On the Ecce Homo.
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 Ecce Homo.
To-day, my soul, place before your eyes and impress deeply upon your mind the pathetic picture of the Ecce Homo, which appeals alike to Heaven and earth for compassion. Pilate brings the Saviour forth out of the hall of scourging, displays Him to the Jewish people, and, himself moved to pity, exclaims: “Ecce Homo”; “Behold the Man!” as if to say: Is it possible that you have no mercy for one in so deplorable a condition? Imagine that you are standing among the crowd of Jewish onlookers, and that you see before you the heartrending sight presented by our Lord at this period of His Passion. How overwhelming are the thoughts that crowd in upon you!
1st. Consider Pilate’s words: Ecce Homo—“Behold the Man!”—for they are addressed to you. Yes, behold Him, look upon this Man. Look upon Him as He stands there, wearing the purple garment, His body torn and mangled, unable to lift up His aching head crowned with thorns and bathed in blood, holding the reed-sceptre in His hands, bound though they still are, the personification of infinite grief and meekness, of sorrow and love, a blood stained shadow of His former self, presented thus to the angry clamor of the priests and the people, a picture of misery, but yet a mirror in which one must dread to look. Gaze upon it, my soul, and your conscience will tell you what you see there. You will see your vanity, which our Lord expiated by the contempt He endured, your idleness and love of ease, which He expiated by His wounds and blood-shedding, your covetousness which He expiated in nakedness and desolation. And if your cold heart is not moved by the words you hear a pagan exclaim, listen to the voice of Jesus Himself.
2d. Consider that our Lord also addresses to you the same words: Ecce Homo. Behold Me in My human nature, who am at the same time your God and your Creator, and think to what a condition My love for you has reduced Me. In My Godhead, in the form of God I was the joy and delight of angels; now for love of you I have taken upon Me the form of a leper, an outcast. Enthroned in Heaven I received the homage of millions of celestial spirits, who cried “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of Sabaoth;” now for your sake I stand here bound with cords, spit upon, reviled, like the lowest criminal on the face of the earth. In the realms of bliss, with infinite felicity I ruled over the choirs of cherubim and seraphim; now behold Me, and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow; behold My bleeding brow, My lacerated members, My eyes suffused with tears of anguish; for love of you I have become this pitiable object, and alas! this I must remain, for your sins will not allow Me to find rest. Can you, my soul, still gaze upon this touching sight, this Ecce Homo, without melting your cold, your sin-stained heart by hot tears of contrition?
3d. Consider lastly that our Lord cries to His heavenly Father: Ecce Homo—“Behold the Man!” Look down, Eternal Father, look down from heaven above upon Thy Son, in whom Thou art well pleased. Behold the countenance which Thou didst illuminate with a ray of celestial glory upon Mount Thabor, now defiled with blood and spittle; behold My body which then shone resplendent as the midday sun, now become a mass of wounds. Behold, O My Father, the deplorable figure Thy Son presents, standing here wretched and forsaken, crushed under foot as a worm; behold this picture of misery and be moved to compassion by the sight, that for the sake of this one Man Thou mayst have pity on the others, and for the sake of My countenance thus disfigured and defaced Thou mayst in Thy mercy renew the face of the sinful earth. How affecting is this petition which our Lord presents to His heavenly Father accompanied by tears of blood! Rise up, my soul, unite your supplications to those of the divine Intercessor; unite your tears, your sufferings, to His, and offer them to God the Father, beseeching Him that for the sake of this one Man, whom you have to-day been contemplating in His Passion, He will have compassion upon the whole sinful race of mankind.
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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