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Category Archives: What does Heaven look like? (St Lutgarde)

THE PRAYER OF THE HEAVENLY COURT

THE PRAYER OF THE HEAVENLY COURT

THE PRAYER OF THE HEAVENLY COURT (as revealed to St Lutgarde, whose memorial is on the 16th of June)

“O all-holy and all-merciful Redeemer, Source of all graces, and our most kind Jesus! Out of incrompehensible love for us poor children of Eve, hast thou left thy seat on the right hand of thy Heavenly Father, and willed to clothe thyself with our helplessness and poverty.
Nay, the more surely to win us to love thee in return, thou hast made thyself helpless and poor beyond us all. No possible trouble, no possible toil, hast thou spared thyself in order to save us from the wicked enemy, and make us the children of thy Father in Heaven.
Bitterly do I grieve that up till now, I, a valueless and wretched worm of earth, have so little understood the excess of thy Love, and have given thee such poor thanks for all the hardships, pains and martyrdom thou hast bourne for me.
And therefore do I now offer up to thee this my unworthy prayer, in honour of thy most life and sufferings and death, and of every year and day and hour thou didst spend on earth for the salvation of lost and sinful men.
And I offer thee too, from the inmost depths of my heart, all the myriad acts of praise and love and gratitude of the nine Choirs of holy Angels, and indeed of all creatures from the first moment of their creation until now, and all the acts made by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary with the greatest possible love and devotion since her Immaculate Conception to this very day, together with those she will not cease to make through all the instants of Eternity.
And I offer thee these acts that I may thank thee perfectly for all thou hast done for me:
1. For thy choice from all Eternity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to be the Mother of God;
2. For her Immaculate Conception, and her preservation from every spot of original sin, in which all other mortals are conceived and born;
3. For the most pure nativity of thy Immaculate Mother, which shed a light over the whole world and caused joy in Heaven;
4. For thine own wonderful Conception by the power of the Holy Ghost in the virgin womb of thy chosen Mother which was announced by the Archangel Gabriel;
5. For the first journey thou didst take, hidden in the most pure womb of thy Holy Mother, a journey over the hills to thy cousin Elizabeth and her child John – John who, even as thou didst, then lay hidden;
6. For thy holy Nativity, when thou didst come into the world in the greatest poverty and wast born in a stable amid senseless beasts, without even a pillow on which to lay thy Sacred Head, or clothes wherewith to warm and protect thy tender limbs;
7. For the great honour thou didst vouchsafe to receive from the Adoration of the Three Wise Men and from their costly symbolic gifts – gold, and frankincense, and myrrh;
8. For thy first blood-shedding at the Circumcision, which thou didst suffer for our sakes and out of humble obedience to the Law of Moses;
9. For thy most holy Presentation in the Temple at Jerusalem by thy Blessed Mother, in accordance with the Law of Moses;
10. For the bitter persecution which began even with thy tenderest years, and which drove thee into the godless land of Egypt and kept thee there for a long space of time;
11. For thy most dear Mother’s anxious search for thee, and then her joyful finding of thee amid the doctors in the Temple, after she had sought thee for three days with bitter grief and pain;
12. For the submission thou didst show to Mary and Joseph at Nazareth rendering them all manner of humble, filial services;
13. For all thy teaching and preaching, for thy hard and dangerous journeys, and especially for all the fatigue and toil thou didst undergo for our salvation;
14. For thy most holy fast of forty days, and thy constant, fervent prayers in the desert;
15. For thy great and glorious miracles, worked to convince the stubborn people;
16. For thine agonized prayer and bloody sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane, when shuddering and sorrowful unto death, thou wert yet perfectly resigned to thy Father’s Will;
17. For the false kiss with which the faithless Judas betrayed thee and delivered thee into the hands of wicked men;
18. For the painful bands and cruel cords of thine infamous captors, and for their grievous dragging and pulling of thee over stones and through water and briars;
19. For the many false accusations devised and brought against thy most holy Person before Annas and Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod;
20. For the most painful treatment meted out to thee when thou was ignominously drawn from one unjust Judge to another;
21. For the hard and worse than blasphemous blow thou didst receive on thy most Holy Face from a servant of the High Priest;
22. For the copious and most painful bloodshedding when every part of thy most holy Body was torn by the rods and scourges of the executioners;
23. For thy nakedness, and the bitter shame thou didst experience when most of thy garments were torn from thee and thou wert thus bound to the pillar before all the crowd;
24. For the jeering, scoffing, and mock genuflections by which godless people ridiculed thee to thy holy Face;
25. For the sharp pressure on thy sacred Head of the crown of thorns, which caused thy Precious Blood to flow down over thy Face;
26. For thy piteous appearance before Pilate, who by his exclamation “Behold the man” tried to move the people to compassion;
27. For the sentence pronounced on thee by Pilate, for the manner in which thou wast led forth to die, and for the heavy weight of the Cross;
28. For thy dolorous meeting with thy sorrow-stricken Mother and the other holy women who had followed thee on the Path to Calvary and shed tears of pity over thee;
29. For the painful removal of most of thy clothing to the renewal of thy wounds, and for the merciless nailing to the wood of the Cross,as also for all the priceless words spoken on the Cross, and the final surrender of thy Spirit;
30. For thy glorious Resurrection on the third day after thy sufferings, when thou didst appear to thy Mother, thy Disciples and Apostles, and after that to many others;
31. For thy wonderful Ascension into Heaven and glorious return to thy Heavenly Father, when thine earthly pilgrimage was ended and thou hadst triumphed victoriously over the world and Satan;
32. For the wonderful fiery Descent of the Holy Ghost on thy Disciples and Apostles and thy most beloved Mother on the holy Day of Pentecost;
33. For the lordly triumph thou didst celebrate when thou didst assume thy beloved Mother, body and soul, into Heaven;
34. For thy festival of joy, in which were associated the Father and the Holy Ghost, at the exaltation of thy most glorious Mother over all the Choirs of Angels, and at her Coronation as the Queen of Heaven;
For all these, and more especially for every beat of thy Heart and every act of love, for all thy thought and desires, for all the silent and the uttered prayers which thou didst offer on earth, and still dost offer in the thou didst offer while on earth, and still dost offer in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar – for all these I tender thee a thousand thanks, and ask thee most humbly that thou wouldst grant to me and to all who have commended themselves to my prayers, or for whom I ought to pray, perfect contrition for our sins and a firm determination never to offend thy Divine Majesty, together with the grace of final perseverance. Grant that I and all men may enjoy thy grace here, and after this toilsome life is over may be received into the company of thine elect, and be united with them to the Source of Eternal Joy – which is none but thou thyself, O dearest Lord. And may we be permitted to gaze at last on thy most holy Face, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

 

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3rd DECEMBER, RESPONSORIAL PSALM (PSALM 71)

R. In his days justice shall flourish
and peace till the moon fails.

1. O God, give your judgement to the king,
to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
and your poor in right judgement. (R.)

2. In his days justice shall flourish
and peace till the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea,
from the Great River to earth’s bounds. (R.)

3. For he shall save the poor when they cry
and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak
and save the lives of the poor. (R.)

4. May his name be blessed for ever
and endure like the sun.
Every tribe shall be blessed in him,
all nations bless his name. (R.)

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia!
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy
and give us your saving help.
Alleluia!

 

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THE ENTRANCE TO THE ETERNAL COURT OF HEAVEN

“Know, O Christian soul, that the graces which may be obtained through the Devotion of the Heavenly Court, are not granted in order that thou mayest build thereon presumptuously and sin more freely, but rather to the intent that thou mayest bestir thyself so to live as to be worthy of such great graces.
And in the first place, every Christian is bound to use the most necessary means of salvation provided by the Catholic Church, such as the holy Sacraments, without which no form of devotion is pleasing to the Holy Ghost. And therefore only after due reception of these is this prayer to be offered, that we may obtain richer gifts of grace, may contemplate the most holy life of Jesus, and likewise may avert the divine punishment we have so well deserved. And moreover, it will be best for us to leave the whole result of the prayer to the mercy of God. He will best know how to grant our prayer and will give to us, His children, what we most need at the right time.
Even were this Prayer not especially revealed, yet it could not be used without the greatest profit, nor without its being highly pleasing to God. For by it all the holy life and death of our dearest Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and each and every year of His earthly existence, are most particularly honoured and brought home to the heart. Now, in the opinion of all holy teachers, more especially of St Bernard, the very least and shortest meditation on the life, sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, is incomparably greater than all other meditations and good works, whatsoever. For in His most holy life, they say unanimously, all our salvation and all our blessedness is to be found.
Mayest thou too, O Christian soul, by devout meditation on the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, gain for thyself and others the grace of entrance to the eternal Court of Heaven, and also appease the just anger of God and turn it aside from poor humanity.”
– Fr Johann Ludwig a Musis

via: prayers4sreparation.wordpress.com

 

THE PROMISES OF THE HEAVENLY COURT PRAYER

“Quite remarkable are the words in which Our Lord revealed to His servant Lutgarde the merit and power of the Devotion of the Heavenly Court, and the exceeding great pleasure which He Himself took in it.
“Whosoever,” said He to her, “shall piously and devoutly recite this Prayer, to him will I in My great mercy give thirty-four human souls; that is to say, for his sake I will rescue from everlasting death, thirty-four human souls who had otherwise died in sin.
“For his sake too, I will release thirty-four souls from Purgatory. But as for the man himself who had made this Prayer, his reward shall be multiplied as the grass of the field, whose blades no one can number.
“If a man would take the direct path to My treasure-room, let him exercise himself in meditating on My life and My love, and give up his own will. If a man would but consider what I have done for him and all I have given him, never again would he so rouse My anger.
“And even should such a man [who piously and devoutly recites this Prayer] have always acted in times past against My Will, yet as soon as ever he begins this Prayer with grief and contrition for his sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, I will forgive all his iniquities; nor will I ever remember his misdeeds in Eternity, but will utterly remit and forget them.
“And if such a man, during the course of this Prayer, should be called to depart from this transitory life, then will I come with My Angels to accompany him on his last journey, and to the sound of celestial music will conduct his soul to the threshold of Eternity, where I Myself dwell, and where he shall rejoice for ever in the company of My Mother, the constant Advocate of Sinners, and of all My Saints.”

Dividing His life and suffering into 34 Mysteries, Our Lord requested that we say 1000 Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory be’s for each Mystery and for the most spiritual merit picture in our mind the Mystery as we say the prayers. Moreover, St Lutgarde permitted an alteration to those who use the Devotion more frequently. Instead of the continued repetition of each thousand Our Fathers, they might either assist at a Holy Mass, or give an alms, or fast, or follow the Way of the Cross, or say the Psalter, or make a Novena; and in this wise, thirty-four Masses, gifts of alms, days of fasting, Ways of the Cross, Psalters, Novenas, and so forth, made with heartfelt devotion, would serve to merit the favours attached to the Prayer of the Heavenly Court. No time limit was set but our intention must be to complete the Prayer of the Heavenly Court in our lifetime.”

 

HOW A WOMAN FREES HER MOTHER FROM PURGATORY BY MEANS OF THE HEAVENLY COURT PRAYER

“Among many others to whom God disclosed the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, a certain woman who had undertaken it on behalf of her own mother, did most particularly experience its holy and wonderful power.
For after she had finished the Prayer, she saw in spirit her dead mother in the midst of a great company of people, walking in a fair and spacious meadow wherein grew all manner of beautiful and fragrant flowers. And when she accosted her mother, she got this answer: “Speak to her who walks last of all in the company.” The daughter therefore, let all the happy crowd pass by, until she perceived at the rear of the procession a marvellously beautiful Queen, who shone with greater brilliance than the sun.
“O most wonderful and beautiful Queen!” cried the woman, with deepest humility, “let it not anger thee, I meekly pray, if I beg thee to tell me what people these may be whose footsteps cause no hurt at all to flowers or grass.”
And the Queen of Heaven made answer: “These are they who have been saved by the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, and I conduct them myself into the Land of Eternal Life where their joy shall never end.”
“And, along with this vast company, I will come to the deathbed of every soul who has said this Prayer, or for whom another has said it. All such souls will I protect from evil spirits in their last hour, and will lead them to my dearest Son in the Land of Eternal Bliss, and He Himself will be their Everlasting Reward.”

O, if only men would prize as they deserve to be prized the merits of this Prayer and the joys which flow from it! Then, indeed, would they hold it in right high honour, nor would they so easily let slide many a time an opportunity of using it.
The main purpose of this devotion then is to make Christ live in the lives of men. By contemplating the 34 Mysteries over and over again, the Life of Christ becomes a Reality, the main focus-point and a pattern for our lives. For subject matter on the 34 Mysteries, use the Sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospels, “Way of Divine Love”, “Divine Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary”, “The Path to Glory”, etc.
Jesus Christ is the Beginning, the Middle and the End of all things.”

 

ANOTHER MYSTIC VISION OF THE HEAVENLY COURT

“From the time that God thus revealed the Prayer of the Heavenly Court to St Lutgarde, it was adopted by the Society of the Heavenly Court which she had founded. Now there chanced to be in its number a certain nun of eighteen years standing, who served the Lord in all fervour. After she had for a long time known the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, and had used it with the greatest devotion, she also (as St Lutgarde before her) was favoured with a revelation from God and was commanded to teach and explain the prayer to others.
Accordingly, she addressed herself to a good friend and faithful, and besought him, since she herself was now very aged and severed from the world by her vows, to take upon himself the furtherance and propagation of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court. He promised her to do so, yet forgot, as it seems, to fulfil his undertaking, or was indeed little reminded to trouble himself about the new Devotion, which seemed to him overly difficult.
But one day, when he was assisting at an early Mass, all his strength suddenly left him, so that those around deemed him dead. In this state he remained until the hour of Vespers; but meanwhile, being of a truth in ecstasy and all astounded, the Prayer of the Heavenly Court was shown to him by God after this manner:
It seemed to him that he saw an Altar, sparkling as it were with beautiful dark red gems, and at the Altar stood a Priest. A great company of people, some of whom were clad like Kings and Potentates and victorious Knights, others like Bishops, but very many like ordinary lay persons drew near to the Priest, who, standing at the Altar, gave his blessing to each division, and each, as it advanced, was greater than the preceding one.
The “good friend and faithful” of the holy nun was astonished beyond measure at this unexpected sight; but, at the bidding of God, his Guardian Angel thus explained the vision to him: “The Altar thou didst see is the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which is ceaselessly filled with deepest longing and unquenchable thirst for the salvation of souls. From out this Most Pure Heart sprang the prayer which men call the Prayer of the Heavenly Court.
“The Priest who stands at the Altar represents the Eternal and Divine Being who blesses mankind. And they who draw near to the Altar signify those who use the Prayer. Among those are some who have gone through the prayer once, others who have gone through it twice, others again who have gone through it many times. Therefore did these last bear themselves as Kings and Princes and the Mighty of the earth; those who have prayed it once as victorious Knights; while those who wear the guise of ordinary lay people signify all who did indeed begin the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, but never reached the end.
“Those clad as Bishops are such as have applied themselves to spread the Devotion of the Heavenly Court, and to instruct others therein.”
Now, when the person to whom this befell came out of this ecstasy towards the hour of Vespers, he related all that he had seen and heard, adding: “The Prayer which the Lord God deigns to reward in such diverse ways is called in God the Father, ‘A Flowery Paradise’; in God the Son, ‘A Crown of Chivalry’; and in God the Holy Ghost, ‘A Benign and Ever-Open Place of Refuge and Consolation’.”
And henceforth this same man, once so full of ill-will and vexation concerning the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, busied himself in explaining to all, as far lay in his power, the right manner in which to say it, and the glorious profit to be drawn from its use.”

 

THE SOULS ADMITTED TO THE HEAVENLY COURT

“Then St Lutgarde (a medieval mystic) and the other devout sister saw how the Queen of Heaven held a Court, after the fashion of the great on earth. And they understood that the Court was held in praise of God, the Eternal King, and in honour of the Most Holy Trinity.
And at the same time they were shown what manner of men are to be admitted to the Holy Court of the glorious Queen of Heaven.
These men are indeed diverse:
Firstly, those who give themselves up to contemplating, imitating, and tenderly pitying the all-holy life and sufferings and death of our Saviour Christ, and who have a heartfelt and compassionate devotion to the sorrowful Mother of God, Mary of Many Sorrows.
Secondly, those who lead an exemplary and edifying life, detached from all the passions of earth, whose whole desire and longing, will and heart, are fixed upon Eternity alone.
Thirdly, those who are patient in adversity, and place all their trust and confidence and hope in God.
Fourthly, those who are peaceable, loving, humble of heart, despisers of their own selves.
Such as these are qualified to enter the Heavenly Court. These are they who in the world beyond the grave will merrily come to the Heavenly Court and there be crowned by God with a crown of honour.
And on St Lutgarde the task fell (as once on St John the Baptist) to serve her Lord by preparing a path. “It is not enough,” said He to her, “that men should learn through thee the excellence of the reward of Heaven; thou must also point out the road which leads to their eternal possession.”
As, according to the design of God, St Lutgarde might not teach her fellowmen the four great qualifications for entrance to the Heavenly Court before she had herself obtained a complete mastery ad understanding of them, it is no hard matter to divine the Ways along which God led her.
Great must have been His care to give her a most exact and thorough knowledge of these four Ways, and this He did partly by direct illumination and partly by means of His holy Saints, whom over and over He sent down to St Lutgarde’s poor cell.
Thus said Our Lord to her: “A man is on his way to Me and coming to Me when he speaks thus: ‘I have nothing good in me; I can do nothing good without God; I am not deserving of any grace.’ When these are a man’s convictions, they bear him along so far on his way to Me, that with all haste I go forth to meet him.'”

 

THE THINGS LUTGARDE SAW IN HEAVEN

“And thus it fell out that on a day when St Lutgarde (a 13th Century Religious Sister) was speaking with a sister in religion on heavenly and spiritual matters, and searching for fresh means to appease the wrath of God, they were both overcome with so intense a longing for the salvation and rescue of sinners, that for very pity their hearts did faint away, and they were consumed with hot and fiery love for God and their fellowmen.
Even as they spoke together quickly and eagerly, they were both overpowered by ecstasy, and in that state lay as dead during four whole days. But while their bodies lay thus, they themselves were led in spirit into the clear light of eternal joy, and they saw the whole heavenly host, and the Most Holy, Undivided Trinity.
During the four long unbroken days when the holy servant of God and her spiritual sister lay on the ground as though dead, they saw how the Heavenly Court was so exquisitely adorned and ordered with such beauty and regularity that their hearts were not able to grasp it nor their lips to express it.
They saw how the Most Holy Trinity lit up the whole of Heaven with an unutterably clear light; and how the noble Queen Mary, as Mother of the eternal Wisdom, shone with a radiance incomparably more beautiful than does the hottest mid-day sun.
And this all high and holy Court resounds with the most entrancing music, and with the songs of the dear Angels.
THERE the holy patriarchs and prophets, who had foretold the coming of the Redeemer and longed after it with so great a longing, lifted up their voices in merry gladness.
THERE the holy Apostles sit as Judges, because they forsook all on earth to follow Christ, their Lord and Master; and beside them sit the Evangelists, who did so faithfully transmit to us the teaching, life, and miracles of Christ, leaving behind them a record for all future generations of men.
THERE the glorious martyrs reign in triumph – they who yielded up their bodies to a thousand kinds of pain and martyrdom for love of Christ, and by the shedding of their blood deserved to win a heavenly crown.
THERE stand all glad and joyous the holy priests and confessors who witnessed to the Name of God openly and boldly; and by their side are all the holy virgins, who led down here a life austere and upright, chaste and mortified, silent and hidden.
And all these together encircle the vast hall of Heaven like a garland of beautiful red roses and glorious white lilies, filling it with the sweetest perfume, all the while they sing to the Most High God their ceaseless hymn of praise.
Last of all, St Lutgarde and the Sister saw a great company that no man could number, who by the earnest pursuit of good works had laid hold of salvation, and through the conquest of self, the world, and Satan, had deserved to enter in the company of the blessed.
Now it was revealed to our Saints that in one particular quarter of the Holy City reigned the greatest joy of all the Heavenly Court. Here existed, as it were, a very overflow of happiness, for here the all-sweet odour of Divine love and of every conceivable goodness and virtue, was united to the most soul-entrancing music of the great Song of Praise.
The least little gleam from this spot surpasses all the gleam of a hundred thousand earthly suns. So far indeed does it surpass them, that it was quite useless to try to
describe it.”

THE PRIVILEGES AND LIBERTIES OF THE HEAVENLY COURT

In Heaven many privileges and liberties are enjoyed, to wit:
1. Love without Suffering
2. Eternal Life without Death
3. Eternal Youth without Age
4. Riches without Poverty
5. Unfailing Health without Sickness
6. Unspeakable Joy without Grief
7. Everlasting Peace, and the Perpetual Grace of God.

via: prayers4reparation.wordpress.com

 

THE PRAYER OF THE HEAVENLY COURT

O all-holy and all-merciful Redeemer, Source of all graces, and our most kind Jesus! Out of incrompehensible love for us poor children of Eve, hast thou left thy seat on the right hand of thy Heavenly Father, and willed to clothe thyself with our helplessness and poverty.
Nay, the more surely to win us to love thee in return, thou hast made thyself helpless and poor beyond us all. No possible trouble, no possible toil, hast thou spared thyself in order to save us from the wicked enemy, and make us the children of thy Father in Heaven.
Bitterly do I grieve that up till now, I, a valueless and wretched worm of earth, have so little understood the excess of thy Love, and have given thee such poor thanks for all the hardships, pains and martyrdom thou hast bourne for me.
And therefore do I now offer up to thee this my unworthy prayer, in honour of thy most life and sufferings and death, and of every year and day and hour thou didst spend on earth for the salvation of lost and sinful men.
And I offer thee too, from the inmost depths of my heart, all the myriad acts of praise and love and gratitude of the nine Choirs of holy Angels, and indeed of all creatures from the first moment of their creation until now, and all the acts made by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary with the greatest possible love and devotion since her Immaculate Conception to this very day, together with those she will not cease to make through all the instants of Eternity.
And I offer thee these acts that I may thank thee perfectly for all thou hast done for me:
1. For thy choice from all Eternity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to be the Mother of God;
2. For her Immaculate Conception, and her preservation from every spot of original sin, in which all other mortals are conceived and born;
3. For the most pure nativity of thy Immaculate Mother, which shed a light over the whole world and caused joy in Heaven;
4. For thine own wonderful Conception by the power of the Holy Ghost in the virgin womb of thy chosen Mother which was announced by the Archangel Gabriel;
5. For the first journey thou didst take, hidden in the most pure womb of thy Holy Mother, a journey over the hills to thy cousin Elizabeth and her child John – John who, even as thou didst, then lay hidden;
6. For thy holy Nativity, when thou didst come into the world in the greatest poverty and wast born in a stable amid senseless beasts, without even a pillow on which to lay thy Sacred Head, or clothes wherewith to warm and protect thy tender limbs; 7. For thy first blood-shedding at the Circumcision, which thou didst suffer for our sakes and out of humble obedience to the Law of Moses;
9. For thy most holy Presentation in the Temple at Jerusalem by thy Blessed Mother, in accordance with the Law of Moses;
10. For the bitter persecution which began even with thy tenderest years, and which drove thee into the godless land of Egypt and kept thee there for a long space of time;
11. For thy most dear Mother’s anxious search for thee, and then her joyful finding of thee amid the doctors in the Temple, after she had sought thee for three days with bitter grief and pain;
12. For the submission thou didst show to Mary and Joseph at Nazareth rendering them all manner of humble, filial services;
13. For all thy teaching and preaching, for thy hard and dangerous journeys, and especially for all the fatigue and toil thou didst undergo for our salvation;
14. For thy most holy fast of forty days, and thy constant, fervent prayers in the desert;
15. For thy great and glorious miracles, worked to convince the stubborn people;
16. For thine agonized prayer and bloody sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane, when shuddering and sorrowful unto death, thou wert yet perfectly resigned to thy Father’s Will;
17. For the false kiss with which the faithless Judas betrayed thee and delivered thee into the hands of wicked men;
18. For the painful bands and cruel cords of thine infamous captors, and for their grievous dragging and pulling of thee over stones and through water and briars;
19. For the many false accusations devised and brought against thy most holy Person before Annas and Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod;
20. For the most painful treatment meted out to thee when thou was ignominously drawn from one unjust Judge to another;
21. For the hard and worse than blasphemous blow thou didst receive on thy most Holy Face from a servant of the High Priest;
22. For the copious and most painful bloodshedding when every part of thy most holy Body was torn by the rods and scourges of the executioners;
23. For thy nakedness, and the bitter shame thou didst experience when most of thy garments were torn from thee and thou wert thus bound to the pillar before all the crowd;
24. For the jeering, scoffing, and mock genuflections by which godless people ridiculed thee to thy holy Face;
25. For the sharp pressure on thy sacred Head of the crown of thorns, which caused thy Precious Blood to flow down over thy Face;
26. For thy piteous appearance before Pilate, who by his exclamation “Behold the man” tried to move the people to compassion;
27. For the sentence pronounced on thee by Pilate, for the manner in which thou wast led forth to die, and for the heavy weight of the Cross;
28. For thy dolorous meeting with thy sorrow-stricken Mother and the other holy women who had followed thee on the Path to Calvary and shed tears of pity over thee;
29. For the painful removal of most of thy clothing to the renewal of thy wounds, and for the merciless nailing to the wood of the Cross,as also for all the priceless words spoken on the Cross, and the final surrender of thy Spirit;
30. For thy glorious Resurrection on the third day after thy sufferings, when thou didst appear to thy Mother, thy Disciples and Apostles, and after that to many others;
31. For thy wonderful Ascension into Heaven and glorious return to thy Heavenly Father, when thine earthly pilgrimage was ended and thou hadst triumphed victoriously over the world and Satan;
32. For the wonderful fiery Descent of the Holy Ghost on thy Disciples and Apostles and thy most beloved Mother on the holy Day of Pentecost;
33. For the lordly triumph thou didst celebrate when thou didst assume thy beloved Mother, body and soul, into Heaven;
34. For thy festival of joy, in which were associated the Father and the Holy Ghost, at the exaltation of thy most glorious Mother over all the Choirs of Angels, and at her Coronation as the Queen of Heaven;
For all these, and more especially for every beat of thy Heart and every act of love, for all thy thought and desires, for all the silent and the uttered prayers which thou didst offer on earth, and still dost offer in the thou didst offer while on earth, and still dost offer in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar – for all these I tender thee a thousand thanks, and ask thee most humbly that thou wouldst grant to me and to all who have commended themselves to my prayers, or for whom I ought to pray, perfect contrition for our sins and a firm determination never to offend thy Divine Majesty, together with the grace of final perseverance. Grant that I and all men may enjoy thy grace here, and after this toilsome life is over may be received into the company of thine elect, and be united with them to the Source of Eternal Joy – which is none but thou thyself, O dearest Lord. And may we be permitted to gaze at last on thy most holy Face, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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ABOUT ST LUTGARDE’S PRAYER OF THE HEAVENLY COURT

One day in 1246, as St Lutgarde, a Sister of the Convent of St Clare at Wittichen in the Black Forest, earnestly besought God that He would show the Prayer that pleased Him best of all, a very beautiful Prayer was infused into her, which comprised in itself the whole of the life and sufferings of Christ. And forthwith her memory retained it so accurately that she repeated it every day with the greatest devotion. The Blessed Virgin told Lutgarde that she herself had begged the grace of this Prayer for her.
St Lutgarde used to exhort those whom she instructed as to the aforesaid God-revealed Prayer, to say a thousand Paters and as many Ave Marias, and Glorias, in honour of each of the thirty-four mysteries, and this too she doubtless had from God. But because the Prayer thus said might easily degenerate into an empty, mechanical repetition, the Saint advised that with every thousand Paters, Aves and Glorias, a short meditation be made on one of the thirty-four mysteries into which she had divided the whole of the life and sufferings of our Lord: and she wished these mysteries to be contemplated in the selfsame order in which she had arranged them. (While your lips pronounce the words of the prayers, let your mind picture the Mystery.)

This contemplation of the mysteries of Jesus was repeatedly enjoined on the on the Saint in her intercourse with Heaven as being the very soul of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court. “If a man would take the direct path to my treasure-room,” said the Lord to her once, “let him exercise himself in meditating on My life and My love, and give up his own will. If a man would but consider what I have done for him and all I have given him, never Again would he so rouse My anger.”It followed as a matter of course that Lutgarde should before all things demand an inner, spiritual activity, before the Prayer revealed to her honour of the mysteries of Christ could find favour with God. This spiritual activity on the part of those who said it, was to find its outlet in considerations and loving contemplations. And in this way the outward form and construction of the Prayer could by no means be called superfluous or insignificant. Again and again had the Saint heard various oral prayers offered aloud and in common by members of the Society of the Heavenly Court, such as the Te Deum, Pange Lingua, Glory be to the Father, with many another; she could not possible, therefore, have attributed a purely subordinate importance to the oral prayers or outward form of the Devotion revealed to her.
Moreover, the Saint permitted an alteration to those who used the Devotion more frequently. Instead of the continued repetition of each thousand Our Fathers, they might either assist at a Holy Mass, or give an alms, or follow the Way of the Cross, Psalters, Novenas, and so forth, made with heartfelt devotion, would serve to merit the favours attached to the Prayer of the Heavenly Court.

The Prayer of the Heavenly Court has extraordinary power and efficacy

Quite remarkable are the words in which our Lord revealed to His servant Lutgarde the merit and power of the Devotion of the Heavenly Court, and the exeeding great pleasure which He Himself took in it.
“Whosoever,” said He to her, “shall piously and devoutly recite this Prayer, to him will I in My great mercy give thirty-four human souls; that is to say, for his sake I will rescue from everlasting death, thirty-four human souls who had otherwise died in sin.
“For his sake too, I will release thirty-four souls from Purgatory. But as for the man himself who had made this Prayer, his reward shall be multiplied as the grass of the field, whose blades no one can number.
“And even should such a man have always acted in times past against My Will, yet as soon as ever he begins this Prayer with grief and contrition for his sin, and a firm purpose of amendment, I will forgive all his iniquities; nor will I ever remember his misdeeds in Eternity, but will utterly remit and forget them.
“And if such a man, during the course of this Prayer, should be called to depart from this transitory life, then will I come with My Angels to accompany him on his last journey, and to the sound of celestial music will conduct his to the threshold of Eternity, where I Myself dwell, and where he shall rejoice for ever in the company of My Mother, the Constant Advocate of Sinners, and of all My Saints.”