Daily Reflection: Tuesday 2 September 2008

September 2, 2008

Andrej Rublëv 001.jpg

The Collect of the Day:

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the true light that lights all men’s paths to salvation.
 Give us the power, we pray you,
 to prepare for you the ways of peace and justice.

You live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Todays Readings:

First reading:

1 Corinthians 2:10 – 16
These are the very things that God has revealed to us through the Spirit, for the Spirit reaches the depths of everything, even the depths of God. After all, the depths of a man can only be known by his own spirit, not by any other man, and in the same way the depths of God can only be known by the Spirit of God. Now instead of the spirit of the world, we have received the Spirit that comes from God, to teach us to understand the gifts that he has given us. Therefore we teach, not in the way in which philosophy is taught, but in the way that the Spirit teaches us: we teach spiritual things spiritually. An unspiritual person is one who does not accept anything of the Spirit of God: he sees it all as nonsense; it is beyond his understanding because it can only be understood by means of the Spirit. A spiritual man, on the other hand, is able to judge the value of everything, and his own value is not to be judged by other men. As scripture says: Who can know the mind of the Lord, so who can teach him? But we are those who have the mind of Christ.The Gospel:

  Luke 4:31 – 37
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean devil, and it shouted at the top of its voice, ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the devil, throwing the man down in front of everyone, went out of him without hurting him at all. Astonishment seized them and they were all saying to one another, ‘What teaching! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out.’ And reports of him went all through the surrounding countryside.Reflection: From the Imitation of Christ.

The Truth of the Lord endures for ever
You thunder your judgements upon me, O Lord; you shake all my bones with fear and dread, and my soul becomes severely frightened. I am bewildered when I realise that even the heavens are not pure in your sight.
If you discovered iniquity in the angels and did not spare them, what will become of me? The stars fell from heaven, and I, mere dust, what should I expect? Those whose works seemed praiseworthy fell to the depths, and I have seen those who once were fed with the bread of angels take comfort in the husks of swine.
There is no holiness where you have withdrawn your hand, O Lord; no profitable wisdom if you cease to rule over it; no helpful strength if you cease to preserve it. If you forsake us, we sink and perish; but if you visit us, we rise up and live again. We are unstable, but you make us firm; we grow cool, but you inflame us.
All superficial glory has been swallowed up in the depths of your judgement upon me.
What is all flesh in your sight? Can the clay be glorified in opposition to its Maker?
How can anyone be stirred by empty talk if his heart is subject in the truth to God?
If a man is subject to truth, possession of the whole world cannot swell him with pride; nor will he be swayed by the flattery of his admirers, if he has established all his trust in God.
For those who do nothing but talk amount to nothing; they fail with their din of words, but ‘the truth of the Lord endures for ever’.

 

 

Daily Reflection: 27 August 2008 Feast of Saint Monica

August 27, 2008

Collect of the Day:

Listen to our prayers, God our salvation: make us hold fast to the light and work for the truth.
 Just as you have made us children of light,
 so make us worthy to bear witness to you before all the world.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
 who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.
Amen.

A Reading from The Confessions of Saint Augustine:

Let us gain eternal wisdom
Because the day when she was to leave this life was drawing near – a day known to you, though we were ignorant of it – she and I happened to be alone, through (as I believe) the mysterious workings of your will. We stood leaning against a window which looked out on a garden within the house where we were staying, at Ostia on the Tiber; for there, far from the crowds, we were recruiting our strength after the long journey, in order to prepare ourselves for our voyage overseas. We were alone, conferring very intimately. Forgetting what lay in the past, and stretching out to what was ahead, we enquired between ourselves, in the light of present truth, into what you are and what the eternal life of the saints would be like, for Eye has not seen nor ear heard nor human heart conceived it. And yet, with the mouth of our hearts wide open we panted thirstily for the celestial streams of your fountain, the fount of life which is with you.
This was the substance of our talk, though not the exact words. Yet you know, O Lord, how on that very day, amid this talk of ours that seemed to make the world with all its charms grow cheap, she said, “For my part, my son, I no longer find pleasure in anything that this life holds. What I am doing here still, or why I am still here, I do not know, for worldly hope has withered away for me. One thing only there was for which I desired to linger in this life: to see you a Catholic Christian before I died. And my God has granted this to me more lavishly than I could have hoped, letting me see even you spurning earthly happiness to be his servant. What am I still doing here?”
What I replied I cannot clearly remember, because just about that time – five days later, or not much more – she took to her bed with fever. One day during her illness she lapsed into unconsciousness and for a short time was unaware of her surroundings. We all came running, but she quickly returned to her senses, and, gazing at me and my brother as we stood there, she asked in puzzlement, “Where was I?”
We were bewildered with grief, but she looked keenly at us and said, “You are to bury your mother here”. I was silent, holding back my tears, but my brother said something about his hope that she would not die far from home but in her own country, for that would be a happier way. On hearing this she looked anxious and her eyes rebuked him for thinking so; then she turned her gaze from him to me and said, “What silly talk!” Shortly afterwards, addressing us both, she said, “Lay this body anywhere, and take no trouble over it. One thing only do I ask of you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be”. Having made her meaning clear to us with such words as she could muster, she fell silent, and the pain of the disease grew worse.

The First Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:6 – 18

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, brothers, to keep away from any of the brothers who refuses to work or to live according to the tradition we passed on to you.
You know how you are supposed to imitate us: now we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we ever have our meals at anyone’s table without paying for them; no, we worked night and day, slaving and straining, so as not to be a burden on any of you. This was not because we had no right to be, but in order to make ourselves an example for you to follow.
We gave you a rule when we were with you: do not let anyone have any food if he refuses to do any work. May the Lord of peace himself give you peace all the time and in every way. The Lord be with you all.
From me, PAUL, these greetings in my own handwriting, which is the mark of genuineness in every letter; this is my own writing. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

The Gospel: Matthew 23:27 – 32

Jesus said, ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who are like whitewashed tombs that look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of corruption. In the same way you appear to people from the outside like good honest men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who build the sepulchres of the prophets and decorate the tombs of holy men, saying, “We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our fathers’ day.” So! Your own evidence tells against you! You are the sons of those who murdered the prophets! Very well then, finish off the work that your fathers began.’

 

Daily Reflection 26 August 2008: Tuesday of week 21 of the year

August 26, 2008

Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Reproductions are sometimes displayed in homes or elsewhere. Catholics pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede on behalf of them to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Collect of the Day:

Lord, look with favour on our morning prayers.
 Brighten the inmost places of our hearts with your love so that no dark desires can hide there:
 heal us with the light of your heavenly grace.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
 who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Todays Readings:

First Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1 – 17

To turn now, brothers, to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we shall all be gathered round him: please do not get excited too soon or alarmed by any prediction or rumour or any letter claiming to come from us, implying that the Day of the Lord has already arrived. Never let anyone deceive you in this way.
It cannot happen until the Great Revolt has taken place and the Rebel, the Lost One, has appeared. Through the Good News that we brought he called you to this so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.

The Gospel: Matthew 23:23 – 26

Jesus said, ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who pay your tithe of mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law – justice, mercy, good faith! These you should have practised, without neglecting the others. You blind guides! Straining out gnats and swallowing camels!
‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intemperance. Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that the outside may become clean as well.’

Daily Reflection:

In todays Gospel we see that Jesus chides the Scribes and the Pharisees for putting ritual first, before the practice of justice, mercy and good faith. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the rules and regulations in regards to ritual that it moves us away from the first principle of our faith which is: ‘To love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbour as ourselves.’

A case in point is in my home town there is a Church that belongs to one of the larger Christian Denominations it reaches up to 700 people a week, is big on Social Justice, welcomes all to their Eucharist without question, and is lead by a Priest who is a true Pastor to his people. You would think this would be a good thing, but because this Parish is a little free when interpreting the “Ritual” it is threatened with closure.

Who do you think are the “Blind Guides” here, the Priest who gives all to ensure Justice and Mercy to all who enter his gates or the dogmatic bureaucrats who run the Diocese? Again food for thought.

Monsignor Ian Adrian+

   

What is an Inclusive Church?

August 23, 2008

The title of today’s reflection is a subject that I have spent quite alot of time reflecting on over the past few years. Many times I have even wondered if it is possible to have an entirley Inclusive Church at all. Many groups start out with the best of intentions but end up becoming single issue groups that are in fact just as exclusive to anyone who does not see things the way they do, as the so called repressive Denominations that they wished to be free from.

So if this is the case what would constitute a really inclusive Church? It would be a Church that accepts all, a Church that allows questioning, a Church open to discussion with those who think differently from them but not seeking to convert them but rather to lead each side to a better understanding of the other. It would be a Church where the progressive and the traditionalist would be equally welcome among the membership. But most importantly it would be a Church that lived the ‘Great Commission’ regardless of what others may think or say of it, knowing that the only true way to judge a Churches validity is to go by the guidelines that Christ Himself left us: “By their fruit you shall know them”.

Is there a Church that lives up to these ideals? I believe so and I have found it in the Reformed Catholic Church, a place where all are truly welcome. We are not a perfect community by any means but we do seek to share God’s love with all whose paths we cross. In recent times parts of our Church have come under attack from other larger Churches. While hurtful, we must remember and glean strength from the fact that most only attack what they are afraid of, or that which they do not understand. So in a matter of fact if they are afraid it is because they realise our validity and if it is because they do not understand us, it is our job to educate.

So being truly inclusive is no easy job, but it is what the RCC is called to bear witness to in this world of fear and confusion. To meet anger with gentleness, hate with love, to greet those who think differently to us with acceptance. If we truly embrace this as our vocation with God’s grace who can ask anymore from us.

Monsignor Ian Adrian RSJ

Dail Reflection 22 August 2008: The Queenship of Mary

August 22, 2008

An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Collect of the Day:

Father, you have given us the mother of your Son to be our Queen and mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the glory of your children in the Kingdom of Heaven.

We make our prayer through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit ever one God, world without end. Amen.

About the Feast:

Queen of Heaven is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Christians, mainly Catholics and Orthodox, and High Church Anglicans to whom the title is a consequence of the Council of Ephesus, where the Virgin Mary was proclaimed Theotokos meaning Mother of God or God-bearer. Catholic dogma states that Mary is in heaven, the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. The title Queen of Heaven has been a Catholic tradition, included in prayers and devotional literature, and seen in Western art in the subject of the Coronation of the Virgin, from the High Middle Ages, long before it was given formal status by the Church. It was included by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical about the Queen of Heaven, Ad Caeli Reginam. For centuries, Catholics, while reciting the Litany of Loreto were calling on Mary as queen of heaven.

Queen of Heaven is a title of Mary, which stimulated veneration expressed in theology, literature and liturgies such as the Liturgy of the Hours, music and art. Since the Council of Ephesus, pictoral presentation of Mary were encouraged, which resulted in numerous presentations of Mary as Regina throughout the ages.

The Queenship of Mary:

Mary, Queen of the Universe, you are a Queen in that you are Mother of the Word Incarnate. Christ is universal King in that He rules all His creatures by His personal union with the Father and the Spirit. He is King and you are Queen of all hearts. Rule over us by the queenly power of your love that the Kingdom of your Son; the Kingdom of truth and life, holiness and grace, justice and love, and peace may come upon the earth.

Grant your graces to all people, The Holy Spirit for the whole Church, and peace for the entire earth. Amen.

Daily Reflection 20 August 2008: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

August 20, 2008

Collect of the Day:

Lord, remember the new covenant, which has been sealed with the blood of the Lamb.
 May your people receive forgiveness for their sins
 and move ever forward towards redemption.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
 who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.
Amen.

About the Saint:

Saint Bernard was .born 1090, probably Fontaine-les-Dijons, near Dijon, Burgundy—died Aug. 20, 1153, Clairvaux, Champagne; canonized 1174; feast day August 20. He was a French Cistercian monk, mystic, and doctor of the church. Born into an aristocratic family near Dijon, he turned away from a literary education for the monastic life, entering the austere religious community at Cîteaux in 1112. As abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux, Champagne, which he founded in 1115, he helped establish the widespread popularity of the order. Between 1130 and 1145 he mediated civil and ecclesiastical councils and theological debates, and his support for Pope Innocent II helped secure the papacy during the schism with Anacletus. Bernard was the confidant of five popes and became perhaps the most renowned religious figure in Europe. He actively preached the Second Crusade and wrote a number of sermons on the Song of Solomon. He opposed the teachings of Peter Abelard and Henry of Lausanne and defended devotion to the Virgin Mary.

A Hymn by Saint Bernard:

Jesu, Thy mercies are untold.

Jesu, Thy mercies are untold
Through each returning day;
Thy love exceeds a thousandfold
Whatever we can say.

That love which in Thy passion drained
For us Thy precious blood;
That love whereby the saints have gained
The vision of their God.

’Tis Thou hast loved us from the womb,
Pure Source of all our bliss,
Our only hope of life to come,
Our happiness in this.

Lord, grant us, while on earth we stay,
Thy love to feel and know;
And, when from hence we pass away,
To us Thy glory show.

Daily Reflection August 13 2008, Wednesday Week 19 of the Year

August 13, 2008

Devotion to the Sacred Heart:

Devotion to the Sacred Heart has been for many years a favourite devotion for individual Catholics and their families. The image of Jesus manifesting his thorn encircled heart recalls a picture people have often seen in their own homes or a statue in a local church. God has from time to time raised up women and men whose mission it is to make His love for us more apparent, one such person was Saint Mary Margaret Alacoque, who recieved the gift of fomenting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It is common for us to speak of the heart as the symbol for love and, just as symbolically, we speak of people as breaking one’s heart; through selfishness, lack of manners, inattention and lack of tact. Jesus spoke to Saint Margaret Mary of the ‘coldness of heart’ of people who had turned away from Him, ignoring Him, and He urged her to stir up in the hearts of all a greater desire to know Him through devotion to His Sacred Heart and therefore come to love God, the Father of all people.

When we meditate on the Heart of Jesus we unite ourselves with His Divine Compassion and Mercy which knows no bounds, therefore becoming a light of mercy to all we meet. Jesus gave 12 promises to those who follow this devotion:

Promises of the Sacred Heart:

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

2. I will establish peace in their families.

3. I will bless every home in which an image of my heart shall be exposed and honoured.

4. I will console them in all their difficulties.

5. I will be their refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.

6. I will shed abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.

7. Sinners shall find my Heart a fountain and boundless ocean of mercy.

8. Tepid souls shall become fervent.

9. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.

10. I will give Priests the power of touching the hardest hearts.

11. Those propagate this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart, never to be blotted out.

12. In the excessive mercy of my Heart I will grant the grace of final penitence to those who communicate on the first Friday of nine consecutive months; they shall not die in my displeasure or without the sacraments. My Divine Heart will be their safe refuge in this last moment.

Prayer to the Sacred Heart:

O aimable Heart of mhy Saviour, I adore you! O gracious Heart of Jesus, I love you! O compassionate Heart, I give you my heart, and am deeply moved by all you hav e done and suffered for me. I give you my heart completely; affix it to your Heart eternally; inflame itwith your love; inspire it with your sentiments; make it know your will andpractice your virtues.

Some food for thought.

July 30, 2008

I was sent this as an email and decided to share it as it raises some good points.

Msgr. Ian+

> >> The obituary of
> >> Mr. Common Sense – interesting and sadly rather true.
> >>
> >> Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has
> >> been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since
> >> his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be
> >> remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as; knowing when to
> >> come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t
> >> always fair; and maybe it was my fault.
> >>
> >> Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more
> >> than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in
> >> charge).
> >>
> >> His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
> >> overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
> >> charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens
> >> suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher
> >> fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
> >>
> >> Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job
> >> that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly
> >> children.
> >>
> >> It declined even further when schools were required to get parental
> >> consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student but could not
> >> inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an
> >> abortion.
> >>
> >> Common Sense lost the w ill to live as the Churches became businesses.
> >> Also when criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common
> >> Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in
> >> your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
> >>
> >> Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to
> >> realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in
> >> her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
> >>
> >> Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his
> >> wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He
> >> is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now,
> >> Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.
> >>
> >> Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you
> >> still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do
> >> nothing.’

Daily Reflection: July 24 2008 the Feast of St. Charbel Makhlouf

July 24, 2008

Collect of the  Day:

Lord God, you kept Saint Charbel Makhlouf faithful to Christ’s pattern of poverty and humility. May his prayers help us to live in fidelity to our calling and bring us to the perfection you have shown us in your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

About the Saint:

Joseph Zaroun Makhlouf was the son of a Catholic Lebanese mule driver, who died when Joseph was in early childhood. He was raised by his uncle, who was displeased by the boy’s early devotion to prayer and solitude. At the age of 23, Joseph went secretly to the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfug, a house of the Maronite Baladite order. When he was admitted to the order in 1851 he took the religious name Charbel–a 2nd century Antiochean martyr. In due course, Charbel made his solemn vows in 1853 and, in 1859, he was ordained to the priesthood, thus becoming what is known as a ‘hieromonk.’ This practice is more common in Roman rather than Eastern traditions.
Father Charbel traversed the divide between East and West in other ways as well. For example, one of his favorite books was the Imitation of Christ.

He lived the life of a model monk in the monastery of St. Maro at Annaya (Gibail) for 15 years–singing office in choir and working in the monastic vineyards and olive orchards with strict obedience and personal self-denial. He wished, however, to more closely imitate the Desert Fathers. To do this, in 1875, he took a hermitage near St. Peter and St. Paul.

For the next 23 years he lived an ascetic life. His home consisted of four tiny rooms and a chapel, which were shared with three others. For all these years Charbel spoke to another monk only when it was absolutely necessary. He ate but one meal of vegetables daily. He tasted no meat. He drank no wine, save a drop at the Eucharist. He ate no fruit. He also undertook four annually periods of fasting. He refused to touch money.

Instead of a bed Charbel Makhlouf had used a duvet filled with dead leaves, on top of which he used a goatskin for cover. His pillow was a piece of wood. When anyone came to inhabit the three other rooms, Charbel placed himself under obedience to them. He recited his office at midnight. During these 23 years, more and more people came to ask his counsel, prayers, and blessing.

Thus in the 19th century Father Charbel Makhlouf-along with a few other saintly men-had tried to live again the austere life of the desert fathers of the early church. He belonged to the Christian body known as Maronites, a group which traces its name back to Saint Maro, a friend of Saint John Chrysostom. This group of Christians, most of whom still live in Lebanon, have been united to the Western Church since the 12th century, thus bringing into Western Christendom traditions of great value that might readily have been forgotten. These traditions are ones of enormous self- discipline, and few have exemplified them better than Charbel Makhlouf.

After 23 years of this ascetic life, Charbel had a paralyzing stroke just before the consecration while celebrating the Eucharist in his chapel, and died eight days later on Christmas Eve. After his death many favors and miracles were claimed through his intercession in heaven. Today his tomb is visited by large numbers of people, not only Lebanese Maronites and not only Christians

It was also necessary for the Roman authorities to investigate the phenomenon of a kind of “bloody sweat” that flowed from his body during the period up to 1927 and again in 1950. Some months after his burial, the body was fresh and incorrupt and was placed in a new coffin, where a reddish perspiration flowed and caused the monks to change his clothes twice weekly. In 1927, the patriarch initiated an enquiry and the body was reburied. In 1950, after liquid was observed on the wall of the tomb, the body was found fresh and incorrupt again. Instantaneous cures and miraculous healings were claimed, some of whose beneficiaries are non- Christian.

Reflection:

 In todays Gospel Jesus tells us:

‘Happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you solemnly, many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’

This is a passage that contains a really important truth that is often overlooked in our modern Christian lives, and this that we are so lucky to have Christ with us at all times. In fact I feel that modern Christians can take this for granted sometimes. We have Christ present on the Altars of His church everyday, we have Him waiting for us in the Tabernacle, He is present in all the other sacraments as well, and we have Him daily speaking to us through the Gospel which faithfully records His Ministry and Teachings. Who could ask for any more?

Msgr. Ian+

Daily Reflection: 23 July 2008 the Feast of Saint Bridget of Sweden, religious

July 23, 2008

Revelations of St Bridget

Collect of  the Day

Lord our God, you revealed the secrets of heaven to Saint Bridget as She meditated on the suffering and death of your Son. May your people rejoice in the revelation of your glory.

We make our prayer Our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God world without end Amen.

About the Saint

Saint Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303, married in 1316, a member of high Swedish society. She had eight children. She and her husband lived devout lives. After her husbands death in 1344 she lived with even greater asceticism; she received revelations and appealed to the kings of Europe and the Pope for peace and restoration of the Papacy to Rome. She journeyed to Rome for the Holy Year in 1350, and lived there for the rest of her life in poverty. She asked the Pope to approve the foiundation of a religious community, but this was not approved until after her death, in 1373. (the Bridgetines)

The Fifteen Prayers Revealed by Our Lord to Saint Bridget of Sweden

In the Church of St. Paul at Rome

Are published under sanction of the Decree of November 18, 1966, published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Vol. 58, No. 16 of December 29, 1966.

Prayers Approved by Pope Pius IX

Pope Benedict XV expressed himself as follows on the Revelations of St. Bridget:

“The approbation of such revelations implies nothing more than, after mature examination, it is permissible to publish them for the unit of the faithful.  Though they don’t merit the same credence as the truths of religion, one can, however, believe them out of human faith, conforming to the rules of prudence by which they are probable, and supported by sufficient motives that one might believe in them piously.
(Les Petits Bollandistes, tome XII)

The 14th of June 1303, at the moment Bridget was born, Benedict, the curate of Rasbo, prayed for the happy deliverance of Ingeborde.  Suddenly he found himself enveloped by a luminous cloud out of which Our Lady appeared:

“A child has been born at Birger; her voice will be heard by the entire world.”

Sagii, die XXIV Aprilis 1903
Imprimature.
FJ. Girard, V.G.

 

These prayers and these Promises have been copied from a book printed in Toulouse in 1740 and published by the P. Adrien parvilliers of the Company of Jesus, Apostolic Missionary of the Holy Land, with approbation, permission and recommendation to distribute them.

Parents and teachers who will read them to young infants for at least one year will assure their being preserved for life from any grave accident which would involve the loss of one of their five senses.

Pope Pius IX took cognizance of these Prayers with the prologue; he approved them May 31, 1862, recognizing them as true and for the good  of Souls.

This sentence of Pope Pius IX has been confirmed by the realization of the promises by all persons who have recited the prayers and by numerous supernatural facts by which God wanted to make known their exact truth.  A collection of small books, these prayers among them, was approved by the Great Congress of Malines on August 22, 1863.

Question – Must one recite the prayers everyday without interruption to obtain the privileges?
Answer –  One should miss saying them as few times as possible; but if for a serious reason one is obliged to miss them, one doesn’t lose the privileges attached to them, as long as one recites 5480 Prayers during the year.  One must say them with devotion and concentrate on the words one pronounces. These prayers can serve as the Way of the Cross.

Visitors to the Church of St. Paul at Rome can see the crucifix, above the Tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, sculptured by Pierre Cavallini, before which St. Bridge knelt when she received these 15 prayers from Our Lord.  The following inscription is placed in the church to commemorate the event: “Pendentis, Pendente Dei verba accepit aure accipit et verbum corde Brigitta Deum.  Anno Jubilei MCCCL.”

As St. Bridget for a long time wanted to know the number of blows Our Lord received during His Passion, He one day appeared to her and said: “I received 5480 blows on My Body.  If you wish to honor them in some way, say 15 Our Fathers and 15 Hail Mary’s with the following Prayers (which He taught her) for a whole year.  When the year is up, you will have honored each one of My Wounds.”

 

First Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus Christ! Eternal Sweetness to those who love Thee, joy surpassing all joy and all desire, Salvation and Hope of all sinners, Who hast proved that Thou hast no greater desire than to be among men, even assuming human nature at the fullness of time for the love of men, recall all the sufferings Thou hast endured from the instant of Thy conception, and especially during Thy Passion, as it was decreed and ordained from eternity in the Divine plan.

Remember, O Lord, that during the Last Supper with Thy disciples having washed their feet, Thou gavest them Thy Most Precious Body and Blood, and while at the same time Thou didst sweetly console them, Thou didst fortell them Thy coming Passion.

Remember the sadness and bitterness which Thou didst experience in Thy Soul as Thou Thyself bore witness saying: “My Soul is sorrowful even unto death.”

Remember all the fear, anguish and pain that Thou didst suffer in Thy delicate Body before the torment of the Crucifixion, when, after having prayed three times, bathed in a sweat of blood, Thou wast betrayed by Judas, Thy disciple, arrested by the people of a nation Thou hadst chosen and elevated, accused by false witnesses, unjustly judged by three judges during the flower of Thy youth and during the solemn Paschal season.

Remember that Thou wast despoiled of Thy garments and clothed in those of derision; that Thy Face and Eyes were veiled, that Thou wast buffeted, crowned with thorns, a reed placed in Thy Hands, that Thou wast crushed with blows and overwhelmed with affronts and outrages.

In memory of all these pains and sufferings which Thou didst endure before Thy Passion on the Cross, grant me before my death true contrition, a sincere and entire confession, worthy satisfaction and the remission all my sins. Amen.

 
Second Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! True liberty of angels, paradise of delights, remember the horror and sadness which Thou didst endure when Thy enemies, like furious lions, surrounded Thee, and by thousands of insults, spits, blows, lacerations and other unheard-of cruelties, tormented Thee at will. In consideration of these torments and insulting words, I beseech Thee, O my Savior, to deliver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible, and to bring me, under Thy protection, to the perfection of eternal salvation. Amen.

 
Third Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Creator of Heaven and earth Whom nothing can encompass or limit, Thou Who dost enfold and hold all under Thy loving power, remember the very bitter pain Thou didst suffer when the Jews nailed Thy Sacred Hands and Feet to the Cross by blow after blow with big blunt nails, and not finding Thee in a pitiable enough state to satisfy their rage, they enlarged thy Wounds, and added pain to pain, and with indescribable cruelty stretched Thy Body on the Cross, pulling Thee from all sides, thus dislocating Thy limbs.

I beg of Thee, O Jesus, by the memory of this most Loving suffering of the Cross, to grant me the grace to fear Thee and to Love Thee. Amen.

 
Fourth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Heavenly Physician, raised aloft on the Cross to heal our wounds with Thine, remember the bruises which Thou didst suffer and the weakness of all Thy Members which were distended to such a degree that never was there pain like unto Thine. From the crown of Thy Head to the Soles of Thy Feet there was not one spot on Thy Body that was not in torment, and yet, forgetting all Thy sufferings, Thou didst not cease to pray to Thy Heavenly Father for Thy enemies, saying: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Through this great Mercy, and in memory of this suffering, grant that the remembrance of Thy Most Bitter Passion may effect in us a perfect contrition and the remission of all our sins. Amen.

 
Fifth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Mirror of eternal splendor, remember the sadness which Thou experienced, when contemplating in the light of Thy Divinity the predestination of those who would be saved by the merits of Thy Sacred Passion, Thou didst see at the same time, the great multitude of reprobates who would be damned for their sins, and Thou didst complain bitterly of those hopeless, lost, and unfortunate sinners.

Through this abyss of compassion and pity, and especially through the goodness which Thou displayed to the good thief when Thou saidst to him: “This day, thou shalt be with Me in Paradise.” I beg of Thee, O Sweet Jesus, that at the hour of my death, Thou wilt show me mercy. Amen.

 
Sixth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Beloved and most desirable King, remember the grief Thou didst suffer, when naked and like a common criminal, Thou wast fastened and raised on the Cross, when all Thy relatives and friends abandoned Thee, except Thy Beloved Mother, who remained close to Thee during Thy agony and whom Thou didst entrust to Thy faithful disciple when Thou saidst to Mary: “Woman, behold thy son!”, and to St. John: “Son, behold thy Mother!”.

I beg of Thee O my Savior, by the sword of sorrow which pierced the soul of Thy holy Mother, to have compassion on me in all my afflictions and tribulations, both corporal and spiritual, and to assist me in all my trials, and especially at the hour of my death. Amen.

 
Seventh Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Inexhaustible Fountain of compassion, Who by a profound gesture of Love, said from the Cross: “I thirst,” suffered from the thirst for the salvation of the human race. I beg of Thee, O my Savior, to inflame in our hearts the desire to tend toward perfection in all our acts, and to extinguish in us the concupiscence of the flesh and the ardor of worldly desires. Amen.

 
Eighth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Sweetness of hearts, delight of the spirit, by the bitterness of the gall and vinegar which Thou didst taste on the Cross for Love of us, grant us the grace to receive worthily Thy Precious Body and Blood during our life and at the hour of our death, that they may serve as a remedy and consolation for our souls. Amen.

 
Ninth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Royal virtue, joy of the mind, recall the pain Thou didst endure when plunged in an ocean of bitterness at the approach of death, insulted, outraged by the Jews, Thou didst cry out in a loud voice that Thou wast abandoned by Thy Father, saying: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

Through this anguish, I beg of Thee, O my Savior, not to abandon me in the terrors and pains of my death. Amen.

 
Tenth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Who art the beginning and the end of all things, life and virtue, remember that for our sakes Thou wast plunged in an abyss of suffering from the soles of Thy Feet to the crown of Thy Head. In consideration of the enormity of Thy Wounds, teach me to keep, through pure love, Thy Commandments, whose way is wide and easy for those who love Thee. Amen.

 
Eleventh Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Deep abyss of mercy, I beg of Thee, in memory of Thy Wounds which penetrated to the very marrow of Thy Bones and to the depth of Thy being, to draw me, a miserable sinner, overwhelmed by my offenses, away from sin and to hide me from Thy Face justly irritated against me; hide me in Thy Wounds, until Thy anger and just indignation shall have passed away. Amen.

 
Twelfth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Mirror of truth, symbol of unity, link of charity, remember the multitude of wounds with which Thou wast covered from head to foot, torn and reddened by the spilling of Thy adorable Blood. O great and universal pain which Thou didst suffer in Thy virginal flesh for love of us! Sweetest Jesus! What is there that Thou couldst have done for us which Thou hast not done?

May the fruit of Thy sufferings be renewed in my soul by the faithful remembrance of Thy Passion, and may Thy love increase in my heart each day until I see Thee in eternity, Thou Who art the treasury of every real good and every joy, which I beg Thee to grant me, O sweetest Jesus, in Heaven. Amen.

 
Thirteenth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Strong lion, immortal and invincible King, remember the pain Thou didst endure when all Thy strength, both moral and physical, was entirely exhausted; Thou didst bow Thy Head, saying: “It is consummated.”

Through this anguish and grief, I beg of Thee Lord Jesus, to have mercy on me at the hour of my death when my mind will be greatly troubled and my soul will be in anguish. Amen.

 
Fourteenth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! Only Son of the Father, splendor and figure of His Substance, remember the simple and humble recommendation Thou didst make of Thy Soul to Thy Eternal Father, saying: “Father, into Thy Hands I commend My Spirit!” And with Thy Body all torn, and Thy Heart broken, and the bowels of Thy Mercy open to redeem us, Thou didst expire.

By this Precious Death, I beg of Thee O King of Saints, to comfort me and help me to resist the devil, the flesh and the world, so that being dead to the world, I may live for Thee alone. I beg of Thee at the hour of my death to receive me, a pilgrim and an exile returning to Thee. Amen.

 
Fifteenth Prayer

Say one Our Father and one Hail Mary

O Jesus! True and fruitful Vine! Remember the abundant outpouring of blood which Thou didst so generously shed from Thy Sacred Body as juice from grapes in a wine press.

From Thy Side, pierced with a lance by a soldier, blood and water issued forth until there was not left in Thy Body a single drop, and finally, like a bundle of myrrh lifted to the top of the Cross, Thy delicate Flesh was destroyed, the very substance of Thy Body withered, and the marrow of Thy Bones dried up.

Through this bitter Passion, and through the outpouring of Thy Precious Blood, I beg of Thee, O Sweet Jesus, to receive my soul when I am in my death agony. Amen.

 
Concluding Prayer

O Sweet Jesus! Pierce my heart so that my tears of penitence and love will be my bread day and night; may I be converted entirely to Thee, may my heart be Thy perpetual habitation, may my conversation be pleasing to Thee, and may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there with Thy saints, praise Thee forever. Amen.