Jesus, I Trust In You!

Jesus, I Trust in You! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. photographer

“My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, especially for poor sinners. . . .It is for them that the blood and water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. I dwell in the tabernacle as the King of Mercy (1216, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul,

Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

We are nearing the culmination of this Octave of Easter Week: the Feast of Divine Mercy. It has been as glorious week, with each day celebrated as a mini-Easter. We have prepared with both the Novena of Mercy Chaplets, and the special novena dictated by Our Lord Himself to St. Maria Faustina in preparation for this incredible feast.

Today marks the last day of the Novena of Chaplets. This novena is prayed on ordinary Rosary Beads. Complete instructions regarding the Novena of Chaplets can be found on the Divine Mercy website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php

Today we also complete the final day of the Divine Mercy Novena dictated by Jesus to St. Maria Faustina. For each of the past eight days, Our Lord requested that Sr. Faustina pray for a given group of souls, immersing them in the unfathomable mercy of Christ and then pleading for them before the throne of the Heavenly Father. On this the ninth day of the novena, Our Lord appealed to Sr. Faustina as follows:

Divine Mercy Image

“Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them the last hope of Salvation is to run to My Mercy (1216, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul,

Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

For the complete text of the ninth day of the novena, please visit the Divine Mercy Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/ninthday.php.

Jesus describes souls such as these in several places in the Diary. At times they are also compared to ice and corpses. Our Lord mentions that the indifferences of these souls offends Him greatly, especially when they are chosen souls. Regarding these souls He states:

All the Graces I Pour on Them Flow Off. . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

“. . . . Souls without love and without devotion, souls full of self-love and egoism, souls full of pride and arrogance, souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep themselves alive. My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces I pour on them flow off them as off the face of a rock. I cannot stand them because they are neither good nor bad….. (1702, p. 602 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Yikes, those words sting! When I look deep within my own soul, I see those moments of arrogance, and hypocrisy, and I shudder to think that Our Lord might be speaking of me! I don’t want to be lukewarm! I certainly do not want to be the cause of Our Lord’s loathing.

Our Lord speaks of these souls on another occasion:

I Would Lavish Great Graces Uopn Them. . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. Photographer

“If souls would put themselves completely in My care, I Myself would undertake the task of sanctifying them, and I would lavish even greater graces upon them. There are souls who thwart My efforts, but I have not given up on them; as often as they turn to Me, I hurry to their aid, shielding them with My mercy and giving them first place in My compassionate Heart of Mercy (1682p. 595 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Our Lord’s love and mercy are immeasurable! He desires to save us, and offers each of us the opportunity to accept the gift of His mercy. This great feast was instituted as not only a celebration of God’s Divine Mercy, but also a vehicle to obtain it.

Jesus was very specific regarding the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy, speaking about it through 14 entries in St. Faustina’s diary. He stipulated that it was to be liturgically celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, and that it include the solemn blessing of a Divine Mercy image bearing the words “Jesus, I trust in You!” (For more information on the Divine Mercy Image and Mercy Sunday, visit the Marians of the Immaculate Conception website at: http://thedivinemercy.org/mercysunday/dms.php.)

Our Lord stated:

Divine Mercy Image, Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. Photographer

“I want the Image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it (341 p. 153 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).

Jesus promised St. Faustina:

“I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy (1109 p. 412 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

This promise is extraordinary! Blessed Pope John Paul the Great officially instituted Divine Mercy Sunday in 2000, and reiterated the importance of this feast in His homily a year later.

As Our Lord designated the 3 O’clock hour as the Hour of Mercy stating:

“At three O’clock , implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter fully into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the souls that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion (1320 p. 474 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

On Mercy Sunday special Masses will be celebrated around the world to commemorate this solemn feast. Our Lord especially requested that priests preach on the subject of the immense Mercy of Jesus the Holy Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday.

To celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy we need to:

Our Lives Too Must Reflect the Image of Christ's Divine Mercy © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

A) Sincerely repent of our sins.

(B) Offer our complete Trust to Jesus.

(C) Sacramentally Confess our sins and be Absolved – (within 8 days prior or after).

(D) Receive Holy Communion.

(E) Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

(F) Venerate (show a gesture of respect) to the Image of the Divine Mercy Jesus.

(G) Be Merciful! Extend Our Lord’s mercy to others by being merciful.

This great feast is an extraordinary celebration of the love and mercy of Christ. Unimaginable graces are poured out upon the whole world through it. Rejoice! Celebrate!

He Is Risen!

He is Truly Risen Indeed!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

Secretary of Mercy

St. Maria Faustina grew up on a farm. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. Photo

Our Lord chose to reveal the depths of His Mercy to a young, uneducated Polish nun named Sr. Faustina Kowalska in the 1930’s. From her childhood, Helena Kowalska was a well-balanced, obedient, and pious young lady. She was the third child in a family of ten – a child accustomed the both the arduous labor and poverty of farm life. Helena was only able to attend formal schooling for three winters, as her help was needed on the family farm. From the age of fourteen she worked as a domestic servant, caring for the children of wealthier families in the nearby cities of Aleksandrow and Lodz.

From the tender age of 7, Our Lord had given Helena the grace to understand she was called to religious life. Since Helena’s family rejected her desire to become a nun, she attempted to stifle the call, willingly accepted her position as a domestic servant, and developed friendships among her peers. One day during a dance Helena attended with her sister, Our Lord revealed himself to Helena in a vision. He was suffering in agony, and cried out to Helena saying: “How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting me off (9, p. 7– Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987)?”

St. Maria Faustina, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

With her entrance into the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, on August 1, 1925, Helena Kowalska became Sr. Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. As soon as the veil was put on Sr. Faustina’s head, Our Lord immediately enlightened her soul regarding what she would have to suffer. Sr. Maria Faustina remained a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy until her death – a mere 13 years later – at the age of 33, on October 5, 1938.

Throughout those next 13 years, Our Lord shaped and modeled St. Faustina’s soul to closely resemble His own. He stated: “Your life is to be modeled on Mine, from the crib to My death on the cross (438, p. 193 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

This simple, pious sister, who was the gardener, cook and porter for the community, was also Our Lord’s chosen Apostle and Secretary of Mercy. Though possessing no more than three winters of formal education, St. Faustina would pen a 600+ page diary containing some of the most profound insights regarding Our Lord’s Divine Mercy ever written.

One of the scholars who would later study and champion St. Faustina’s work, was a Polish kinsman, a certain Cardinal Karol Wojtyla. In 1981, Pope John Paul II published an encyclical, Dives MisericordiaRich in Mercy, in which the Holy Father drew from the theme of Divine Mercy present in St. Faustina’s Diary- Divine Mercy in My Soul. On April 18, 1993, Pope John Paul II Beatified Sr. Faustina; and seven years later, on Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina as the first saint of that Jubilee year.

St. Faustina’s entire mission was to convey to the world the unfathomable Mercy of Christ. Over the years, Our Lord revealed much to her.

My Mercy is Greater than the Sins of the World. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. Photo

On one occasion He stated: “My mercy is greater than your sins and the sins of the whole world. . . . I never reject a contrite heart (1485, p. 524 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

On another: “Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet (699, p. 286 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Likewise He stated: “My mercy is greater than your sins, and those of the whole world (1485, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Blessed Are The Merciful, for Mercy Shall Be Theirs. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Our Lord made it clear that mercy was His gift to an aching humanity, but that this gift must recognized, accepted, and acted upon. We must return mercy for the mercy that has been granted to us. Jesus states: “If a soul does not exercise mercy in some way it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment (1317, p. 473 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).

Our Savior cautions: “My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy (1588, p. 564 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Jesus also warns: “He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice (1146, p. 420 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

As we prepare to celebrate the great Feast of Divine Mercy, initiated by Our Lord, and instituted by Blessed Pope John Paul the Great, let us continue with the eighth day of the Novena of Chaplets. For complete instructions please visit the Divine Mercy website run by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Today we also continue with the eighth day of the preparatory novena dictated by Our Lord to St. Faustina. Each day He instructed Sr. Faustina to bring a certain group of souls into the abyss of His mercy by means of prayer, and likewise to intercede for them before the throne of God the Father.

On the eighth day of the novena, Jesus requested of St. Faustina:

May His Mercy Endure Forever! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 KJ Photographer

“Today bring Me souls who are in the prison of Purgatory and immerse them into the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice (1226, p. 441 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

For the complete text of the eighth day of the novena, please visit the Divine Mercy Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/eighthday.php.

One of the greatest ways we can share the Mercy of Christ with others is to pray for them. Thus, praying for the souls in Purgatory is a worthy act of mercy. Together with St. Maria Faustina let us immerse the suffering souls in the abyss of God’s mercy, and beg Our Heavenly Father to look upon then in no other way, but through the wounds of Jesus.

May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly,

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

Blessed Are The Merciful!

His Mercy Endures © SalveMaterDei.com, 2011-2012.

“Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy (301 p. 139 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Our Lord Jesus makes it abundantly clear that mercy is His greatest attribute. God is perfect, and as such the perfections of God are limitless. However, of all of these, mercy reigns as  preeminent of all of God’s glorious attributes. Our Lord stated to St. Maria Faustina: “I am Love and Mercy Itself (1074 p. 404 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

It is therefore right that we should glorify the mercy of God, and proclaim it to others. With this thought in mind we continue to prepare for the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast on which Our Lord promised immeasurable graces to those who celebrate the unfathomable nature of His mercy.

Jesus told St. Faustina:

“Whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment (300 p. 139 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Our Lord spoke to St. Faustina fourteen times regarding this incredible Feast that He Himself instituted on the First Sunday after Easter.

The most extensive diary entry detailing Jesus’ revelations regarding this feast can be found in entry number 699 (p. 286 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987). A portion of this entry reads:

Jesus, I Trust in You! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

“On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out whole torrents of grace upon those who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet (699).”

Today we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the seventh day of our novena of preparation. For complete instructions, please visit the Divine Mercy website run by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Also today, we pray the seventh day of the preparatory novena Our Lord dictated to St. Maria Faustina. Through this novena, Jesus requests that Sr. Faustina bring a different group of souls into the abyss of His mercy each day for nine days. He requested that she pray for these groups of souls, immersing them in His Mercy, and pleading for them before the throne of God the Almighty Father.

On this seventh day, Our Lord requested of Sr. Faustina:

Live in His Mercy. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

“Today bring to Me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of Hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death (1224, p. 440 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

For the complete text of the seventh day of the novena, please visit the Divine Mercy Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/seventhday.php.

Today as we seek to be among those blessed souls whom our Lord refers to in today’s portion of this novena, let us strive to be merciful. Jesus told Sr. Faustina that her hands must be full of deeds of mercy. Jesus stated:

Blessed are the Merciful. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

“Yes, the First Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must be acts of mercy. . . .I demand from you deed which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it (742, p. 297-298 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Maria Faustina, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

So too must our hands be engaged in the work of mercy if we are to share in the myriad of graces He promises to lavish upon us. While this is a difficult command, His grace is sufficient for our weakness.

Lord, please grant me the grace to be merciful as You are merciful!

May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly.

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

If I Had the Faith of A Child (reprise)

“Truly I say to you, unless you receive the Kingdom of God as a child, you shall not enter into it (Luke 18:17).”

Unless You Receive The Kingdom of God As A Child. . . .. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

I love watching the reflection of Easter in the eyes of my children. The purity of their love shines forth. Children have a unique relationship to God. Our Lord chose to enter the world as a helpless, innocent babe, and from the moment of the Incarnation, He became one of them, one of us. As we walk the outdoor Stations of the Cross, and listen to the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, our Lord’s suffering seems to resonate deeply with them. Their piety is genuine; their love is deep. Just as sorrow seems to carve a space within us, so too later that whittled space can brim with joy. Easter through the eyes of a child is a blessing to behold!

Today as we prepare for the great feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, we continue with the sixth day of the novena of chaplets, prayed with ordinary rosary beads. For complete instructions on how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, visit the Divine Mercy website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Let the Children come to Me © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Today is also the sixth day of the novena dictated by Jesus to St. Maria Faustina. For each day of this novena, Our Lord requested that Sr. Faustina bring a different group of souls into the abyss of His mercy. Today Our Lord directed:

“Today bring to Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence (1220, p. 439 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

For the complete text of the sixth day of the novena, please visit the Divine Mercy Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/sixthday.php.

Our Lord stated:

A Sweet Smelling Bouquet. . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2011-2012.

“These souls send all of Heaven into ecstasy and are the Heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance (1220, p. 439).”

If God Himself takes delight in the souls of children, and the humble souls who resemble them, can we do no less?

In honor of these special souls I am reposting a prayer I penned and posted many months ago.

If I Had The Faith of A Child. . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

If I Had the Faith of A Child

If I had the faith of a child, I would welcome each day with delight.

With reckless abandon, I would pursue the task of Life.

If I had the faith of a child, I would treat God as my Father,

With confidence I would speak to Him about little things throughout the day.

If I had the faith of a child, I would view His creation with a sense of wonder.

With gratitude, I would thank Him for the flowers, and snowflakes, and autumn leaves….

With Reckless Abandon, I would Live . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

If I had the faith of a child, I would realize my smallness,

And I would seek shelter in His Magnitude.

If I had the faith of a child, I would not let a sense of time constrain me,

Rather, I would marvel in the timelessness of eternity.

If I had the faith of a child, I would not grow anxious about complex matters,

Instead, I would trust in His Providence to make it all right.

I Would See Miracles Every Day © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

If I had the faith of a child, my prayers would be simple.

With innocence, I would reflect His purity.

If I had the faith of a child, I would tell Him, “I’m sorry,” when need be,

And I would believe in my heart that His Mercy is greater than my weakness.

If I had the faith of a child, I would see miracles every day,

With simplicity, I would accept the incomprehensible.

If I had the faith of a child, I would make God laugh.

He Would Delight in My Littleness © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

He would delight in my littleness, and I in His Omnipotence.

If I had the faith of a child, I would feel His unconditional Love,

He would fill me with His gifts and I would share them.

If I had the faith of a child, I would possess true wisdom,

For, He would reveal the secrets of His Heart.

I Would Hope for Heaven © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

If I had the faith of a child, I would enter the Kingdom of God!

I would hope for Heaven, yet see the Kingdom here around me now.

If I had the faith of a child, I would trust that my every prayer would be answered.

Lord, please, grant me the faith of a child!

________________________________________

May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

Woman, Why Are You Weeping?

Proclaim the Good News. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. Photographer

“While I was weeping at the tomb, I saw my Lord (Evening Antiphon, Tuesday Octave of Easter, Divine Office, Liturgy of the Hours).”

Have you longed for something so deeply that you nearly missed it when it was given to you? Have you ever prayed with all your heart and soul for a grace, only to have God answer with miracle beyond your wildest imagination?

That is exactly how we find Mary Magdalene in today’s Gospel from Holy Mass, on this the Tuesday of the Easter Octave.

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried Him away, tell me where you laid Him, and I will take Him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew “Rabbouni,” which means teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father and your Father, My God and your God.” Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what He told her (John 20: 11-18).

Whom Do You Seek? © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. Photographer

One can easily picture the distraught Mary Magdalene, kneeling in exhausted sorrow that Easter Morning, before Our Lord’s tomb. Sobs rack her body; her eyes are swollen from two days of grief, and her strength has faded. She had seen Jesus tried, tortured, and crucified. With Mary, and a handful of others she had hastily prepared Jesus for burial, and watched the stone set to seal the tomb. These past two days had been spent in a numb pain; alternating between fear, anger, and grief. How could this have happened to her Lord? There was nothing more that the chief priests, council, temple guard, or Roman soldiers could do that would surprise her.

Now, as Mary Magdalene kneels in agony before the empty tomb, her pain is so great that she misses the joy that is before her. Her sorrow is so monumental that she is utterly oblivious to the two angels in white who are sitting “one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been.” The angels speak to her, and Mary is still so thoroughly immersed in her own grief that their presence, their words do not even register.

Sorrow turns to Joy! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Christ Himself repeats the query of the angels: “Woman, why are you weeping?” She perceives Him to be a gardener, and is so intent on finding the dead Jesus, that she misses the Risen, Living Christ in front of her very eyes! She wants to find Jesus’s body, and return it lovingly to the tomb. She is even willing to try to carry it herself – “tell me where you laid Him, and I will take Him.” However, God’s plans are far greater than she can imagine. As Jesus calls her name, her eyes are opened – just like so many of the blind whom Jesus had cured. One can imagine the joyous reunion and  Mary hugging Jesus with the strength of an iron vice-grip. One can almost sense a hint of amusement in Our Lord’s voice as He tells to loosen her grip: “Stop clinging to me!” Jesus tells Mary that He still has work to accomplish. “I have not yet ascended to My Father and your Father, My God and your God.” It is as if Our Lord is telling her, “In Heaven you will have all eternity to cling to Me if you wish, but for now, We need to get moving. You have work to do, as do I.

Again, there is a message for us as well. How often do we miss the grace and miracles that Our Lord lavishes upon us, because we are too narrowly focused on challenges of which seem insurmountable? God’s glorious designs surpass our greatest fears; His brilliance erases the bleakness of our sorrow. Jesus calls each of our names, just as He called out to Mary. Our task is to recognize the call, and respond to it with a hearty embrace of Our Risen Lord.

As the Easter Octave progresses we move toward the Great Feast of Mercy Sunday. We continue with the fifth day of our novena of Divine Mercy Chaplets. Again, full instructions regarding how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet can be found on the Divine Mercy Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

St. Maria Faustina, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Today is also the fifth day of the novena Our Lord dictated to St. Maria Faustina in preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy. For each day of this novena, Our Lord asked St. Faustina to pray for a particular group of souls, immersing them into the abyss of His unfathomable Mercy, and pleading for them before the throne of the Heavenly Father. Today, Jesus directed St. Faustina as follows:

Today bring to me the souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My passion they tore at My Body and My Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion (1218, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

For the complete text of day 5 of the novena please go to the Divine Mercy Novena Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/fifthday.php.

Today let us join St. Maria Faustina in praying for those who have separated themselves from the Holy Church. We intercede for all individuals who squander the graces God has lavished upon them, and pray that they may soon return to unity with the Church. As Jesus Himself prayed, “Father, may they all be one (John 17:21).”

With Mary Magdalene, may we each have the grace to turn to Lord, and respond to His call; to embrace Him with all our strength, and to endeavor to do His will. May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly.

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

Encountering the Risen Christ

Alleluia! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. E.A. photographer

He is Risen, He is truly Risen, indeed, Alleluia! The joy continues! For the rest of the world Easter ended at midnight. However, as Catholics we have the grace of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ with the highest solemnity, for eight days. Throughout these eight days, or Octave of Easter, each day is recognized as a sort of mini-Easter. The celebration continues and blessings flow.

The Gospel Reading from today’s Holy Mass reads:

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful, yet overjoyed and ran to announce the good news to His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced His feet, and did Him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell My brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

 

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then gave a large sum of money to the soldiers telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep. And if this gets to the ears of the Governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. . . . (MT 28: 8-15).

He is Risen!

A recurrent theme in this Gospel passage is trepidation. Two groups of people have encountered the reality of Christ’s Resurrection, yet their response is very different. There is a stark contrast between the two paragraphs, while both deal with a response of fear. The women are described as “fearful, yet overjoyed” and they run to announce the Good News of the Resurrection to the equally frightened disciples. While the women experience fear and awe, they are able to move past it. They embrace Our Lord, both His Risen physical body, and embrace the concept of His Resurrection. They do not understand, yet they believe, and accept His exhortation to “Be not afraid,” and proclaim with joy all they have seen. As they move forward, one perceives a sense of Light transcending them.

On the other hand, we have the guards, strong Roman men, battled hardened soldiers, who fell down “as dead men” at the sight of the Resurrection, and quiver in fear as they approach the chief priests and the elders. One wonders which frightened them more – the vision of Christ busting forth from the tomb or the wrath of Pilate and the Council. Either way, they were terrified. We sense the darkness of their hearts, the darkness of the situation. They were offered bribes to hide the most significant Truth ever witnessed by human eyes, and they capitulate. Likewise, the religious elders and chief priests seem equally shrouded in darkness and fear. They know the truth – they crucified the Messiah, and now He is Risen. If He is strong enough to conquer death, do they really think their secret will last forever? They don’t care. They would rather perpetuate a lie, than embrace the reality of the Resurrection.

Altar, Sanctuary in the Basilica at Holy Hill © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. E.A. photographer

We too are faced with a similar choice. The Resurrection is indeed a mystery. Yet we are asked to accept with faith what we cannot explain. It is a choice of the will. The bridge between faith and understanding is the will. When we choose to embrace the Risen Christ, and proclaim the reality of His Resurrection, we too move from darkness to light. The words He spoke to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary are meant for us as well: “Do not be afraid. Go tell My brothers. . . .”

Perhaps there is no better way to tell our brothers and sisters about the love of the Risen Christ than to spread the message about Christ’s Divine Mercy. As this glorious week unfolds, we continue our preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday which occurs on the Sunday following Easter. Thus, in preparation we continue our novena of Divine Mercy Chaplets. This chaplet is prayed on ordinary rosary beads. For complete instructions please visit the Divine Mercy website run by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Jesus I Trust in you! Divine Mercy Image © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. E.A. photographer

Today we also continue the novena our Lord dictated to St. Maria Faustina for her private use. Each day, Jesus directed St. Faustina to pray for a specific group of souls, immersing them into the abyss of His Mercy, and pleading for them before the throne of the Heavenly Father.

On this the fourth day of the novena, Sr. Faustina was directed by Our Lord to:

“Bring to Me those souls who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know Me. I was also thinking of them during my bitter passion, and their future zeal comforted My heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy (1216, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Today, let us pray as St. Faustina did, immersing the souls of unbelievers in the abyss of Christ’s mercy. Let us recall what courage it takes to have the will to believe. Our own faith is a treasure for which we should express sincere gratitude, as we pray, that like Mary Magdalene and the women at the tomb, these souls “will not persist in their unbelief, but believe!”

Like Sr. Faustina, let us beg the Heavenly Father to “draw them to the light of the Gospel,” that they too may extol the mercy of God for endless ages. For the complete text of the fourth day of the novena, please visit the Divine Mercy Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/fourthday.php.

Today’s prayer from this morning’s Divine office is apropos:

Father, You give your Church constant growth by adding new members to your family. Help us to put in action in our lives the Baptism we have received with faith. We ask this through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen (Divine Office, Liturgy of the Hours, Monday Morning within the Octave of Easter).

May the Risen Christ bless you and yours abundantly,

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

He is Risen, Alleluia!

He is Risen! Alleluia! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

He is Risen! Alleluia! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

The Lord has indeed risen, alleluia! Glory and Kingship be His forever and ever!

There is no greater joy, no higher feast, than the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ! May Christ bestow on you and yours all the blessings of this Glorious Easter Morning! Christ has Risen! Death has been conquered! Salvation has been won! The Lord is victorious!

One can only imagine the emotions that flooded the disciples on that first Easter Morning. The exuberance, awe, amazement, shock, gratitude must have undulated in waves. They had seen their beloved Christ disgraced, betrayed, beaten, scourged, crowned with thorns, mocked, dragged through the city, tortured, nailed to the cross, and allowed to suffer for hours in the blazing sun before He relinquished His Divine Soul to God the Father. Jesus’ friends had witnessed His side slashed open with a soldiers lance to reveal copious amounts of blood and water- the last precious drops of His blood poured out for humanity. They had seen Mary tenderly cradle the corpse of

Taking the body, Joseph Wrapped it in Clean Linen and Laid it in a Tomb. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

her Divine Son, kissing the bruises and bloody gashes. The disciples had seen his body prepared for burial; they helped wash Its cold and lifeless limbs, anointed It with spiced oil, aloe, and perfume, and hastily wrapped It in a clean linen shroud. These friends helped to roll the heavy stone at the door of the tomb, and watched as a guard sealed the tomb, and menacingly guarded its entrance.

Yet all of that belonged to yesterday- the darkness and death are gone, in it’s place Resurrected Life is to be found.

One can sense the panic as Mary Magdalene approaches the tomb, with Mary the mother of James and Salome, to find the stone rolled back. The thoughts and questions must have fired like lightning in a storm. The guard is missing, the burial cloths are there, but empty. Where is He? Where has He gone? Where have they laid Him? I imagine their encounter with the angel – the joy and confusion. How can this be? Yet, nothing is impossible with God! I envision myself running like Peter (o.k., Peter probably ran faster than would I), out of breath, quivering, questioning, grasping for truth. I contemplate John, peering into the tomb, waiting in silent wonder for Peter to enter first, and together to encounter a reality beyond their human powers of comprehension.

Faith is the act of willing to believe what is hidden from our eyes, but revealed to our hearts. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Faith is the act of willing to believe what is hidden from our eyes, but revealed to our hearts. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

We are offered the same reality, and yes, we must stretch our powers of comprehension and assent to faith to believe what we cannot see. To participate in the Resurrection, and share its joy we must embrace what we cannot as humans explain nor understand. Faith involves a choice, and we must will it!

Like the visitors to the tomb on that first Easter morn, the words of the angel are directed to us:

“Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him (Mark 16:6). “

Do not be amazed, do not seek Him among the dead, for He is not there. He is risen! He is truly Risen, indeed Alleluia! Go and tell others! Share the joy of this moment, that all might come to believe.

As we continue our journey in the octave of Easter, moving toward the Feast of Divine Mercy, let us continue to prepare our hearts to receive all the grace and blessing that our Risen Lord wishes to bestow upon us. Let us continue to contemplate the wondrous Mercy that is His ultimate gift to humankind. As we daily pray our novena of Divine Mercy Chaplets, let us consider this Passion of Christ that is the mystery of our redemption. The chaplet is prayed on ordinary rosary beads, and takes only about 3 minutes to recite. The full text for the Chaplet can be found on the Marians of the Immaculate Conception Website at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Today, as we celebrate Easter and continue our preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy, we turn our prayers to the faithful souls who are enfolded in the arms of the Savior. Our Lord specifically asked St. Maria Faustina to immerse these particular souls in the abyss of His Mercy on this Sunday. Jesus stated:

“Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness (1214, p. 437– Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987)..“

Walk as Children of the Light! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Like St. Faustina, let us today pray for all the faithful, that they may never fail in love or lose the treasure of the Holy Faith. Let us beg the Heavenly Father to surround these souls with His constant protection so that they may one day glorify the immeasurable mercy of God with the angels and saints in Paradise for all eternity.

The entire text of the third day of St. Maria Faustina’s Divine Mercy Novena (as directed by Our Lord Jesus) can be found on the Marians of the Immaculate Conception Website at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/thirdday.php.

May Our Risen Lord envelope you and yours with His Love and Mercy. May His blessing be always upon you, and may we one day praise Him together in the company of the Heavenly Court, with joy, and glory for all eternity,

Wishing you and yours the joy of a glorious Easter.

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

Rejoice Heavenly Powers, Sing Choirs of Angels!

May God Bless Archbishop Jerome Listecki © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

What a beautiful day! I love Holy Saturday. There is a rhythm of expectation that builds as a crescendo throughout the day. Good Friday was a busy one. We began with the outdoor Stations of the Cross, led by Archbishop Jerome Listecki, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill. It was a gorgeous day. While last year we were pelted by freezing rain (I watched the ice-balls form on the servers’ candles); this year the sleet was replaced with beams of sunshine. My boys served and the girls sang as we processed up Holy Hill, winding our way through the Stations of the Cross with hundreds of others, faithfully retracing Christ’s journey to Calvary.

Good Fri Stations of the Cross Holy Hill Basilica © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Later, we returned to the Basilica for the Memorial of Our Lord’s Passion. As usual the church strained with an overflowing capacity, as Christ’s Passion was remembered in both Spanish and English. The devotion of the faithful (friars, pilgrims, and religious alike) was palpable for hours within these sacred walls.

Good Fri Stations of the Cross Holy Hill Basilica © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

The mundane chores of feeding, cleaning, and caring for my brood continued as the day wore on. After the family Rosary, and Night Prayer from the Divine Office, most of the family was blessed and tucked in bed. My husband, our eldest two children and I then sat up until 12:30 A.M., watching The Passion of The Christ, as is our tradition. The heart-wrenching scenes of the scourging, and carrying of the cross are freshly re-etched in my mind. I can barely look at the vivid pounding of the nails into Jesus hands as His arms are yanked from their joints. I cannot imagine watching these scenes nonchalantly; for each year, they seem to resonate more deeply within my very core.

Today, the sorrow of Good Friday seems to slowly be melting into the joy that is about to be Easter. The boys share the honor of serving for tonight’s Easter Vigil, and spent a couple hours at the Basilica practicing this morning. I hear the altar flowers are magnificent, and that their abundance fills the church. I can hardly wait to experience the sight and fragrance tonight. We brought baskets containing our Easter Vigil meal, and a bit of candy to the monastery office to be blessed by Fr. Dan. The daily chores continue, but with an eager anticipation of the glory of the Resurrection that we are about commemorate tonight.

As we prepare for the jubilant celebration of Easter, and the glorious octave that will follow, with gratitude we turn our gaze toward the unfathomable gifts our Lord bestows in His immeasurable love. The greatest of these is His Mercy.

As we prepare for the Feast of Divine Mercy, which occurs exactly one week after Easter, we reflect upon the immeasurable depth of God’s Mercy, and our personal response to that gift.

Regarding the gift of His Divine Mercy Our Lord told St. Maria Faustina:

“My Mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or an angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come from the very depths of my most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity (699, p. 286– Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

We thus continue our preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy, a Feast instituted by Our Lord, on which He tells us that “the very depths of His mercy are open.” In preparation, we continue our novena of chaplets. Remember, the Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed on ordinary rosary beads. This link to the Marians of the Immaculate Conception Website gives clear directions for praying the Chaplet of Mercy: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php.

Immerse the souls of priests and religious in His Mercy. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Immerse the souls of priests and religious in His Mercy. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Today we also, continue the novena dictated by our Lord to St. Maria Faustina. This novena, initiated for her private devotion, offers spiritual fruit for all who pray it faithfully. On each of the nine consecutive days prior to the Feast of Divine Mercy, Jesus requested that St. Faustina immerse a certain group of souls in the ocean of His Mercy. Our Lord would in turn bring those souls into the House of Our Heavenly Father. On the second day of the novena, Sr. Faustina was instructed to pray especially for the souls of the priests and religious.

Our Lord instructed:

“Today bring Me the souls of the priests and religious and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me strength to endure My bitter passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon all mankind (1212, p. 436– Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

As I do not want to break copyright laws or plagiarize, for the entire text of St. Faustina’s novena Day 2, please visit the Marians of the Immaculate Conception site at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/secondday.php.

Like St. Maria Faustina, let us endeavor to bring the souls of priests and religious into to abyss of Christ’s mercy. These faithful men and women are consecrated to the service of the Lord. They are the beloved laborers in His vineyard. Without them the channels of grace would close.

Without priests there would be no Mass, no Eucharist  © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Without priests there would be no Mass, no Eucharist © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Without priests there would be no Mass. There would be no one to Baptize, washing away the stain of original sin, and bringing the Light of the Holy Spirit to our souls, and those of our children. Without priests there would be no Eucharist to nourish our souls, nor sacrament of penance to reconcile us to God when we had rejected His love. Without priests, we would have no hope of becoming soldiers for Christ, or having our marriages become truly sacramental unions. Without priests, our souls would never have the sacramental grace given as we prepare to leave this life and enter into the next. Our priests are a treasure, one this secular world often despises and rejects.

God Bless the Religious! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 photo by Jacinta Stephens

So too let us remember the religious sisters and brothers who support the church and the society with prayer, sacrifice, and works of charity. These hidden souls labor perpetually for the salvation of the world, and receive little positive attention for their monumental efforts. Just as the secular world distains the priests so too it seems to revel in ridiculing the very existence of religious sisters and brothers. In appreciation for the tremendous gift of priests and religious, let us follow Christ’s request, and immerse them in the abyss of His mercy, and present them to the Heavenly Father for His blessing.

Wishing you and yours the joy of a glorious Easter.

Praise the Lord for He is Risen!

Indeed, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2011-2012

Today we recall the most pivotal event in the history of human kind: the day on which Our Lord suffered, was crucified, and died to pay the penalty of our sin. On this day we pause and recall our own sins, and the burden our actions have added to Our Lord’s sacred shoulders. While this is a solemn, somber celebration of our Lord’s passion and death, there is also a glimmer of joy; for in His passion and death is the ultimate expression of merciful love. It is no coincidence that today we also begin to prepare for the Feast of Divine Mercy. That preparation begins with the novena of Mercy.

For the next nine days, I will post a brief reflection, a reminder to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the novena requested by our Lord, and the link to the novena which our Lord dictated on Good Friday 1937 to St. Maria Faustina for her private use in preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy.

In Her Diary, St. Maria Faustina relates that our Lord Himself requested the Chaplet of Mercy be recited, beginning on Good Friday, for nine days before the Feast of Divine Mercy. He stated: “By this novena I will grant every possible grace to souls (796, p.316 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

The Divine Mercy Chaplet is to be recited on ordinary Rosary Beads. After making the Sign of the Cross, one then recites an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and the Apostles Creed.

On the single bead prior to each decade, one prays:

“Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ in Atonement for Our Sins, and for the sins of the whole world (475, p.207 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

On the ten beads of the decade, one prays:

“For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world (476, p.208 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

After all five decades have been prayed, one prays the concluding Doxology:

Have Mercy on us, and on the whole world. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2011-2012

“Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world (476, p.208 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

.

There is an optional closing prayer:

“Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly on us, and increase your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we not despair, nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your Holy Will, which is Love and Mercy Itself (796, p.370 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

While Our Lord requested this novena of Chaplets not only for St. Maria Faustina, but the whole world, He also gave her a private novena. In this novena, Our Lord invites Sr. Faustina to immerse a particular group of souls into the abyss of His mercy each day, so that in turn He may bring these souls to the Heavenly Father. Over the years, I have found this novena tremendously fruitful.

Our Lord stated to St. Faustina:

“I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the font of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom enough strength and refreshment and whatever graces they need . . . . On each day you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls, and you will immerse them into this ocean of My mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the house of My Father (1209, p. 435, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Our Lord Jesus loves each of us immeasurably. He came into the world to testify to the truth of that love, and to lay down His life in reparation for our sins. It is for sinners that He came into this world, and for sinners that He died and rose again victorious. Therefore, it is fitting that this first day of the novena be dedicated to sinners.

Jesus requested of St. Faustina on Day !:

“Today, bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them into the ocean of My Mercy. In this way, you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me (1210, p. 436, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

For the text of the entire first day of the novena, please visit go to the Marians of the Immaculate Conception Website at http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/firstday.php.

In this first day, St. Faustina immerses each of us into the abyss of God’s mercy, an abyss so deep that even death could not fill it. As we journey from the Cross to the Resurrection, let us join St. Maria Faustina in immersing all of humankind, but most especially all sinners, in Christ’s Mercy, with the hope that He will in turn eventually bring them home to His Father’s House.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.

Bread from Heaven He Gave Them

This is My Body! © SalveMaterDei.com 2012, E.A. photographer

Tonight we embark upon the Holiest days of the Church Year: the Triduum, the Memorial of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. The solemn celebration of the Triduum begins tonight with the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper- the Mass of His Body and Blood. On this, and every Holy Thursday, we celebrate the greatest miracle and mystery in human history: that our Lord Jesus loves us so much that He feeds us with His own flesh and blood. On this night He instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist to be a perpetual source of grace.

Tonight we celebrate not only the institution of the Holy Eucharist, but also the institution of a royal priesthood. For without the gift of the priesthood, we would not have the treasure of the Eucharist. Likewise, without the Eucharist, we would not have the priesthood. It is the priest who consecrates bread and wine, which at his word become the real Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The priest is the vital instrument by which Our Lord chooses to bring Himself to us- renewing in us His covenant of love. This is truly a night of miracles.

Yes, tonight’s Mass is replete with symbolism and the beauty of ancient ritual. But beyond the symbolism there is tangible reality, and the greatest reality of all is the Holy Eucharist.

I have given you an example. © SalveMaterDei.com 2012,

I have given you an example. © SalveMaterDei.com 2012,

Symbolically, tonight twelve men are chosen to represent the Apostles. Just as on this night centuries ago, Christ washed the feet of the His apostles, so too we are symbolically reminded of our call to wash the feet of others. Our Lord assumed the posture of slave, to perform the most menial task out of love. As we watch the re-enactment of the washing of the feet, and sing the antiphons, we too are reminded of our call to serve others as a reflection of Christ’s love alive within us. We are not merely bystanders, we are participants, as we carry the love of Christ to the world as servants of the Divine Master.

These antiphons are usually sung during the washing of the feet. From tonight’s Liturgy:

Antiphon 1 (from John 13: 4,5,15).:

The Lord Jesus,

When he had eaten with His disciples,

Poured water in a basin

And began to wash their feet, saying:

This example I leave you.

Antiphon 2 (from John 13: 6, 7, 8).:

Lord, do you wash my feet?

Jesus said to him:

If I do not wash your feet,

You can have no part with me.

So He came to Simon Peter,

Who said to him:

Lord do you wash my feet?

Now you do not know what I am doing,

But later you will understand.

Antiphon 3 (from John 13: 14):

If I your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet,

then surely you must wash one another’s feet.

 

Could You Not Stay Awake With Me For One Hour? © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Tonight, after Mass, the Holy Eucharist is transferred to a Tabernacle of Reposition, to be adored throughout the night. The Pange Linga (Sing my tongue the Savior’s Glory…) is sung as the Blessed Sacrament is processed around the Church. As the procession nears the Tabernacle of Reposition, the chorus changes to Tantum Ergo Sacramentum. These beautiful ancient hymns were penned by St. Thomas Aquinas, and express in chant the profound nature of the mystery of the Holy Eucharist and the reality of the Blessed Trinity.

Tonight, a plenary Indulgence is granted, under the usual conditions (Holy Communion, Sacramental Confession within eight days, prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father, and freedom of attachment to sin), for those who devotedly recite the Tantum Ergo on Holy Thursday after the Mass of the Body and Blood of Christ, during the liturgical rites (Handbook of Indulgences, 1991 Catholic Book Publishing, p.84).

Tantum Ergo Sacramentum

Down in Adoration falling

Lo! The Sacred Host we hail,

Lo O’er ancient forms departing

Newer rites of grace prevail;

Faith for all defects supplying,

Where the feeble senses fail.

To the everlasting Father,

And the Son Who reigns on high

With the Holy Spirit proceeding

Forth from Each Eternally,

Be salvation, honor blessing,

Might and endless majesty. Amen

The altar is stripped. The crosses are covered, and all depart in silence to contemplate the greatest gift ever given.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.