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PRAYER OF THE SEVEN LAST WORDS (GOOD FRIDAY)

PRAYER OF THE SEVEN LAST WORDS (GOOD FRIDAY)

O Divine Jesus, incarnate Son of God, for our salvation You consented to be born in a stable, to spend Your whole life amid poverty, trials, and misery, and to die surrounded by sufferings on the Cross. At the hour of my death, please say to Your Father: “Father, forgive him/her”. Say to Your beloved Mother: “Behold your son/daughter”. Say to my soul: “This day you shall be with Me in paradise”.

“My God, my God, do not forsake me” in that hour. “I thirst”, yes, my soul thirsts for You Who are the fountain of living waters. My life passes away like a shadow; in a short while “everything will be accomplished”. Therefore, my adorable Saviour, from this moment and for all eternity “into Your hands I commend my spirit”. Lord Jesus, receive my soul. Amen.

 

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PRAYER FOR MAUNDY THURSDAY

PRAYER FOR MAUNDY THURSDAY

PRAYER FOR HOLY THURSDAY (MAUNDY THURSDAY):

PRAYER TO APPRECIATE THE MASS

O Lord Jesus,
in order that the merits of Your sacrifice
on the Cross
might be applied to every soul of all time,
You willed that it should be renewed
upon the altar.
At the Last Supper, You said:
“Do this in remembrance of Me.”
By these words
You gave Your Apostles and their successors
the power to consecrate
and the command to do what You Yourself did.
I believe that the Mass is
both a sacrifice and a memorial –
reenacting Your Passion, Death and Resurrection.
Help me to realize that the Mass
is the greatest gift of God to us
and our greatest gift to God.
At every Mass I attend
grant me the grace
to participate fully, actively and consciously
so as to give the greatest glory to God
and achieve the highest benefits for myself,
my relatives, friends and benefactors
as well as all humankind.
Amen.

 

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IT IS NOT THE VIRTUE, BUT THE MOTIVE FOR VIRTUE, WHICH GOD REWARDS

IT IS NOT THE VIRTUE, BUT THE MOTIVE FOR VIRTUE, WHICH GOD REWARDS

Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour, and shall hate your enemy.'” And so forth.

But I say to you: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Many people, measuring the precepts of God by their own weakness rather than by the strength of his Saints, think it is impossible to perform what they command. They say it is enough if the virtuous do not hate their enemies. To love them is to command more than human nature can bear. We ought to realise that Christ did not command impossible things, although he did command perfect things: David did it to Saul and Absalom; Stephen the Martyr prayed for his enemies who stoned him; Paul wished to be anathema for the sake of his persecutors. This, too, Jesus taught and did when he said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven. If observing the commandments of God makes man a son of God, then is man a son of God not from his nature but from his will. “Therefore when you do an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets that they may be honoured by men.” The man giving an alms and sounding a trumpet is a hypocrite. He who fasts that he may disfigure his face, and that its emaciation may show the emptiness of his stomach – he, too, is a hypocrite. So, too, is he a hypocrite who prays in the synagogues and on the corners of streets, for the sole purpose of being seen by men.

The danger of vain-glory

From all this we may conclude that hypocrites do what they do that they may be glorified by men. It seems to me that, he, too, is a hypocrite who says to his brother, “Let me cast the speck out of your eye,” for he does this through vain-glory, that he may seem just. Wherefore, the Lord says to him: “Hypocrite, first cast out the beam from your own eye.” It is not the act of virtue, but the motive for virtue, which has the reward from God. And if you swerve even but a little from the straight way, it matters not whether you stray to the right or to the left, since you have lost the true way.

– From: St Jerome, Book 1, Commentary on Matthew, Ch. 5-6

(see also: Examination of Conscience, Spiritual Direction, Confession)

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2017 in Words of Wisdom

 

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HE WHO ONCE IN RIGHTEOUS VENGEANCE (HYMN)

HE WHO ONCE IN RIGHTEOUS VENGEANCE (HYMN)

He who once, in righteous vengeance,

Whelmed the world beneath the flood,

Once again in mercy cleansed it

With the stream of his own Blood,

Coming from his throne on high

On the painful Cross to die.

 

Blest with this all-saving shower,

Earth her beauty straight resumed;

In the place of thorns and briers,

Myrtles sprang, and roses bloomed:

Bitter wormwood of the waste

Into honey changed its taste.

 

Scorpions ceased; the slimy serpent

Laid his deadly poison by;

Savage beasts of cruel instinct

Lost their wild ferocity;

Welcoming the gentle reign

Of the Lamb for sinners slain.

 

Oh, the wisdom of th’ Eternal!

Oh, its depth, and height divine!

Oh, the sweetness of that mercy

Which in Jesus Christ doth shine!

Slaves we were condemned to die!

Our King pays the penalty!

 

When before the Judge we tremble,

Conscious of his broken laws,

May this Blood, in that dread hour,

Cry aloud, and plead our cause;

Bid our guilty terrors cease,

Be our pardon and our peace.

 

Prince and Author of salvation,

Lord of majesty supreme,

Jesu, praise to thee be given

By the world thou didst redeem;

Who with the Father and the Spirit,

Reignest in eternal merit.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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HOW THE BEAUTY OF A CHRISTIAN SOUL ENRAPTURES HIM WHO BECAME ITS SPOUSE BY BAPTISM

HOW THE BEAUTY OF A CHRISTIAN SOUL ENRAPTURES HIM WHO BECAME ITS SPOUSE BY BAPTISM

RAISE YOUR EYES TO THE REGIONS OF INFINITE LOVE: THERE YOU WILL FIND THE SECRET OF YOUR TEARS

Alas! we always forget that the object of our love is beloved also by another, and that God is called in the Holy Scriptures a jealous God. In our affections we forget Him Who loves more than all creatures together, and Who, lest they should find any reason to complain of Him, has willed to die for them, eternal as He was by His nature. Raise your eyes to the regions of infinite love, there you will find the secret of your tears. You will see wrapped in the embrace of God the soul which divided itself so equally between God and you, that not even the attractions of Heaven would have torn it from you, if it had not received an indisputable order. You will see the reason of this command, which seems so cruel, and understand how the beauty of a Christian soul enraptures Him Who became its Spouse by baptism.

DEATH IS THE PORTAL OF LIFE

Unhappy that we are, we do not believe these divine mysteries! We call birth and life by the name of death; we make a tomb of the portal of heaven, we weep there, like men who have no hope?

– Lacordaire, from Laverty & Sons (eds), Leeds, 1905

 

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HOLD ON TO THE GOOD AND STAY IN THE FOOTPRINTS OF YOUR PIOUS ANCESTORS – ST NICHOLAS OF FLUE

HOLD ON TO THE GOOD AND STAY IN THE FOOTPRINTS OF YOUR PIOUS ANCESTORS – ST NICHOLAS OF FLUE

“[On]…21st March one of the saints celebrated by the Church is St Nicholas of Flue, known also as Brother Klaus. He was born in 1417 in the Swiss canton of Unterwalden. At the age of 21 St Nicholas entered the army and took part in the Battle of Ragaz, distinguishing himself as a soldier. He became a member of the lay organisation called the Friends of God. Members sought closeness to Jesus through a disciplined life, especially meditation on His Passion.

Closeness to Jesus

At the age of 30 St Nicholas married Dorothy Wissling, and during twenty years of happy marriage they had ten children. St Nicholas left the army at the age of 37, having always carried his rosary beads with him wherever he travelled. After leaving the army he became a councillor and a judge for his canton.

His Divine Calling

At the age of 50 St Nicholas sensed the call of God to lead a more contemplative life. His wife and children believed that he had this divine calling and did not oppose him. St Nicholas left his family and spent the next 20 years in a remote cottage in Ranft. He prayed most of the night, but in the afternoon was happy to receive visitors.

He prayed most of the night

Although unable to read or write, St Nicholas had the gift of spiritual counsel and natural good judgement. Even top leaders sought his direction on spiritual, personal or political matters. In 1481 St Nicholas played a major role in solidifying the unity of Switzerland through his advice given to those involved in this endeavour. St Nicholas died on 21st March 1487 in Ranft after a short illness. He was beatified in 1669 and canonised by Pope Pius XII in 1947. He is the Patron Saint of Switzerland and of the Swiss Guards who protect the Pope.

A document from that time preserved St Nicholas’ fundamental wisdom:

Always put God first… do not mix in the affairs of others or ally yourself with a powerful stranger. Guard against discord and self-interest… do not let grow among you self-interest, jealousy, hatred, envy and factions, or these will work against you… don’t let innovations and roguery seduce you. Hold on to the good and stay on the road in the footprints of your pious ancestors. If you do that, neither storm nor tempest can harm you and you will overcome much evil.”

– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr. Chris 3/2017

 

 

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THOU HAST PREPARED THY HOLY TABLE IN THE SIGHT OF MY SPIRITUAL ENEMIES

THOU HAST PREPARED THY HOLY TABLE IN THE SIGHT OF MY SPIRITUAL ENEMIES

ACT OF HOPE BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION

Jesus, my Lord and my God, Whom I behold with eyes of faith in the Sacrament of the Altar, what may I not hope from thee! Thou art the Almighty who canst ever succour us; thou art our all-loving and merciful God Who wilt gladly help us, Whose delight is to dispense grace and blessing.

Thou knockest at the door of our hearts yearning to enter and lavish upon us the fulness of thy grace. What canst thou withhold, O my loving Redeemer, when thou givest me thyself with all that thou art and all that thou hast? Thou art my refuge, my hope, my salvation, my life, my beatitude!

Thou hast promised refreshment to all who are weary and heavy burdened; thou hast the words of eternal life, and thou wilt fulfil these words in me. Thou hast prepared this holy table against all that afflicts me, against all the enemies of my salvation; I hope, therefore, to be strengthened at thy table for the struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Thou hast given me this food as the pledge of immortality; through it I hope for eternal life. Bless, O Lord, all that hope in thee. Increase my hope and let it not be in vain.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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