Wednesday after the First Sunday in Lent.

On the Kiss of Judas.

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 Kiss of Judas.

Imagine yourself, my soul, a witness of that lamentable and terrible spectacle when Judas kissed our Lord. The unhappy apostle comes, accompanied by rough soldiers and brutal executioners; he goes up to Jesus, his Lord and Master, at whose table he has sat for three years, with whom he has enjoyed delightful intercourse, Who has admitted him to His closest confidence, Who has given him to eat of His own flesh and blood; he goes up to Him, his Benefactor, to accomplish the foul treachery he has planned, and on Jesus pale and bloodstained countenance he imprints the traitor’s kiss. What base, what horrible perfidy!

1st. Consider that when, in times long past, Joab, the general of David’s forces, perpetrated a most shameful deed, inasmuch as, going to meet Amasa, who was also a commander in the army, and stooping forward to kiss him, he at the same moment thrust his sword into his side and killed him; Solomon, David’s wise and peaceful son, was so horrified at the crime that he avenged it upon Joab in a signal manner. But what was Joab’s deed in comparison to that whereof Judas was guilty? Joab with his treacherous kiss murdered his fellow man, his equal, whereas Judas by his kiss murdered his Lord and his God. Joab killed Amasa with a single blow, but think to what a lingering, torturing, extraordinarily painful death the kiss of Judas betrayed our Lord! Oh the execrable cruelty, the infamy of that treacherous act!

2d. Consider that when the assassins of Julius Caesar fell upon him in the Senate-house with daggers drawn to stab him, the hero of many battles stood immovable, displaying no emotion, uttering not a word of complaint. But when Brutus, whom he loved with the affection of a father, also approached and drew the murderous weapon to strike his benefactor, this blow hurt Caesar more than all the others, and he could not refrain from uttering the sorrowful exclamation: “Thou too, Brutus, my son!” Now if the ingratitude of Brutus grieved Caesar so deeply, how sorely must the loving heart of Jesus been pained and saddened by the ingratitude of His apostle! Might He not have addressed to him this plaintive reproach: “Is this what I have deserved of thee, I who knelt on the ground before thee to wash thy feet; is this what I have deserved of thee, I who fed thee with My body and blood; is this what I have deserved, I who chose thee to be an apostle and endowed thee with supernatural powers?” thankless Judas! Thou art more criminal than Cain; he slew his brother, but thou hast slain thy Father, thy Creator, thy Redeemer. Truly indeed it had been better for thee hadst thou never been born. And yet, my soul, you who are so horrified at the kiss of Judas, ask yourself this question:

3d. What kiss do you give our Lord? Several persons kissed the Saviour when He was on earth. The Blessed Virgin Mary covered the lovely countenance of the Infant Jesus with her maternal kisses. Magdalen imprinted the kiss of contrite sorrow on His sacred feet; the aged Simeon was privileged before his departure to kiss the divine Child in the temple at Jerusalem, and now we see the wretched Judas daring to give Him a traitor’s kiss. Reflect on this, my soul; ask yourself whether you have not, by an unworthy Communion or some mortal sin, given the kiss of Judas to your Lord, or whether by a true and sincere confession you have, with heartfelt compunction, bestowed on Him the kiss of Magdalen. Ask yourself whether in Holy Communion you have pressed Him to your heart with adoring love like Mary, whether you can hope when death is near to give and receive from Him the kiss of peace as Simeon did, and thus depart out of this life in osculo Domini.

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.

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March Devotion: St. Joseph

Virtue to practice: Mortification

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, 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.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Splendour of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful Defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most pure, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most couragious, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of all who labor, pray for us.
Glory of family life, pray for us.
Preserver of virgins, pray for us.
Mainstay of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house,
R. And ruler of all His possessions.

Let us Pray.

O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph

(This prayer was said to be founded in the 50 A.D. In the 1500′s it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. According to oral tradition, whoever reads this prayer, hears it, or carries it, will not fall into the hands of the enemy, nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.)

O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me from thy Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O St. Joseph I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thy arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.

Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope St. Pius X

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.

Good St. Joseph protect us, protect the holy Church.

O good and kind St. Joseph guide us in the way of perfection.

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