Saturday, April 10, 2004

Sequence For Easter Sunday

Victimae Paschali
laudes immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri

Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?

Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes,
sudarium et vestes.

Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos in Galilaeam.

Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

Paschal Victim
offer sacrifice and praise.

The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners
to his Father reconciled.

Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended!
Life's own Champion, slain,
yet lives to reign.

Tell us, Mary:
say what thou didst see upon the way.

The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ's glory as He rose!

The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.

Christ, my hope, has risen:
He goes before you into Galilee.

That Christ is truly risen
from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia.

Alleluia For Easter Sunday

Alleluia, Alleluia!
Pascha nostrum immolatis est Christus.

Alleluia, Alleluia!
Christ our Easter Lamb is slain.

Gradual For Easter Sunday

Haec dies, quam fecit Dominus:
Exsultemus, et laetemur in ea.
Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus:
Quoniam in saeculum misericordia ejus.

This is the day the Lord hath made:
Let us exult and rejoice in Him.
Blessed be the Lord, for He is good:
May His mercy be everlasting.


The Easter Proclamation, from the Vigil Mass
(Latin and English from different sources and in different formats)

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God's people!

My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,
that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam's sin to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
When Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night,
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slav'ry,
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night,
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin.

This is night,
when Christians ev'rywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night,
when Jesus broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?

Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
"The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy."

The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed,
when heaven is wedded to earth
and we are reconciled to God!

Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church's solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Exsultet iam angelica turba caelorum: exsultet divina mysteria: et pro tanti Regis victoria, tuba insonet salutaris. Gaudeat et tellus tantis irradiata fulgoribus: et aeterni Regis splendore illustrata, totius orbis se sentiat amisisse caliginem. Laetetur et mater Ecclisia tanti luminis adornata fulgoribus: et magnis populorum vocibus haec aula resultet. Dominus vobiscum.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Sursum corda.

R. Habemus ad Dominum.

Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.

R. Dignum et iustum est.

Vere dignum et iustum est, invisibilem Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Filiumque eius unigenitum, dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, toto cordis ac mentis affectu, et vocis ministerio personare. Qui pro nobis aeterno Patri Adae debitum solvit: et veteris piaculi cautionem pio cruore detersit. Haec sunt enim festa paschalia, in quibus verus ille agnus occiditur, cuius sanguine postes fidelium consecrantur. Haec nox est, in qua primum patres nostros, filius Israel eductos de Aegypto, Mare Rubrum sicco vestigio transire fecisti. Haec igitur nox est, quae peccatorum tenebras columnae illuminatione purgavit. Haec nox est, quae hodie per universum mundum in Christo credentes, a vitiis saeculi et caligine peccatorum segregatos reddit gratiae, sociat sanctitati. Haec nox est, in qua, destructis vinculis mortis, Christus ab inferis victor ascendit. O mira circa nos tuae pietatis dignatio! O inaestimabilis dilecti o caritatis: ut servum redimeres , Filium tradidisti! O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est! O felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem! In huius igitur noctis gratia, suscipe, sancte Pater, laudis huius sacrificium vespertinum: quod tibi in hac cerei oblatione sollemni, per ministrorum manus de operibus apum, sacrosancta reddit Ecclesia. Oramus ergo te, Domine, ut cererus iste in honorem tui nominis consecratus, ad noctis huius caliginem destruendam, in deficiens perseveret. Et in odorem suavitatis acceptus, supernis luminaribus misceatur. Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat. Ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum: Christus Filius tuus, qui, regressus ab inferis, humano generi serenus illuxit, et tecum vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum.

R. Amen

Holy Saturday: A Sermon By Monsignor Ronald Knox

I would really like to introduce more Americans to the works of the late Monsignor Ronald Knox, who I consider the British Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Like Fulton Sheen and Cardinal Newman, I think there is a strong case that Knox ought to be raised to the altars of the Church. If more people become aware of him, perhaps more will pray for his intercession, and his cause can get started.

He was a great apologist, a convert himself like Newman, a winner of converts (including the atheist Arnold Lunn), translator of the Holy Bible, a first rate writer, friend of Evelyn Waugh (no mean feat of diplomacy, that).

His sermon Holy Saturday, which I reproduce here as a teaser for his other writings, was published more than 50 years ago in The Tablet (April 12, 1952) and republished in the 1960 collection of his sermons, Pastoral Sermons, which I see is now in print again as Pastoral and Occasional Sermons, through the great good offices of Ignatius Press.

I urge everyone who can to buy a copy of these sermons and benefit from the thought of this great Catholic preacher and writer.

Please don't be put off by what we would regard as the over-use of commas and semi-colons. Now I understand why I had such a strong comma habit that my writing teachers in high school sought to break. I read a great deal of English prose, especially Churchill's History of the Second World War and History of the English-Speaking Peoples. If I were re-editing Knox today, a lot of the commas and semi-colons would disappear. But that task is beyond my paygrade.

"He went and preached to the spirits who lay in prison." 1 Peter 3:19
After the Mass of Holy Saturday, when you are sitting in your room, perhaps with some favorite book in front of you, there is a sudden knock at the door. "Come in", you shout cheerily, half turning to greet the visitor. The door is opened by a priest in cotta and stole, who, after a brief Latin salutation, sprinkles the treasured volume liberally with holy water, and withdraws. What sacred thoughts ought to be ours on this occasion?

For myself, I like to think of some old patriarch in Limbo, King David, let us say, waiting, through long centuries of twilight for his permit to enter heaven. Waiting, not under the stroke of divine chastisement, but with a patience beyond all our imagining; alone there, with his memories and his hopes, like a watchman waiting for the dawn. The Spirit of Christ is in him, making known to him the sufferings which Christ's cause brings with it, and the glory that crowns them; when is it to be? And how is the time of it to be recognized? All at once, the door of his prison springs open, and in a blaze of light he sees the figure so often, in his poetic imaginings, ah, how dimly foreshadowed, the martyred Christ, wounds shining on hands and feet! Christ is risen, and David, waking up after his likeness, finds there everlasting content.

Does prudence, does piety demand of us that we should think of our Lord's Passion as having availed a few, only a very few, of the men who died before him? That was not what medieval writers meant when they talked of the harrowing of Hell. They meant that a vast army of souls, we cannot tell how multitudinous, escaped in that hour from the grip in which the Devil seemed to hold them. And indeed, in the very passage from which I quoted, St. Peter gives a curious description of these souls to whom our Lord preached the message of his Resurrection. "Long before, they had refused belief...in the days of Noe (Noah)." It was not merely, as you might have expected, Noe and Sem and Cham and Japhet, with their wives, survivors of a drowned world, that rose to acclaim the risen Christ. No, even in the days of general corruption before the deluge, there were souls, strange to think of it, that belonged to Him. Their mortal natures paid the penalty in men's eyes, but in the sight of God their spirits were to live on. And so it was, doubtless, with all the great catastrophes that overtook mankind before the coming of our redemption. Always a proportion of the victims, by some merciful dispensation whose nature we cannot guess, had escaped Hell, had achieved the title to an immortal destiny. They only waited for Easter Day when, in their prison, the imprisoned Christ would come to them, and they would refuse belief no longer.

You and I, maybe, after death, will find ourselves in the twilight state known as Purgatory. Saved (please God) by faith in the risen Christ, we shall not yet be partakers in the glory of His Resurrection. Preachers who discuss the conditions of that intermediate state are apt to lay stress on the severity of the divine punishments. They may be right; it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Only, I dare to hope that the severity of it will be relieved by something we had no right to expect, something we had never been told about, the influence of our blessed Lord's passing, on Easter Eve, through the place of the departed spirits. The holy water still glistens on your table when the priest has come and gone; what if our Lord, on that first Holy Saturday, blessed it once for all with a lustration which time can never efface? I like to think of Purgatory, however long and however dreary it be, as consoled in some measure by the consciousness that He has been there before us; as a process of passing onwards from room to room, always with the sense that the presence of one we love has only just been withdrawn. Not strong enough, yet, to follow Him out into the sunlight, we shall follow Him eagerly through the dark. Is that fanciful?

At least let me say this; I think we do well, at Easter-tide, to remember our dead. No do not exclaim that I am a kill-joy, clouding your festival with sad thoughts.(GTF: my emphasis) True, it is life, not death that is uppermost in our thoughts; the spring air, the crisp, clean associations of the Easter liturgy, heal the mind with hopes of renewal. But consider, when you see our Lord represented as rising from the tomb with a banner in His hand, it is the symbol of a military penetration; He, the Victor, in rolling back the stone has made a breach in the enemy's lines, for what? So that the army of His redeemed may pour through at His heels. Or, if you will use St. Paul's metaphor, his is the first birth out of death; He has opened the barren womb of extinction, not for Himself only but so as to be the first-born of many brethren. Vidi aquam--our Lord's Resurrection is the opening of the springs; the full river has yet to flow. It broadens out, reaches its fulfillment, in ours.

To be sure, our bodies must await the day of judgment, buried in their native earth; only Himself and His Blessed Mother escape altogether from the primal curse. But Heaven, from hour to hour, is being peopled with spirits of just men made perfect, like the hedgerows yonder, that are silently bursting into bud. And shall we give no thought to those other spirits that are sill in prison, thwarted growths, the Gardener bestowed such pains on? Now, when the very air seems charged with paschal grace, it is but common charity that we should want to share it with them; now, while the spring grass is fresh over their graves, it is but seasonable that the memory of them should be renewed. More souls, this Easter morning, looking up to see the stone rolled away from their dungeon door, and a risen Master standing there in the daylight to welcome them: "Rise up, rise up quickly, and come with me! The winter is over now, the rain has passed by."

And can we, in these times, mention the very word "prison" without being reminded of other souls, still in the flesh, tens of thousands of them, held ina captivity which makes Purgatory seem like a welcome thought? Christian souls--have they still the means to reckon the calendar of Christendom? If so, you may picture them exchanging today, half ironically, the familiar greeting, "Christ is risen."
Pro afflictis et captivis --how full of meaning these words sound in wartime, how lightly they cross our lips when our tiny corner of the world is at peace! Let us pray for them, too, bishops and priests and layfolk, forgotten heroes of Christendom; victims of that faith which you and I wear on our sleeves...Then, with slower step, but with undiminished courage, let us go back to keep the feast of our redemption.

What do we take from this sermon? A hope that, perhaps, those we love in Purgatory, surely the intermediate resting place for the vast majority of even believing Christians, are comforted by grace Christ left there as He passed through on that original Holy Saturday. Also, we are well reminded to pray for our dead, and all the dead, at Easter. Certainly, November is set aside in a special way to recall the dead. But when is it more appropriate to ask for the release of souls in Purgatory than on the anniversary of Christ's triumph over death and sin and Hell?

As so often happens during the Easter season, I have my own dead to pray for. Today, April 10th, would have been my parents' 58th wedding anniversary. Dad died in 1989, and Mum in 1998. Also, my mother-in-law died 6 years ago April 4th. God rest them and keep them. May they share his resurrection. So may we all.

A Quick One

As John at the Inn At the End of the World points out, I did indeed forget the Hot Cross Bun in my pre-Easter bloggings. Incredible! What an oversight! An inexplicable lacuna! Sugar, candied fruit, two of the basic Fitzpatrick food groups right there. Plus it was a favorite of both Their Late Brittanic Majesties George II and George III. What's not to like? John, however, fills the gap and links to an excellent recipe for it.

The Hot Cross Bun has always been a problem for me. First of all, they are tradiitonal for Good Friday, which is a day of fasting for Catholics. Secondly, I generally give up all cake-like things for the duration of Lent. You can spill gallons of ink in discussion of whether a sweet bread or a bun is "cake-like" or not. But I tend to come down on the more rigouristic side.

What I have done in the past is buy them (inexplicably, I've never made them), freeze them, and have them for breakfast Easter Sunday morning. But some years those buns just stay in the freezer if I am too busy with other things, and Easter Sunday breakfast is Cadbury creme eggs, jelly jeans, and Dove dark chocolate eggs (and Russell Stover Cream eggs, too).

So two cheers for the Hot Cross Bun, that invention of 18th Century England!

Don't Forget

To continue the Divine Mercy Novena, especially at 3:00 pm today, tomorrow, and every day until Low Sunday (Divine Mercy Sunday).

Two Cheers For Archbishop Sean

He performed the footwashing on Maundy Thursday on men only, which is his personal custom.

I see in the Herald that Fall River went further than the Archbishop did.

He'd get three cheers if he applied it Archdiocese-wide, like the Archbishop of Atlanta did.

And he'd be papabile if he publicly did something about Kerry, Kennedy, et al. receiving the Sacrament while they still support abortion, as the excellent Archbishop Burke and Bishop Bruskewitz have done.

Waiting For Easter

"...There is a stillness, a quietness in the air. Holy Thursday and Good Friday have passed, and now we wait to celebrate Easter Sunday. Easter is here, but not quite yet. In some way, our life is similar. We want Heaven, but are not quite ready yet."
Father Thomas Connery, Repent: It's Lent, (Twenty-Third Publications, Mystic, CT, 1998), Prayer for Holy Saturday, p. 48.

During that original Passiontide, this was the Day of Preparation. And so it is today. We wait, mourning Christ crucified and buried in the borrowed tomb. But, unlike the Apostles that first Holy Saturday, we know that Christ will rise on the dawn of the morrow and that the joy will be unleashed at the great vigil Mass tonight, as we hear the moving words of the Easter Proclamation, "O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam that won for us so great a Redeemer."

While we wait, we conclude our lenten reading and preparation. Some churches offer a last opportunity before Easter to recieve the Sacrament of Penance this afternoon. Sadly, few avail themselves of the chance. Around the home there are tasks to perform for the feast of Easter. There is a house to be cleaned, foods to be prepared, decorations to be put up, flowers to be arranged, Easter baskets to be filled. After the vigil Mass tonight, the veils over the crucifixes, saints images, etc. can come down.

I wish all of you, especially my loved one, the most joyful and blessed Easter. May the light of the Lord's resurrection shine in all of your hearts and families this Easter, and may the grace of His resurrection bring healing and reconciliation where it is sorely needed in our lives.

Holy Saturday Reflection From the Precious Blood Leadership Conference

Readings: Genesis 1: 1-2:2 Genesis 22: 1-18
Exodus 14: 15 – 15:1 Isaiah 54: 5 - 14
Isaiah 55: 1-11 Baruch 3: 9-15, 32 - 44
Ezekiel 36: 16 – 28 Romans 6: 3-11
Matthew 28: 1-10

I pick up a newspaper and skim the headlines–another bombing in Israel, retaliation in the West Bank, bloodshed in Iraq, a killer convicted and sentenced to death row in the United States, strikes and blockades by Bolivian compesinos who barely eke out a living, and a heightened alert at home. Deep suffering and death beg for an explanation. Resurrection does not come easily to these situations. The darkness of the tomb and emptiness can even hold sway within our own hearts.

Yet things are not always as they appear. This Vigil of Easter comes to awaken us to the reality that what we see in the headlines is not all there is. And there is more than what we experience in the emptiness of our own hearts! Our world and our lives are about to be turned upside down. In the darkness there is light. Truly, death and suffering will not have the final word!

On this Vigil of Easter we gather as the people of God, and we recall our ancestral stories in which the shedding of blood is a source of liberation, and life arises in the midst of death. Our Scripture passages read like a well-known epoch that is born of experience of and trust in our God. As we stand before the tomb, we can be confident that the real story underneath the headlines continues. Today–be still. Wait on the threshold where death will give rise to new life.

Reflection by: Sister Mary Whited, C.PP.S. (O’Fallon, Missouri)

Holy Saturday Reflection

From the Franciscans at AmericanCatholic.org.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Prayers For Good Friday

"O, my Lord Jesus, I hereby beg of Thee, by the merits of Thy Precious Blood,
by Thy Divine Heart, and by the intercession of Thy Most Holy Death to assist
me in this pressing necessity."

(To be said 33 times for each intention. It must be said during the hours of
12 noon and 3 PM).

Found at Two Sleepy Mommies.

Also, today is the day to start the Divine Mercy Novena in order to obtain a plenary indulgence. The devotion is completed on Low Sunday (Divine Mercy Sunday), also known as the Second Sunday of Easter.

And this prayer comes from the Roman Seraphic Missal (1965) and is repeated in various forms during Holy Week, including on Good Friday:

"Oh God by Your mercy cleanse us of the deceitfulness of our old selves and enable us to increase in new holiness. (We ask this) Through Jesus Christ."
The whole of Lent has been aimed at this.

No blogging until Holy Saturday.

Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward

by John Donne
Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motions, lose their owne,
And being, by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesses so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is't, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget;
But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I'almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for mee.
Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;
What a death were it then to see God dye?
It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,
It made his footstools crack, and the Sunne winke.
Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,
And tune all spheares at once, peirc'd with those holes?
Could I behold that endlesse height which is
Zenith to us, and our Antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our Soules, if not of his,
Made durt of dust, or that flesh which was worne
By God, for his appare'l, rag'd, and torne?
If on these things I durst not looke, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was Gods partner here, and furnish'd thus
Halfe of that Sacrifice, which ransom'd us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They'are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and thou look'st towards mee,
O Saviour, as thou hang'st upon the tree;
I turne my backe to thee, but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O thinke mee worth thine anger, punish mee,
Burne off my rusts, and my deformity,
Restore thine Image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou may'st know mee, and I'll turne my face.

Psalm 22/21

My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?
Far from my salvation are the words of my sins.
O my God, I shall cry by day, and Thou wilt not hear: and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me.
But Thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel.
In Thee have our fathers hoped: they have hoped, and Thou hast delivered them.
They cried to Thee, and they were saved: they trusted in Thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and not a man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people.
All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head.
He hoped in the Lord, let Him deliver him: let Him save him, seeing He delighteth in him.
For Thou art he that hast drawn me out of the womb: my hope from the breasts of my mother.
I was cast upon Thee from the womb.
From my mother's womb Thou art my God,
depart not from me.
For tribulation is very near: for there is none to help me.
Many calves have surrounded me: fat bulls have besieged me.
They have opened their mouths against me, as a lion ravening and roaring.
I am poured out like water; and all my bones are scattered.
My heart is become like wax melting in the midst of my bowels.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue hath cleaved to my jaws: and Thou hast brought me down into the dust of death.
For many dogs have encompassed me: the council of the malignant hath besieged me. They have pierced my hands and feet.
They have numbered all my bones.
And they have looked and stared upon me.
They parted my garments amongst them; and for my vesture they cast lots.
But Thou, O Lord, remove not Thy help to a distance from me; look towards my defence.
Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword: my only one from the hand of the dog.
Save me from the lion's mouth; and my lowness from the horns of the buffalo.
I will declare Thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the church will I praise Thee.
Ye that fear the Lord, praise Him: all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him.
Let all the seed of Israel fear Him: because He hath not slighted nor despised the supplication of the poor man.
Neither hath He turned away his face from me: and when I cried to Him He heard me.
With Thee is my praise in a great church: I will pay my vows in the sight of them that fear Him.
The poor shall eat and shall be filled: and they shall praise the Lord that seek Him: their hearts shall live for ever and ever.
All the ends of the earth shall remember, and shall be converted to the Lord:
And all the kindreds of the Gentiles shall adore in His sight.
For the kingdom is the Lord's; and He shall have dominion over the nations.
All the fat ones of the earth have eaten and have adored: all they that go down to the earth shall fall before Him.
And in Him my soul shall live: and my seed shall serve Him.
There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come: and the heavens shall shew forth His justice to a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made.

Father Keyes' Good Friday Reflection From the Precious Blood Leadership Conference Site

Readings: Isaiah 52: 1353, 12; Hebrews 4: 1416, 5: 79; John 18:1–19:42

St. Gaspar
Please do me the favor of telling the Holy Father that perhaps he, one day, will realize what he does not presently see. I am not speaking about myself but about the Society. He will weep for having used during an audience a procedure which was not in accordance with God. Only God knows whether I shall survive all of the bitter things that have occurred. I have not lost sight of my conformity to his divine will, for doing his most loveable divine will is my total pursuit. However, I am not made of iron or of bronze. To face continuous, baseless rebukes and invectives, without due process, both of my conduct and that of others, is a very bitter chalice to drink. All of this, however, is very little, considering my own demerits. Still, I glory in being a son of the Church and, wretched though I may be, I have not lost my faith. Excuse this outburst of mine which is meant for you alone, for I am besieged with sadness, yet I have not allowed any of this to leak out even to my companions, realizing that the war that is being waged is brought on by the enemy, and in the most despicable way. St. Gaspar (from Letter 1207 to Msgr. Bellisario Cristaldi, July 20, 1825, Resources 8, Stroke of the Pen II, pg 2930)

“By silence and prayer we will come to understand much better the preciousness of the cross, made sacred by the Precious Blood of Cross.” 1863 St. Maria de Mattias
“The Cross is always dear to those who truly love Jesus. Whoever loves the Cross gives a sure sign that she holds in her heart a genuine love for Jesus. My dear, let us never move away from the Cross, for this is the key to the treasures of heaven. This is the gate of Paradise.” 1847 St. Maria de Mattias

St. Gaspar writes a great deal about the cross. The cross can be found also in the writings of St. Maria de Mattias, foundress of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. As she said, “The cross is always dear to those who truly love Jesus.” For all the saints, the cross stands at the center of our lives. For Francis de Sales, it was the only road to heaven. For St. Gaspar, it was the only book to read.

I remember once a couple experiencing trouble with their marriage. After many months they were communicating more effectively. One day there was a crisis. He was laid off from work. Her work was cut back. There was fear and frustration and anxiety. When they came to talk to me I noticed she was identifying with his fear rather than telling him to work harder. He was listening to her anxiousness without taking responsibility for it or telling her to settle down. I remarked how they were caring for one another and doing so well. She responded by asking, "if we are doing so well, why is life falling apart?"

Well, we follow someone who died on a cross, who experienced the worst and cruelest form of capital punishment. Life will fall apart. The struggles and trials of life and love will prove us and refine us into fire-tried gold. Maturity comes, for St. Gaspar, through “thorns, crosses and hardships.” What we will discover in the midst of these crosses is unconditional love.

What are the thorns and hardships now?
What successes do I adore?
How might I take better care of another person?

Reflection by: Rev. Jeff Keyes, C.PP.S. (Province of the Pacific)

Reflection For Good Friday

From the Franciscans at AmericanCatholic.org.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Conclusion of the Stations

Concluding Prayers
After this return to the high altar and, to complete this devotion, say the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
five times (each) in honor of the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Prayer To Be Said Kneeling Before the Crucifix:
Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul, I pray and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, with true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment; while with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five wounds, having before my eyes the words which David the prophet put on Thy lips concerning Thee: "They have pierced My hands and My feet, they have numbered all My bones" (Ps xxi, 17-18).

At the end, one Our Father and Hail Mary, at least should be said for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff; this will fullfill the requirements for a plenary indulgence connected to this devotion -- so long as a person also fulfills the other requirements. (See "How to Gain a Partial or Plenary Indulgence" by making this devotion: from the Enchiridion of Indulgences re-published with the Preparatory Prayer above).

Remainder of the Stabat Mater

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.

Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.

Let us pray:
Let intercession be made for us, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Thy mercy, by the blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Thy bitter Passion. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

Interveniat pro nobis, quaesumus, Domine Iesu Christe, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, apud tuam clementiam beata Virgo Maria tua, cuius sacratissimam animam in hora tuae passionis doloris gladius pertransivit. Per te, Iesu Christe, Salvator mundi, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

The Devotion Concluded.

The Fourteenth Station

Jesus Is Laid In the Tomb

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider how the disciples carried the body of Jesus to bury it, accompanied by His holy Mother who arranged it in the sepulcher with her own hands. They then closed the tomb, and all withdrew.

Considera quomodo discipuli exanimem Redemptorem ad locum sepulturae deferant. Moerens Mater eos comitatur, et propriis manibus corpus Filii sepulturae accommodat. Sepulchrum dein occluditur, et omnes a loco recedunt.

Oh, my buried Jesus, I kiss the stone that encloses Thee. But Thou didst rise again the third day. I beseech Thee by Thy resurrection, make me rise glorious with Thee at the last day, to be always united with Thee in Heaven, to praise Thee and love Thee forever.

I love Thee, and I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O sepulte Iesu, exosculor hunc, qui te recondit, lapidem; sed post triduum ex sepulcro resurges. Per tuam resurrectionem fac me, precor, extremo die gloriosum tecum resurgere, et venire in caelum, ubi tecum semper coniunctus, te laudabo et in aeternum amabo.

Amo te, et doleo quod tibi displicui: ne sinas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of the to give.

Iuxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Christ Laid In the Tomb by Titian, 1525.

The Thirteenth Station

Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider how, after the death of our Lord, two of His disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, took Him down from the Cross, and placed Him in the arms of His afflicted Mother, who received Him with unutterable tenderness, and pressed Him to her bosom.

Considera quomodo duo ex Iesu discipulis, Iosephus nempe et Nicodemus, eum exanimatum de cruce tollant et inter brachia perdolentis Matris reponant, quae mortuum Filium peramanter recipit et arcte complectitur.

O Mother of Sorrows, for the love of this Son, accept me for thy servant, and pray to Him for me. And Thou, my Redeemer, since Thou hast died for me, permit me to love Thee; for I wish but Thee and nothing more.

I love Thee, my Jesus, and I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O moerens Mater, per amorem quo Filium tuum amas, accipe me in servum tuum et precare eum pro me. Tu vero, o mi Redemptor, quoniam pro me mortuus es, fac benigne ut amem te; te enim solum volo, nec extra te aliud quidpiam mihi opto.

Amo te, o mi Iesu, paenitet me quod tibi displicui: ne sinas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

The Pieta by Bellini, painted in the 1470s.

The Twelfth Station

Jesus Dies Upon the Cross

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider how thy Jesus, after three hours of agony on the Cross, consumed at length with anguish, abandons Himself to the weight of His Body, bows His Head, and dies.

Considera tuum cruci suffixum Iesum, qui post trium horarum cum morte luctam, doloribus tandem consumptus addicit corpus morti, et inclinato capite emittit spiritum.

O my dying Jesus, I kiss devoutly the Cross on which Thou did die for love of me. I have merited by my sins to die a miserable death, but Thy death is my hope, Ah, by the merits of Thy death, give me grace to die embracing Thy feet, and burning with love for Thee, I yield my soul into Thy hands.

I love Thee with my whole heart; I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O mortue Iesu, exosculor, pietatis sensu intime commotus, hanc crucem in qua tu, mei causa, vitae tuae finem implevisti. Ob commissa peccata infelicem mihi mortem promerui; sed mors tua est spes mea. Per mortis tuae merita, concede mihi precor, ut in amplexu pedum tuorum extremum spiritum, tui amore flagrans, aliquando reddam. In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum.

Amo te ex toto corde meo; paenitet me quod tibi displicui: ne sinas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

The Death of the Lord Upon the Cross by Hans Baldung, 1512

The Eleventh Station

Jesus Is Nailed To the Cross

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider how Jesus, after being thrown on the Cross, extended His hands, and offered to His Eternal Father the sacrifice of His life for our salvation. These barbarians fastened him with nails, and then, raising the Cross, leave Him to die with anguish on this infamous gibbet.

Considera quomodo Iesus in crucem coniciatur, et extensis brachiis, vitam suam in sacrificium pro nostra salute aeterno Patri offerat. Carnifices clavis eum affigunt, dein erigunt crucem, et infami patibulo suffixum saevae morti permittunt.

MY Jesus!, loaded with contempt, nail my heart to Thy feet, that it may ever remain there, to love Thee, and never quit Thee again. I love Thee more than myself. I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O contemptissime Iesu, affige pedibus tuis cor meum, ut amoris vinculo ligatum semper tecum remaneat, necque amplius a te avellatur. Amo te magis quam meipsum; paenitet me quod tibi displicui: ne permittas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Christ Nailed To the Cross (artist and date unknown to me)

The Tenth Station

Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider the violence with which the executioners stripped Jesus. His inner garments adhered to His torn flesh, and they dragged them off so roughly that the skin came with them. Compassionate your Savior thus cruelly treated, and say to Him:

Considera quam violenter Iesus vestimentis suis spolietur. Cum enim vestis interior arcte carni flagellis dilaniatae adhaereret, carnifices, avellendo vestem, cutem ei quoque avellunt. Subeat te commiseratio Domini tui, eumque sic alloquere:

MY innocent Jesus, by the merits of the torments Thou hast felt, help me to strip myself of all affection to things of earth, in order that I may place all my love in Thee, Who art so worthy of my love. I love Thee, O Jesus, with my whole heart. I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

INNOCENTISSIME Iesu, per meritum doloris quem inter hanc spoliationem passus es, adiuva me, precor, ut omnem in res creatas affectum exuam, et tota voluntatis meae inclinatione ad te solum convertar, qui meo nimis dignus es amore. Amo te ex toto corde meo; paenitet me quod tibi displicui; ne sinas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

The Spoliation by El Greco, painted between 1577-1579.

The Ninth Station

Jesus Falls the Third Time

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider the third fall of Jesus Christ. His weakness was extreme, and the cruelty of His executioners excessive, who tried to hasten His steps when he had scarcely strength to move.

Considera tertium Iesu Christi sub cruce lapsum. Procumbit quia nimia erat eius debilitas, et nimia saevitia carnificum, qui volebant ut gressum acceleraret, dum vix unum gradum facere posset.

Oh, my outraged Jesus, by the merits of the weakness Thou didst suffer in going to Calvary, give me strength sufficient to conquer all human respect, and all my wicked passions, which have led me to despise Thy friendship.

I love Thee, my beloved Jesus, with my whole heart. I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O inclementer habite Iesu, per meritum illius virium defectionis, qua in via ad Calvarium laborare voluisti, tanto, precor, me vigore conforta, ut nullum amplius ad humana iudicia respectum habeam, ac vitiosam meam naturam edomem: quod utrumque in causa fuit cur tuam olim amicitiam contempserim.

Amo te, o Iesu, mi Amor, ex toto corde meo; paenitet me quod tibi displicui: ne sinas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Jesus Falling On the Via Dolorosa by an unknown artist in the MS Monogram, painted between 1500-1510.

The Eight Station

Jesus Consoles the Women of Jersusalem

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider how those women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus in such a pitiable state, streaming with Blood, as He walked along. But Jesus said to them: "Weep not for Me, but for your children."

Considera quomodo mulieres, videntes Iesum lassitudine exanimatum et cruore inter eundum diffluentem, commiseratione permoveantur, lacrimasque profundant. Ad flentes autem conversus: "Nolite, inquit, flere super me, sed super vos ipsas flete et super filios vestros."

MY Jesus, laden with sorrows, I weep for the offenses I have committed against Thee, because of the pains they have deserved, and still more because of the displeasure they have caused Thee, Who hast loved me so much. It is Thy love more than the fear of hell, which causes me to weep for my sins.

My Jesus, I love Thee more than myself. I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O perdolens Iesu, defleo mea in te peccata ob poenas quidem quibus me dignum reddiderunt, sed maxime ob molestiam quam tibi intulerunt, tibi qui me tantopere amasti. Ad fletum minus infernus quam amor tui me excitat.

O mi Iesu, amo te magis quam meipsum; paenitet me quod tibi displicui; ne sinas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Jesus On the Road To Calvary With the Women of Jerusalem in the foreground by Claude Deruet in 1620

The Seventh Station

Jesus Falls the Second Time

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider the second fall of Jesus under the Cross - a fall which renews the pain of all the wounds of the head and members of our afflicted Lord.

Considera alterum Iesu Christi sub cruce lapsum, quo lapsu perdolenti Domino omnes venerandi capitis et totius corporis plagae recrudescunt, omnesque cruciatus renovantur.

MY most gentle Jesus, how many times Thou hast pardoned me, and how many times have I fallen again, and begun again to offend Thee! Oh! By the merits of this new fall, give me the necessary helps to persevere in Thy grace until death. Grant that in all temptations which assail me, I may always commend myself to Thee.

I love Thee, Jesus my Love, with my whole heart; I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

MANSUETISSIME Iesu, quam frequenter concessisti mihi veniam! Ego vero in eadem relapsus sum peccata, measque in te offensas renovavi. Per meritum novi huius tui lapsus adiuva me, ut in gratia tua usque ad obitum perseverem. Fac ut in omnibus, quae me invasurae sunt, tentationibus me tibi semper commendem.

Amo te ex toto corde meo, o Iesu, mi Amor; paenitet me quod tibi displicui: ne sinas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Bruis'd, derided, curs'd, defil'd,
She beheld her tender child
All with bloody scourges rent.

Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Jesus Falls on the Via Dolorosa engraved by Martin Schongauer between 1475-1480.

The Sixth Station

Saint Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider how the holy woman named Veronica, seeing Jesus so afflicted, and His face bathed in sweat and blood, presented Him with a towel, with which He wiped His adorable face, leaving on it the impression of His holy countenance.

Considera quomodo sancta illa femina Veronica, videns Iesum doloribus confectum eiusque vultum sudore ac sanguine madidum, porrigat ei linteolum in quo ipse, abstersa facie, sacram sui imaginem impressam relinquit.

MY most beloved Jesus, Thy face was beautiful before, but in this journey it hast lost all its beauty, and wounds and blood have disfigured it. Alas! my soul also was once beautiful, when it received Thy grace in Baptism; but I have disfigured it since by my sins. Thou alone, my Redeemer, can restore it to its former beauty. Do this by Thy Passion.

I love Thee Jesus my love; I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O mi Iesu, formosa erat antea facies tua; verum hac in via non amplius formosa apparet, sed est vulneribus et cruore omnino deformis. Hei mihi! quam formosa quoque erat anima mea, cum gratiam tuam per baptismum recepisset: peccando eam postea deformem reddidi. Tu solus, mi Redemptor, pristinam venustatem ei restituere vales; quod ut facias, per tuae Passionis meritum te precor.

Amo te Iesu, mi Amor; paenitet me quod tibi displicui; ne sinas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold?

Quis non posset contristari,
Christi Matrem contemplari
Dolentem cum Filio?

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Veronica Offers Christ Her Veil by Jacopo Bassano, 1640.

The Fifth Station

Simon of Cyrene Helps Carry the Cross

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider how the Jews, seeing that at each step, Jesus, from weakness, was on the point of expiring, and fearing that He would die on the way, when they wished Him to die the shameful death of the Cross, constrained Simon the Cyrenian to carry the Cross behind our Lord.

Considera quomodo Iudaei, videntes Iesum ad quemlibet passum animam propemodum prae lassitudine efflantem, et timentes ex altera parte ne, quem crucis supplicio affectum volebant, in via moreretur, compellant Simonem Cyrenaeum ad baiulandam crucem post Dominum.

MY most beloved Jesus, I will not refuse the Cross as the Cyrenian did; I accept it - I embrace it. I accept in particular the death Thou hast destined for me, with all the pains which may accompany it; I unite it to Thy death - I offer it to Thee. Thou hast died for love of me. I will die for love of Thee, and to please Thee. Help me by Thy grace.

I love Thee Jesus my love; I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend
Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O dulcissime Iesu, nolo sicut Cyrenaeus, repudiare crucem, libenter eam amplector in meque recipio, amplector speciatim quam mihi praefiniisti mortem cum omnibus, quos haec secum adductura est, doloribus. Coniungo eam cum morte tua, sicque coniunctam eam in sacrificium tibi offero. Tu amore mei mortuus es; volo ego quoque mori amore tui, ea mente ut rem tibi gratam faciam. Tu vero adiuva me tua gratia.

Amo te, o Iesu, mi Amor, paenitet me quod tibi displicui. Ne sinas me iterum tibi displicere. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Is there one who would not weep,
Whelm'd in miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to behold ?

Quis est homo, qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret
In tanto supplicio ?

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Simon Is Forced To Take Up the Cross painted by Domenichino, 1610.

The Fourth Station

Jesus Meets His Afflicted Mother

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider the meeting of the Son and the Mother, which took place on this journey. Jesus and Mary looked at each other, and their looks became as so many arrows to wound those hearts which loved each other so tenderly.

Considera qualis fuerit, in hac via, Filii et Matris occursus. Iesus et Maria se mutuo aspexerunt, mutuique eorum aspectus, fuerunt totidem sagittae, quibus amantia eorum pectora transverberabantur.

MY most loving Jesus, by the sorrow that Thou didst experience in this meeting, grant me the grace of a truly devoted love for Thy most holy Mother. And thou, my Queen, who was overwhelmed with sorrow, obtain for me, by thy intercession, a continual and tender remembrance of the Passion of thy Son.

I love Thee, Jesus my love; I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

AMANTISSIME Iesu, per acerbum dolorem, quem in hoc occursu expertus es, redde me, precor, sanctissimae Matri tuae vere devotum. Tu vero, perdolens mea Regina, intercede pro me, et obtine mihi talem cruciatum Filii tui memoriam, ut mens mea in pia illorum contemplatione perpetuo detineatur.

Amo te, o Iesu, mi Amor; paenitet me quod tibi displicui. Ne sinas me iterum in te peccare. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Christ above in torment hangs;
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying glorious Son.

Quem maerebat, et dolebat,
Pia Mater, dum videbat
Nati paenas inclyti.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Christ meets His Blessed Mother on the Via Dolorosa by Duccio di Buoninsegna between 1308-1311.

The Third Station

Jesus Falls the First Time

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider this first fall of Jesus under His Cross. His flesh was torn by the scourges, His head crowned with thorns, and He had lost a great quantity of blood. He was so weakened that He could scarcely walk, and yet He had to carry this great load upon His shoulders. The soldiers struck Him rudely, and thus He fell several times in His journey.

Considera primum hunc Iesu Christi sub cruce lapsum. Habebat carnem ex saeva flagellatione multifarie sauciam, caput redimitum spinarum corona: profuderat insuper cruorem in tanta copia, ut vix pedem prae virium defectione, movere posset. Et quoniam gravi crucis onere premebatur, et immisericorditer a militibus propellebatur, accidit ut pluries inter eundum humi procumberet.

MY beloved Jesus, it is not the weight of the Cross, but my sins which hast made Thee suffer so much pain. By the merits of this first fall, deliver me from the misfortune of falling into mortal sin.

I love Thee, Jesus, with my whole heart; I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O mi Iesu, non est onus crucis, sed peccatorum meorum pondus, quod tantis te afficit doloribus. Rogo te, per primum hunc tuum lapsum, ut ab omni in peccatum me lapsu tuearis.

Amo te, o Iesu, ex toto corde meo; paenitet me quod tibi displicui. Ne sinas me iterum in peccatum prolabi. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Oh, how sad and sore distress'd
Was that Mother highly blest
Of the sole-begotten One !

O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigeniti!

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Christ falling with Cross by Alanso Cano, 1635-1637

The Second Station

Jesus Takes Up His Cross

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider how Jesus, in making this journey with the Cross on His shoulders, thought of us, and offered for us to His Father the death He was about to undergo.

Considera quomodo Iesus Christus, portans humeris crucem, fuerit inter eundum, memor tui, offerendo pro te aeterno Patri mortem, quam erat obiturus.

MY most beloved Jesus, I embrace all the tribulations Thou hast destined for me until death. I beseech Thee, by the merits of the pain Thou did suffer in carrying Thy Cross, to give me the necessary help to carry mine with perfect patience and resignation.

I love Thee, Jesus my love; I love Thee more than myself; I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

AMABILISSIME Iesu, amplector omnes res adversas, quas mihi usque ad obitum tolerandas praefixisti, et, per durum illum, quem in portanda tua cruce pertulisti, laborem, precor te, ut vires mihi subministres, quibus ego quoque crucem meam, aequo ac patienti animo, portare valeam.

Amo te, o Iesu, mi Amor, paenitet me quod tibi displicui. Ne sinas me iterum separari a te. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had pass'd.

Cujus animam gementem,
Contristatam et dolentem,
Pertransivit gladius.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

Christ Taking Up the Cross by Michaelangelo (sculpted, 1500s)

The First Station

Jesus is Condemned to Death

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Consider how Jesus, after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the Cross.

Considera quomodo Iesus Christus, iam flagellatus et spinis coronatus, iniuste tandem a Pilato ad mortem crucis condemnetur.

MY adorable Jesus, it was not Pilate; no, it was my sins that condemned Thee to die. I beseech Thee, by the merits of this sorrowful journey to assist my soul in its journey toward eternity.

I love Thee, my beloved Jesus; I love Thee more than myself; I repent with my whole heart of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt.

O adorande Iesu, non Pilatus, sed iniqua mea vita te ad mortem condemnavit. Per meritum laboriosissimi huius itineris, quod ad Calvariae montem instituis, precor te, ut me semper in via, qua anima mea in aeternitatem tendit, benigne comiteris.

Amo te, o Iesu, mi Amor, magis quam meipsum, et ex intimo corde paenitet me quod tibi displicui. Ne sinas me iterum a te separari. Da mihi perpetuum amorem tui, et dein fac de me quidquid tibi placuerit. Quod tibi placitum est, hoc idem mihi est acceptum.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Stabat Mater dolorosa
Juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
Dum pendebat Filius.

V. Lord Jesus, crucified,
R. Have mercy on us!

The Condemnation by Pilate by Tintoretto, 1566-67.

Via Crucis According To the Method of Saint Alphonsus Liguori: Preparatory Prayer

Let each one, kneeling before the high altar, make an Act of Contrition, and form the intention of gaining the indulgences connected to this devotion, whether for himself, or for the souls in Purgatory. Then say:

Preparatory Prayer

MY Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast made this journey to die for me with love unutterable, and I have so many times unworthily abandoned Thee; but now I love Thee with my whole heart, and because I love Thee I repent sincerely for having ever offended Thee. Pardon me, my God, and permit me to accompany Thee on this journey. Thou goest to die for love of me; I wish also, my beloved Redeemer, to die for love of Thee. My Jesus, I will live and die always united to Thee.

Image of the Agony In the Garden of Gethsemene, painted 1615 by Giovanni Battista Caracciolo

From the Enchiridion of Indulgences:

A Plenary indulgence is granted to those who piously make the
Way of the Cross. The gaining of the indulgence is regulated
by the following rules:
1. Must be done before stations of the cross legitimately erected.
2. 14 stations are required. Although it is customary for the
icons to represent pictures or images, 14 simple crosses will
3. The common practice consists of fourteen pious readings to
which some vocal prayers are added.. However, nothing more is
required than a pious meditation on the Passion and Death of the
Lord, which need not be a particular consideration of the individual
mysteries of the stations.
4. A movement from one station to the next is required. But if
the stations are made publicly and it is not possible for everyone
taking part to go from station to station, it suffices if at least
the one conducting the exercise goes from station to station, the
others remaining in their places.
5. Those who are "impeded" can gain the same indulgence if they
spend at least one half and hour in pious reading and meditation
on the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
6. For those belonging to the Oriental rites, amongst whom this
pious exercise is not practiced, the respective Patriarchs can
determine some other pious exercise in memory of the Passion and
Death for the gaining of this indulgence.

Praying an on-line version (or one from a pamphlet on your own at home) probably only gains a partial indulgence, as there is no physical movement between properly marked stations. But perhaps an expert has more insight.

Cyber Stations of the Cross

I spent most of yesterday afternoon assembling the following Way of the Cross. I am using the Saint Alphonsus Liguori method. This method is, in my opinion, the most traditional.

A booklet from TAN was the basis. I was able to cut and paste from a number of sources, including the "Stations of the Cross" linked on the right since just before Lent started. The Enchiridion of Indulgences (also linked at the right) provided the basic information on how to gain partial or plenary indulgences from the exercise.

-The versicle and response at the end of each station is a Franciscan addition that is used in the TAN booklet. I liked it, and added it to this version.

Most of the art work is linked from Textweek Sacred Art Index, which is linked on the right, a wonderful resource that anyone doing similar work ought to consult. Catholic.com in its section on the Stations provided a couple of additional images.

I had originally planned to date these for 12:01am and following on Friday. But since I won't be at the computer to re-publish them, and am not planning on blogging tomorrow except for the daily lenten reflections form the Franciscans and the PBLC, I am going to date them from 11:30am today on.

I find it easier to edit from the main screen, so I will publish the stations now, and work on editing them throughout the afternoon. So don't panic if they are not in perfect order before 4:00 pm Maundy Thursday. I'm working on them. I may even give them another look on Good Friday, and fix anything that jumps out at me. There should not be many typos, as this was a cut and paste effort. But I have have cut and pasted wrong verses in places, or omitted things in one station that I have I others, or format may differ. Those are the things I will be looking for this afternoon.

One significant thing I noticed relates to the Stabat Mater translation. The translations for the 7th and 8th verses used with the 7th and 8th Stations seem to be partially transposed. "Pro peccatis suae gentis..." does not translate: "Bruised, derided..." but rather "the sins of his own nation." I consulted several printed and on-line translations of the Stabat Mater, and they all seem to have the mistake. Perhaps the idea is that the translation is not line-by-line, but done in this manner to keep the poetic sense in English. I have decided to leave it alone since I am not a poet, and can think of no way of of fixing it while keeping the poetic integrity intact.

I hope these Stations will be of benefit to those who use them, and enhance their devotion to the Lord's Passion.

Saint Albert of Jerusalem

A Carmelite saint.

In Cena Domini

Listen to the schola of schola of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary chant the Vesperal Mass of Maundy Thursday, including the Pange Lingua.

Windows Media Player plays each of the files (if you have it installed as your default media player, it should come up automatically when you click on the link to each of the tracks).

Even better, buy the CD, and support the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.

Pange Lingua

Pange lingua gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
Quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit Gentium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus
Ex inacta Virgine,
Et in mundo conversatus,
Sparso verbi semine,
Sui moras incolatus
Miro clausit ordine.

In suprema nocte coenæ
Recumbus cum fratribus
Observata lege plene
Cibis in legalibus,
Cibum turbæ duodenæ
Se dat suis manibus.

Verbum caro, panem verum
Verbo carnem efficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum,
Et si sensus deficit,
Ad firmandum cor sincerum
Sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Præstet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et jubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.
Amen. Alleluia.

Maundy Thursday

Holy Thursday is known in the British Isles as Maundy Thursday. The name may come from one of two sources. The British monarch distributes maunds, or baskets of charity to the poor on Holy Thursday. But some believe the name comes from the Latin mandatum, from the last commands the Lord gave the Apostles at the Last Supper.

The giving of maunds by the monarch is part of a ceremony at a cathedral. He provides coins to one elderly man and one elderly woman for each year of his reign.

The monarch also used to copy the priestly function of washing the feet of the same people. The washing of the feet is, of course, the symbolic embodiment of the function of priesthood. Maundy Thursday is the anniversary of not just the institution of the Holy eucharist, but also of the priesthood.

However, in pre-Reformation England, the day was also known as "Sheer Thursday," "Sharp Thursday," "Char Thursday," or "Shrift Thursday" because, as part of a process of personal renewal, men typically cut their beards or hair on this day to look their best on Easter Sunday.

In the Church, those notorious sinners who had ben excluded from church during Lent were now re-admitted on confession. Bishops blessed oil for use in providing Extreme Unction to the dying, and to anoint the newly ordained for the coming year. Altars were cleaned (after all, they would be stripped after the Mass of the Lord's Supper). After the final Mass for the day, the Holy Eucharist would be carried in solemn procession to a tabernacle of repose, much as we do today. In pre-Reformation England, the custom was to fashion something that would resemble the Lord's tomb, and to place the Eucharist there until the Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday Night.

Daily Lenten Reflection From the Precious Blood leadership Conference

Readings: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-15

Many years ago I told an ethnic joke to my father. I heard it at school and the fifth graders thought it was very funny. My Dad didn't laugh at all. He sternly pointed out that when I laugh at that joke, I am making fun of my favorite uncle besides all people of Italian descent! “If you can’t say something good about anyone, don’t say anything at all!”

Throughout the gospels Jesus taught us that love is essential to being his follower! St. Paul understood the lesson of unconditional love and “One Bread, One Body. . . ” long before they were words of a song! In today’s second reading, Paul reprimands the Corinthians about the divisions among themselves. He emphasizes the fact that there can be no Eucharist in a community whose members do not love one another! The call to accept, respect and love ALL people, not only the “deserving,” echoes to us down through the ages! Jesus chose this night to give the ultimate gift-his own body and Precious Blood even knowing that Judas and Peter were about to betray and deny him. The other of his closest friends would soon abandon him. Jesus modeled for us that real love is expressed by ministering. He humbly washed the feet of the disciples. The next day Jesus shed his Precious Blood that we may live life to the full and enjoy eternal life! My heart is full of love, joy and gratitude!

Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” To whom was he speaking? Were the Twelve the only ones partaking of the meal? Where was Mary, Mary Magdalene, the women from Galilee, the families of the Apostles? Could have a couple of homeless people been present?

How do I seek out and minister to the neediest in my religious community and in society?
Do I try to understand people of other cultures, religions or circumstances by seeing life from their point of view?

Reflection by: Sister Margie Zureick, C.PP.S. (Dayton, Ohio)

Daily Lenten Reflection

From the Franciscans At AmericanCatholic.org.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Who Says They Can't Build Lovely Churches Anymore?

I have just added to the links on the right this one to Our Lady of the Atonement, an Anglican-use Roman Catholic parish in San Antonio, built in 1986.

We can still find the skill to build beautiful places to worship. It is just that the will to do so has been undermined by false modern utilitarian ideas of art and architecture.

Thanks to Inn At the End of the World for the link.

Saint Gaspar de Bufalo's Spy Wednesday Letter

Thanks to Father Keyes at The New Gasparian for the link.

Bishop Bruskewitz Joins Archbishop Burke: "No Communion For Kerry"

Thanks to Dom Bettinelli for the link and a good discussion of the issue.

Now, what about the other bishops? What about our own Archdiocese's spiritual leader (asks Patrick Sweeney in the link below)?

The time has come to get off the fence on this issue. Either John Kerry is a Catholic in good standing because he calls himself one, or he is not because he supports the murder of innocent children, something that always has been, is, and always will be directly contrary to the most basic understanding of Christian morality. If he is not a Catholic in good standing, which can only be objectively measured and judged by the Church itself, not subjectively by the individual based on his own "feelings", then he should not be accepted when he presents himself for Communion. Neither, for that matter, should Kennedy or any of the other so-called Catholics who regularly support the murder of babies.

At least the Church in America has two right-thinking bishops with genuine Christian courage.

Two English Jesuit Martyrs

Blessed Edward Oldcorne and Saint Henry Walpole are honored today.

Meanwhile, Communist Chinese authorities have unjustly imprisoned a Catholic bishop there.

The issues of the Tudors and Stuarts are with us still today, just in other places.

Saint Jean Baptiste de la Salle

The Passion of the Christ Is Approaching The Half Billion Dollar Mark

Not bad when you consider that, a year ago, people thought it might be a net loss for Gibson and his investors.

Our Troops Are Fighting Hard To Contain a Rebellion By Assorted Anti-American Scum In Iraq

Lord, bless the members of our armed forces in Iraq. Give them speedy and complete victory in battle, that they may overcome the wickedness of our foes. Protect the innocent, and spare the lives of our troops. Fight on our behalf, and destroy our enemies.

Archbishop Sean Talks the Talk Very Well

In his own life, I think he walks the walk very well, too. The question is, in his leadership does he walk the walk enough?

He hit the right notes in this address at a Chrism Mass on Tueday (isn't the Chrism Mass supposed to be the early Mass on Maundy Thursday?).

Absolutely right on. The Christian message is essentially alien to modern culture, never more so then it is now. Hedonism, materialism, libertinism are all great evils that the Church (meaning the entire body of professed Christians) must stand together to resist. Hard to do when separated parts of the Church ally themselves with the culture of death and immorality pretty vigorously (I have the Unitarian/Universalists with their support for abortion and openess to Wicca/paganism, and the Episcopalians with their gay bishops/priests in mind). Especially hard to do if you insist on participating in ecumenical services with these same groups, thus validating them.

Extreme Catholic's Patrick Sweeney nails the Kerry/Archbishop O'Malley issue pretty well here.

Spy Wednesday

"Still, as of old, man by himself is priced;
For thirty pieces Judas sold himself, not Christ
Traditionally today is observed as the day Judas went to the high priest to offer to betray the Lord. Of course, he could have done so at any time, perhaps early on Maundy Thursday. I'm sure that the other Apostles did not get an opportunity to question him on Good Friday morning, or the high priest, for that matter, to get all the details. But traditionally, his betrayal is recognized on this day.

The only custom specific to Spy Wednesday that I am aware of comes from Poland. There, the young people throw an effigy of Judas from the top of a church steeple. Then it is dragged through the village while sticks and stones are hurled at it. What remains of the effigy is then thrown into a nearby stream or pond, symbolically drowning it.

The Tenebrae is chanted for the first time tonight. Tonight's Tenebrae consists of the combined office of Matins and Lauds for Maundy Thursday. Tomorrow's Tenebrae is Matins and Lauds for Good Friday. Good Friday's Tenebrae is the combined Matins and Lauds for Holy Saturday. Matins was traditionally chanted at midnight, but has slipped into the just-pre-dawn hours for the convenience of the monks and nuns. Lauds used to be just after dawn. But there is a tradition going back before the protestant rebellion of chanting these offices in the relatively-early evening of the day before for the Triduum, so that locals could attend.

This has always been a good day for confession and house cleaning in preparation for Easter.

Daily Lenten Reflection From the Precious Blood Leadership Conference

Readings: Isaiah 50:4-9; Matthew 26:14-25

Our lives are so filled with words that we hardly have time or energy to consume them all. We do our best to pick and choose, trying to pay attention to what words we believe are important, but even this task is wearisome. Consequently, we may find that the most manageable thing to do is simply ignore, tune out, or perhaps be unimpressed by what we hear.

Unfortunately, our prayer and worship isn’t immune from the same dilemma. Our Eucharistic Liturgy, the Liturgy of the Hours, even our own multiplication of rote prayers can be a burdensome chorus of words—by which eventually we are no longer moved.

St. Gaspar believed in the power of God’s Word, and he used “words” to proclaim the glories of the Precious Blood. Gaspar knew that the right words, at the right time, carefully chosen and proclaimed, could move people’s hearts to conversion and renewal. Gaspar trusted in the original power of the spoken word as the means by which the “Eternal Word” could resound in lives of the followers of Christ.

The prophet Isaiah recalls today that God can surely “sustain the weary with a word.” From the mouth of God, a mere “word” is more than enough to lift us from our suffering. Perhaps on this eve of the great Triduum, where the events of Jesus’ passion and death are recounted with carefully selected words, we may renew our belief in the power of words to move our hearts to conversion.

Reflection by: Rev. Benjamin Berinti, C.PP.S. (Cincinnati Province)

Daily Lenten Reflection

From the Franciscans at AmericanCatholic.org.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Illustrating Something Maine Catholic's Chris and I Were Discussing In a Comments Box Down Below

Here is a painting by Georges Rouault, titled La Crucifixion, painted between 1920-25.

Here is a crucifixion scene painted by Lorenzo Pecheux about 1800.

Which one is closer to the image of the crucifixion that you carry around in your mind? Which is better art? I do not subscribe to the theory that all art is equal, that it matters what the artist feels about the subject. I want to know what he thinks about the subject, how his senses, if they were present, would record the event. What feelings and thoughts do the event as portrayed evoke?

To me, the 1920s version bespeaks nothing more than a lack of artistic talent. The 1800 painting, by the way, was not the best one that I saw. There was a painting by Leon Bonnat from 1872 that I found quite beautiful and well-done, but I could not find it on line.

Rouault's painting tells me the man does not know how to paint the human body, or was tripping out on morphine when he conceived this idea. Pecheux, though not the most talented, has tried to give as a fair idea of how he realistically "sees" the crucifixion scene, on nothing more than a little champagne.

Western art from the earliest known examples until the 20th century shows a steady increase in artistic skill and ability to draw upon a subject to provoke thought. There was steady progress in realistically depicting the human form. I don't think it is fair to say that the concept of artistic realism had gone as far asit could go by 1900, or that the camera replaced the paintbrush as the principal method for those seeking realism. There was much that the painting artist could have explored in pursuit of realism with wholesome or thought-provoking themes. But that was all abandoned by 1900.

It seems to me that the later artistic theory behind Rouault's work is degenerate. That the work is typical of much of 20th century art is sad. Lack of talent, or increasing barbarism in artistic theory, or both at the same time?

Update: Good discussion of this over at Maine Catholic and Beyond.

Saint Vincent Ferrer


There is an unfamiliar yellow shiny thing in the sky. And the sky itself, instead of its accustomed grey, is a sort of light blue. How did that happen?

Bishop-Speak Fisked By Secret Agent Man

This is too funny!

Can someone please pick me up off the floor?

Take the Classic Temperment Quiz

You can be either melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic, or sanguine, the four classic temperments that relate to the "humors" of the body.

I came out as melancholic. A surprise to you? I thought I was more phlegmatic, myself.

Thanks to Fiat Mihi for the link.

Daily Lenten Reflection From the Precious Blood Leadership Conference

Readings: Isaiah 49.1-6; John 13.21-33, 36-38

The first Servant Song of Isaiah is an early sounding of what rings clearly in the text of John’s Gospel: Jesus’ vocation as his Father’s servant. Jesus’ mission is to be a light to the nations so that God’s salvation may reach to the ends of the earth, Isaiah declares. How will this light emerge? How will this salvation reach so far? Through betrayal and abandonment by Jesus’ closest, beloved disciples, Peter’s bold assertion to the contrary. How counterintuitive is this message! What is God’s master plan for humanity, anyway? Does this make sense? But in the face of this contradiction Jesus asserts that betrayal initiates the hour when the Son of Man will be glorified. Suffering is the hour of glory. Wow! Precious Blood Spirituality is shaped by this extraordinary truth. Our lives as disciples of the Crucified and Risen One bear the scars of his journey through life to death and resurrection. Our hearts burn within us as we catch the fire of his Spirit and realize our victory in His victory.

Consider the Paschal Mystery as you experience it in your life.

Can you rejoice in the scars you bear that reflect the Crucified and Risen One?

Does your heart burn within you, as you understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Reflection by: Sister Joan A. Range, A.S.C. (USA Province)

Daily Lenten Reflection

From the Franciscans at AmericanCatholic.org.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Local Scandal News

The Archdiocese settled suits by four victims of Paul Shanley last night for an undisclosed amount of money. What happened to transparency? Well, in this case, the victims probably did not want the sums disclosed. Criminal prosecution ongoing and oddly long delayed.

And there was this morning a dangerousness hearing on James Porter. Victims of this monster testified against releasing him.

Kerry Takes Protestant Communion

Despite clear instructions to Catholics issued just last year against that.

Dom Bettinelli, Michael Dubruiel, and Ratzinger Fan Club's Chris pretty well have this covered.

So no need for further emphasis. You all know by now where I stand on this election (or any election): short of the Republican Party becoming more liberal than the Democrat Party, my platform is, simply, "more Republicans."

The True Shroud After All?

OK, the source is the Mirror, which, given what we know about the sensationalism of the British media, especially the tabs, is grounds for caution.
And of course it comes out during Holy Week. I suspect that this may not even be new news.

But what appears to be the case is that historians who specialize in the history of fabric/textiles have looked at the Shroud of Turin and found that the stitching used on part of it dates to 1st century Palestine, and no other time and place.

We all know about the flaws in the carbon-dating testing that took place in 1988. They tested a corner of the Shroud which was held up by various people at various times during public exhibitions, and which may have been repaired with local cloth in the late Middle Ages, which would tend to make the determination that it ante-dated Christ by a considerable time worthless.

I have been delving into Shroud literature a bit lately, reading The Way of the Cross In the Light of the Holy Shroud by Father Giulio Ricci and The Crucified by Father Alfred O'Rahilly. The image wasn't painted on, or a photograph by some previously unknown method. It was not created by Leonardo da Vinci. The Shroud is first mentioned in 438, when it was found and presented to the Empress Eudocia. It was in Constantinople when the crusaders sacked it in 1204.

And here is information I had not previously gleaned but found in today's Mirror article:

Marc Guscin, author of Burial Cloths Of Christ, believes the most compelling evidence for the shroud's authenticity comes from a small, blood-soaked cloth kept in a cathedral in Oviedo, northern Spain.

The Sudarium is believed to have been used to cover Jesus's head after he died and, unlike the shroud, its history has been traced back to the first century. It contains blood from the rare AB group found on the shroud.

Mark says: "Laboratory tests have shown that these two cloths were used on the same body.

"The fact that the Sudarium has been revered for so long suggests it must have held special significance for people. Everything points towards this cloth being used on the body of Jesus of Nazareth."

Where does this new information leave us? Closer, I think to the conclusion that the piece of fabric in Turin is indeed, and in fact cannot be anything else but, the burial cloth of the Lord, making it the most important relic in the history of mankind.

A Great Advertiser

The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Anna Catherine Emmerich is being advertised in my banner ads. This work by an 18th century German mystic is a source much relied on my Mel Gibson to fill in some of the gaps in the Gospel accounts.

Daily Lenten Reflection From the Precious Blood Leadership Conference

Readings: Isaiah 42: 1-7; John 12: 1-11

We are in Holy Week. The gospel for this day is the beginning of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. The scene is masterfully set at the home of Jesus' second favorite family (Martha, Mary, Lazarus-all siblings) but includes Judas. It is a conversation with Jesus' friends and foes. Lazarus, who has just been raised from the dead, is there. He is quite a celebrity now and people want to see him, while others want to kill him. At a dinner we learn of the tragic character flaw of Judas, who is angry at the money Mary spent on oil to anoint Jesus. He claims it should be given to the poor, but we know otherwise. He was a thief and would have pocketed these coins.

Even at the end of his life Jesus is surrounded by friends and foes, the good and the bad. All of them are interwoven in life, in and out of Jesus’ conversations and relationships. It is a very human scene: people preparing the banquet, people eating, people thinking about money and how they could benefit from it, people oblivious to the thoughts of others (but Jesus knowing them all), and other people plotting the death of Jesus.
What is our relationship to Jesus?
Are we oblivious to what Jesus has planned for us?
How are we increasing our relationship to Jesus, our faith in Jesus?
How is our life different now than Holy Week a year ago?
What are we doing to make the Kingdom of God on earth a reality?
May the Spirit of Gaspar and Maria be with us these days.

Reflection by: Rev. James Urbanic, C.PP.S. (Kansas City Province)

Daily Lenten Reflection

From the Franciscans at AmericanCatholic.org.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Divine Mercy Sunday

On a more positive note, the Second Sunday of Easter, traditionally known as Low Sunday, is now Divine Mercy Sunday. If you begin the Divine Mercy Novena on Good Friday, complete it, and comply with the other requirements, you gain a plenary indulgence. There is a partial indulgence if your novena is incomplete. For information on the Divine mercy Novena, and the chaplet that makes it up, check EWTN here.

I don't know about you, but I can use all the indulgences I can get.

Cloudy, Cold, Raw, Damp

Just like the last 4 days, except it only rained a little this morning. I can see forsythia starting to turn yellow, but spring feels as if it is millenia away. Not much hope of nudging even into the mid-50s for the next few days. Oh yes, and they say snow for tonight.

Four Fewer Poxed Bastards Infesting the World

Opening Day

Since when is the first game of the year played on a weekend and at night? When you play in Baltimore, I suppose.

Another year. I suppose where there is life, there is hope.

Last world championship: 1918, still. No world championships in my father's not-incredibly short life (1920-1989). Will there be one in mine?

And the Cleansing of the Temple, the Other Theme for Palm Sunday

The Entry Into Jerusalem In Sacred Art

Why does it seem that artistic talent has declined over the centuries?

Compare 1990 to 1876, or even to 1450.

If that is the best the modern age can do, we have indeed entered a new dark age.

Palm Sunday

Today, the Church marks the triumphal entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. Though palm branches were common throughout the Holy Land, they were not available through most of northern Europe until relatively recently. Thus, yew or willow branches were used, and the day was known locally as "Sallow Sunday," "Willow Sunday," "Yew Sunday," and "Branch Sunday."

A procession with the branches from some spot outside the church to the church was common. It is a custom followed still today by a minority of parishes around here.

The reading of the Passion of the Lord has been a staple of Palm Sunday Mass. The cloth that covered the Crucifix was removed for the reading of the Passion. In some places, the Passion was sung (the bass was always the Lord), which is done in some parishes today during Good Friday's Veneration of the Cross. I know of no parishes in which the Passion is sung on Palm Sunday.

For Catholics, and all Christians, this is the beginning of the most sacred week of the year. Our lenten journey is almost over. The new blessed palms are now tucked behind our Crucifixes. The prospect of Easter joy is before us. But first, we must endure the desolation of Good Friday.

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