Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer
“I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.”
“Come along then, every human family, full of sin as you are and receive the forgiveness of your sins. For I Myself, am your forgiveness, I am the Passover of salvation, the Lamb slain for your sakes, your redemption, life and resurrection; I am your Light, your Salvation and your King. It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven, I, who will raise you up; it is I, who will bring you to see the Father who is from all eternity; it is I, who will raise you up by My all-powerful Hand.”
St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180) Bishop, Apologist
“Many indeed are the wondrous happenings of that time: God hanging from a cross, the sun made dark and again flaming out; for it was fitting that creation should mourn with it’s Creator. The temple veil rent, blood and water flowing from His side – the one as from a man, the other as from what was above man; the earth shaken, the rocks shattered because of the Rock; the dead risen to bear witness to the final and universal resurrection of the dead. The happenings at the sepulcher and after the sepulcher, who can fittingly recount them? Yet no-one of them, can be compared, to the miracle of my salvation. A few drops of blood renew the whole world and do, for all men, what the rennet does for the milk – joining us and binding us together.”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father and Doctor of the Church
“The light of Christ is an endless day that knows no night.”
“Our Saviour’s passion raises men and women from the depths, lifts them up from the earth and sets them in the heights.”
St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)
“As they were looking on, so we too gaze on His wounds as He hangs. We see His blood as He dies. We see the price offered by the Redeemer, touch the scars of His Resurrection. He bows His head, as if to kiss you. His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you. His arms are extended, that He may embrace you. His whole body is displayed for your redemption. Ponder how great these things are. Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind – as He was once fixed to the cross, in every part of His body for you, so He may now be fixed in every part of your soul.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers. All love that takes not it’s beginning from Our Saviour’s Passion is frivolous and dangerous. Unhappy is death without the love of the Saviour, unhappy is love without the death of the Saviour! Love and death are so mingled in the Passion of Our Saviour that we cannot have the one in our heart without the other. Upon Calvary one cannot have life without love, nor love without the death of Our Redeemer.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
“Yes, my gentle Redeemer, let me say it, You are crazy with love! Is it not foolish for You to have wanted to die for me? But if You, my God, have become crazy with love for me, how can I not become crazy with love for You?”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Prayer Before The Crucifix – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass By St Vincent Strambi (1745-1824)
Jesus, by this Saving Sign, bless this listless soul of mine. Jesus, by Your feet nailed fast, mend the missteps of my past. Jesus, with Your riven hands, bend my will to love’s demands. Jesus, in Your Heart laid bare, warm my inner coldness there. Jesus, by Your thorn-crowned head, still my pride till it is dead. Jesus, by Your muted tongue, stay my words that hurt someone. Jesus, by Your tired eyes, open mine to faith’s surprise. Jesus, by Your fading breath, keep me faithful until death. Yes, Lord, by this Saving Sign, save this wayward soul of mine. Amen
“He perspired blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and, abandoned by the Apostles, He was bound like a criminal, insulted, scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death and burdened with a cross; finally, when He arrived at Calvary, He was nailed to the gibbet, where He shed His Precious Blood and gave His life for our redemption. Such was the extent of Jesus’ infinite love for us. “Calvary” writes St Francis de Sales,“is the school of love.” The Saints were moved to tears by the strange spectacle of God-made-man, dying on the Cross for men. What is our reaction?”
Quote/s of the Day – 21 October – Wednesday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 3:2-12, Responsorial Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-3, 4,5-6, Luke 12:39-48
“Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
“Life is short, Death is certain and the world to come is everlasting.”
“If we would God discern The world we must despise, His love and hate must learn, See all things with His eyes. And we must self forgo If God we would attain, His grace must in us grow And ease us from all pain. So shall we sing His praise And be at one with Him, In peace our voices raise In the celestial hymn, That with quadruple harmony And all mellifluous melody, In Heaven resounds eternally.”
(The Seven Steps of the Ladder of Spiritual Love)
Bl John van Ruysbroeck (c 1293-1382)
“This then is to watch – to be detached from what is present and to live in what is unseen, to live in the thought of Christ as He came once and as He will come again, to desire His second coming, from our affectionate and grateful remembrance, of His first. ”
“He watches with Christ, whoever commemorates and renews, in his own person, Christ’s Cross and Agony and gladly takes up that mantle of affliction which Christ wore here and left behind Him, when He ascended.”
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Watch over your thoughts because they become words.
Watch over your words because they become actions.
Watch over your actions because they become habits.
Watch over your habits because they become your character.
Watch over your character because it becomes your destiny.
Quote/s of the Day – 19 October – The Memorial of St Paul of the Cross CP (1604-1775)
“We ought to glory in nothing other than, the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are blessed and don’t know it. You have Jesus Crucified, with you!”
“Your crosses dear God, are the joy of my heart. How beautiful to suffer with Jesus.”
“Oh cherished cross! Through thee my most bitter trials are replete with graces!”
“The passion of Jesus is a sea of sorrows but it is also an ocean of love. Ask the Lord to teach you to fish in this ocean. Dive into its depths. No matter how deep you go, you will never reach the bottom.”
“Do not live any longer in yourself but let Jesus Christ live in you in such a way that the virtue of this Divine Saviour may be resplendent in all your actions, in order that all may see in you a true portrait of the Crucified and sense, the sweetest fragrance of the holy virtues of the Lord, in interior and exterior modesty, in patience, in gentleness, suffering, charity, humility and in all others that follow.”
“Look upon the face of the Crucified, who invites you to follow Him. He will be a Father, Mother–everything to you.”
One Minute Reflection – 15 October – Thursday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 1:1-10, Psalms 98:1, 2-3,3-4, 5-6, Luke 11:47-54 and the Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church “Doctor of Prayer”
The scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard … lying in wait for him … Luke 11:53-54
REFLECTION – “With a fear mingled with joy I consider it desirable to say something here about the sufferings you endured for my sake, O God of us all! Standing before the tribunal of men You Yourself had created in a nature that was my own You said nothing, You who give us speech; You did not speak aloud, You who create the tongue; You did not shout out, You who shake the earth (…) You did not give up to shame the one who gave You up to the terrors of death; You showed no resistance when You were bound and when You were struck, you were not outraged. When they spat on You, You did not swear back and when they struck You with the fist, You did not tremble. When they taunted You, You were not angered and when they hit You, Your face did not change (…) Far from giving You a moment of respite, O source of life, they at once prepared for carrying the instrument of death. You accepted it graciously, took it gently, hoisted it patiently. You took upon Yourself, like a criminal, the tree of sorrow!” – St Gregory of Narek (c 951-c 1010) Doctor of the Church, Armenian Monk, mystical Philosopher, Theologian and Poet – Book of prayers, no 77
PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, You sent St Teresa of Jesus to be a witness in the Church to the way of perfection. Sustain us by her spiritual doctrine and kindle in us, the longing for true holiness. Through Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever. May the intercession of St Teresa be a source of strength, amen.
Thought for the Day – 12 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery The Crucifixion
“At last, Jesus reaches Calvary, breathless and reduced to utter exhaustion. The instrument of torture is taken from Him and laid upon the ground. Our divine Redeemer suffers acute pain as Her is again stripped of His garments, which have stuck to His wounds. Now, He is stretched, an innocent victim, on the altar of sacrifice, the Cross. One of the executioners grasps His hand, pierces it with a large nail and attaches it to the wood. Then, he does the same with the other hand and with the two feet. His Mother is close at hand. She feels in her heart the blows of the hammer which lacerate the living flesh of Jesus. Jesus remains silent “as a meek lamb that is carried to be a victim” (Jer 11:19).
Now, the executioners raise up the Cross and fix it in the hold already prepared for it. The shock of this impact sends a shudder of terrible pain through the Victim’s members and entire frame. Behold Him now, suspended between Heaven and earth, the mediator between God and humanity, the victim of expiation for the innumerable sins of men.
Come near to the Cross and kiss the bloodstained feet. While the Jews are insulting Him and most of the Apostles have abandoned Him, let us tell Him how we love Him. Let us tell Him of our sorrow for our sins and of our determination to make amends for our faults and for our ingratitude by living in accordance with His teachings and example.”
Thought for the Day – 11 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery The Road to Calvary
“Scourged, crowned with thorns and derided, Jesus is finally condemned to death. Burdened with the Cross, He sets out for the place of execution in the midst of a crowd of enemies, blasphemers and idle speculators. Among them , there is only a tiny group which sympathises with Jesus, namely, Mary His Mother, the devout women and the beloved Apostle, St John.
The divine Redeemer goes forward laboriously beneath the heavy weight of the Cross. He has already lost a large quantity of blood in Gethsemane and during the scourging and crowning with thorns. His strength seems to be failing but love sustains Him. Looking feebly around Him, He sees the mocking Jews, the indifferent and disrespectful Roman soldiers and a throng of curious spectators looking for something to amuse them. Is there nobody else? Where are those whom He cured miraculously and those whom He comforted and forgave? Has nobody any pity for Him? Suddenly the crowd falls silent. A woman, pale and tearful, is approaching Him, supported by her friends. She defies the commands of soldiers and the scowls of the executions and comes close to Him.
Here and there, a murmur is heard – It must be His Mother, poor woman! Jesus and Mary gaze at one another. It would be impossible for us to guess at the immense depths of love contained in that loving exchange of glances. Neither utters a word, for no words could express their anguish, nor manifest their love. They look and understand one another, offering themselves as a holocaust for the redemption of wayward humanity.
Nevertheless, in this silent meeting, there was great consolation for the Heart of Jesus, for He had found someone who loved and understood Him, amongst those malicious throngs. Why do we not sympathise with Him too and love Him with all our hearts?”
Thought for the Day – 10 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Third Sorrowful Mystery The Crowning with Thorns
“This new torture was a diabolical invention decreed by no law or authority. Purely for their own savage entertainment, the soldiers procured a bundle of thorned reeds, which they wound into the shape of a crown and pressed into Jesus’ head.
Mary knew what was going on. She was there with the holy women when Pilate brough her bloodstained Son before the people and, their blasphemous yells pierced her tender heart. Her mother’s heart felt the sharp thorns too but, she accepted this affliction with resignation, silently protesting against the insults of the crowd by acts of adoration and of love. We should behave in this way also. We should participate in the passion of Jesus, by offering our own sufferings and we should make acts of love and of self-surrender, in reparation for these acts of blasphemy!”
Thought for the Day – 9 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Second Sorrowful Mystery The Scourging
“Think about the manner in which Jesus was scourged. His chaste body, is stripped by the jeering soldiers, His hands are tied and He is bound to a pillar. The soldiers come forward with their whips and begin to beat Him mercilessly. As His blood flows freely to the ground, Jesus quivers with pain and emits a half-suppressed groan. But fresh blows continue to rain down on His bruised flesh. So the prophecy is fulfilled in which Isaias described the punishment of the chosen people, whose sins and whose chastisement, the divine Redeemer has chosen to take on Himself. “For the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein – wounds and bruises and swelling sores …” (Is 1:6).
By means of this fearful torment, Jesus willed to offer satisfaction in a special manner, for the sins of the flesh. In ancient times, sins of impurity provoked the anger of God so much, that they were blotted out by the universal deluge. Now these sins are still numberless, both in the pagan and, unfortunately, in the Christian world but, they are washed away by the saving blood of Jesus Christ, Who came on earth to make reparation for all the iniquities of men.
Kiss the wounds of Jesus, bleeding and suffering. Ask for pardon if you have on occasions, failed to preseve the purity of your body, the dwelling of your immortal soul and the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit. Resolve to die rather than stain again, with impurity, the soul, which was redeemed and sanctified, by the precious blood of the Redeemer.”
Quote/s of the Day – 26 September – Saturday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ecclesiastes 11:9–12:8, Psalms 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14,17, Luke 9:43-45
“Let these words sink into your ears: the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”
“The language of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us, who are being saved, it is the power of God”
1 Corinthians 1:18
“We give glory to You, Lord, who raised up Your Cross to span the jaws of death like a bridge by which souls might pass from the region of the dead to the land of the living. .. You are incontestably alive. Your murderers sowed Your living body in the earth as farmers sow grain but it sprang up and yielded an abundant harvest of men raised from the dead.”
St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
“On the cross, Christ effected a great exchange. There the purse containing the price to be paid for us, was opened.”
“Great thing is the knowledge of the crucified Christ. How many things are enclosed inside this treasure! Christ crucified! Such is the hidden treasure of wisdom and science. Do not be deceived, then, under the pretext of wisdom. Gather before the covering and pray, that it may be uncovered. Foolish philosopher of this world, what you are looking for is worthless… What is the advantage of being thirsty, if you despise the source? … And what is His precept but that we believe in Him and love each other? In whom? In Christ crucified. This is His commandment – that we believe in Christ crucified … But where humility is, there is also majesty, where weakness is, there shall one find power, where death is, there shall be life as well. If you wish to arrive at the second part, do not despise the first!“
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“Christ, who is your life, is hanging before you, so that you may look at the Cross, as in a mirror. There you will be able to know, how mortal were your wounds, that no medicine other, than the Blood of the Son of God, could heal. If you look closely, you will be able to realise, how great your human dignity and your value are…. Nowhere other than looking at himself, in the mirror of the Cross, can man better understand how much he is worth”
(Sermones Dominicales et Festivi III, pp. 213-214)
St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor of the Church
“Fix your minds on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Inflamed with love for us, He came down from heaven to redeem us. For our sake He endured every torment of body and soul and shrank from no bodily pain. He Himself gave us an example of perfect patience and love. We, then, are to be patient in adversity.”
St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)
“Jesus will be in agony even to the end of the world; we must not sleep during that time”
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) (Pensées, 553)
“My beloved Redeemer, how much did it cost You to raise me from the ruin, which I brought on myself through my sins? What can I do without Your grace? I can do nothing but pray that You will help me but even this prayer comes from the merits of Your suffering and death! O my Jesus, help me!”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most zealous Doctor
One Minute Reflection – 26 September – Saturday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ecclesiastes 11:9–12:8, Psalms 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14,17, Luke 9:43-45 and the Memorial of St Nilus the Younger (910-1005)
“Let these words sink into your ears, for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying and it was concealed from them … Luke 9:44-45
REFLECTION – “Of all Christ’s miracles and mighty acts, it is this one that far exceeds the limits of human wonder. It goes far beyond the weak power of the human mind to perceive or comprehend, how it is supposed to believe, that the divine majesty, that very Word of the Father (Jn 1:1) and Wisdom of God in which “all things were created, visible and invisible” (cf. Col 1:15), was held within the confines of the man who appeared in Judaea and, even more, that the Wisdom of God entered into the womb of a woman and was born a baby, who cried and wailed just like all little babies. And it is further reported that He suffered the anguish of death, as He Himself admitted by saying: “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Mt 26:38 par) and in the end, He was led to that death which is reputed to be the most shameful among men, even though He did rise again on the third day…
To present this to human ears and explain it in words far surpasses our poor merits… Indeed the explanation of this mystery is probably beyond the grasp even of the whole creation of heavenly powers.” … Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father – Treatise on First Principles
PRAYER – Holy God, help me to amend my life constantly and be sincerely converted to You. Let me seek Your interests rather than my own and be ever more closely united with You. Send Your Spirit of understanding to enkindle our minds but most of all, fill us with Your grace of faith, that whether we understand or not, our love and obedience, is our only guide. St Nilus, you constantly sought to bring all to Christ, your beloved, please pray for us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised.” … Luke 9:22
REFLECTION – “Jesus made His way of His own free will towards the sufferings Scripture had foretold. He had frequently predicted them to His disciples and had even severely rebuked Peter, who had received their discovery with indignation (Mt 16:23). Finally, He showed how they were the cause of the world’s salvation. This was why, to the men coming to arrest Him, He referred to Himself as: “I am he whom you are seeking” (cf. Jn 18:5.8) (…) He was struck, covered with spittle, mocked, tortured, scourged and, in the end crucified. He allowed two outlaws, one at His right and one at His left, to share His suffering. Classed alongside murderers and criminals He took vinegar and gall, fruits of a bitter vine. He was struck in mockery by a reed, pierced by a lance in His side and, in the end, laid in a tomb.
All this He suffered while working our salvation (…) By His thorns He brought an end to the punishment laid on Adam, since the latter, having sinned, received this sentence: “Cursed be the ground because of you! Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you” (Gn 3:17-18). With the gall He took to Himself all that is bitter and painful in mortal life and sorrowful to men. With the vinegar He accepted human nature’s decline and bestowed on it, it’s restoration to a higher state. By the purple he symbolised His royalty; with the reed He indicated how weak and feeble the devil’s power is. Being slapped, He made known our enfranchisement [just as we do in the case of a slave]. He bore with the abuse, punishment and beating due to us.
He was struck in the side, making Him more like Adam. But, far from bringing forth the woman who, by her straying, gave birth to death, He made a spring of life to gush out (Gn 2:21; Jn 19:34). And this gives life to the world by means of a twofold stream – the first renews and re-clothes us in the garment of immortality in the baptistery and following this birth, the second, feeds us at God’s table, just as one suckles a newborn child.” … Theodoret of Cyrus (c 393-c 460) Bishop – Treatise on the Incarnation, 26-27
PRAYER – O God of love, You sent Your beloved Son to the world to proclaim the Good News of Salvation, to heal every illness and to cure all infirmity of body and soul. Help us to continue the mission of the merciful Christ in the service towards our neighbour, preaching the Gospel and offering our help in whatever way we can. May the example of Your saints, teach us how to love and serve You. Through their intercession, grant us the grace to go forth in love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 15 September – The Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows and of St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)
‘By the cross of our salvation Mary stood in desolation While the Saviour hung above All her human powers failing, Sorrow’s sword, at last prevailing, Stabs and breaks her heart of love… Virgin Mary, full of sorrow, From your love I ask to borrow Love enough to share your pain. Make my heart to burn with fire, Make Christ’s love my own desire, Who for love of me was slain.’
“The spear which opened His side passed through the soul of the Virgin, which could not be torn from the heart of Jesus.”
St Bernard (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church
“Whoever you are, who love the Mother of God, take note and reflect with all your innermost feelings, upon her, who wept for the Only-Begotten as He died… The grief she felt in the Passion of her son, goes beyond all understanding.”
St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159)
“Near the cross stood His mother, speechless; living she died; dying she lived.”
“Any time spent before the Eucharistic presence, be it long or short, is the best-spent time of our lives.”
“We must not wish anything other than what happens from moment to moment, all the while, however, exercising ourselves in goodness.”
“And when I hear it said, that God is good and He will pardon us and then see, that men cease not from evil-doing, oh, how it grieves me! The infinite goodness with which God communicates with us, sinners as we are, should constantly make us love and serve Him better but we, on the contrary, instead of seeing in His goodness an obligation to please Him, convert it into an excuse for sin, which will, of a certainty, lead in the end, to our deeper condemnation.”
“The one sole thing, in myself, in which I glory, is that I see in myself, nothing, in which I can glory.”
“Oh, what peril attaches to sin, wilfully committed! For it is so difficult for man to bring himself to penance and without penitence, guilt remains and will ever remain, so long as man retains unchanged, the will to sin, or is intent upon committing it.”
“I see clearly with the interior eye, that the sweet God loves, with a pure love, the creature that He has created and has a HATRED for nothing but SIN, which is more opposed to Him, than can be thought or imagined.”
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times but seventy times seven.” … Matthew 18:21-22
REFLECTION – “The perfection of brotherly love lies in the love of one’s enemies. We can find no greater inspiration for this, than grateful remembrance of the wonderful patience of Christ. He who is more fair than all the sons of men, offered His fair face to be spat upon by sinful men. He allowed those eyes, that rule the universe, to be blindfolded by wicked men. He bared His back to the scourges. He submitted that head which strikes terror in principalities and powers, to the sharpness of the thorns. He gave Himself up to be mocked and reviled and, at the end, endured the cross, the nails, the lance, the gall, the vinegar, remaining always gentle, meek and full of peace. In short, He was led like a sheep to the slaughter and like a lamb before the shearers He kept silent and did not open his mouth. Who could listen to that wonderful prayer, so full of warmth, of love, of unshakeable serenity – Father, forgive them – and hesitate to embrace his enemies with overflowing love? Father, He says, forgive them. Is any gentleness, any love, lacking in this prayer? Yet He put into it, something more. It was not enough to pray for them, He wanted also to make excuses for them. Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. They are great sinners, yes but they have little judgement, therefore, Father, forgive them. They are nailing Me to the cross but they do not know who It is that they are nailing to the cross, if they had known, they would never have Crucified the Lord of glory. Therefore, Father, forgive them. They think it is a lawbreaker, an impostor claiming to be God, a seducer of the people. I have hidden My Face from them and they do not recognise My glory. Therefore, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
If someone wishes to love himself he must not allow himself to be corrupted by indulging his sinful nature. If he wishes to resist the promptings of his sinful nature, he must enlarge the whole horizon of his love, to contemplate the loving gentleness of the humanity of the Lord. Further, if he wishes to savour the joy of brotherly love with greater perfection and delight, he must extend even to his enemies the embrace of true love. But if he wishes to prevent this fire of divine love from growing cold because of injuries received, let him keep the eyes of his soul always fixed on the serene patience of his beloved Lord and Saviour.” … St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110 – 1167) – Speculum Caritatis 3,5
PRAYER – Lord God, strength of those who hope in You, by Your will, St John Chrysostom became renowned in the Church, for his astounding eloquence and his forbearance in persecution. Grant that we may be enriched by his teaching and thus grow in sanctity, to follow the commandments You set forth in Your Word, Your Son who is our Saviour and Redeemer. By the prayers of St John Chrysostom, may we attain the place You have prepared for us. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever amen.
REFLECTION – “Through the glorious achievements of the holy Martyrs with which the Church blossoms everywhere, we are ourselves, proving to our own eyes, how true are the words we have been singing that: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps 116:15). For it is precious both in our sight and in the sight of Him, in whose name the death took place.
But the price of those deaths is the death of one man. How many deaths did that one man purchase by His death, for, if He had not died, the grain of wheat would not be multiplied? You heard His words when He drew near His passion, that is when He was drawing near to our redemption: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” On the Cross He carried out a vast transaction; there the purse of our price was unfastened and, when His side was opened by the lance of the soldier, there streamed the price for the redemption of the whole earth (cf. Jn 19:34).
Now the faithful ones and Martyrs have been purchased but the faithfulness of the Martyrs has been proved – their blood is the proof … “As Christ laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1Jn 3:16). In another place it is stated: “At a grand table you have sat; now carefully consider what has been put before you, since it is your duty to prepare for such things” (cf. Prv 23:1). That table is great where the Lord of the table is Himself the meal. No-one feeds guests with Himself as food but this is exactly what the Lord Christ does, He, Himself is the host who invites; He, Himself is the food and the drink. Therefore, the Martyrs have recognised what they were eating and drinking so as to be able to repay such gifts. But whence can they make such return unless He who first paid the cost, supplies the source from which restitution may be made? That is the reason for the Psalm, where we sing what is written: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” ... St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo (North Africa), St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor – Sermon 329, for the Feast of the Martyrs, 1-2 ; PL 38, 1454
PRAYER – Lord God, You inspired St Lawrence with so ardent a love that his life was renowned for the service of Your people and his death for the splendour of his Martyrdom. Help us to love what he loved and to live as he showed us. St Lawrence, Martyr for Christ and His Church, pray for us. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever amen.
Thought for the Day – 21 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Royal Road of the Cross
“The way of the Cross is the only road that leads to Heaven.
Consequently, a man who refuses to take this road cannot reach Heaven.
If there were another way, Jesus would have told us about it.
Instead, He insisted that if anyone wished to go after Him, he would have to deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Him (Lk 9:23).
Our Lord did more than preach this way to us, for He gave us an example of the manner in which to follow it.
Jesus could have redeemed us by a single act of His human-divine will, simply by offering Himself to the Eternal Father in expiation of our sins.
But He chose to carry the weight of the Cross, to climb the Hill of Calvary and, to die in agony.
We must ascend our own Calvary, if we wish to imitate and follow Jesus.
Our divine Redeemer fulfilled perfectly, in His Passion, all the works of perfection which He had preached in the Gospel.
Let the Passion of Christ be our rule of life.
Let us be glad, when we seem to be more like Him and sorrowful, whenever we seem to be departing from the example which He set us.
Suffering should be a source of consolation for us, for it makes us more like Jesus, as long as we endure it with resignation and with love.”
Quote/s of the Day – 14 July – The Memorial of Saint Francisco Solano OFM (1549 – 1610) “The Wonder Worker of the New World” and Saint Camillus de Lellis MI (1550-1614) “The Giant of Charity”
“How is it, my Lord Jesus, that You were Cruciﬁed while I have Your servants to care for me; You were naked while I am clothed; You were struck with blows and crowned with thorns while I have everything I need to satisfy my wants and give me consolation?”
St Francisco Solano OFM (1549 – 1610)
“The Wonder Worker of the New World”
“Think well. Speak well. Do well. These three things, through the mercy of God, will make a man go to Heaven.”
“The happiness to which I aspire is greater than anything on earth. Therefore, I regard with extreme joy, whatever pains and sufferings may befall me here.”
“I don’t put a penny’s value on this life if only our Lord will give me a tiny corner in Paradise.”
St Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614)
“The Giant of Charity”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 July – Thursday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Amos 7: 10-17, Psalms 19: 8, 9, 10, 11, Matthew 9: 1-8
“Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee.”
“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
” Indeed, the instant you say: “I have sinned against the Lord”, the response is given you: “Your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2). … Only do not keep away, or distance yourself, from He who has chosen you to sing and pray but all your life long, remain close to Him, either through pure confidence, or by a holy audacity and courageous confession.”
John of Karpathos (7th Century) Bishop
“When you commit some infidelity, do not be anxious but with humility and confidence, immediately turn to the Lord. Do not flee from the Offended but embrace Him as a lover and ask for forgiveness.”
Bl Mary of the Angels Fontanella (1661-1717)
“My beloved Redeemer, how much did it cost You to raise me from the ruin, which I brought on myself through my sins? What can I do without Your grace? I can do nothing but pray that You will help me but even this prayer comes from the merits of Your suffering and death! O my Jesus, help me!”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most zealous Doctor
“To whom does your heart belong? To the devil, perhaps? You expected to find satisfaction and you have found disillusionment. You hoped for peace and found remorse. Instead of the happiness you expected, you will know only despair, unless you turn back to God immediately. There is only one way out of your predicament, the way chosen by the prodigal son – “I will get up and go to my father” (Lk 15:18). Rise up, then and cast yourself into the merciful arms of your heavenly Father, Who is waiting for you.”
“Even if we are unfaithful servants and are covered with the leprosy of sin, let us go to Him and He will heal us. Even if we have deserved Hell a thousand times, let us shed tears of repentance at His feet as Magdalen did and, He will give us His forgiveness and His peace.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Jesus carries us to the inn. Imagine you are in the arms of Jesus, being carried, half-dead in sin— some of your own making, some done to you—to a place of help. You can rest in His arms. In another surprise, the inn is the Church, the hospital for sinners. The innkeeper might be a priest, family member, or friend who helps you through a dark time in your life.”
Pope Benedict XVI
“So many people see the Confessional as a place of defeat but Confession is a place of victory every single time.”
Quote/s of the Day – 22 June – The Memorial of St John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr
“I reckon in this realm no one man, in wisdom, learning and long approved virtue together, meet to be matched and compared with him.”
St Thomas More speaking of St John Fisher
“A good man is not a perfect man; a good man is an honest man, faithful and unhesitatingly responsive to the voice of God in his life.”
“Contrition is to have sorrow at heart and great repentance of all his sins and to have steadfast purpose to keep and abstain him from all deadly sins. For who has intention to return him to deadly sin, his confession avails him nothing!”
“Penance is a needful thing to the sinner, who desires to recover health of his soul. And, in doing penance, there be three things to be considered: serious compunction of heart, confession of mouth and satisfaction by deed.”
“As St Paul has said, for our justification, He [Christ], gave to man all that was necessary – His Blood to wash us, His Body to redeem us. In His Passion, Justice and peace have met each other.”
“Beware of those prophets who speak unto you and deceive you! They prophecy nothing but the imaginations and forgings of their own minds and not the truth of Holy Scripture!”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Peter 3:12-15, 17-18, Psalm 90:2-4, 10, 14, 16, Mark 12:13-17
Speaking of: Belonging to God
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God, the things that are God’s.”
“You have made us for Yourself, O Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
“Love God, then do what you will.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace
“Love God, serve God, everything is in that.”
St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
“Lord, take me from myself and give me to Yourself.”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctorof the Church
“If you wish to enter into life, keep My commandments. If you will know the truth, believe in Me. If you will be perfect, sell all. If you will be My disciple, deny yourself. If you will possess the blessed life, despise this present life. If you will be exalted in heaven, humble yourself on earth. If you wish to reign with Me, carry the Cross with Me. For only the servants of the Cross find the life of blessedness and of true light.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
The Imitation of Christ Chapter 56
“I am the king’s good servant but God’s first.”
St Thomas More (1478-1535)
“God gave Himself to you, now give yourself to God.”
St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
“Jesus will be in agony even to the end of the world; we must not sleep during that time”
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
“Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?”
St Gerard Majella C.Ss.R. (1726-1755)
“We are like the penny, because we have the image of the king stamped on us, the divine King.”
“A Catholic is a person, who has plucked up courage, to face the incredible and inconceivable idea, that something else may be wiser than he is.”
G K Chesterton (1874-1936)
“What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become, is your gift to God.”
Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
“If you truly love God and His will, then doing what you will, will, in fact, be doing what God wills.”
The Light Comes from the Altar
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
“When He ascended into Heaven, the majestic flow of the Blood of Jesus did not cease on this earth; it still flows in a ever-widening stream through untold centuries of grace – the vision which began with the Immaculate Conception, ends in the Blessed Sacrament!
In this way, one mystery corresponds to the other, the one illuminates, completes and confirms the other.
From the Eucharist, back to the Passion, from the Passion to the public life and, further back, to the hidden life of Jesus in Nazareth, from this hidden life to His Birth – from far beyond the Annunciation to the heights of the [Immaculate] Conception and back to us again – it is a continual rising re-descending, unutterable, divine.
Because of this, we see Mary Immaculate present at every Mass and in every Communion.
The light of the Immaculate which streams upon us comes from the Altar, from the Tabernacle and, in the same way, when we draw near to the Altar and the Tabernacle, it is almost as if we hear Mary’s voice inviting us: “Eat, O friends and drink, drink deeply, O lovers” (Song 5:1).
This, my brothers, is the doctrine.
On this foundation is built the reality, the great and thrilling reality which re-assumes so fully, in all ages, the best Christian piety of the whole world.
In fact, when persecution rages, the Christians draw strength to resist and to extend their conquering apostolate and, if need be, even to die, from the Bread of the strong, from the inebriating Chalice offered over the tombs of martyrs in our ancient cemeteries, under the kind eyes of Mary, whose roughly drawn images smiles among the symbols and ornaments of primitive Christian art.”
Fountain of Life
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
“There is a passage from the pen of a distinguished English writer on religious subjects (F W Faber, The Blessed Sacrament 1855), which is so wonderful that I am sorry that I can do no more than briefly trace the main line of his thought.
The Immaculate Virgin is with us.
We still enjoy hearing our fathers describe the delight felt by the whole Catholic world in the middle of the last century, when the ancient doctrine of Mary having been preserved from all taint of original sin, was defined as Dogma.
That doctrine is like the mountain spring, purer than the waters of Sion, from which flow all the other mysteries of the Incarnation.
The whole Church gathers around this source to gaze at it’s reflection in the clear deep waters.
Kneeling on the bank is the supreme Pontiff, the teachers who thirst for the truth, hasten to drink from the spring.
Mitred and crowned heads and humble children of the people, the poor and afflicted of all classes, a whole multitude of pious folk, stoop down, drink and rise again – sight is restored, Mary shines more brightly than before.
Look well, my brothers, at those waters.
They are the elements of the Precious Blood of Jesus.
They flow mysteriously in the sanctified breast of Anna, they appear again, transfigured into the blood of Mary, the fair child, the maiden of fifteen years, the Bride of the Holy Spirit.
Through the power of the Spirit that overshadows her, this blood gathers into itself, the elements of the Sacred Humanity of Christ.
Behold the Spring and then the Blood!
Oh, what a miracle occurs!
The Blood is already beating in the Sacred Heart, it crimsons the cheeks of the Divine Child – it is sweated out from every pore of Jesus, in His Passion.”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 16:1-10, Psalm 100:1-3, 5, John 15:18-21
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own but because you are not of the world but I chose you out of the world, therefore, the world hates you.”
” The Lord’s Passion depicts for us our present life of trial— shows how we must suffer and be afflicted and finally die. The Lord’s Resurrection and glorification show us the life that will be given to us in the future.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Doctor of Grace
“…We mix with the world without loving it, for our affections are given to another. We can bear to look on the world’s beauty, for we have no heart for it. We are not disturbed at it’s frowns, for we live not in it’s smiles.”
“We are patient in bereavement, adversity, or pain, for they are Christ’s tokens.”
Thought for the Day – 22 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Agony of Jesus
“While Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, His divine mind witnessed, not only the torments of His approaching Passion and Death but also, the hatred of His enemies, both then and in later times, the ingratitude of His Apostles and the countless sins with which men would repay His infinite goodness, throughout the ages.
He realised, that He would be a sign of contradiction for many.
Some would hate Him, others would desecrate His Precious Blood and His Immaculate Body.
Many, forgetful of the Redemption, would commit sin after sin, while others would receive special graces and would return only coldness and indifference in exchange for such great love.
Faced with this gloomy scene, Jesus was utterly dejected and was overcome by a mysterious rending agony, which caused Him to perspire blood.
“He began to feel dread and to be exceedingly troubled” (Mk 14:33).
“And falling into an agony, he prayed the more earnestly. And his sweat became as drops of blood running down upon the ground” (lk 22:43-44).
At that moment, Jesus could see each one of us! and all our wretchedness, coldness and sinfulness.
If our hearts are not made of stone, let us weep for our faults and firmly resolve to improve.”
Thought for the Day – 17 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Peter Denies Jesus
“Peter was by nature impetuous and generous.
He loved Jesus sincerely.
Even after the other Apostles had run away when Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane (Cf Mt 26:56), he followed Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the High Priest’s house.
“Peter was following at a distance” (Lk 22:54).
In his generous enthusiasm, however, he depended too much on himself.
During the last supper, Jesus had foretold to His Apostles, His approaching passion and death and their desertion.
Immediately, Peter had solemnly declared that, even if all the others would scandalised on the night of the passion, he would never be scandalised.
He would, he said, be ready to go with Jesus to prison and to death (Cf Mt 24:33, Lk 22:33).
But Jesus, tried to put him on his guard against presumption. “I tell thee, Peter, a cock will not crow this day, until thou hast denied three times, that thou knowest me” (Cf Lk 22:34).
In spite of this prophecy, the impetuous Apostle went as far as the courtyard of the High Priest.
While the divine Redeemer was brought in chains before the judgement seat of the High Priest, where He was calumniated, struck and condemned to death, Peter was asked if he was a follower of the Galilean.
Three times, He denied his Master with oaths and protests.
Unfortunately, this is what happens to anyone who trusts presumptuously in his own strength.
This is what happens when we forget that we can do nothing, as St Paul points out, without the help and the grace of God. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).
Anyone is courting disaster if he foolishly places all his confidence in himself and neglects to seek the help of God, when he is danger.
He is certain to fall!”
In these most difficult times, when we are excluded from our Churches, from our Sacraments, I have found much consolation in doing all the readings at home, with these reflections from Cardinal-elect (nearly – sadly he died just before the ceremony) Hans Urs. Perhaps, these times are “nothing but occurrences of grace.”
Light of the Word
Genesis 22:1-18, Exodus 14:15–15:1, Matthew 28:1-10 By Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) Cardinal-elect, Theologian
“He has Ripped Open a Hole in History that Can Never be Filled-in Again.”
1. With Jesus’ death, the word of God ends.
In the weariness of Mary, pierced by every possible sword of suffering, the Church mutely holds vigil at the grave.
All living faith, all living hope, is deposited with God.
No premature Alleluia sounds.
The watching and waiting Church takes the time to recall the long path through all stages of salvation history that God has followed with His people, since the creation of the world – seven events unfold before the Church’s spiritual eyes.
She sees salvation, even in the most difficult of all events – in Abraham’s sacrifice, in the narrow escape across the divided sea, in the homecoming from exile.
And she understands, that they were nothing but occurrences of grace.
The sacrifice of Isaac, ultimately confirmed, both Abraham’s obedience and God’s promises; apparent submersion in the sea, proved to be Israel’s salvation and the burial of it’s enemies; exile itself, was Israel’s lengthy purification and return to God.
2. Thus, in the second reading (Exodus 14:15-15:1) the Church recognises that her own death in Baptism, is a dying with Jesus, a dying into eternal salvation n Him, a dying into resurrection with Him toward God, into a new sinless and deathless life.
No mere ceremony can accomplish this miracle – only a genuine “co-crucifixion” with Christ, of the old, sinful man, a co-crucifixion that permits a co-dying and co-burial to take place, can accomplish this.
This is essentially, a gift given by God to the person baptised, a gift that is also a lifelong challenge to make the gift come true in the Christian’s existence.
The two belong inseparably together, if the gift given in Christ is to prevail in the Christian’s life – he must become what he is, he must unfold what he has! Thus the shift from Good Friday to Easter, must be two things at once – joy at the most sublime gift and determination to keep one’s baptismal promises. It is fitting to renew these promises while celebrating the Easter Vigil.
3. Only now, can the holy women hear the angel’s message.
He invites the women to come closer and view the empty place where Jesus lay. “He is not here.”
No longer visible, tangible, confirmable in time and place – all this must be renounced.
In all of world history, no-one has left so “emply a place” behind, as did this person who was buried here, only yesterday.
He who entered history, with such emphasis, is no longer comprehensible within history. “He is risen, as he said,” He has ripped open a hole in history that can never be filled-in again.
Thorough guarding of the grave could not prevent this opening and the more men try to fill it, to plug it up, the wider it gapes.
Instead of this emptiness, the women are given the joy of their message to the disciples, a joy that is further intensified, when the Lord Himself appears to them and renews the mission: “They should go to Galilee, where they will see me.”
There, where everything had begun, in the ordinariness of a secular calling, new life would begin.
In the unpretentious, begins the incomprehensibly unique!
Be blessed, be joyful for the Lord is HERE! ‘Become what you are, unfold what you have!’
Thought for the Day – 11 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Jesus is Condemned to Death
“Pilate was neither wicked nor cruel.
He was a weak opportunist who placed his position as Governor of Judea and his own personal interests above everything else in life.
He was prepared, moreover, to adopt the meanest of compromises.
He had acquitted Jesus, because, he believed Him to be innocent.
But he panicked as soon as he heard the crowd shouting and the Jewish priests accusing him of being no friend of the Emperor.
Then, he had recourse to an expedient.
When he saw Jesus covered with blood, crowned with thorns and clothed in purple rags, he showed Him to the crowd, in the hope, that their frenzied hearts would be touched with compassion.
He said only a few simple words. “Behold the man!”
He wished them to see the condition to which this man had been reduced, who had been accused and mocked by them.
Looking like a trampled worm, He would stir up pity in every heart. In the crowd, there were people who had been enchanted by the glory of His heavenly teaching.
Some of them had listened to Him in Jerusalem only a few days previously, when He was greeted by tumults of applause.
Others had received favours and miracles from Him.
But the good folk remained silent, for they could not summon up the courage to express any sentiments of gratitude or of humanity, in that gathering.
A roar drowned the words of Pilate. “Let Him be crucified!”
Sometimes, when we see what is good and just, a rebellious impulse suddenly rises up inside us.
Unfortunately, we may yield to it on occasion and stifle the higher inspirations, which we receive.
Let us resolve never to be guilty of weak or unworthy conduct towards Jesus and to obey at all costs, the dictates of a sound conscience.”
Quote/s of the Day – 11 April – Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday –
Easter Vigil in the Holy Night
“Darkness is not dark for you and night shines as the day” (Ps 138:12)
“…He slept so that we might be awakened, He died so that we might live.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church
In Praise of Christ
Born as a son, led forth as a lamb, sacrificed as a sheep, buried as a man, He rose from the dead as a God, for He was by nature God and man.
He is all things: He judges and so He is Law, He teaches and so He is Wisdom, He saves and so He is Grace, He begets and so He is Father, He is begotten and so He is Son, He suffers and so He is Sacrifice, He is buried and so He is man, He rises again and so He is God. This is Jesus Christ, to whom belongs glory for all ages.
“The Lord, though He was God, became man. He suffered for the sake of whose who suffer, He was bound for those in bonds, condemned for the guilty, buried for those who lie in the grave but He rose from the dead and cried aloud: “Who will contend with me? Let him confront me.” I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life, raised men from their graves. Who has anything to say against me? I, He said, am the Christ, I have destroyed death, triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot, bound the strong one and taken men up to the heights of heaven. I am the Christ. Come, then, all you nations of men, receive forgiveness for the sins that defile you. I am your forgiveness. I am the Passover that brings salvation. I am the lamb who was immolated for you. I am your Ransom, your Life, your Resurrection, your Light, I am your Salvation and your King. I will bring you to the heights of heaven. With my own right hand I will raise you up and I will show you the eternal Father.”
– from a letter by Saint Melito of Sardis
Saint Melito, Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180)
Early Church Father
Our Morning Offering – 11 April – Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night
Beautiful and Glorious By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
I look at You, my Lord Jesus
and think of Your most holy Body
and I keep it before me
as the pledge of my own resurrection.
Though I die, as die I certainly shall,
nevertheless, I shall not forever die,
for I shall rise again.
O You, who are the Truth,
I know and believe,
with my whole heart,
that this very flesh of mine will rise again.
I know, base and odious as it is at present,
that it will one day, if I be worthy,
be raised incorruptible
and altogether beautiful and glorious.
This I know, this by Your grace,
I will ever keep before me.
Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday, The “Second Sabbath” – 11 April
Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord’s rest. It has been called the “Second Sabbath” after creation.
The day is and should be, the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function.
Christ lies in the grave, the Church sits near and mourns.
After the great battle He is resting in peace but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering…
The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible…Jesus’ enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander.
Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, while the Church must mournfully admit that too many of her children return home from Calvary cold and hard of heart.
When Mother Church reflects upon all of this, it seems as if the wounds of her dearly Beloved were again beginning to bleed.
We are tempted to rush from Good Friday to Easter. Mother Church with wisdom, separates the two with Holy Saturday – a day of peace and rest – a day to quietly ponder and pray – a day to sit in silence at the tomb of Jesus. “What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence and stillness, a great silence, because the King sleeps, the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages.” We do not need words to express our misery. We need silence to ponder the mystery. Silence is the best expression of what is deepest in us, for silence alone, can express what words cannot.
According to tradition, the entire body of the Church is represented in Mary – she is the “credentium collectio universa” (the gathering of the universal Church) (Congregation for Divine Worship, Lettera circolare sulla preparazione e celebrazione delle feste pasquali, 73).
Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord’s tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of His Resurrection.
The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church – while the body of her Son lies in the tomb and His soul has descended to the dead to announce liberation, from the shadow of darkness to His ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy