Jesus Christ weeps over Jerusalem.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Jesus Christ weeps over Jerusalem.
“And when He drew near, seeing the city, He wept over it.”—St. Luke xix. 41. 18.
OUR Lord rested for a time at Jericho, after which He continued His journey towards Jerusalem, and on the eve of the Sabbath arrived at Bethania, a small suburb about half a mile distant from the city. Here He passed the Sabbath at the house of Mary Magdalene and Martha, where He was accustomed to stop with His disciples whenever He went from Galilee to Judea. The day following, being the fifth day before the Passover, was the occasion on which the Jews, according to the Mosaic law, brought the Paschal lambs into the city amid great pomp and rejoicing. Jesus, therefore, who was the true Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world, and the spotless Victim whose sacrifice on the altar of the cross was to secure the redemption of mankind, thought it proper to enter Jerusalem also on that day with appropriate rejoicing. Accompanied by His apostles He left Bethania early on the morning of Palm-Sunday, and went in the direction of the steep Mount of Olives. Arriving at Bethphage, a small village situated on a declivity of that mountain, He chose two of His disciples and said to them: “Go into the village that is over against you, and immediately at your coming in thither, you shall find a colt tied, upon which no man yet hath sat: loose him and bring him. And if any man shall say to you: What are you doing? say ye that the Lord hath need of him: and immediately he will let him come hither” (St. Mark xi. 2, 3). The disciples obeyed at once. “And going their way, they found the colt tied before the gate without, in the meeting of two ways: and they loose him. And some of them that stood there said to them: “What do you loosing the colt? Who said to them as Jesus had commanded them, and they let him go with them. And they brought the colt to Jesus: and they lay their garments on him, and He sat upon him” (St. Mark xi. 4-7). Thus mounted, the Divine Master, surrounded by His disciples, rode in the direction of Jerusalem. Passing over Mount Olivet, He was about to descend towards the Vale of Josaphat, when He halted to gaze upon the scene which lay spread out before Him at His feet the garden of Gethsemani, before Him Mount Calvary, and beyond the full prospect of the holy city with its triple walls and lofty towers. Instantly His loving soul was assailed by a mortal sadness, and He gave vent to His grief in a copious flood of tears. “And when He drew near, seeing the city, He wept over it” (St. Luke xix. 41). Our Lord wept, and wept bitterly, not over Himself, but over the blindness of the Jews, over the hardness of sinners, over the obstinacy of His own people, and over the unhappy fate of Jerusalem. In the bitterness of His grief, He addressed these affectionate words to the unhappy city: “If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace, but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round: and straiten thee on every side: and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee, and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation” (St. Luke xix. 42-44).
With these and other loving expressions, our merciful Lord bewailed the future calamities which hovered over Jerusalem. But in weeping over His own people and their unhappy city, He also mourned over the ingratitude of the millions of Christians, whom He foresaw would reap no fruits from the Redemption because of their indifference to Heaven’s call. Ah! let the tears of our loving Jesus move us to pity for our miserable state, and if in the past we have displeased His loving heart by our obstinacy in sin, let us endeavor for the future to please Him by our repentance.
The prophecy of Jesus Christ regarding the siege and total destruction of Jerusalem has been literally fulfilled. Thirty-seven years after the Redeemer’s death, Titus, Emperor of the Romans, surrounded the deicide city with a strong intrenchment, and after five months of terrible fighting razed it to the ground, leaving not a stone upon a stone, and cleansed unhappy Jerusalem of all its iniquities by the slaughter of eleven hundred thousand of its inhabitants. The obstinate Jews have been since then without temple or altar, without sacrifice or priesthood, without king or country, exiled, dispersed all over the globe, despised by all, reputed as a vile race, bearing impressed on their pallid foreheads the indelible sign of the terrible deicide perpetrated by their fathers. In the awful fate of this nation we can recognize the vengeance of God excited by the insolence of the ungrateful Jews in disregarding the visitation of His divine mercy.
We should now reflect on ourselves in order to derive profit from the misfortunes of others. Let us imagine that our merciful Lord, knowing us guilty of many sins and seeing the approaching punishments which menace us, looks upon us from heaven with commiseration, and speaks to our hearts, saying: Unhappy soul, you do not know the miserable state in which you are! If you could see the eternal punishment which awaits you unless you repent, you would make serious reflections. Your body which you indulge so much will soon be reduced to ashes; those persons whom you love so tenderly you shall soon leave forever. All will be separated from you but your good and evil works; these will accompany you. You believe that the time is not near, but it is fast approaching: hell is open beneath you; the sentence of death has already been issued, and on My will depends its execution. Every day, every moment, every hour, may be the last for you. How long, therefore, will you delay to do penance? How long will you still provoke My anger, tire My patience? How many inspirations did I not send you? how many graces did I not grant you? how many advices and good examples did you not receive? how many times have I not called upon you, and you failed to respond? You were deaf to My voice and dumb to My exhortations. Therefore, I weep over you, and over your unhappy state, and the punishments which menace you; and weeping, I invite you for the last time to repentance, that yours may not be the fate of Jerusalem, obduracy, abandonment, and eternal perdition.
Thus our merciful Lord speaks to our souls; and how shall we respond? With ingratitude? Ah, no! let us prostrate ourselves at His feet, beseeching Him to grant us a profound grief for our sins, a firm and strong resolution of nevermore offending Him, and an ardent desire of loving Him now and for eternity. Let us also earnestly ask Him for the grace of meditating on His sufferings, in order that, having them before our eyes, we may be encouraged to support our sufferings.
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
Behold how the teachings of our Lord and Saviour, the Eternal Wisdom, are rejected, His deeds forgotten, and the price of His precious Blood lost, in a measure, considering how few there are who seek their salvation.
– St. Ignatius of Loyola, Letter 50.
February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)
Virtue to practice: Humility
I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ – St. Francis de Sales
An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a monh (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).
Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from where thou dost dispense thy favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for thy favors, I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share in thy glory. R. Amen.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.