Friday, April 6, 2012

Devotion for today: we travel with Christ to His death

It is said that after Christ’s death, His mother Mary went back along the route where He carried His cross, the Via Dolorosa, and prayed at various points where she remembered His agony. Today we do the same, in our parish churches, traditionally at three o’clock. Since this is not possible for everyone, I offer a short way of the Cross as used by the Franciscan Fathers on their missions. (The Pieta Prayer Book, Miraculous Lady of Roses, LLC, 2006)

First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death
O Jesus! So meek and uncomplaining, teach me resignation in trials.

Second Station: Jesus Carries His Cross
My Jesus! This Cross should be mine, not Yours! My sins crucified you.

Third Station: Our Lord Falls the First Time
O Jesus, by this first fall, never let me fall into mortal sin.

Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother
O Jesus! May no human tie, however dear, keep me from following the road of the Cross.

Fifth Station: Simon, the Cyrenean, Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
Simon unwillingly assisted You; may I, with patience, suffer all for You.

Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
O Jesus You did imprint Your sacred features upon Veronica’s veil; stamp them also indelibly upon my heart.

Seventh Station: The Second Fall of Jesus
By Your second fall, preserve me, dear Lord, from relapse into sin.

Eighth Station: Jesus Consoles the Women of Jerusalem
My greatest consolation would be to hear You say: “Many sins are forgiven you, because you have loved much.”

Ninth Station: The Third Fall of Jesus
O Jesus! When I am weary upon life’s long journey, be my strength and my perseverance.

Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
My soul has been robbed of its robe of innocence. Clothe me, dear Jesus, with the garb of penance and contrition.

Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
You forgave Your enemies: my God, teach me to forgive injuries and forget them.

Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross (pause a moment for personal reflection)
You are dying, my Jesus, but Your Sacred Heart still throbs with love for Your sinful children

Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
Receive me into Your arms, O Sorrowful Mother, and obtain for me perfect contrition for my sins.

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Sepulcher
When I receive You into my heart in Holy Communion, O Jesus, make it a fit abiding place for Your adorable Body. Amen.

The Divine Mercy Novena

Today we also begin the Divine Mercy Novena. This culminates on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter. On Good Friday, 1937, Jesus dictated the intentions for a Novena that He wanted Saint Faustina, a young polish nun, to say before the Feast of Mercy. “I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that they may draw from there strength and refreshment and whatever grace they need in the hardships of life, and especially, at the hour of death….On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls” (Diary, 1209).

First Day: Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.”
Most merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins, but upon the trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit. Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy forever and ever. Amen (Now say a Chaplet of Mercy.

The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy

How to Recite the Chaplet

The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. The Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer.

1. Make the Sign of the Cross:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2. Optional Opening Prayers

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

3. Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.

4. Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

5. The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

6. The Eternal Father

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

7. On the Ten Small Beads of Each Decade

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

8. Repeat for the remaining decades

Saying the "Eternal Father" (6) on the "Our Father" bead and then 10 "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion" (7) on the following "Hail Mary" beads.

9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

10. Optional Closing Prayer

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

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