From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Preparation Before Each Hour
O my Lord Jesus Christ, prostrate in your divine presence, I implore your most loving heart to allow me to enter into the sorrowful meditation of the twenty-four hours of your passion, in which, for love of us you wanted to suffer so much in your adorable body and in your most holy soul, even to death on the cross. O give me help, grace, love, profound compassion, and understanding of your sufferings as I now meditate this Hour.
For those hours which I cannot meditate, I offer you the will I have to meditate them; and I propose to meditate them with my intention during all the hours in which I must dedicate myself to my duties, or sleep.
Accept, O merciful Lord, my loving intention, and let it be beneficial for me and for all, as if I effectively and in a saintly way accomplished what I desire to do.
I give You thanks, O my Jesus. I thank You for calling me to union with You in prayer. To please You, I take your thoughts, your tongue, and your Heart. I want to pray with them. I want to fuse myself in your Will and in your Love. I extend my arms to embrace You, I rest my head on your Heart— and I begin….
My dead Jesus, all of nature lets out a cry of anguish and—recognizing You as its Creator—weeps over your sorrowful death. Thousands upon thousands of angels hover around the Cross to mourn your death. They adore You as true God and accompany You to Limbo, where You go to beatify the countless souls who have been lying in that dark dungeon since the dawn of the ages.
My dead Jesus, I do not know how to separate myself from the Cross. Nor do I tire of continuously kissing your most sacred wounds which speak so eloquently of your love for me. As I look at your frightful gashes and see one by one the bones exposed by your deep wounds—I feel myself dying. I would like to weep over these wounds until I wash them with my tears. I would like to love You so much that my love would be like a precious ointment to heal You completely and restore the natural beauty of your disfigured Humanity. I would like to empty my veins to fill your empty veins with my blood and restore You to life.
My Life, my Jesus, is there anything that Love cannot do? Love is life—and, with my love, I want to give You life. And if my love does not suffice, give me your Love—and with your Love I will be able to do everything. Yes, I will be able to give life to your Most Holy Humanity. I cry and fly into a frenzy, mourning the death of my crucified Jesus.
But while I cry for my Jesus, my heart leaps in my chest and goes into fits of joy as I see that—even after death—You, my gentle Jesus, want to express and confirm your love for me, providing me with a shelter and a refuge into your very Heart. For this reason, then—moved by a supreme force to prove your death—a soldier pierces your Heart with a lance, opening a deep wound. And You, my Love, pour out the last drops of Blood and water that your enflamed Heart contains. Ah, how many things this wound—opened by your love, not by pain!—tells me. If your lips are silent, your Heart speaks to me, and I hear It say:
“My child, after I had given everything, I wanted this lance to open in my Heart a refuge for all souls. Once opened, my Heart will cry out continuously to everyone, “Come to Me if you wish to be saved. In this Heart you will find sanctity. It will make you holy and you will find comfort in hardships, strength in weakness, peace in doubts, and companionship in abandonment.”
Then your voice becomes stronger, saying: O souls who love Me, if you really wish to love Me, come to dwell always in this Heart. Here you will find true Love with which to love Me. Here you will find ardent flames to burn and consume you completely in my Love. The tiniest exits from this Heart shall deprive you of many graces and make you unlike me. Everything is centered in this Heart. Here you will find the Sacraments, my Church, and the life of the Church and of all souls. In my Heart, I even feel the desecrations that are done to my Church. I sense the plots of her enemies, the arrows they launch at her, the sufferings of my oppressed children and the blood that they will shed—because there is no offense that this Heart of mine does not feel. So, my child, live your life in this Heart, shelter yourself behind its doors and defend Me, make reparation to Me, and bring everyone to Me.
My Love, if a lance has wounded your Heart for me, with your hands I also beg You to wound my heart, my affections, my desires, and my whole being. May nothing remain in me that is not wounded by your Love. I unite everything to the excruciating agony of our dear Mother, who—because of the agony she feels on seeing your Heart torn open—collapses from love and sorrow. Like a dove, She flies into your Heart to take the first place—to be the first Reparatrix—and You establish her as the Queen of your very Heart, and the Mediatrix between You and creatures. I fly with my Mother into your Heart to hear how She makes reparation and how She repeats her reparations for the offenses that You receive. By the power of this wound and of your sorrowful Mother, I beg You to enclose everyone in your most beloved Heart—to protect, defend and enlighten the rulers of your Church.
O my Jesus, after your agonizing and most sorrowful death, it seems just that I should no longer have a life of my own. Rather, I will find my life once more in your wounded Heart—so that, whatever I do, I will always depend on your divine Heart. No longer will I give life to my thoughts—but if they should want Life, I will take it from Yours. My will shall no longer have life—but if it wants Life, I will take it from your Most Holy Will. And my love will no longer have life—but if it wants Life, I will take It from your Love.
O my Jesus, your whole Life is mine! This is your Will—and this is my will also. My dead Jesus, I see that they hasten to remove You from the Cross. Your disciples John and Nicodemus who were in hiding, now come forward courageously and fearlessly to give You an honorable burial. They use hammers and pliers to complete the sad, sacred removal of your Body from the Cross—a scene too sorrowful for your Mother’s pierced Heart! At each blow of the hammer and at each sound of the pliers pulling the nails, She trembles and her pierced Heart shudders. And, moaning, She says, “My Son, My Son!…,” and She holds out her motherly arms to receive You in her lap. My Jesus, as they remove the nails, I also want to help hold your Most Holy Body. I want to take the nails that they remove from You, and fix them in my heart as a constant reminder of your most bitter Passion. I want to be nailed completely to You with the same nails that crucified You. And while I am helping to place You in the lap of your Holy Mother, I want to hug Her and support Her.
And, with your Holy Mother, I want to adore You, to kiss You, and then to enclose myself in your Heart, never to leave.
Reflections and Practices.
With the lancing of His side, Jesus is removed from the cross. It seems that humiliations ceased and victories began for Jesus after He died. But is my life such that, even after I am dead, it could be a call for souls and a spur that could lead them toward the good? In order to commit myself more to loving Jesus, in all my words and actions, in all the sorrows I might endure, I will believe that my word will continue to live in others to glorify the Lord, that He may be understood and loved even more. If my works will be a call spurring the works of other creatures and directing them to Jesus, if my steps will push their steps toward Jesus, if my pains will be the patience of all the creatures, ensuring that they all follow the will of Jesus, then, once I am in Heaven, everything I did on earth shall continue to live amongst the creatures. Therefore, the love I had on earth for Jesus, and my love for Him when I am in Heaven, shall join together. O would that all this love, powerful as a magnet, could transport everyone to Heaven!
After his death, Jesus wanted to be pierced with a lance for Love of us. And do I permit Jesus’ Love to wound me in all that I do, or do I allow myself to be wounded by the love of creatures, pleasures, and my own self-love? Even coldness, darkness, and internal and external mortifications are wounds that the Lord gives to souls. But if we do not accept them as coming from God’s hands, we accept them from the hands of creatures and they wound us or we wound ourselves. And our wounds and those of creatures are our passions, our weaknesses, our self-exaltation—in a word, matter. However, if we accept them as wounds inflicted by loving Jesus, He will place in these wounds his Love, his virtues, and his likeness, which will then earn for us his kisses, his tender caresses, and all the counsels of Divine Love. These wounds will act as continuous voices to call Him and to require Him to dwell with us constantly. We shall say to Him: “You wounded me, now heal me.”
O, my Jesus, may your lance be the guard that defends me from all the wounds of creatures.
Jesus lets Himself be removed from the Cross, and placed in the arms of his Mother. If my Jesus deprives me of his presence, of his sensible grace, do I find shelter in the lap of our sweet Mother, begging Her to reveal Jesus to me? Do I place in my Mother’s hands all my fears, doubts and longings? Jesus rested on the lap of his divine Mother. Do I allow Jesus to rest in my lap or do I disturb his rest with my fears and unrest?
My Mother, with your sweet motherly hands remove everything from my heart that could keep Jesus from resting in me.
(Personal Offering and Thanksgiving)
Thanksgiving after each hour
My Beloved Jesus, You have called me to this Hour of your Passion to keep You company—and I have come. I seem to have heard you, anguished and sorrowful, praying, making reparation and suffering. With the most loving, eloquent voices you were pleading for the salvation of souls. I tried to follow You in everything. Now, I owe You my heartfelt “Thank You” and “I bless You.”
Yes, O Jesus, I repeat my “Thank You” thousands and thousands of times. I bless You for all that You have done and suffered for me and for everyone. I thank You and I bless You for every drop of Blood You shed. I thank You for every breath, for every heartbeat, and for every step. I thank You for every word, glance, affliction, and outrage that You had to endure. In everything, O my Jesus, I intend to give You my “Thank You” and “I bless You.” O my Jesus, let my soul send forth a continuous flow of thanksgiving and blessings to You—to draw down upon all of us the abundant flow of your blessings and graces. Please, O Jesus, press me to your Heart, and with your most holy hands seal every particle of my being with your “I bless you”, so that nothing other than a continuous hymn to You may come from me.
So I leave my being within Yours, to follow you in all you do; better still, you will be so alive in me that I will leave my thoughts in you to defend you from your enemies, my breaths as a faithful companion, my heartbeat to recall my “I love you,” and to give you the love that the others refuse to give you; I will give you the drops of my blood to atone and make up the honor and regard that your enemies deny you with their insults and offenses. I will leave my entire being as a guard.
My dear love, while I must go about my duties, I will remain in your heart. I am afraid to leave It. Is it not true that You will keep me here? Our heartbeats will continually touch so that You will give me life, love, and close and inseparable union with You.
Jesus, if You see that I am about to run from You at times, let your heartbeat hasten in mine. Let your hands press me closer to your Heart; let your eyes look at me and pierce me with rays of fire so that I may feel your presence and immediately return to union with You.
O my Jesus, be on guard so that I may not exhaust You. I beg You to watch over me. O give me a kiss, embrace me, and bless me! Give me your most holy hands so that I can do all that I must do united with You! My Jesus, give me the kiss of Divine Love, embrace me and bless me; I will kiss your intoxicating Heart, and take my rest in You.