From 10 PM. to 11 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….
The three hours of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
O my divine redeemer, Jesus, please take me with you, together with your three dear apostles, to assist at your agony in the Garden of Olives. Admonished by the sweet rebuke You gave to Peter and the other two sleeping disciples, I want to stay awake for at least an hour with You in Gethsemane; I want to feel at least one sharp pain of your agonizing Heart, one sigh of your labored breathing.
I want to fix my eyes on your divine face and contemplate how it turns pale, how it becomes troubled, how it is oppressed by anguish, how it bends low, even to the dust! O my suffering Jesus, I already see you staggering and falling, now to the left and now to the right. I see you join your loving, crippled hands. I begin to hear your moans, your cries of incomprehensible pain which you raise to heaven. O my Jesus, agonizing in the dreary Garden of Gethsemane, during this hour in which I will keep you company, make a splash, a stream of that adorable blood flow on me, which is streaming from all your adorable members.
O most precious bath of my greatest good, Jesus, who is agonizing for me, let me drink you to the last drop, and with you, drink at least one sip of the bitter chalice of my beloved. Let me feel inside of me the pains of his divine heart. Indeed, let me feel my heart broken by the sorrow of having offended my Lord, who reduces himself to the agony of death for me.
Yes, my Jesus, give me grace, help me to suffer, to sigh and to cry with you, at least for one hour in the Garden of Olives. O Sorrowful Mother, Mary, make me feel the compassion of your pierced heart for Jesus agonizing in Gethsemane. Amen.
O my sweet Jesus, one hour has already passed since You came to this Garden. Love took primacy over everything, making You suffer, all at once, everything which the executioners will make You suffer through the whole course of your most bitter Passion. Even more, Love compensates for it, and reaches the point of making You suffer what they cannot do to You, in the most interior parts of your Divine Person.
O my Jesus, I see you are already staggering, and yet you want to walk. Tell me, O my Lord, where do you want to go? Oh, yes, I understand: you are going to your beloved disciples. I want to go with you too, to hold you up if you stagger.
O my Jesus, here is another bitterness for your heart: they have fallen asleep. Always compassionate, you call them. You wake them; and with paternal love you admonish them, recommending vigilance and prayer to them. Then you return to the garden, but your heart is pierced with another wound. In this wound, O my love, I see all the stabbings caused by souls consecrated to you. Because of temptations, or state of soul, or their lack of mortification, instead of watching and praying to come closer to you, they let themselves go. Then, drowsy, instead of progressing in love and in union with you, they fall back. How I sympathize with you, O passionate lover! And I make reparation to you for all the unthankfulness of your most faithful ones. These are the offenses which most sadden your adorable heart, whose bitterness makes you become delirious.
O love without end, your love, which is already boiling in your veins, overcomes everything and forgets everything. I see you prostrate on the ground. You are praying, making reparation, offering yourself to the Father, and trying to glorify him in all things, for the offenses committed against him by creatures. O my Jesus, I too prostrate myself with you, and together with you I intend to do what you are doing.
But, O my Jesus, what do I see? I see You already burdened with all the sins of the world—our miseries, weaknesses, and enormous crimes; our shocking ingratitude, dreadful injustice, and brutal cruelty; our hatred, massacres, blasphemies, heresies, schisms, and abysmal human wickedness. They drive You onward and oppress You; they wound You and crush You. And what do You do? The blood that is boiling in your veins faces all these offenses, it bursts the veins and pours out in ample streams. It bathes your entire person, and runs down onto the ground, giving blood for offenses, life for death. O my love, what a pitiful state you are reduced to! You are already dying. My good Jesus, my sweet life, please, don’t die! Raise your face from this ground which you have bathed with your most precious blood.
Come to my arms! Let me die in your place as I embrace You! But I hear the faltering and dying voice of my gentle Jesus, saying:
“Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
My gentle Jesus, this is the second time that I hear You say these words. O how your tortured voice pierces my heart! O Jesus, all the rebellions of creatures come before you. You see that “Fiat Voluntas tua,” which should have been the life of each creature, rejected by almost everyone, for which, instead of finding life they find death. And wanting to give life to everyone and make a solemn reparation to the Father for the rebellions of creatures, you repeat three whole times:
“Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me—the cup of all the souls that are lost by withdrawing from our Will. Oh! How bitter this cup is for me! Yet, not my will but yours be done.”
But as you say this, the bitterness is so exceedingly intense that it reduces you to the extremes. You are agonizing, and are in the act of exhaling your last breath. O my good Jesus, since you are in my arms, I too want to unite with you, to make reparation and give you compassion for all the offenses and sins which are committed against your most holy Will. And at the same time, I want to pray you that I may always do your most holy Will in everything. Let your Will be my breath and my life. May it be my heartbeat, my heart, my thought, my life, and my death.
But, I beg You, my Jesus, do not die! Where would I go without You? To whom would I turn? Who else could help me? Everything would be finished for me. Ah, do not leave me. Keep me always with You. Let me never be separated from You even for an instant. Rather, let me soothe You, make reparation to You, and console You for everyone—because I see that sins of all kinds burden You. They weigh upon You; and they Therefore, my Love, I kiss your most holy head. But, what do I see? All the evil thoughts; and You feel disgust for them. For your most sacred head, each evil thought is a thorn which pricks You bitterly. Ah, the crown of thorns which the Jews will place upon You cannot be compared with these! How many crowns of thorns the evil thoughts of creatures place upon your adorable head, to the point that your Blood drips everywhere, from your forehead and from your hair!
Jesus, I compassionate You, and would like to place upon You as many crowns of glory; and in order to soothe You, I offer You all the angelic intelligences and your own intelligence, to give You an act of compassion and of reparation for all. O Jesus, I kiss your sorrowful eyes. I see in them all the evil gazes of creatures that make tears of Blood stream down your Face.
I offer You my compassion, and, in union with your Love, I want to soothe your eyes by showing You all the beauties of Heaven and earth. Jesus, my Lord, I kiss your most sacred ears. But what do I hear? In them I hear the echo of horrendous blasphemies, cries of vengeance, and slander. The voices of all souls resound in your most chaste ears.
Oh insatiable Love, I compassionate You, and I want to console You by making resound in it all the harmonies of Heaven, the most sweet voice of dear Mama, the ardent accents of Magdalene, and of all the loving souls. Jesus, my Life, I want to impress a more fervent kiss on your face, whose beauty has no equal. This is the face which the angels do not dare look away from, such is the beauty that enraptures them. And yet, creatures defile it with spit, they strike it with their hands and they trample it under their feet.
My love, what boldness! I would like to shout so loud until they run away! I sympathize with you. And to make reparation for these insults I go before the Most Holy Trinity, to ask for the kiss of the Father and of the Holy Spirit, and for the incomparable caresses of their creative hands. I also go to our heavenly mother to get her kisses, the caresses of her maternal hands, and her profound adorations. Finally, I go to all the souls consecrated to you. And I offer you all this, to make reparation for the offenses committed against your most holy face.
My sweet Good, I kiss your most holy mouth, embittered by horrible blasphemies, by the nausea of drunkenness and gluttony, by obscene discourses, by prayers done badly, by evil teachings, and by all the evil that man does with his tongue.
Jesus, I compassionate You, and I want to sweeten your mouth by offering You all the angelic praises and the good use of the tongue made by many holy Christians. My oppressed Love, I kiss your neck, and I see it loaded down with ropes and chains, because of the attachments and the sins of creatures. I compassionate You, and in order to relieve You, I offer You the indissoluble union of the Divine Persons; and fusing myself in this union, I extend my arms toward You, and forming a sweet chain of love around your neck, I want to remove the ropes of the attachments, which almost suffocate You; and to console You, I press You tightly to my heart. Divine Fortress, I kiss your most holy shoulders. I see them lacerated, and your flesh almost torn to pieces by the scandals and the evil examples of creatures.
I compassionate You, and in order to relieve You, I offer You your most holy examples, the examples of the Queen Mama, and those of all the saints. And I, O my Jesus, letting my kisses flow over each one of these wounds, want to enclose in them the souls who, by force of scandals, have been snatched from your Heart, and so rejoin the flesh of your Most Holy Humanity. My labored Jesus, I kiss your breast, which I see wounded by coldness, lukewarmness, lack of reciprocity and ingratitude of creatures. I compassionate You, and in order to relieve You, I offer You the reciprocal love of the Father and the Holy Spirit and the perfect mutual love of the Three Divine Persons.
And plunging into your love, O my Jesus, I want to shelter You in order to reject the new blows that creatures throw at You with their sins; and taking your love, I want to wound them with it, that they may never again dare to offend You; and I want to pour it upon your breast, to soothe You and to heal You.
My Jesus, I kiss your creative hands. I see that all the bad actions of creatures, as so many nails, pierce your most holy hands. So, they are run through, not by three nails as on the cross, but by as many nails as the evil works which creatures do. I compassionate You, and to give You relief, I offer You all the holy works, and the courage of the martyrs in giving their blood and life for love of You. In sum, O my Jesus, I would like to offer You all the good works, in order to remove from You the many nails of the evil works. O Jesus, I kiss your most holy feet, always untiring in searching for souls. In them You enclose all the steps of creatures; but You feel many of them run away, and You would want to stop them. At each of their evil steps, You feel a nail being driven into You, and You want to use their very nails in order to nail them to your love; and the pain You feel, and the effort You make in order to nail them to your love is so intense and so great, that You tremble all over. My God and my Good, I compassionate You, and in order to console You, I offer You the steps of the good religious and of all the faithful souls, who expose their lives in order to save souls. O Jesus, I kiss your Heart.
You continue to agonize, not for what the Jews will make You suffer, but for the pain which all the offenses of creatures cause You.
In these hours You want to give primacy to love, the second place to all sins, for which You expiate, repair, glorify the Father, and placate the Divine Justice; and the third to the Jews. In this way You show that the passion which the Jews will make You suffer will be nothing but the representation of the double, most bitter passion which love and sin make You suffer. And this is why I see, all concentrated in your Heart: the lance of love, the lance of sin; and you wait for the third one, the lance of the Jews. Your Heart, suffocated by love, suffers violent movements, impatient rushes of love, desires which consume You, and burning heartbeats, which would want to give life to every heart. And it is exactly here, in your Heart, that You feel all the pain that creatures cause You, who, with their evil desires, disordered affections, profaned heartbeats, instead of wanting your love, look for other loves.
Jesus, how much You suffer! I see You faint, submerged by the waves of our iniquities. I compassionate You, and I want to soothe the bitterness of your Heart, pierced three times, by offering You the eternal sweetnesses and the most sweet love of dear Mama Mary, as well as those of all your true lovers.
And now, O my Jesus, let my poor heart draw life from your Heart, that I may live only with your Heart; and in each offense You will receive, let me be ever ready to offer You a relief, a comfort, a reparation, an act of uninterrupted love.
Reflections and Practices.
During the second hour in Gethsemane, all the sins of all times—past, present and future—present themselves before Jesus, and he takes them upon himself in order to give complete glory to his Father. So, Jesus Christ expiated, prayed, and felt all our moods in His Heart without ever ceasing to pray. Do we always pray, in whatever mood we may be —cold, hard, tempted? Do we give Jesus the pains of our souls as reparation and relief in order to copy Him completely, thinking that each mood of ours is a pain of Jesus? We must place it around Him as a pain of Jesus, to compassionate Him and relieve Him. And if possible we must say to Him: ‘You have suffered too much. Take rest, and we will suffer in your place.’
Do we get discouraged, or do we remain steadfastly at Jesus’ feet, giving him everything we suffer, so that he can find his own humanity in us? In other words, do we serve as Jesus’ humanity? What did the humanity of Jesus do? It glorified his Father, it atoned and pleaded for the salvation of souls. Now, do we have these three intentions of Jesus in everything we do, so as to be able to say that we enclose the complete humanity of Jesus Christ in ourselves? In our moments of darkness, do we place the intention of making the light of truth shine in others? And when we pray with fervor, do we place the intention of melting the ice of many hearts hardened in sin? My Jesus, in order to compassionate You and relieve You from the total exhaustion in which You find Yourself, I rise up to Heaven and make your own Divinity my own; and placing It around You, I want to move all the offenses of creatures away from You.
I want to offer you your beauty to drive away from you the ugliness of sin; your holiness to drive away from you the horror of all those souls that make you feel such repugnance because they are dead to grace; your peace to drive away from you the dissensions, rebellions and agitations of all creatures; your harmonies to refresh your ears offended by the waves of so many evil voices.
My Jesus, I intend to offer you as many divine acts of reparation as offenses you receive. They assault you as if they wanted to put you to death, and with your own acts I want to give you life. Then, O my Jesus, I want to cast a wave of your divinity over all creatures, so that at your divine touch they will no longer dare to offend you. O Jesus, this is the only way I will be able to give you compassion for all the offenses you receive from creatures.
O Jesus, my dear life, may my prayers and my pains always rise up toward heaven to make the light of grace rain on everyone, and to absorb your own life into myself.
(Personal Offering and Thanksgiving)
Thanksgiving Prayer after each hour of Agony in the Garden
O my sweetest Lord, I thank you for being pleased to have me in your company at least for an hour during your tremendous agony in the garden. Oh, my good Jesus, how little comfort did you find in me. Yet, your infinite love and the overflowing charity of your merciful heart make you find relief even in the least act of compassion that the creature shows you. I will never forget the sight of your adorable person trembling, struck down, crushed, humiliated in the dust, and all covered with the blood you sweat, in the dark horror of Gethsemane! O Jesus, I have experienced that to be with you in your sufferings, to feel even one drop of the distressing bitterness of your divine heart is the greatest fortune which anyone can have on earth.
O Jesus, make me be captured with you, and dragged to the courts with you. Let me share in the abuses, the insults, the spit and the slaps your enemies are going to cover you with. Take me with you from Pilate to Herod and back to Pilate again. Tie me to the column with you, and let me feel a part of your scourgings. Jesus, pierce me with some of your thorns. Let me be condemned to death by crucifixion with you: you, as victim of love for me, and I as victim of atonement for my sins.
Give me the portion of the Cyrenian, to follow you to Calvary; and there, let me be nailed to the cross with you, and then agonize and die with you.
O sorrowful mother, you have given me help to sympathize with agonizing Jesus in the garden. Help me now to be crucified with you on the same cross of Jesus, and to know how to offer him the most worthy reparations with the same merits of his passion and death on the cross. Amen.
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.