The veneration of the Holy cross. Draw close to the Holy Cross and reverentially kiss it as a sign of your gratitude and love for the suffering that Jesus underwent for the salvation of your immortal soul; 3) Holy Communion. The most important part of the ceremony of Good Friday is the Rite of Holy Communion. If you are well-disposed, receive Jesus into the depths of your heart with burning love!

10. OUR LADY AND THE PASSION/OUR LADY OF SORROWS. Of enormous help in plumbing the depths of the Passion, suffering and death of Jesus is the person and the presence of Our Lady of Sorrows. Aside from Jesus Himself, nobody ever suffered or loved as much as Our Lady. There she was “Stabat Mater,” the Mother who stood valiantly at the foot of the cross as she watched her Son shed every drop of His Precious Blood that she gave to Him in His humanity. She heard and meditated on His last words. She saw Him die and breathe forth His spirit into the hands of the Father. Our Lady even saw and experienced the piercing of His Sacred Heart from which flowed Blood and water—the birth of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. Beg for the grace to be able to contemplate the Passion of Jesus through the eyes and heart of Mary, our life our sweetness and our hope! May our meditation on the Passion, suffering, and death of Jesus transform our whole lives and being into a living sacrifice of praise to our all-loving Savior and Redeemer!
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By athenacp

We have come, once more, to the end of the holy season of Lent. Lent is, by its nature, a desert time, which is to say, a time of simplicity, purification, and asceticism. In so many of the great figures of salvation history - Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, etc. - a period of testing or trial is required before they can commence their work. We see the same thing in the initiation rituals of primal peoples as well - and you can see it in Luke Skywalker's initiation in Star Wars. The goal of the initiation rituals is to inculcate in the initiate this simple truth: your life is not about you.

When we began this foray into the desert, we looked at the temptations that faced Jesus and, by extension, all of us. The desert represents a stripping away so as to make the fundamental things appear. In the desert, there are no distractions or diversions or secondary matters. Everything is basic, necessary, simple. One survives or one doesn't. One discovers in the desert strengths and weaknesses he didn't know he had.

So how have you done in your desert these forty days? How have you dealt with temptations to sensual pleasure, power, and glory? Even if you have not completely succeeded in the way you wanted, remember: our God is a God of second chances. As we enter into the final days before Easter, renew your commitment and start again.
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By athenacp
Holy Thursday, Easter Triduum

"But if I washed your feet then you must wash each other's feet." (John 13:14)

People often say "Seeing is believing." But on Holy Thursday, Christ turns it all around. On Holy Thursday, believing is seeing. Today the Lord establishes His greatest gift to His disciples, the Eucharist, the gift that has carried the Lord's Presence to His followers throughout the centuries. Here in the Eucharist we humble human believers see and taste God.

If you go to the Holy Land and visit the room of the Last Supper, you will probably be surprised at how plain it is. No great church surrounds it, and nothing in the room would give a hint of the majestic event that occurred there. It is a simple upper room. This simplicity reflects our gospel reading that calls us to be servants of one another. Jesus' act of washing the disciples' feet was a sacred rite that prepared and purified them for the bread of life. If they did not serve one another as Jesus was serving them, then they could not receive the bread of life.

The poor of Jesus' day did not wear sandals, so their feet needed to be washed before entering a house. The poor of our day do not have sandals, food, a home, or political power. Once we have seen Christ in the Eucharist, we also see the poor who need us to wash their feet, call them into our home, lead them to the bread of life.


O holy Angel Gabriel, who didst strengthen Jesus Christ our Lord, come and strengthen us also; come and tarry not!

I salute thee, holy Angel who didst comfort my Jesus in His agony, and with thee I praise the most holy Trinity for having chosen thee from among all the holy Angels to comfort and strengthen Him Who is the comfort and strength of all that are in affliction. By the honor thou didst enjoy and by the obedience, humility and love wherewith thou didst assist the sacred Humanity of Jesus, my Saviour, when He was fainting for very sorrow at seeing the sins of the world and especially my sins, I beseech thee to obtain for me perfect sorrow for my sins; deign to strengthen me in the afflictions that now overwhelm me, and in all the other trials, to which I shall be exposed henceforth and, in particular, when I find myself in my final agony. Amen.
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