On the Mother of Dolors Standing beneath the Cross.
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.
On the Mother of Dolors Standing beneath the Cross.
To-day being the day of the week specially dedicated to our Blessed Lady, turn your eyes to Mary and behold her as she stands beneath the cross, her heart pierced with the sword of sorrow. Transport yourself in spirit to Calvary; place the whole course of the crucifixion before your mental vision; imagine yourself to be one of the bystanders and onlookers, and as such contemplate Mary while you consider the following points:
1st. In addition to the maternal love and faithful devotion which Mary manifested towards her divine Son until His latest breath, there is another characteristic that we cannot do otherwise than admire in her as she stands beneath the cross, and that is her virginal modesty and decorum. In spite of the intensity of her grief, not a word escapes her lips; not by a single gesture or attitude does she show outwardly what she feels. She stands there, as calm and recollected as if in very deed she was assisting at the first sacred function, the first solemn celebration of holy Mass; she utters no lamentations; she does not cry aloud in her agony; she bears silently the burden of her terrible sorrow, and only the tears that roll down her pallid cheeks testify to the heartfelt compassion she feels for her suffering Son.
O Mary, mirror of modesty and propriety, the fact that thou canst stand thus self-possessed beneath the cross of thy dearly beloved Son in itself abundantly proves thee to be indeed His Mother, and compels even His enemies and thine own to yield thee an awestruck reverence. Now ask yourself, my soul, when you stand beneath the cross, when you hear or celebrate holy Mass, is your deportment equally modest and decorous? Is the manner in which you recite the prayers, are your attitude and gestures, is your whole demeanor in keeping with the sanctity of the place, the solemnity of the moment? And if perchance unbelievers, your enemies and the enemies of your God happen to see you at such times, are they inspired with an involuntary feeling of respect, or is your behavior calculated to make religion ridiculous and contemptible in their eyes?
2d. Consider Mary’s marvellous patience as she stands beneath the cross. She does not complain of the Jews, who have acted so cruelly, so shamefully towards her and her Son; no, she compassionates her misguided nation. She does not complain of the sinners for whose transgressions her Son has to suffer; she prays for them. She does not show any indignation at the conduct of the executioners and of the Pharisees, who wound her bleeding heart yet more deeply by their mocking sneers; she forgives them as her Son forgives them. There she stands like an immovable rock, buffeted by every billow of sorrow; she stands like a statue of patience, wrought in marble by the skillful chisel of the sculptor. Now, my soul, behold yourself in this mirror. Behold your gloomy countenance, your frowning brow; listen to your whining and lamentations whenever some slight cross is laid on you, and do you, who are of the sterner sex, who are perhaps a young man in the prime of life and strength, learn a lesson of this frail woman who stands beneath the cross steeped in anguish; learn a lesson of patience.
3d. Consider Mary’s wonderful fortitude as she stands beneath the cross. The mother of the Machabees also displayed heroic courage when she valiantly encouraged her sons to endure terrible torture rather than break the commandment. Other mothers have seen their children dragged away to a martyr’s death without flinching, but they are all surpassed by Mary when she stood beneath the cross. There she maintains her position for three long hours, beside the cross of shame whereon her divine Son, the Son whom she loves even unto death, is suspended; she stands face to face with an excited, a furious, a fanatical mob, exposed to the insolent, the contemptuous stare of a multitude composed of the lowest of the people, unable to shield herself from the eyes of the Pharisees, whose envenomed glances betray the hatred that fills their hearts; she stands there, sharing her Son’s disgrace, herself the object of contempt and mockery on the part of the barbarous executioners and rude soldiery; she stands there, I say, in indescribable majesty and dignity until Jesus has drawn His latest breath. O proud, vain child of man! In the presence of this valiant woman blush on account of your effeminacy, your cowardice, your weakness, which so often lead you, for fear of contumely and derision, to depart from strict, exact obedience to the Rule, from the rigid observance of fasting and silence, so that through weakness and human respect you speedily forsake the cross beneath which Mary continued to stand steadfast and strong as Samson.
As, my soul, you ought not to allow any Friday to pass by without devoting a short space of time to meditation on our Lord’s Passion, so you will do well to consecrate a portion of your free time every Saturday to contemplation of the life of Mary, for you will thereby honor the Mother of God and undoubtedly you will derive great profit for yourself and assistance in your progress towards perfection.
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.
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, brightness of eternal light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, sun of justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, lover of us, have mercy on us.
Jesus, God of peace, have mercy on us.
Jesus, author of life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, example of virtues, have mercy on us.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our refuge, have mercy on us.
Jesus, father of the poor, have mercy on us.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us.
Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus.
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus.
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy most divine life, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy labors, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Cross and dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy death and burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
Let Us Pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who has said, Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you, mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.
Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name, for Thou never failest to help and to govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast love: who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
– Raccolta 113
An indulgence of 7 years.A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany (S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S. P. Ap., Jan. 2, 1933).
Prayer in honor of the Most Holy Name
O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. You are the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that your Name may be blessed for all times. – Thomas A. Kempis
Prayer of Reparation in Praise of the Holy Name of God entitled:
“The Golden Arrow”
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar. Amen.
Prayer in honor of the Holy Name
O my Jesus, Thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. Hitherto I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.
Most holy Virgin, obtain for me the grace of invoking the name of Thy Son Jesus in all my necessities, together with thine own, my Mother Mary; but let me invoke them always with confidence and love, so that I may be able also to say to thee as did the devout Alphonsus Rodriguez: “Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you; may I die for you; may I be wholly yours, and in nothing my own!” O my beloved Jesus! O Mary, my beloved Lady! give me the grace to suffer and to die for your love. I will be no longer my own, but altogether yours; yours in life, and yours in death, when I hope by your help to expire saying, Jesus and Mary, help me! Jesus and Mary, I recommend myself to you; Jesus and Mary, I love you, and I give and deliver up to you my whole soul.
The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. p. 163 (Imprimatur 1927)
P.S. 29th day for anyone praying Total Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort that ends February 2nd!
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