Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. -Ps cxii. 9
Our Blessed King spoke seven "words" from the altar of the Holy Cross. Since His every breath was an agony, these words must have been of great importance. Consequently, they have been the source of fruitful meditation for generations of Saints.
This Good Friday I would like to share the traditional translation of the Prayer of the Seven Last Words.
O GOOD JESUS, Son of the living God, who for our salvation didst vouchsafe to be born in a stable, to live in poverty, suffering, and misery, and to die amidst the torments of the cross,
say to Thy divine Father, I beseech Thee, at the hour of my death: "Father forgive him";
say to Thy Beloved Mother: "Behold thy son"; say to my soul: "This day shalt thou be with Me in in paradise." My God, my God, forsake me not in that hour! "I thirst!" verily, my God, my soul thirsteth after Thee, who art the fountain of living waters. My life passeth away like a shadow; yet a little while, and all things shall be accomplished. Wherefore, my adorable Savior, from this moment to all eternity, "Into Thy hands I commend my spirit." Lord Jesu, receive my soul. AMEN.
A consideration of Christian Chivalry for Holy Week from Mother Mary Loyola, author of King of the Golden City.
"In what place soever Thou shalt be, Lord my King, either in
death or in life, there will Thy servant be."
Which of us will have the courage to say this as we kneel before our King crowned with thorns? Or at the foot of the cross? Let me look into the heart of my King. What makes Him suffer willingly in spite of the repugnance of nature? The same recognition of the Father's hand in all that befalls Him, to which His word in the Garden testified:
"The chalice that my Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?"
The faith that sees the Father's hand in every trial, this it is that holds the secret of meekness. To it alone belongs the strength of endurance, the peacefulness of trust:
The crown of thorns today, the crown of glory hereafter.
As we begin the year of Our Lord 2014 in uncertain circumstances, I am reminded of what Bl. John Paul II said regarding the above verse of Holy Scripture:
The link with Christ through prayer makes us aware that He is also present in moments of apparent failure, when tireless effort seems useless. It is especially in these moments that one needs to open one's heart to the abundance of grace and to allow the word of the Redeemer to act with all its power: "Duc in altum!"
Amen. Happy New Year.
Many Catholics do not realize that Advent is a penitential season (hence the violet vestments). Yet in the reading for the Second Sunday of Advent (Mt. 3.1-12), we encounter John the Baptist—the last and greatest prophet to announce the coming of the Savior (Mt. 11.11)—and according to him, the first step to prepare a “straight path for the Lord” is to “repent” or, as it is rendered in the Douay-Rheims translation, “do penance” (Mt.3.2).
The main elements of John’s message are a call to repentance and a challenge to produce fruit (Mt. 3.7-8), in preparation for the coming of Christ. Like John, our assignment is to point others to Jesus.
John the Baptist is Jesus’ cousin. So one thing you might take away is that your spiritual impact on others can begin right in your own family. For example, celebrating traditions like lighting the candles on the Advent wreath or having an Advent calendar with Bible verses for each day are ways to prepare your children for the coming of Christ into their hearts and lives.
Your example can also influence the witness of others as we see in the preaching of Jesus and John (Mt. 3.7-14; Lk. 11.37-54). One application of this is to realize that what you share with family and friends, they share with others.
With faith you can do great things for God and your witness can bear greater fruit than you might imagine (Mt.17.20). The personal message and challenge of Advent is this: your repentance and belief have a spiritual impact on the people in your life and God wants to use you for His purpose right where you are.
Established by Pope Pius XI in his 1925 encyclical Quas Primas, the Feast of Christ the King was intended as an antidote to secularism. The challenge of secularism is greater now than ever before, but the antidote remains the same.
Originally celebrated on the last Sunday of October, in the new calendar the feast was elevated to a solemnity, renamed The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Universal King, and moved to the last Sunday of the liturgical year.
This year The Solemnity of Christ the King falls on Sunday, November 24th. But, since this is a relatively new feast in the Church, there are not many "small t" traditions associated with it (i.e., special foods, decorations, etc.). Traditionally the feast was an occasion for Eucharistic processions and if your Church is conducting one I hope you will participate. Solemnities are the most important feasts in the Church's liturgy and as such deserve special observance. Accordingly, the 1968 Enchiridion of Indulgences includes the following indulgenced prayer:
Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King (Iesu dulcissime, Redemptor)
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you.
We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you.
Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart.
Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house,
lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock
and one Shepherd.
Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order
to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever.
A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King. A plenary indulgence is granted, if it is recited publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King.
I hope you will find time on Sunday the 24th to pray this prayer with your family (or at your parish) and invite you to pray it often throughout the year.