From 1 a.m. to 2 a.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 beloved Good, my poor mind follows You between vigil and sleep. How can I leave myself prey to sleep, when I see that everyone leaves You and runs away from You? The Apostles themselves, the fervent Peter, who a little while ago said he wanted to give his life for You; the beloved disciple whom, with so much love, You allowed to rest upon your Heart – ah, they all abandon You, and leave You at the mercy of your cruel enemies!
My Jesus, You are alone! Your most pure eyes look around to see if at least one of those favored by You is following You to prove to You his love and to defend You. And as You see that no one – no one has remained faithful to You, your Heart catches, and You burst into crying. You feel more pain for the abandonment of your most faithful ones, than for what the very enemies are doing to You.
My Jesus, don’t cry, or else let me cry together with you. But my gentle Jesus seems to say to me: “Ah, my child, let us weep together for the lot of so many souls consecrated to me, who, for little trials or for incidents of life, no longer attend to me and leave me alone; for so many others, timid and cowardly, who, for lack of courage and trust, abandon me. Let us weep for so many priests, who, not finding any profit in sacred things and in the administration of the sacraments, do not attend to me. For others who preach, celebrate and hear confession for love of their own interests and selfglory, so that while it seems they are around me I remain ever alone. O my child, how hard this abandonment is for Me! Not only do my eyes weep, but my Heart bleeds! O I pray you to make reparation for my bitter pain by promising never to leave Me alone.”
Yes, O my Jesus, with the strength of your Divine Will and the help of your grace, I promise never to leave you alone. But as you weep over the abandonment of your dear ones, O Jesus, your enemies spare you no possible outrage. Bound and tied as you are, my good Jesus, so that you can’t even take a step, they trample you and drag you through those ways full of rocks and thorns. So, there is no movement they make you do which does not make you stumble on the rocks and be pricked by the thorns. O my Jesus, while they drag You, I see that You leave a trail with your Precious Blood and with the golden hairs that they tear from your Head. My Life and my All, permit me to gather your steps and bind them to all the steps that creatures take to offend You, even at night. Indeed, some use the night to offend You even more than the daylight—some with meetings, others with pleasures or theaters, and still others with sacrilegious thefts. My Jesus, I unite with You to make reparation for all these offenses.
O my Jesus, we are now at the Cedron Stream, and the wicked Jews shove you in. As they do this, they make you strike so hard against a rock there, that from your mouth you shed your most precious blood, leaving that rock marked with it. Then they pull you down into those foul waters, making them enter into your ears, into your mouth, into your nose. O unsurpassable love! You are soaked and, as it were, cloaked by those foul, nauseating and cold waters. In this state, you realistically represent the pitiful state of creatures when they commit sin. Oh, how they are covered inside and out by a cloak of filthiness which disgusts heaven and whoever may see them, and draws down on themselves the thunderbolts of the divine justice! O life of my life, could there ever be a greater love? To strip us of this mantle of filthiness, you permit your enemies to drag you down into this stream. And so you make reparation for the sacrileges and the coldness of the souls that receive you sacrilegiously, forcing you to enter their hearts and making you feel, more than you do from the stream, all the nausea of their souls!
You also permit that these waters penetrate deep into your bowels; so much so, that the enemies, fearing that You may be drowned, in order to spare You for greater torments, lift You up. But You are so disgusting that they themselves feel nauseated to touch You. My tender Jesus, You are now out of the stream. My heart cannot stand to see you bathed in these nauseating waters like this. I see that you are trembling from head to foot because of the cold. You look around, searching with your eyes for that which you do not do with your voice: at least someone to dry you, clean you and warm you—but in vain. No one is moved to compassion for you. Your enemies ridicule and mock you, your dear ones have abandoned you, and your gentle mother is far away because the Father has so disposed it!
O Jesus, here I am! Come into my arms. I want to weep until I form a bath to wash you. With my hands I want to clean you and order your disheveled hair. My love, I want to enclose you in my heart and warm you with the warmth of my affections. I want to perfume you with my continuous desires. I want to make reparation for all these offenses, and unite my life to yours to save all souls. I want to offer you my heart as a resting place, to restore you some from the pains you have suffered up to now. Then, we will resume the way of your passion together.
Reflections and Practices.
In this hour, Jesus places Himself at the mercy of his enemies, who go so far as to throw Him into the Cedron stream. But gracious Jesus looks at them lovingly and endures everything for love of them. Do I cast myself upon God’s mercy? Can I say that I am like a rubber ball in the hands of my Jesus, not intent on what I am suffering, but on what my Jesus wants from me? Have I ever thought about the purpose of a rubber ball? It’s for playing, and very often Jesus likes to play with a soul, holding her in his hands just as he holds a ball, now squeezing it, now hitting it, now throwing it in the air or on to the ground, and the ball does not speak, allowing Jesus to do what He will with it.
Similarly, we must endure everything that Jesus wants from us and not mind if, like a little ball in Jesus’ hands, we feel pain as we are hit and struck, as long as we keep Jesus amused, since He knows how profitable this is for us, and how He will reward us in this and the next life. Sometimes, Jesus steps on the ball with his feet, showing that He does not care for it, and the soul, pressing close to his divine feet, suffers Jesus’ humiliation and indifference. At other times, He wants to hold the ball to his Heart, and if the soul was glad to have been Jesus’ toy, both in humiliation and in suffering, the loving Jesus will amuse her in his own Heart, and will reveal to her the contentments of his divine Heart. In my weaknesses and failures, Am I ready to pick myself up again and throw myself into the arms of Jesus? Tormented Jesus was thrown into the Cedron Stream and experienced suffocation, nausea, and disgust.
Do I detest every stain and shadow of sin? Am I ready to shelter Jesus in my heart so that He does not experience the disgust that other souls cause Him through sin, consoling Him for the many times I myself have caused it?
My tormented Jesus, do not spare me in anything, but grant that I may be the object of your loving, divine games.
(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.