Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2006

Jesus in Gethsemane

In the Passionist calendar, the day before Ash Wednesday is celebrated as the memoria of our Lord Jesus Christ praying in the Garden. The Mass and Liturgy of the Hours focus on the persevering prayer of Jesus in a time of suffering and temptation and how this prayer was the prelude to his Passion. In the scriptures and in the mysteries of the rosary, the Agony in the Garden is seen as the beginning of the story of Christ’s Passion. (In the eighteenth century, however, it was usual to precede the meditation on the Agony in the Garden with a meditation on Jesus saying farewell to his Mother before setting out on the way to Jerusalem, seeing this parting as the first pain of Calvary.) Today’s Divine Office and Mass point to Jesus as our example in the life of prayer, taking the text of the Letter to the Hebrews which speaks of how he prayed “aloud and in silent tears” and “learned to obey through suffering” (Heb. 5: 7-8).

Saint Vincent Mary Strambi” O christiane, qui pretioso hoc sanguine redimeris, siste hic devotus cordeque contritus, et mysterium contemplare.” –The second reading at the Office of Readings is from Saint Vincent Mary Strambi on the Precious Blood of Christ. Saint Vincent promoted the devotion to the Precious Blood in his writings, preaching and spiritual direction. One of his directees was the young Saint Gaspare del Bufalo, who went on to found the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Salve, receptus candida

sede Angelorum, Gabriel,

cuius perennem gloriam

et mira gentes efferunt.

*

Salve, dolorum particeps

et gaudiorum Virginis:

virtute per quam fulseras,

per hanc corona cingeris.

*

Nostris secundam casibus

caeli preceris Arbitram:

pro fratribus te supplice,

nil Virgo Mater abnuet.

*

Pravis referta erroribus

instat scatebra ab inferis:

hanc, te rogante, exterminet

Maria, victrix haeresis.

(Hymn for Lauds – I have a translation of this somewhere; if I find it, I’ll post it later.)
Today is the feast of Saint Gabriel, Passionist student, who died at Isola del Gran Sasso (Italy) in 1862. He was born in Assisi and baptised at the same font as Saint Francis of Assisi, whose name he was given in baptism (Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was his religious name).
Baptismal Font, Cathedral of San Rufino, Assisi

You can read about the life of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows here.

Read Full Post »

Almighty and eternal God, in your wonderful providence you choose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. Look favourably on this little flock of your servants gathered under the standard of the holy Cross and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we, who have been called together in your name, grow in every virtue and so, by your mercy, be one with you, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Stir up your power, Lord, glorify your hand, and with kindness stretch out your right arm over us, so that we will be capable of defending your holy Church even with our blood, wiping out the vices of your people, defeating the enemies of the Cross of Christ, and imprinting on the hearts of the faithful the devotion to the Passion of the Lord. Show us, we pray, all that we should do and suffer for your Name, so that the world will come to know you, God Holy, Strong, Immortal, and the one whom you have sent, your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Saint Paul of the Cross (approved by Pope Benedict XIV, 16 September 1746)

Read Full Post »

This evening we celebrate first vespers of the Solemn Commemoration of the Passion, the titular feast of the Passionist Congregation, celebrated on the Friday before Ash Wednesday. This feast, which was instituted by Saint Paul of the Cross, is a joyful celebration of the mystery of Good Friday, focussing on the Passion as “the most overwhelming sign of God’s love” (Saint Paul of the Cross). The concluding prayer this evening reminds us of the mission of the Passionist community to remember (contemplate) and proclaim (preach) the redeeming Passion of Jesus: “…Concede nobis famulis tuis ut, eiusdem Passionis recolentes, testes Redemptionis inveniamur in mundo.”

Read Full Post »

First Consistory


Pope Benedict XVI named new cardinals today. I remember reading some years ago that when the recently elected Pope Leo XIII was asked what kind of pope he would be, he said that those who wanted to know should look at the names of those included in his first consistory. I wonder what Pope Benedict was saying today about his pontificate. Certainly the learned and holy Father Vanhoye s.j. is a model of scholarship and sanctity, as was one of Leo’s first cardinals, John Henry Newman.

(In 1846, Leo was Nuncio to Belgium and received a vivid first hand account of Newman’s entry into “the one true fold of the Redeemer” from his Passionist friend, Blessed Dominic Barberi: “Dominic stayed on for three days with his converts at Littlemore, went on to Belgium for the Chapter, and had an interview with Monsignor Pecci, the Apostolic Nuncio at Brussels, on whom he left impressions that were to be lifelong.” -Urban Young c.p., Life and Letters of Father Dominic, London, 1926, p.259.)

Read Full Post »

Can you name even one of them?

Today’s feast of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order is a good reminder that heroic status and holiness are not the same thing. Most of us would have difficulty in naming even one or two of the seven; they are celebrated as the group of people who became the Order of Servants of Mary. The cult of personality, so important these days, is totally absent on this memorial of people who responded to the Lord’s invitation together.

Read Full Post »

Portrait

Paolo selvagio e santo

Saint Paul of the Cross by Gian Domenico Della Porta (1773). This portrait shows Paul at about 79 years of age, just two years before his death. When Paul died on 18 October 1775, it was Porta who would be asked to make the death mask. His Last Testament, spoken by Paul to his community after he had received the Viaticum, underlines his concern for the essentials:
“Above all, I urgently exhort you to observe that holy command that Jesus gave his disciples: This is how all will know you are my disciples: your love for one another. This, my brethren, is what I wish, with all the love of my poor heart, to give you who are present here with me, to all the others who are now wearing this habit of penance and mourning in memory of the passion and death of our most loving Redeemer, and to all those who, by the mercy of God, shall be called to this little flock of Jesus Christ in times to come.”

For the full text of the Last Testament of Saint Paul of the Cross, click here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »