PRAYER: O my Jesus, how little have I applied myself to study and learn that which is so important for me to know! How slightly have I been touched by that excessive charity, carried even to the folly of the Cross! Alas, how weak has been my love in comparison with Yours, or rather is it not an insult to say that I love You, offering You sentiments so unworthy of Your extreme tenderness? I, Your creature, covered with Your blessings and redeemed by You at so high a price, since it is by the very Blood of the Son of God, Immaculate Lamb which has expiated the sins of the world! If my Redeemer has given His life in order that I may live, my life belongs no longer to me, but to Him Who has died for me. I belong no longer to myself, O Jesus, my loving Redeemer, I am Yours! I am Your conquest and I wish, cost what it may, to live only for You. Holy Mother Mary please tear me from myself; take from me all my supports and all those affections, from all those attachments to creatures and to myself, which envelop me as with a sad vesture; in order that I may be attached through love to the Cross, remaining united to Jesus and thus attain an eternal union with Jesus and Mary in Heaven.
MEDITATION: O! who can tell with what inexpressible joy Jesus hears His sentence of death, veritable sentence of life for the children of Adam? Who could express the eagerness with which He seizes the cross presented to Him and presses it to His Heart? This new Isaac lovingly taking on His shoulders the wood for His sacrifice, prepares to ascend the mountain on which He will immolate Himself for the salvation of the world. It is true that the exhausted strength of His Body no longer responds to that of His Love; He will fall several times under the weight of this burden, He will be forced to accept the aid of the Cyrenean; but this weakness and the relief which He receives will enter into the economy of our redemption. We will find new strength to rise from our falls, and ineffable consolation in all our trials and afflictions; for these sufferings, if I accept them with faith and love, are the very sufferings of Jesus which I share – they assure me then, a share in the graces which He has merited for us, and ample recompense for eternity.
At last, Jesus has arrived at the summit of the mount of sacrifice. His feet and His hands extended with effort are cruelly pierced and nailed to that Cross which He has dragged so far with so much suffering and fatigue. Ah! It is not without a great design of mercy that He has chosen this frightful torment, and that He remains thus immovable, fastened by horrible wounds to this mysterious wood during long hours, without consolation, without relief, having only vinegar and gall to quench the thirst which devours Him, nothing whereon to rest His adorable head, and unable to make any movement without augmenting His insupportable sufferings. In this state, He merits for us the grace to nail with Him to His Cross, our passions, our vices, and all the sallies of our rebellious flesh. He renders, finally, His last sigh with a loud cry, which attests at the same time His Divinity and the extreme anguish of His sacred Humanity. Ah! Let me now contemplate for my salvation Him whom I have thus pierced.
Divine Redeemer! Not content with offering us the price of our ransom, You became Yourself this inestimable price. Our souls were wounded and sick and You, charitable Physician, offered the remedy which must cure them, and this remedy is Yourself! This is the great and one thought which occupies Your holy soul during the whole course of Your sorrowful Passion. If from the height of the Cross, a few words fall from Your dying lips, it is again to pardon, to console, and to instruct – praying for Your executioners; opening heaven to the good thief; leaving Your Holy Mother to the beloved Disciple, and to all men in his person; complaining of Your abandonment in order to make known to us the desolation to which our sins have reduced Your soul. As you cry out “I thirst”, You reveal to us Your great desire for the salvation of souls. Finally, “in remitting Your soul into the hands of Your Father”, after having solemnly declared that “all is consummated”, You give a new and sublime example of Your submission to the orders of Your Father. You declare that You have accomplished all that He had ordained for my salvation, and that You died in obedience.
O Jesus Crucified! You are a book open to all people, to all future generations, where each can contemplate and learn all the essential truths; the greatness of God, His infinite justice, His ineffable mercy, the value of our soul, the enormity of sin, the chastisement it merits, and finally the inexpressible Love of our Redeemer. In contemplating this book, this divine image, each should and ought to say: “He has loved me and delivered Himself for me.”
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!