On the Way of 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 Way of the Cross.
Accompany in spirit your persecuted Lord as He toils along the hard and difficult Way of the Cross. The mournful procession is preceded by a trumpeter, who at the corner of every street sounds his trumpet and gives notice of the execution which is to take place. A few paces behind him come a crowd of servants, soldiers, and vagabonds, carrying ropes, nails and tools of different kinds in baskets. Then follow the haughty Pharisees, exultant, intoxicated with the victory they have gained, and lastly our Lord comes with His heavy cross.
1st. Consider what a painful journey this is for our Lord. Bent and tottering, lacerated by the scourging, bruised and beaten and wearied out He staggers along; since the Last Supper He has not had a morsel of food, not a drop of water has moistened His parched lips since He drank of the brook in the way. Deprived of sleep, subjected to continual maltreatment, exhausted with loss of blood, with the pain of His wounds, with fever and thirst, with grief and woe unutterable He walks barefoot along the stony road, the sun beating hotly upon His thorn-crowned head, so that drops of perspiration mingle with the blood that trickles from His brow. Can you, my soul, with such a spectacle before you as this most painful way of the cross affords, murmur and complain of the hardships, incomparably less as they indeed are, of your life’s journey? Is it possible that you go so far as to show annoyance if your calling, if obedience requires you to go out on a dark night, in cold inclement weather, to a rough and lonely part of the country? Learn of Jesus to be more patient, and with this aim look upon Him as your model.
2d. Consider the patience our Lord exhibited on the Way of the Cross. We have read the touching story of the youthful Isaac, how the patriarch Abraham with a heavy heart laid on the shoulders of his only, his dearly loved child the wood on which he was to be sacrificed, and how the boy, patient, uncomplaining as an innocent lamb, ascended Mount Moria with his burden. To-day we contemplate another, a second Isaac climbing that same mountain. No affectionate father walks beside Him; fierce wolves, hungry dogs encompass the immaculate Lamb of God. Nor is this a mere trial of faith, as it was in Isaac’s case; it is real, terrible earnest. But the Son of God carries the wood for His own oblation as patiently as the child of Abraham did. The hands that grasp the cross are, it is true, sore and swollen; the countenance of Him who bears it is wet, not with sweat alone, but with streams of blood; the weight of the ponderous beams composing the instrument of torture press heavily upon His aching, smarting shoulder; over and above all this, contempt and malice meet Him on every side. Although thus tortured, in such misery, yet of His great love His lips move in prayer; He prays for His enemies; He is willing to forgive and to suffer yet more. Blush to think of your impatience, your spitefulness, your desire for revenge. See how your sins form a part of the burden of guilt beneath which the afflicted Saviour groans, and which causes Him to stumble on the way.
3d. Consider our Lord’s painful fall. The way He is traversing is not smooth; great stones lie on the road. Our Lord, overcome by weakness, is unable to go any further. The executioners drag Him onward, and pull ruthlessly at the ropes which bind their exhausted Victim, sinking beneath the burden of the cross. From beneath that terrible, roughly-plaited crown of thorns He turns on them His sunken eyes, suffused with blood, with a look of entreaty, imploring compassion, but in vain. The harried, goaded Lamb must press onward; now His foot strikes against a stone, His knees give way, He totters and falls, and the heavy cross falls on Him. Behold our Lord grovelling on the ground like a worm, overwhelmed with pain and woe and bitter grief!
Weep, my soul, over your falls into sin, which prepare this painful fall for Jesus; weep especially on account of your first fall, and resolve to-day and on the Friday of every week, in honor of our Lord’s first fall, to pray for all who are in danger of falling for the first time into mortal sin, for if we fall into mortal sin we cause our Lord to experience far greater pain than that which was inflicted by His own fall on the Way of the Cross.
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 courageous, 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.
Prayers in Time of Calamity
Copyright © Holy Cross Publications, 2013 – 2020. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holy Cross Publications with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.