The Crucifixion

FROM THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

Crucifixion, Tintoretto, 1565

And now, my sweet Good, You lay Yourself on the Cross, looking with so much love and with so much sweetness at your executioners – who already hold nails and hammers in their hands ready to pierce You – as to make a sweet invitation to hasten the crucifixion. Indeed, with inhuman fury, they grab your right hand, hold the nail on your palm, and with blows of the hammer, make it come out the opposite side of the Cross. The pain You suffer is so great that You shiver, O my Jesus; the light of your beautiful eyes eclipses, and your most holy Face turns pale and looks like death.

Blessed right hand of my Jesus, I kiss you, I compassionate you, I adore you and I thank you for myself and for all. For as many blows as you receive, so many souls do I ask you to free, at this moment, from eternal damnation. As many drops of Blood as You shed, so many souls do I beg You to wash in this most precious Blood of Yours. O my Jesus, for the bitter pain You suffer, I ask You to open the Heavens to all, and to bless all creatures. May your blessing call all sinners to conversion, and all heretics and unbelievers to the light of the Faith.

Oh Jesus, my sweet Life, your torment has only begun, and here your executioners, having finished the nailing of your right hand, with unheard-of cruelty grab your left hand, and in order to make it reach the mark of the hole, with violence, pull it so much that the joints of your arms and shoulders are dislocated, and by the force of the pain, your legs too, are contracted and convulsed. Then, with untiring fury, they nail it to the Cross as they did with the right one.

Left hand of my Jesus, I kiss you, I compassionate you, I adore you, I thank you, and, for the blows you receive and for the bitter pains you suffer while they drive the nail through, I ask you to concede, at this moment, liberation from Purgatory to the purging souls. Yes, O Jesus, for the Blood You shed from this hand, I beg You to extinguish the flames that burn these souls. May this Blood be refreshment and a healthy bath for all, such as to purge them from any stain and dispose them to the beatific vision. My Love and my all, for this sharp pain You suffer, I ask You to close hell to all souls, and to hold back the lightnings of Divine Justice irritated, alas, by our own sins! O Jesus, let Divine Justice be appeased, so that the divine chastisements may not pour down upon the earth, and treasures of Divine Mercy may be opened for the benefit of all. My Jesus, I place the world and all generations into your arms, and I beg You, O my sweet Love, with the voices of your own Blood, to deny no one your forgiveness, and by the merits of your most precious Blood, to concede to all the salvation of their souls! Do not exclude anyone, O Jesus!

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/11/the-crucifixion/

Jesus Staggers Under the Weight of the Cross

FROM THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

Jesus_Falls_Carrying_the_CrossMy Love, overcome with pain, while I follow You in these reparations, I see You stagger under the enormous weight of the Cross. You are shivering all over. At the continuous shoving You receive, the thorns penetrate more and more into your Most Holy Head. The Cross, with its heavy weight, digs into your shoulder, to the extent of forming a wound so deep that the bones are exposed. At every step, it seems that You are dying, and unable to move any further. But your love, which can do everything, gives You strength, and as You feel the Cross penetrate into your shoulder, You repair for the hidden sins; those which, not being repaired, increase the bitterness of your spasms. My Jesus, let me place my shoulder under the Cross to relieve You and repair with You for all hidden sins.

But your enemies, for fear that You may die under It, force the Cyrenean to help You carry the Cross. Unwilling and complaining, he helps You – not out of love, but by force. Then all the complaints of those who suffer, the lack of resignation, the rebellions, the anger and despising in suffering, echo in your Heart. But You remain even more pierced in seeing that souls consecrated to You, whom You call to be your help and companions in your suffering, escape You; and if You hug them to Yourself through suffering – ah, they wriggle free from your arms to look for pleasures, and so they leave You alone, suffering!

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/10/jesus-staggers-under-the-weight-of-the-cross/

LAY OURSELVES ON THE CROSS WITH JESUS

FROM THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

LAY OURSELVES ON THE CROSS WITH JESUS

holy-ghost12dMy Love, before You lay Yourself on the Cross, allow me to hold You more tightly to my heart, and to kiss your loving and bleeding wounds. Hear me, O Jesus, I do not want to leave You; I want to come with You, to lay myself on the Cross and remain nailed to It with You. True love does not tolerate separation, and You will forgive the daring of my love. Concede that I be crucified with You. See, my tender Love, I am not the only one to ask this of You, but also your sorrowful Mama, inseparable Magdalene, faithful John: we all say to You that it would be more bearable to be nailed with You to Your Cross, than to see You crucified alone! Therefore, together with You I offer myself to the Eternal Father – identified with your Will, with your Heart, with your reparations and with all your pains.

Ah, it seems that my adored Jesus says to me: “My child, you have anticipated my Love; this is my Will: that all those who love Me be crucified with Me. Ah, yes, come and lay yourself on the Cross with Me; I will give you life with my life, I will hold you as the beloved of my Heart.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/09/lay-ourselves-on-the-cross-with-jesus/

JESUS’ DESIRE TO BE LAYED ON THE CROSS

 

JESUS’ DESIRE TO BE LAYED ON THE CROSS

FROM THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE PASSION

 “Please, O Cross, receive Me soon into your arms, I am impatient of waiting! Holy Cross, upon you I shall come to give completion to all. Hurry, O Cross, fulfill the burning desire that consumes Me, to give life to souls. Delay no more; I anxiously yearn to lay Myself upon you in order to open the Heavens to all my children.

Oh Cross, it is true that you are my martyrdom, but in a little while you will also be my victory and my most complete triumph; and through you I will give abundant inheritances, victories, triumphs and crowns to my children.”

(Vatican Radio) The relationship between Christianity and the Cross and our own sins was the focus of Pope Francis’s reflections at his Mass on Tuesday in the Santa Marta residence. In his homily, the Pope said Christianity does not exist without the Cross and stressed that we are unable to free ourselves from our sins on our own. The Cross, he said, is not an ornament to place on the altar but is the mystery of God’s love who takes our sins upon himself. He then reflected on the meaning of Jesus’s warning to the Pharisees “You will die in your sin.”

“It is impossible for us to free ourselves from sin on our own. It’s impossible. These doctors of the law, these people who taught the law, didn’t have a clear idea on this. They believed, yes, in the forgiveness of God but considered themselves strong, self-sufficient and that they knew everything. And in the end they transformed religion, their adoration of God, into a culture with values, reflections, certain commandments of conduct to be polite and they believed, yes, that the Lord can pardon them, they knew this but they were far removed from all this.”

Pope Francis said the serpent is the symbol of sin as seen in the bible. In the desert sin was lifted up but it is a sin that seeks salvation so that it heals. It is Jesus, the Son of Man, the true savior, who is lifted up.

“Christianity is not a philosophical doctrine, it’s not a programme for life survival or education, or for peacemaking. These are consequences. Christianity is a person, a person raised on the Cross, a person who annihilated himself to save us, who became sin. Just as sin was raised up in the desert, here God who was made man and made sin for us was raised up. All our sins were there. You cannot understand Christianity without understanding this profound humiliation of the Son of God who humbled himself and became a servant unto death, even death on a cross, in order to serve us.”

This is why, the Pope went on, the apostle Paul said we do not have other things to boast about, apart from our sins, and this is our misery. But through the mercy of God, we rejoice in the crucified Christ. It’s for this reason that ‘there is no Christianity without the Cross and there’s no Cross without Jesus Christ.

“The Cross is not an ornament that we must always put in the churches, there on the altar. It is not a symbol that distinguishes us from others. The Cross is mystery, the mystery of God who humbles himself, he becomes ‘nothing.’ He becomes sin. Where is your sin? ‘I don’t know, I have so many here.’ No, your sin is there, in the Cross. Go and find it there, in the wounds of the Lord and your sins will be healed, your wounds will be healed, your sins will be forgiven. The forgiveness that God gives us is not the same as cancelling a debt that we have with Him, the forgiveness that God gives us are the wounds of his Son on the Cross, raised up on the Cross. May he draw us towards Him and may we allow ourselves to be healed by him.”

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/08/jesus-desire-to-be-layed-on-the-cross/

“Be Merciful as your Father is Merciful.” – Hours of the Passion

“Be Merciful as your Father is Merciful.”

Pope Francis 4(Vatican Radio) To find mercy we must first forgive. It is through forgiveness that our hearts, and the world, are filled with peace. This was the overarching theme of Pope Francis’ homily during Monday morning’s Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.

“Be merciful as your Father is merciful.” Commenting on these words of Jesus, the Pope added that “it is not easy to understand this attitude of mercy” because we are habitually judgmental. “We are not [the sorts of people] who naturally [allow for understanding and mercy.”]

“To be merciful,” he said, “two attitudes are needed. The first is knowledge of oneself”. This self-knowledge means that we acknowledge “we have done many bad things: we are sinners!” And, when faced with the need for repentance, “the justice of God transforms us in mercy and forgiveness.” However, we must have shame for our sins.

“It is true none of us have murdered anyone, but many little things, many daily sins, every day… and when someone thinks: ‘ But what a small heart: I have done this against the Lord!’ And he is ashamed! He is ashamed before God, and this shame is a grace: it is the grace of being sinners. ‘I am a sinner, and I am ashamed before You and ask your forgiveness.’ It is simple, but very difficult, to say: ‘I have sinned.’”

Often, Pope Francis said, we blame others for our sins, like Adam and Eve did. “Maybe,” he continued “someone else did help me, facilitated the way to do it, but I did it myself!

If we [think like] this, how much good will occur, because we will be humble!” And “with this attitude of penitence we are more able to be merciful, because we feel within us the mercy of God,”. Just like in the Our Father: “Forgive, as we are forgiven.” Therefore, “if I do not forgive, I am somewhat out of the game!”
The other attitude we need to have in order to be merciful, the Pope continued, is to have a large heart, because “a small” and “egotistical heart is incapable of mercy.”

“Make the heart grow! ‘But I myself am a sinner.’ ‘Who am I to judge?’ This statement, ‘Who am I to judge this? Who am I to gossip about this?… Who am I, who have done the same or worse?’ The heart grows! And the Lord says, ‘Judge not, and you will not be judged! Condemn not, and you will not be condemned! Forgive, and you will be forgiven! Give, and you will receive!’ This [is] generosity of heart! And what will you receive? A good measure, pressed down and overflowing will be poured into your lap. And the image of the person of the person who goes out to collect the wheat with the apron and makes the apron larger so as to receive more, more wheat. If you have a wide, large heart, you can receive more.”

The merciful heart, said Pope Francis, “does not condemn, but forgives, forgets” because God has forgotten my sins; God has forgiven my sins. Enlarge the heart. This is beautiful,” the Pope said: “You are merciful.”

“Merciful men and women have a wide, wide heart: always forgiving others and thinking about their [own] sins. This is the way of mercy for which we must ask. But if all of is, if all people, individuals, families, neighborhoods, had this attitude, how much peace there would be in the world – how much peace in our hearts! Because mercy brings us peace. Always remember: ‘Who am I to judge? Have shame and enlarge your heart. May the Lord give us this grace.”

EXCERPT FROM THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE PASSION

Twentieth Hour

Holy-Trinity.jpgCrucified Jesus, how can so much love be possible? Ah, after so many pains and insults, your first word is of forgiveness; and You excuse us before the Father for so many sins! Ah, You make this word descend into each heart after sin, and You are the first to offer forgiveness. But how many reject it and do not accept it; your love is then taken by follies, because You anxiously desire to give your forgiveness and the kiss of peace to all!

At this word, hell trembles and recognizes You as God; nature and everyone remain astonished; they recognize your Divinity, your inextinguishable love, and silently wait to see where it reaches. And not only your voice, but also your Blood and your wounds, cry out to every heart after sin: “Come into my arms, for I forgive you, and the seal of forgiveness is the price of my Blood.” O my lovable Jesus, repeat this word again to all the sinners which are in the world. Beseech mercy for all; apply the infinite merits of your most precious Blood for all. O good Jesus, continue to placate Divine Justice for all, and concede your grace to those who, finding themselves in the act of having to forgive, do not feel the strength to do it.

My Jesus, adored Crucified, in these three hours of most bitter agony, You want to give fulfillment to everything; and while, silent, You remain on this Cross, I see that in your interior You want to satisfy the Father in everything. You thank Him for all, You satisfy Him for all, You beseech forgiveness for all, and for all You impetrate the grace that they may never again offend You. In order to impetrate this from the Father You go through all of your life, from the first instant of your conception, up to your last breath. My Jesus, endless love, let me go through all your life together with You, with the inconsolable Mama, with Saint John, and with the pious women.

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/07/be-merciful-as-your-father-is-merciful-hours-of-the-passion/

Fifth Sunday of Lent-There is no other limit to the Divine Mercy offered to all!

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

 Pope Francis:  “There is no other limit to the Divine Mercy offered to all!”

 

2014-04-06 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis Dear brothers and sisters,

The Gospel of this fifth Sunday of Lent tells of the resurrection of Lazarus. It is the culmination of the wonderful “signs” performed by Jesus: an act too great, too clearly divine to be tolerated by the high priests, who, aware of the fact, make the decision to kill Jesus (cf. Jn 11:53).

Lazarus had already been dead for three days when Jesus arrived; and to the sisters Martha and Mary, Jesus spoke the words which are forever impressed upon the memory of the Christian community. Jesus said this: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die” (Jn 11:25). On this Word of the Lord we believe that the life of one who believes in Jesus and follows His commandments, after death will be transformed in a new life, full and immortal. As Jesus rose with His own body, but did not return to an earthly life, so we will rise with our bodies that will be transfigured into glorious bodies. He waits for us next to the Father, and the strength of the Holy Spirit, Who raised Him, will also raise those who are united to Him.

Before the sealed tomb of His friend Lazarus, Jesus “cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth” (vv. 43-44). This peremptory cry is addressed to every human person, because we are all marked by death, all of us; it is the voice of One Who is the master of life, one who will all “should have [life] more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Christ is not resigned to the sepulchres that we have constructed with our choices of evil and death, with our mistakes, with our sins. He is not resigned to this! He invites us, almost orders us, to come out from the tombs into which our sins have plunged us. He calls us insistently to come out of the darkness of the prison in which we are enclosed, contenting ourselves with a false, selfish, mediocre life. “Come forth!” He says. “Come forth!” It is a beautiful invitation to true freedom, to allow us to grab onto these words of Jesus that

He repeats to each one of us today, an invitation that allows us to free ourselves from the “bands,” from the bands of pride. Because pride makes us slaves, slaves of ourselves, slaves of so many idols, slaves of so many things. Our resurrection begins here: when we decide to obey the commands of Jesus to come into the light, to life; when the masks fall from our faces — so many times we are masked by sin: the masks must fall! — and we rediscover the courage of our original faces, created in the image and likeness of God.

The act of Jesus by which He raised Lazarus demonstrates the end to which the power of the Grace of God can arrive, and the end, therefore to which our conversion, our change can arrive. But listen well: there is no other limit to the divine mercy offered to all! There is no other limit to the divine mercy offered to all! Remember this phrase. And we can all say it together: “There is no other limit to the divine mercy offered to all!” Let us say it together: “There is no other limit to the divine mercy offered to all!” The Lord is always ready to take away the tombstone of our sins, which separate us from Him, the light of the living.

 FROM THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE PASSION

Crucifixion, Giulio Procaccini

Excerpt from the Nineteenth Hour

 Left hand of my Jesus, I kiss you, I compassionate you, I adore you, I thank you, and, for the blows you receive and for the bitter pains you suffer while they drive the nail through, I ask you to concede, at this moment, liberation from Purgatory to the purging souls. Yes, O Jesus, for the Blood You shed from this hand, I beg You to extinguish the flames that burn these souls. May this Blood be refreshment and a healthy bath for all, such as to purge them from any stain and dispose them to the beatific vision. My Love and my all, for this sharp pain You suffer, I ask You to close hell to all souls, and to hold back the lightnings of Divine Justice irritated, alas, by our own sins! O Jesus, let Divine Justice be appeased, so that the divine chastisements may not pour down upon the earth, and treasures of Divine Mercy may be opened for the benefit of all. My Jesus, I place the world and all generations into your arms, and I beg You, O my sweet Love, with the voices of your own Blood, to deny no one your forgiveness, and by the merits of your most precious Blood, to concede to all the salvation of their souls! Do not exclude anyone, O Jesus!

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/06/fifth-sunday-of-lent-there-is-no-other-limit-to-the-divine-mercy-offered-to-all/

Why We Believe We Can Know the Exact Date Jesus Died

Why We Believe We Can Know the Exact Date Jesus Died 

April 3, AD 33

click image for information

by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/05/why-we-believe-we-can-know-the-exact-date-jesus-died/

Jesus Meets His Blessed Mother on the Road to Calvary

FROM THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE PASSION

Jesus meets Mary on the Road to CalvaryMy Life, Jesus, making You suffer unheard-of spasms, Your enemies have managed to put You on Your Feet, and as You walk, staggering, I hear Your panting Breath. Your Heart beats more strongly and new pains pierce It intensely. You shake Your Head in order to clear Your Eyes from the Blood that fills them, and You gaze anxiously. Ah, my Jesus, I understood everything – Your Mama, who is searching for You like a moaning dove, wants to tell You one last word, and receive Your last gaze; and You feel Her pains, Her heart lacerated in Yours, moved and wounded by Her Love and by Yours. You see Her pushing Her way through the crowd, wanting at any cost to see You, to hug You, to give You the last good-bye.

But You are more transfixed in seeing Her mortal paleness, and all of your pains reproduced in Her by force of Love. If She lives, it is only by a miracle of Your Omnipotence. You move Your Steps toward Hers, but You can hardly exchange a glance!

Oh, pang of Your two Hearts! The soldiers notice it, and with blows and shoving prevent Mama and Son from exchanging the last good-bye. The torment of both is such that Your Mama remains petrified by the pain, and is about to die. Faithful John and the pious women sustain Her, while You fall again under the Cross. Then, Your sorrowful Mama does with Her soul that which She cannot do with Her Body, because She is prevented: She enters into You, makes the Will of the Eternal One Her own, and associating Herself in all Your Pains, performs the office of Your Mother, kisses You, repairs You, soothes You, and pours the balm of Her sorrowful Love into all Your Wounds!

My suffering Jesus, I too unite with the pierced Mama. I make all Your Pains, and every Drop of Your Blood my own; in each Wound I want to act as a mama for You, and together with Her, and with You, I repair for all the dangerous encounters, and for those who expose themselves to occasions of sin, or, forced by necessity to be exposed, remain entangled in sin.

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/05/jesus-meets-his-blessed-mother-on-the-road-to-calvary/

The Painful Way to Calvary

FROM THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE PASSION

The Painful Way to Calvary.

My most patient Jesus, I see You take the first steps under the enormous weight of the Cross. I unite my steps to yours, and when You, weak, bled dry and staggering, are about to fall, I will be at your side to sustain You; I will place my shoulders beneath It, so as to share its weight with You. Do not disdain me, but accept me as your faithful companion. Oh Jesus, You look at me, and I see that You repair for those who do not carry their crosses with resignation, but rather, they swear, get irritated, commit suicide, and commit murders. And for all You impetrate love and resignation to their crosses. But your pain is such that You feel crushed under the Cross. You have taken only the first steps, and You already fall under It. As You fall, You knock against the stones; the thorns are driven more into your head, while all your wounds are embittered, and pour out new blood. And since You do not have the strength to get up, your enemies, irritated, try to make You stand with kicks and shoves.

My fallen Love, let me help You to stand, let me kiss You, dry your blood, and repair together with You for those who sin out of ignorance, fragility and weakness. I pray You to give help to these souls.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/04/the-painful-way-to-calvary/

Follow Jesus – Share the Weight of the Cross

Follow Jesus

Pope Francis and CrucifixVatican City, 8 September 2013 (VIS) –Pope Francis: Jesus states the condition for his disciples: to put nothing before their love for Him, carrying their cross, and following him.

The Holy Father explained that many people approached Jesus, especially in the wake of some prodigious dream, that indicated Him as the Messiah, the King of Israel. But Jesus knows that in Jerusalem the cross awaits Him and does not wish to create illusions; he knows that the path will lead him to sacrifice Himself for the redemption of our sins. “Following Jesus does not mean taking part in a triumphal parade!” the Pope said. “It means sharing in His merciful love, becoming part of His great mission of mercy towards each and every man. … And this universal forgiveness, this mercy, comes through the cross. Jesus does not want to carry out this mission alone: He wants to involve us too, in the mission that the Father entrusted to Him. …

From the Twenty-Four Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

 Eighteenth Hour

Jesus_Falls_Carrying_the_CrossAh, my Jesus, the Cross is too light for Your Love, but the weight of our sins adds to that of the Cross – enormous and immense, as the expanse of the Heavens. And You, my wearied Good, You feel crushed under the weight of so many sins. Your soul is horrified at their sight, and feels the pain of each sin. Your sanctity remains shaken before so much ugliness, and as the Cross weighs upon your shoulders, You stagger, You pant, and a mortal sweat creeps through your Most Holy Humanity. I beg You, my Love – I don’t have the heart to leave You alone – I want to share the weight of the cross with You; and to relieve You from the weight of sins, I cling to your feet. I want to give You, in the name of all creatures, love for those who do not love You, praises for those who despise You, blessings, thanksgivings, obedience on behalf of all. I promise that in any offense You receive, I intend to offer You all of myself in reparation, to do the acts opposite to the offenses the creatures give You, and to console You with my kisses and continuous acts of love. But I see that I am too miserable; I need You to be able to really repair You. Therefore I unite myself to your Most Holy Humanity, and together with You I unite my thoughts to Yours in order to repair for the evil thoughts – mine, and of all; my eyes to Yours, to repair for the evil glances; my mouth to Yours, to repair for the blasphemies and the evil discourses; my heart to Yours, to repair for the evil tendencies, desires and affections. In a word, I want to repair everything that Your Most Holy Humanity repairs, uniting myself to the Immensity of Your Love for all, and to the Immense Good You do to all. But I am not yet content. I want to unite myself to Your Divinity, and I dissolve my nothingness in It, and in this way I give You everything. I give You Your Love to quench Your Bitternesses; I give You Your Heart to relieve You from our coldness, lack of correspondence, ingratitude, and the little love of the creatures.

I give You Your harmonies to cheer your hearing from the deafening blasphemies It receives. I give You your beauty to relieve You from the ugliness of our souls, when we muddy ourselves in sin. I give You Your Purity to relieve You from the lack of righteous intention, and from the mud and rot You see in many souls. I give You Your Immensity to relieve You from the voluntary constraints into which souls put themselves. I give You Your Ardor to burn all sins and all hearts, so that all may love You, and no one may offend You, ever again. In sum, I give You all that You are, to give You infinite satisfaction, Eternal, Immense and Infinite Love.

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/04/03/follow-jesus-share-the-weight-of-the-cross/