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Thursday, April 02, 2020

Thursday Of Passion Week


Station Church:
S. Apollinare in Campo Marzio


From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
O my merciful Saviour, how much do I thank Thee! How deeply am I obliged to Thee! I desire, O my Jesus, to die for Thee, since Thou hast so lovingly accepted of death for me. But if it is not granted me to give Thee my blood and life at the hands of the executioner, as the Martyrs have done, I, at least, accept with resignation the death which awaits me; and I accept of it in the manner, and at the time, which shall please Thee. Henceforth do I offer it up to Thee in honour of Thy Majesty, and in satisfaction for my sins. I pray Thee, by the merits of Thy death, to grant me the happiness to die in Thy grace and love.


Devotions for a Lenten Thursday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion To the Holy Face

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Wednesday Of Passion Week


Station Church:
S. Marcello al Corso

From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
O my dear Saviour, the mere knowledge that Thou dost love me should be sufficient to make me live detached from everything, in order to study only how to love Thee and please Thee in all things: "Love is strong as death." If love is as strong as death, oh, by Thy merits, my Saviour, grant me such a love for Thee as shall make me hold all earthly affections in abhorrence. Give me thoroughly to understand that all my good consists in pleasing Thee, O God, all Goodness and all Love! I curse that time in which I loved Thee not. I thank Thee for that Thou dost give me time in which to love Thee. I love Thee, O my Jesus, infinite in loveliness, and infinitely loving. With my whole soul do I love Thee, and I assure Thee that I would wish to die a thousand deaths rather than ever again cease from loving Thee.

Devotions for a Lenten Wednesday holy hour:

Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms & the prayers against the Seven Deadly Sins
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer
Seven Prayers of St. Gregory

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tuesday Of Passion Week




Station Church:
S. Ciriaco (S. Maria in via Lata al Corso)

From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

0 my afflicted Lord, how dear did it cost Thee to make me comprehend the love which Thou hast had for me ! But what benefit could ever have resulted to Thee from my love, that Thou hast been willing to expend Thy blood and Thy life to gain it? And how could I, after having been bound by so great love, have been able so long to live without loving Thee, and unmindful of Thy affection ? I thank Thee, for that now Thou dost give me light to make me know how much Thou liast loved me. O infinite goodness I love Thee above every good. Would, too, that I had the power of offer ing a thousand lives in sacrifice unto Thee, willing as Thou hast been to sacrifice Thine own divine life for me. Oh, grant me those aids to love Thee which Thou hast merited for me by so many sufferings ! Bestow upon me that sacred fire which Thou didst come to enkindle upon earth by dying for us. Be ever reminding me of Thy death, that I may never forget to love Thee.

Devotions for a Lenten Tuesday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion of the Seven Last Words

Lent is a very long period of sacrifice and penance. It is considerably longer than Advent. If this were Advent, it would be Christmas already! Consequently, it would be understandable if folks were a little down or discouraged by now. You might have had to scale back your program of prayer or reading, or your contemplated Lenten sacrifices, because you just couldn't keep up with an ambitious regimen.

I know that sometimes I am getting to sleep by counting filet mignons jumping over a fence.

Take heart. The season ends soon. A week from tomorrow is Spy Wednesday, and then, after that, we are in the Sacred Triduum.

But Passion Week is a good time to remember to make that thorough examination of conscience and to try to catch up with your Lenten reading. A complete Holy Week confession and the Easter Communion are closing fast.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday Of Passion Week


Station Church:
S. Crisogono in Trastevere


From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
O my dear Redeemer, take back a rebellious servant who has run away from Thee, but who now returns to Thee in penitence. While I was fleeing from Thee and despising Thy love, Thou didst not cease from following after me to draw me back to Thyself; and therefore I cannot fear that Thou wilt drive me away now that I seek Thee, value Thee, and love Thee above everything. Make known to me what I have to do to please Thee; wishing, as I do, to do it all. O my most lovely God, I wish to love Thee in earnest; and I desire to give Thee no more displeasure. Aid me with Thy grace. Let me not leave Thee more. Mary, my hope, pray to Jesus for me. Amen.


Devotions for a Lenten Monday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion of the Five Sacred Wounds

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Passion Sunday




Station Church:
St. Peter in the Vatican



From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

O my beloved Saviour! Thou art the greatest of all kings; yet now I behold Thee the most reviled of all mankind. If this ungrateful people knows Thee not, I know Thee; and I adore Thee as my true King and Lord. I thank Thee, O my Redeemer, for all the outrages that Thou hast suffered for me; and I pray Thee to give me a love for contempt and pains, since Thou hast so lovingly embraced them. I blush at having in time past loved honored and pleasures so much, that for their sake I have often gone so far as to renounce Thy grace and Thy love. I repent of this above every other evil. I embrace, O Lord, all the pains and ignominies that will come to me from Thy hands. Do Thou bestow upon me that resignation which I need. I love Thee, my Jesus, my love, my all.


Read about veiling of sacred images during Passiontide here.


From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:

THE holy Church begins her night Office of this Sunday with these impressive words of the royal prophet. Formerly, the faithful considered it their duty to assist at the night Office, at least on Sundays and feasts; they would have grieved to lose the grand teachings given by the liturgy. Such fervour has long since died out; the assiduity at the Offices of the Church, which was the joy of our Catholic forefathers, has now become a thing of the past; and even in countries which have not apostatized from the faith, the clergy have ceased to celebrate publicly Offices at which no one assisted. Excepting in cathedral churches and in monasteries, the grand harmonious system of the divine praise has been abandoned, and the marvellous power of the liturgy has no longer its full influence upon the faithful.

This is our reason for drawing the attention of our readers to certain beauties of the Divine Office, which would otherwise be totally ignored. Thus, what can be more impressive than this solemn Invitatory of to-day's Matins, which the Church takes from one of the psalms, and which she repeats on every feria between this and Maundy Thursday? She says: To-day, if ye shall hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts! The sweet voice of your suffering Jesus now speaks to you, poor sinners! be not your own enemies by indifference and hardness of heart. The Son of God is about to give you the last and greatest proof of the love that brought Him down from heaven; His death is nigh at hand: men are preparing the wood for the immolation of the new Isaac: enter into yourselves, and let not your hearts, after being touched with grace, return to their former obduracy; for nothing could be more dangerous. The great anniversaries we are to celebrate have a renovating power for those souls that faithfully correspond with the grace which is offered them; but they increase insensibility in those who let them pass without working their conversion. To-day, therefore, if you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts!

During the preceding four weeks, we have noticed how the malice of Jesus' enemies has been gradually increasing. His very presence irritates them; and it is evident that any little circumstance will suffice to bring the deep and long-nurtured hatred to a head. The kind and gentle manners of Jesus are drawing to Him all hearts that are simple and upright; at the same time, the humble life He leads, and the stern purity of His doctrines, are perpetual sources of vexation and anger, both to the proud Jew that looks forward to the Messias being a mighty conqueror, and to the pharisee, who corrupts the Law of God, that he may make it the instrument of his own base passions. Still, Jesus goes on working miracles; His discourses are more than ever energetic; His prophecies foretell the fall of Jerusalem, and such a destruction of its famous temple, that not a stone is to be left on a stone. The doctors of the Law should, at least, reflect upon what they hear; they should examine these wonderful works, which render such strong testimony in favour of the Son of David; and they should consult those divine prophecies which, up to the present time, have been so literally fulfilled in His person. Alas! they themselves are about to carry them out to the very last iota. There is not a single outrage or suffering foretold by David and Isaias, as having to be put upon the Messias, which these blind men are not scheming to verify.

In them, therefore, was fulfilled that terrible saying: 'He that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.'1 The Synagogue is nigh to a curse. Obstinate in her error, she refuses to see or to hear; she has deliberately perverted her judgment: she has extinguished within herself the light of the holy Spirit; she will go deeper and deeper into evil, and at length fall into the abyss. This same lamentable conduct is but too often witnessed nowadays in those sinners, who, by habitual resistance to the light, end by finding their happiness in sin. Neither should it surprise us, that we find in people of our own generation a resemblance to the murderers of our Jesus: the history of His Passion will reveal to us many sad secrets of the human heart and its perverse inclinations; for what happened in Jerusalem, happens also in every sinner's heart. His heart, according to the saying of St. Paul, is a Calvary, where Jesus is crucified. There is the same ingratitude, the same blindness, the same wild madness, with this difference: that the sinner who is enlightened by faith, knows Him whom he crucifies; whereas the Jews, as the same apostle tells us, knew not the Lord of glory,2 Whilst, therefore, we listen to the Gospel, which relates the history of the Passion, let us turn the indignation which we feel for the Jews against ourselves and our own sins; let us weep over the sufferings of our Victim, for our sins caused Him to suffer and die.

Everything around us urges us to mourn. The images of the saints, the very crucifix on our altar, are veiled from our sight. The Church is oppressed with grief. During the first four weeks of Lent, she compassionated her Jesus fasting in the desert; His coming sufferings and crucifixion and death are what now fill her with anguish. We read in to-day's Gospel, that the Jews threaten to stone the Son of God as a blasphemer: but His hour is not yet come. He is obliged to flee and hide Himself. It is to express this deep humiliation, that the Church veils the cross. A God hiding Himself, that He may evade the anger of men---what a mystery! Is it weakness? Is it, that He fears death? No; we shall soon see Him going out to meet His enemies: but at present He hides Himself from them, because all that had been prophesied regarding Him has not been fulfilled. Besides, His death is not to be by stoning: He is to die upon a cross, the tree of malediction, which, from that time forward, is to be the tree of life. Let us humble ourselves, as we see the Creator of heaven and earth thus obliged to hide Himself from men, who are bent on His destruction! Let us go back, in thought, to the sad day of the first sin, when Adam and Eve hid themselves because a guilty conscience told them they were naked. Jesus has come to assure us of our being pardoned, and lo! He hides Himself, not because He is naked---He that is to the saints the garb of holiness and immortality ---but because He made Himself weak, that He might make us strong. Our first parents sought to hide themselves from the sight of God; Jesus hides Himself from the eye of men. But it will not be thus for ever. The day will come when sinners, from whose anger He now flees, will pray to the mountains to fall on them and shield them from His gaze; but their prayer will not be granted, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with much power and majesty.3

This Sunday is called Passion Sunday, because the Church begins, on this day, to make the sufferings of our Redeemer her chief thought. It is called also, Judica, from the first word of the Introit of the Mass; and again Neomania, that is, the Sunday of the new (or the Easter) moon, because it always falls after the new moon which regulates the feast of Easter.

In the Greek Church, this Sunday goes under the simple name of the fifth Sunday of the holy fasts.

Devotions for a Lenten Sunday holy hour:
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Psalter of St. Jerome
Threnus Prayer of St. Augustine

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday Of the Fourth Week Of Lent


Stational Church:
S. Nicola in Carcere










From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
O my Jesus, and art not Thou, then, true king of the universe ? And how is it that Thou art now become king of sorrow and reproach ? See whither love has brought Thee ! O my most lovely God, when will that day arrive whereon I may so unite myself to Thee, that nothing may evermore have power to separate me from Thee, and I may no longer be able to cease to love Thee! O Lord, as long as I live in this world, I always stand in danger of turning my back upon Thee, and of refusing to Thee my love, as I have unhappily done in time past.

0 my Jesus, if Thou foreseest that by continuing in life I should have to suffer this greatest of all misfortunes, let me die at this moment, while I hope that I am in Thy grace ! I pray Thee, by Thy Passion, not to abandon me to so great an evil. I should indeed deserve it for my sins; but Thou dost deserve it not. Choose out any punishment for me rather than this. No, my Jesus, my Jesus, I would not see myself ever again separated from Thee.
Amen.



Devotions for a Lenten Saturday holy hour:
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows
Sorrowful Mysteries

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Of the Fourth Week Of Lent


Station Church:
S. Eusebio all'Esquilino









From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
O my Jesus ! how do I behold Thee weighed down with sorrow and sadness ! Ah, too much reason hast Thou to think that while Thou dost suffer even to die of anguish upon this wood, there are yet so few souls that have the heart to love Thee ! O my God! how many hearts are there at the present moment, even among those that are consecrated to Thee, who either love Thee not, or love Thee not enough ! O beautiful flame of love, thou that didst consume the life of a God upon the cross, oh, consume me too; consume all the disorderly affections which live in my heart, and make me live burning and sighing only for that loving Lord of mine, who, for love of me, was willing to end his life, consumed by torments, upon a gibbet of ignominy ! O my beloved Jesus! I wish ever to love Thee, and Thee alone, alone ; my only wish is to love my love, my God, my all.



Devotions for a Lenten Friday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotions To the Holy Cross

The Stations of the Cross

Two weeks until Good Friday

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