On the Manner in which Our Lord Was Mocked.
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 Manner in which Our Lord Was Mocked.
In spirit contemplate your Lord sitting in the hall of scourging, forlorn and suffering, His head crowned with thorns, His lacerated body wrapped in a ragged scarlet robe, in His hand a thick reed. There He sits motionless, patiently enduring the derision and mockery of the soldiers, who bending the knee before Him put out their tongues at Him, and with contemptuous laughter spit in His face and with cruel mockery cry out: “Hail, King of the Jews!” Keep this sad scene before your eyes while you make your meditation.
1st. The ceremonial which is observed as a mark of respect to an earthly king is now perverted into a means of mockery for the heavenly King. In order to do honor to an earthly monarch, his subjects place a crown of gold upon his head, whereas to show their contempt for the King of Heaven they crown Him with sharp thorns. The earthly monarch is arrayed in a splendid mantle of purple dye, whereas a torn and tattered robe is hung round the shoulders of the King of Heaven. The earthly monarch wields a golden sceptre to add to his regal pomp and dignity, while his vassals reverently bow before him, whereas the heavenly King, become an object of contempt to His subjects, holds a bulrush in His royal hands. Jesus, how art Thou persecuted! How different was the veneration, the adoration paid to Thee in Heaven, the Heaven Thou didst leave for love of us! There millions of angels worshipped Thee as their God and their King; here a handful of impious ruffians set Thee at naught. There thousands of voices joined to raise the song of praise, the glad hosannas, the just meed of a true and lawful King; here Thou art scorned and despised as a false pretender. How tremendous is the guilt of those who treat Thee thus! Yet, my soul, have you not often joined with those who mocked our Lord? Has not your worship of Him been a mere pretence, your outward show of reverence false and hypocritical, a mockery in fact, if, when you folded your hands and bent your knees in prayer, when you bowed your head at holy Mass, your thoughts were elsewhere? Sometimes, perhaps, while in body you were present before the Lord’s table, in spirit you were seated at your own table; or whilst externally you paid a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, inwardly you betook yourself to the dwellings of men whose company was frivolous, if not reprehensible. Is not that tantamount to mocking God by an empty show of reverence and worship? What contempt and mockery of holy things it would display if a Priest, ere he had time to unvest, were to hurry away from the altar to a drinking-saloon; or if a Religious who had scarcely swallowed the sacred body of Christ were to engage in idle conversation with seculars, with persons of the other sex. Yet you see by indulging wilful distractions you may in spirit render yourself guilty of this disrespect and contempt of our Lord.
2d. Consider how our Lord’s tormentors bow the knee before Him. It is expressly said “the knee,” for they do not fall down on both knees as we do when we pray, but in a scornful manner bend one knee only. This irreverence is often shown towards Christ by the votaries of the world, and by worldly-minded Religious. As a rule, in fact, such persons only bend one knee when they pray to God; they pray with half their heart; the other knee they bend before another god, the idol of their own passions, the craving for wealth and honor, the favor of man or sensual gratifications. This is indeed a shocking mockery of Him who said: “No man can serve two masters.” (St. Matt, vi. 24.) As in marriage the wife to whom her consort has proved unfaithful regards all the attentions he shows her, the flattering speeches he makes to her as bitter irony, knowing as she does that the same lips which now speak such fair words to her will ere long be parted to address compliments and flatteries to her rival, so it is only mocking God if at one time we bow down before Him and an hour later pay homage to the idols of our sinful desires. Take heed, my soul, lest you are found amongst the number of these evil-doers, of those who set at naught Christ our Lord.
3d. Consider our Lord’s conduct when subjected to this contumely. See amid this profound abasement how signally His sublime grandeur and divine majesty shines forth in all its transcendent beauty. He sits there in majestic serenity, silently, patiently enduring the insults heaped upon Him, a mute but terrible admonition to His tormentors. Learn of Jesus, my soul, what your behavior ought to be in regard to the contempt and mockery which every good Priest or Religious has to bear, not only on the part of the world, but also of those with whom he lives. Keep silence and endure it; thus you will be a spectacle to angels and to men; to the angels a spectacle of delight, to men one of edification and their own confusion. And to you yourself a scoffing speech addressed to you will, if it be borne with patience, be far more salutary than the highest meed of praise from the lips of man, however well that praise may be deserved.
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.
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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