Thursday, April 30, 2009

Meditations for May

The meditations for May, the Month of Mary, will be taken from:

Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament


Saint Peter Julien Eymard

Translated by a Visitandine of Baltimore, Md.

IMPRIMATUR: JOHN M. FARLEY, Archbishop of New York

Although these meditations were written by Fr. Eymard for the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament and others who regularly adore Our Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar, they will be of benefit to all Christians who seek to grow in holiness.

It is most important that we not only read and reflect on the meditations, but that we also spend time in prayer as we are moved, speaking to Jesus or Mary as to a dear friend. Acts of love and contrition from the heart are the best place to start.

If our prayer is to be of merit, we must daily make a resolution according to the needs of our soul. Fr. Eymard calls this a "sacrifice." The resolution is to be specific (I will offer alms, I will visit s0-and-so, I will focus on this virtue, etc.), it is to be something that can be accomplished (NEVER make a resolution that you cannot fulfill), it should be simple (resolutions that are complicated are rarely fulfilled), it should have a cost (move you out of comfort and complacency), and be done solely for God's glory (speak of it only with your confessor or spiritual director). Always ask for the grace to make a good resolution and keep it.

It might be helpful to keep a notebook in which you record the date; subject of the meditation; your own thoughts, feelings, movements of soul; your resolution, and how well you kept it. This way you can track your progress.

On a final note, if you feel that you need something more structured, feel free to go back in the archives to last May's meditations which can be accessed via the sidebar.

Prepatory Meditation

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.

The month of Mary is the month of blessings and graces, for all graces come to us through Mary, as Saint Bernard and all the saints assure us. It is a feast of thirty days in honor of the Mother of God, and it will prepare us for the succeeding lovely month of the Blessed Sacrament.


Because we make profession of especially honoring the Holy Eucharist, it does not follow that we should have less devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Far from it! He would be guilty of blasphemy who would say: "As for me, the Blessed Sacrament suffices. I have no need of Mary." Where shall we find Jesus on earth if not in Mary’s arms. Did she not give us the Eucharist? Was it not her consent to the Incarnation of the Word in her pure womb that inaugurated the great mystery of reparation to God and union with us, which Jesus accomplished by His mortal life, and that He continues in the Eucharist?

Without Mary, we shall not find Jesus, for she possesses Him in her heart. There He takes His delight, and they who wish to know His inmost virtues, His sacred and privileged love, must seek them in the heart of Mary. They who love that good Mother will find Jesus in her pure heart.
We must never separate Jesus from Mary. We can go to Him only through her. I even maintain that the more we love the Eucharist, the more we ought to love Mary. We love all that our friend loves. Now, is there a creature better loved by God, a mother more tenderly thought of by her son, than was Mary by Jesus?

Oh yes, Our Lord would be very much pained if we, the servants of His Eucharistic Life, did not greatly honor Mary, since she is His Mother. He owes every thing to her in the order of His Incarnation, His human nature. It is by the flesh that she gave Him that He has so glorified His Father, that He has saved us, and that He continues to nourish and save the world by the Blessed Sacrament.

He wishes us to honor her so much the more now as, during His mortal life, He seems to have neglected it Himself. He truly honored His Mother very much in private; but in public He left her in the shade, since He had, before all, to assert and support His dignity as God.

But at the present day, Our Lord wishes us in some way to indemnify the Blessed Virgin for all that He did not do for her exteriorly; and we are bound (there is here question of salvation) to honor her as the Mother of God and our own Mother.


But since, as adorers, we are more especially devoted to the service of the Eucharist, it is in this quality that we owe particular devotedness to Mary. Religious of the Most Blessed Sacrament, servants of the Blessed Sacrament, associates of the Blessed Sacrament, we are by our state adorers of the Eucharist. This is our beautiful title blessed by Pius IX. Adorers what does that mean? It means that we are attached to the Adorable Person of Our Lord living in the Eucharist. But if we belong to the Son, we belong to the Mother, also; we adore the Son, we ought to honor the Mother, also; and we are obliged, in order to persevere in the grace of our vocation and participate in it fully, to render to the Blessed Virgin very special honor under the title: Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.

This devotion is not spread, nor is it explicitly defined as yet in the Church. Since devotion to Mary follows the worship of Jesus, it also follows its various phases and developments.
When we honor Our Lord on the Cross we pray to Our Lady of Seven Dolors. When we honor His life submissive and retired at Nazareth, it is Our Lady of the Hidden Life that we take for model. The Blessed Virgin follows all the conditions of her Son.

We have never yet saluted Our Lady by this beautiful title: Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament. But the devotion to the Eucharist is spreading. Never was it greater or more general than in our time. It is taking hew increase everywhere. It is the grace that the Immaculate Conception has brought to the world. Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is not new, but there is, without doubt, a great and new manifestation of the Holy Eucharist. The hidden God comes forth from His tabernacle. He is everywhere exposed by day and by night. The Eucharist is to be the source of salvation for this opening century. The worship of the Eucharist will be the glory, the grandeur of this age.

Devotion to Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament will grow with the worship of the Eucharist. I have not found this devotion treated in any work. I have never heard it spoken of except in the revelations of Mother Mary of Jesus, where I read something of Mary’s Communion, and in the Acts of the Apostles where we see Mary in the Cenacle.


What did the Blessed Virgin do in the Cenacle? She adored. She was the Mother and the Queen of adorers. She was, in a word, Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Our occupation during this month will be, to honor her under this beautiful title, to meditate on what she did, to inquire how Our Lord received her adoration. We shall discover the perfect union of those two hearts, that of Jesus and that of Mary, lost in one love, and one single life. Piety must raise the mysterious veil that hides the adoring life of Mary.

We are astonished that the Acts of the Apostles say nothing of it, but are satisfied with leaving Mary in the Cenacle. Ah! it is because her whole life in the Cenacle was one of love and adoration.
Why speak again of love and adoration? How shall we express that reign of God in the soul and that life of the soul in God? It cannot be explained. Language has no words to express the delights of heaven, and it is the same with the life of Mary in the Cenacle. Saint Luke tells us only that she lived and prayed there. Prayer and the love of study formed the essence of her life. Let us suppose that all that is most powerful in love, all that is most holy and perfect in the virtues, and attribute it to Mary. But because Mary lived there in union with the Most Blessed Sacrament for more than twenty years, all her virtues took the Eucharistic character. They were nourished by Communion, adoration, and constant union with our Eucharistic Jesus. Mary s virtues acquired in the Cenacle their highest perfection, almost limitless, surpassed only by that of the virtues of Jesus Christ.

Let us ask Our Lord to reveal to us what passed between Him and His Mother in the Cenacle. He will tell us some of those wonders, not all, for we could not bear them, but a few, and they will fill us with joy.

O how happy we should be, could we make a month of Maria Adoratrix! Meditation is necessary for that, and much prayer. One must understand, also, the thanksgiving of Mary’s love. I greatly desire this, but for such a work a longer preparation would be required.

[Pere Eymard put his hand to the work. We have his meditations on the adoring life of Mary. He enters into the interior of the Blessed Virgin, he aims at showing us the sentiments of her heart, the extent of her love.]


All the mysteries of Mary’s life live again in the Cenacle. If we meditate on the birth of her Son in Bethlehem, let us continue the Gospel and be hold the Eucharistic birth of that same Son on the altar. Is our subject, "The Flight into Egypt?" Well, then, do we not see that Our Lord is still in the midst of strangers and barbarians in those cities and countries in which the churches are closed, and no one goes to visit Him? Think again on His hidden life at Nazareth. Do we not find Him ever more hidden in His Eucharistic life? Consider all the other mysteries of Mary’s life as connected with the Eucharist, and reflect on the part that she took therein.

The essential point is to seek out and practice Our Lady s virtues. Let us take them in order, the lowest, the smallest. We know them. We shall afterward rise by degrees to her interior virtues, even to her love.

Then let us daily offer up some sacrifice. Let us foresee something that will cost. There are some that we know in advance; for instance, to such a thing, to see such a person. Offer this sacrifice. The Blessed Virgin will be satisfied. It will be one more flower for the crown that she wishes to offer to her Son in our name on His day, the beautiful feast of Corpus Christi.

If we foresee no special sacrifices, let us maintain ourselves in generous dispositions to accept all that the good God will send us. Let us be watchful to catch on the wing that bird from heaven. It is a messenger from God, bringing us a grace and a crown of thorns. We must welcome them. A sacrifice foreseen makes us reason, and reasoning diminishes its value. But those that we make generously, without premeditation and without deliberation, are of more value. The good God wants to surprise us. He says to us: "Hold thyself in readiness!" —And the faithful soul is disposed for all that the good God wills. Love loves to surprise. Let us never lose these sacrifices, and for that it suffices to be generous. A generous soul—O how beautiful! God is glorified by it, and He says of her as of Job, with sentiments of joy and admiration: "Hast thou seen My servant Job?" . . . The soul that loves, allows none of these sacrifices to pass. She has, so to say, her eye in the air. She feels that a cross is coming, and she prepares to receive it well.

Let us, then, honor the Blessed Virgin by a daily sacrifice. Let us go through her to Our Lord, take shelter behind her, hide under her mantle, clothe ourselves with her virtues, be, as it were, her shadow. Let us offer all her actions, all her merits, all her virtues to Our Lord. We have only to draw on Mary, and to say to Jesus: "I offer Thee the riches that my Mother has acquired for me," and Our Lord will be very much pleased with us.

Practice. Let us fulfill all our Eucharistic duties in union with Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Aspiration. Hail Mary, of whom was born our Eucharistic Jesus!

A Word of Thanks

On behalf of my Mother, Sisters, and family, I would like to express our sincere thanks to all of you for your expressions of condolences and prayers on the recent death of my Dad. Your kindness has greatly helped to ease our pain and your prayers for us have helped us to bear this profound loss with resignation to the ineffable will of God. Additionally, I want to thank you for the prayers offered for the repose of my Dad's soul. We cannot, will not, know how much they have helped or how they were applied according to God's plan until we too shall be called from this life to the next, but we can be absolutely sure that they were heard and that God has received them who is both merciful and just.

I ask your continued prayers form me as I continue to grieve and struggle with this great loss in my life. I especially need your prayers that I continue to trust that God is with me and that I have the grace to unite my suffering with that of Jesus and Mary that it may be of some use.

May God bless you always. With the promise of my prayers for you, I am,

Yours in Christ the Redeemer,

Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Friday, April 17, 2009

May He Rest In Peace

Please pray for the repose of the soul of my father, Harold "Bill" Bailey. Dad died on Tuesday, April 14 around 3 pm.

I ask you also to pray for my Mom, sisters, and all those who mourn Dad's death.

It may be a while before I resume posting. I am finding this very difficult to deal with.

Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Message from Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Dear Friends,

First of all I want to thank you for joining me in these Lenten Meditations. I know from the comments and emails I have received that some of you have found them of benefit. I was glad to hear that. It brings me great joy to know that others have benefitted from these meditations as I have.

Secondly, I want to wish you all a blessed and holy Easter. The Paschal Mystery of death and resurrection is one we all encounter in our daily lives to a greater or lesser extent. If we allow God's grace to enter into our hearts we can be transformed in the great and the small here in this life so that we will one day share in the fullness of Redemption with Our Lady and all the saints. I had hoped to continue with daily meditations during the Easter Season, but circumstances may not allow this to happen which brings me to my final point.

Once again I am asking you for your prayers for my Dad, Harold "Bill" Bailey. His doctor told us that there isn't anything more they can do but keep him comfortable. I ask you to pray to the Divine Mercy and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that Dad will die in God's grace. My only regret is that Dad was never received into the Catholic Church though at times he expressed the desire. I would also ask you to pray that if he does so desire, this can happen before he dies.

Please know that I thank all of your for your prayers and best wishes. May the joy of the Resurrection fill your hearts and lives.

Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Easter Sunday

The Gospel: Mark 16:1-7.

At that time Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulcher, the sun being now risen. And they said one to the other: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulcher? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted: you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen; he is not here; behold the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, that he goes before you into Galilee: there you shall see him, as he told you.

On the Resurrection of Our Lord.


Jesus has risen. He has come glorious and impassible from the tomb. He is victorious over death. He has broken the gates of hell, triumphed over Satan, and stripped him of his spoils. He terrified the soldiers who guarded, the sepulcher, confounded the Jews, triumphed over his enemies, and enjoys a life of infinite glory. My soul, weep no more. Jesus will die no more in his body. Take care that you do not make him die in your heart.


Jesus has risen in our souls, entered into the kingdom of our hearts and spirits, driven the devil therefrom, triumphed over our sins, which held us slaves, remained in us by his grace, lived by his spirit, reigned by his love, and rested in peace. My soul weep no more. Jesus has risen to a better life. He will die no more in his body, but be watchful lest you make him die in your heart.


All the Church has risen with Jesus. All its body has come from his sepulcher. All its members are reanimated by the spirit of penance. All who were spiritually dead have risen with him. He has now only to give them the Paschal Lamb to eat. Woman, why do you weep? Jesus is no longer dead in the sepulcher; he has risen to a new life. He will die no more in his body, but take care that your sins do not make him die in your heart.

Ungrateful Christian, don’t you know that Jesus was crucified for you? You wept at the cross and at his burial, and now that he has risen you only think how you may renew his passion and deprive him of life! You prepare whips to scourge him, thorns to crown him, and a cross whereon to crucify him! What has he done to merit such treatment? Is he criminal because he has loved you infinitely? Does he deserve death for having saved you from death eternal? My soul, weep no more, Jesus is risen; he will die no more in your heart, if sin does not crucify him therein.

Resolution: I will never again commit mortal sin with the help of Jesus crucified and risen.

Prayer: Oh Jesus, divine Master, ascend not so soon into heaven. Remain with us to strengthen our faith, hope, and charity. Behold this holy Easter Sunday is nearly over. Night approaches. The spirits of evil assemble and conspire against us. The lion cometh forth seeking my soul to devour it. My passions begin to revolt. My old habits revive. The world takes arms against me and my flesh torments me with divers temptations. Oh Jesus, thy life, within me is not in safety. They conspire thy death and seek to renew thy sufferings. All the wicked and impenitent clamor together to drive thee from the world, scourge and crucify thee again. Defend thyself, oh my Savior, and do not permit me to destroy thy life in my heart. O Mary, my Mother, come quickly to my aid!

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holy Saturday

On the Burial of Our Lord.


They took Jesus from the cross. He descended from it only after his death through obedience to his Father and to those who detached him from it. It was necessary for him to remain there while he lived, to die there, and be taken down only after death. Should not you detach yourself from worldly things and be all to God? Ought you not to become like a dead body that remains where it is placed and never complains of what is done to it?


Jesus was taken from the cross to the tomb. Behold the end of his works! Behold the place of his repose! Behold the termination of his laborious travels! It was for this that he came into the world. After many sufferings you will also come hither and find rest in the grave if you have not enjoyed it in your life and have died on the cross. The disciples almost lost hope. Their charity was weak if not quite dead. They were sad and downcast because they were deprived of the sensible presence of their divine Master and could neither see nor hear him. Oh, how often this happens!


When Jesus was taken down from the cross how eagerly his holy Mother received him in her arms. But unutterable grief was blended with her consolation when she beheld him covered with blood and wounds from his head to his feet! His sacred body was washed with her tears. His wounded hands, feet, and side were kissed with tenderness, awe, and anguish. His agonies were over but the sorrows of Mary continued. Her heart was wrung with new pangs when they took him away to entomb him. Her afflictions were increased by this separation. What did she say? What were her thoughts while gazing on this sad spectacle? She did not abandon herself to grief or fall into impatience, but was resigned to the separation from that which was most dear to her because it was the will of God. Imitate her example. Suffer the loss of all that you most prize and love and sacrifice everything to the will of God who orders all things for your good.

Happy is he who receives Jesus when he descends from the cross! The grain of mustard must die and be buried in the earth ere it can bring forth fruit. Jesus is on the altar as truly as he was on the cross. The altar is Calvary, your heart the sepulcher where he desires to rest after the great sacrifice of his love. It is the place he has chosen for his burial and where he ought to be kept by a constant renewal of grace and penance. Joseph of Arimathea gave our Lord his sepulcher: will you refuse him yours? Nicodemus brought sweet spices and new linen for his burial. Oh, it will be rendered precious and glorious for him if you prepare the sepulcher with the rich perfume of humility and devotion! Oh Christian soul, make ready for the burial of Jesus in your heart!


Happy is he who is crucified and buried with Jesus, who is hidden on earth from the eyes of men, who is unknown, numbered as it were with the dead, and remembered no more; he will soon rise with Jesus, immortal and impassible like him. Happy is he who preserves his faith in the obscurity of the senses, who loses not his hope because all sensible support is withdrawn, and who does not cease to love when deprived of all consolation!

Resolution: I will keep my heart always pure and free from sin as a worthy resting place for Jesus.

Prayer: Oh Jesus my Savior, thou didst truly become a hidden God being wrapped in linen, buried in a sepulcher, and numbered with the dead. Hide me in thy bosom. Let me be buried with thee. Let me no longer be esteemed or known among men. Let me die to all my senses and be separated from all my desires. I am ready to follow thee wheresoever thou goest. In company with thee I have nothing to fear.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

On the Death of Jesus Christ.


Jesus died: who will fear death? Having died for us, who will refuse to die for him? In his death he was consumed with grief: who will desire to die without suffering? By his death he redeemed us: who will serve any other master? He died for our sins: who will not endeavor to destroy and overcome sin?

Oh Good Shepherd, thou hast given thy life for thy sheep. Oh High Priest of the New Law, truly hast thou immolated thyself for the salvation of thy people. Oh divine Lord, thou hast indeed taught us from the cross how great an evil sin is since it caused thee to die; and how great thy love is for us which cost the life of the Son of God.


Children of men, will you always be ungrateful, always blind? Do you know the sacrifice that was paid for you? Do you know what you owe? You owe your life to the Son of God who has given his for you. What injustice, then, to give it to the world, the flesh, and the devil, which are your most deadly enemies. Did the enemy of souls die for you? Did the prince of this world and concupiscence shed their blood for you? Have they ever done you good? Can they ever do you good? Can they love you? Have they a heaven to offer you? My brethren, you belong, not to yourselves, but to him who in dying for you paid an infinite price for your salvation.

Resolution: Jesus died for me. I will live for him.

Prayer: Oh, Jesus my Savior, let me die with thee, for thee, and like thee. I forgive all my enemies and hope humbly thou wilt be favorable to me. Accept my desires and graciously give me admittance into Paradise as thou didst the penitent thief. I declare myself a child and servant of thy holy Mother. Recommend me to her as thou didst thy beloved disciple, and desire her to take care of me at the hour of my death. And I implore thee, oh blessed Jesus, by thy abandonment on the cross, do not leave me when all the world abandons me. Sustain my spirit by thy grace, when the strength of my body fails. Give me a great thirst and desire for Paradise. Cast thy eyes on the poor victim, who is consumed with grief and suffering.

Oh my Father, I abandon my spirit to thee. I unite my last hour to that of thy divine Son. I wish to honor thee by the sacrifice of my life. I accept death, in acknowledgment of all the blessings I have received from thee. I accept it to satisfy thy justice which I have so often irritated. I accept it willingly as an expression of my love and obedience. I accept it that I may enjoy the bliss of possessing and beholding thee. Finally, I accept it to honor thy Son and his most holy Mother, and to drink the same chalice which they have drained.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Thursday

On the Last Words of Our Lord on the Cross: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."


Jesus abandoned himself to his Father after having been abandoned by him. After showing us how to live he taught us how to die. He afforded us in this life divine lessons of patience, and has given us in his death an admirable and holy example of abandonment to the will and confidence in the mercy of God. Imitate Jesus living and dying. Rest in his arms. Commend your spirit into his hands. He is our Father: can he abandon us? He is our Savior: will he condemn us?


To die well it is necessary to live well. Say often to Jesus Christ what you would say if you were dying: "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Thou art its first cause; let it return to thee as to its last end. It is the breath of thy mouth, the product of thy spirit, the price of thy blood, and the sanctuary of thy graces. Into thy hands which were pierced for me, I commend it; and to thy Sacred Heart which is ever open to receive sinners, I recommend it. Oh sweet Jesus, take care of it and abandon it not. Alas, if unsupported by thy hands, it will fall into the power of thy adversary, the devil. Oh, suffer not a soul that has cost thee such an infinite price, to be lost!


Go forth, my soul, from this body which has been your prison. Why should you fear to die? In dying for you Jesus has taken away the sting and bitterness of death. He recommended your spirit to his Almighty Father when he recommended his own. Depart, then, Christian soul, in the name of the Father who created you, of the Son who redeemed you, of the Holy Ghost who sanctified you. Jesus invites you to the eternal rest of heaven.

Bow your head in obedience, and fear not; your soul is safe in the hands of Jesus.

Resolution: I will accept whatever death God sends me and offer it to him united with the death of Jesus.

Prayer: The Protestation for Death by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

My God, prostrate in Thy presence, I adore Thee; and I intend to make the following protestation, as if I were on the point of passing from this life into eternity.

My Lord, because Thou art the infallible Truth, and hast revealed it to the holy Church, I believe in the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Three Persons, but only one God; Who for all eternity rewards the just in heaven, and punishes the wicked in hell. I believe that the Second Person, that is the Son of God, became man and died for the salvation of mankind; and I believe all that the holy Church believes. I thank Thee for having made me a Christian, and I protest that I will live and die in this holy faith.

My God, my hope, trusting in Thy promises, I hope from Thy mercy, not through my own merits but through the merits of Jesus Christ, for the pardon of my sins, perseverance, and after this miserable life, the glory of paradise. And should the devil at death tempt me to despair at the sight of my sins, I protest that I will always hope in Thee, O Lord, and that I desire to die in the loving arms of Thy goodness.

O God, worthy of infinite love, I love Thee with my whole heart more than I love myself; and I protest that I desire to die making an act of love that I may thus continue to love Thee eternally in heaven which for this end I desire and ask of Thee. And if hitherto, O Lord, instead of loving Thee I have despised Thy infinite goodness, I repent of it with all my heart and I protest that I wish to die always weeping over and detesting the offences I have committed against Thee. I purpose for the future rather to die than ever to sin again; and for the love of Thee I pardon all who have offended me.

O God, I accept death and all the suffering which will accompany it; I unite it with the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, and offer it in acknowledgment of Thy supreme dominion and in satisfaction for my sins. Do Thou, O Lord, accept this sacrifice which I make of my life for the love of that great sacrifice which Thy divine Son made of Himself upon the altar of the cross. I resign myself entirely to Thy divine will as though I were now on my death-bed, and protest that I wish to die saying: "O Lord, always Thy will be done!"

Most holy Virgin, my advocate and my Mother Mary, thou art and wilt always be, after God, my hope and my consolation at the hour of death. From this moment I have recourse to thee and beg of thee to assist me in that passage. O my dear Queen, do not abandon me in that last moment; come then to take my soul and present it to thy Son. Henceforward I shall expect thee; and I hope to die under thy mantle and clinging to thy feet.

My protector St. Joseph, St. Michael the archangel, my angel guardian, my holy patrons, do you all assist me in that last combat with hell. And Thou my crucified Love, my Jesus, Who wert pleased to choose for Thyself so bitter a death to obtain for me a good death, remember at that hour that I am one of those dear sheep Thou didst purchase with Thy blood. Thou Who, when all the world shall have forsaken me and not one shall be able to assist me, canst alone console me and save me. Do Thou make me worthy then to receive Thee in the Viaticum and suffer me not to lose Thee forever and to be banished forever to a distance from Thee. No, my beloved Saviour, receive me then into Thy sacred wounds, for I now embrace Thee. At my last breath I intend to breathe forth my soul into the loving wound in Thy side saying now for that moment, "Jesus and Mary, I give you my heart and my soul!"

O happy suffering, to suffer for God! Happy death, to die in the Lord! I embrace Thee now, my good Redeemer, that I may die in Thy embraces. If, O my soul, Mary assists thee at thy departure, and Jesus receives thy last breath, it will not be death, but a sweet repose.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spy Wednesday

"It is consummated."


When Jesus had taken the vinegar, he said: "It is consummated." The holocaust is consumed in the fire of my love and sufferings. The will of my Father is accomplished. The Gospel is announced. The prophecies are fulfilled. The ransom of mankind is paid. Mens sins are forgiven. The captives are delivered. Paradise is opened. The sacraments are instituted. Fountains of grace flow forth to the uttermost ends of the earth. The devil is vanquished. The sins of the world are atoned for! I have nothing more to say, to do, or to suffer.


What consummation is more full of joy and peace than that of the faithful servants of God! What consummation more replete with misery and anguish than that of sinners!

"It is consummated!" the dying sinner exclaims. My pleasures are vanished, my amusements are over, my beautiful and joyous days are eclipsed, my hopes are for ever gone, my time is irrevocably lost, my life is near its close, my malice is consummated and at an end! In a little while I will enter into a life of suffering that will never end and know a misery of my own doing that will be eternal!


"It is consummated!" says the dying Christian. My evil days are over, my sufferings are ended, my combats finished, my troubles are calmed and dispersed, my griefs are soothed, my infirmities healed, my tears all wiped away, and my miseries for ever ended. "It is consummated!" There is nothing more for me to do. The cross is laid down at the portals of death, there are no more evils for me to fear or endure, no sins to avoid, no more penance to perform. I shall soon enter into a life of peace and rest where my joy will be full and eternal.


Christian soul, you must choose one or the other of these two consummations. An hour rapidly approaches, when you will be obliged to say, "It is consummated." Will you say it with Lazarus or will you say it with Dives? Will you say it with Jesus or will you say it with Pilate? In that hour you will discover that all you have loved in the world and all that it has promised is only deceit and vanity.

Resolution: As a sign of my choice to live for eternal life I will go to confession before Easter even if I have recently done so that I may receive Communion free of all sin, mortal and venial.

Prayer: Oh Jesus, author and finisher of our salvation, I offer thee my life and the consummation thereof as thou hast given thine for me! Give me grace to do thy will, to sacrifice myself to thy glory, to be consumed with divine love, to make my body a victim of suffering, to fulfil all thy designs, and acquit myself of all my duties, that I may say with my last breath: "It is done: All is accomplished: It is consummated!"

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday of Holy Week

On the Thirst of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Jesus said, "I thirst;" and they offered him only vinegar and gall to drink! He desired this torment to make satisfaction for our gluttony, and to bear the penalty of the sins we commit by excess, or too great a fondness for delicate and expensive food. He was abandoned in his soul and body. In his soul by a suspension of all sensible consolation; in his body by the suffering of all imaginable evils.

All his senses, corporal and spiritual, were crucified on Calvary. His eyes by the sight of his enemies; his ears by their blasphemies; his smell by the noxious odors of the place; his touch by the wounds that covered his body; his taste by the vinegar and gall; his memory by the recollection of our crimes; his spirit by the darkness which seemed to conceal from him the will of his Father and which wrung from him that bitter cry "My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?;" his will by fear and dejection; his appetite by disgust, sadness, and grief. There was no part of his body that was not pierced with wounds, no power of his soul but what was plunged in unspeakable grief. He suffered as if he had been a mere man, the difference being a mere man would have died much sooner under such great suffering. God wrought a miracle, not to relieve his Son from suffering, but to prevent his dying under those sufferings and you desire him to work a miracle to preserve you from suffering and death.


The divine Victim was torn by whips without, but within he was yet sound. For this reason he made the bitterness of his chalice descend into his body by enduring the most cruel thirst that was ever suffered and drinking the vinegar and gall which they offered him. It was then that the book of the Lamb was written within and without. Within by the justice of his Father, without by the cruelty of men. Within by interior pains, without by exterior sufferings.


Jesus complained of being thirsty knowing well that they would give him vinegar and gall to drink. He complained of his sufferings only that he might suffer more. He made known to us his grief that we might know his love. He thirsted for our salvation. He was consumed with the desire of bringing sinners to repentance, of freeing the captive, and making the miserable rejoice. It was love that made him complain, love that made him suffer, love that made him die.

Resolution: I will not let the suffering of Jesus for my salvation have been in vain. I will live from this day forth working to save my soul. I will renew this resolution every day by remembering that there is nothing more important than my eternal salvation, that nothing must ever get in the way of my being in heaven for all eternity.

Prayer: Oh Jesus, my Lord and my merciful Redeemer, I am the cause of the thirst that consumes thee as in thy suffering on the cross for my salvation. But never again will I cause thee to suffer so great a thirst for my soul. Grant me, by thy great thirst, the graces to leave the sins that so often wound thee; forsake my evil companions who may cause me loss of my soul and who daily offend and displease thee; approach thy cross by continual meditations on thy sufferings; be frequent in prayer; receive thee often in holy Communion; abstain from evil talk and slander; pardon the injustice and injuries inflicted on me and keep silence when angry. In this way I purpose to quench thy thirst, alleviate thy sufferings, refresh thee, and console thee. Oh Virgin of Sorrows, intercede for me that these graces will be mine and that I may live to console thy Son and thee.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Monday of Holy Week

On the Abandonment of Our Savior on the Cross.


"My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" Oh, how terrible must have been that abandonment, which forced tears and sighs from a God, and made him complain before his enemies, who triumphed; before many who believed no longer that he was the Son of God, but a wicked man, since he was thus abandoned by his Father!


Jesus was never separated from either grace or glory. His divinity was never separated from his humanity. He was always holy, always happy, always God. This terrible abandonment was only a suspension of the succors and sensible consolations that his divinity imparted to his humanity. It was a shadow and figure of the pain a sinner feels in hell when he is abandoned by God.


The agony that the divine Son suffered on the cross gives me an idea of what the damned endure in hell. God’s temporary abandonment of the just affords me some conception of the horrors of the eternal abandonment of the wicked. If the loss of the Father’s presence was so bitterly and sensibly felt by the Son, who can bear for ever the weight of God’s infinite anger? Who can suffer, in hell, an eternal separation from God, an eternal privation of grace, love, presence, consolations, succor, providence, felicity, and of all that the immortal soul values, desires, and loves? Who could, added to this, suffer an everlasting deluge of evil in the actual presence of all that the soul most fears and is most afflicted by?

Resolution: I will never abandon my God in this life that I may not be abandoned by him in the life to come. As a sign of this I will make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament to console Jesus abandoned on the Cross. If I cannot actually visit the Tabernacle I will go there in spirit.

Prayer: My beloved Jesus, what hast thou done? It is I who deserve to be abandoned. It is I who am guilty and have sinned. Oh, thy abandonment terrifies and consoles me at the same time. It fills me with terror to see what I merit; it fills me with consolation to see what I ought to hope for. If thou wast abandoned at thy death, it was that I may not be at mine. Oh Lord, be thou with me and succor me when all the world shall have forsaken me.

Oh my God, do not abandon me, although I deserve it, having so often abandoned thee. Deprive me, if such be thy will, of all consolation, but not of thy grace. Abandon me, if necessary, in life, but not at the hour of my death. If thou shouldst abandon me in time, then abandon me not in eternity.

O Mary, my Mother, I know thou wilt not abandon me. Neither let me be abandoned by my God.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Palm Sunday

The Gospel: Matt. 21:1-9.

At that time, when Jesus drew nigh to Jerusalem, and was come to Bethphage, unto Mount Olivet, then he sent two disciples, saying to them: Go into the village, that is over against you: and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them and bring them to me. And if any man shall say anything to you, say that the Lord has need of them: and forthwith he will let them go. Now all this was done that the word might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: Tell the daughter of Sion: Behold, your king comes to you, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of her that is used to the yoke. And the disciples going, did as Jesus commanded them. And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their garments upon them, and made him sit thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way, and others cut down boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way: and the multitude that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.

On the Entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem.


Jesus went triumphing to death. He knew all that awaited him at Jerusalem and had foretold to his disciples how he was to be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes who would condemn him to death and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked, scourged, and crucified. But notwithstanding all, he went thither promptly and joyfully. Whence arose this eagerness and joy? It was because he desired infinitely to suffer and die for our salvation to show his great love for us, to honor his heavenly Father, and accomplish his will. It was to crown his ignominy and humiliations with glory and triumph. It was to eat the pasch and institute the sacrament of his body and blood that he might perpetuate on our altars the sacrifice he offered on Calvary.

Christian soul, do you imitate the example of your divine Lord? do you suffer with Jesus, resignedly and joyfully? Do you go triumphantly to death? Do you allow yourself to be led thereto as a victim to the sacrifice? Is there anything more noble than to die for God, anything more just than to give your life to him who gave his for you? Anything sweeter or more consoling than to offer him proofs of your love? Anything of greater merit in his eyes than to sacrifice those things which we love best of all the world for the sake of Jesus? On the contrary, is there anything more cowardly, unjust, and deplorable, than to shrink away at the approach of death? To allow despair to enter the soul or feel unwilling to pay so lawful a debt? Or pay it with such regret as to lose the merit of the greatest and most important act of our lives?


Jesus enters your heart in triumph whenever you communicate worthily at the divine banquet of the altar. His triumph here is infinitely sweet and glorious to him, because the heart into which he enters is a kingdom, the conquest of which cost him his life! Daughters of Sion, rejoice! Behold your King who approaches full of sweetness and love. It is your king and not a tyrant, He is not a severe judge but a prince full of peace and compassion. He comes not to destroy you or to punish your treasons and rebellions, but to save you, to sanctify you, to pardon your sins, to communicate to you the merits of his passion, to animate you by his spirit, pour out his graces on you, and give you part with him in the abundance of the glory and felicity of his heavenly kingdom.


What preparations will you make, daughters of Sion, to receive your King? You must go before him bearing a palm, to signify the victory you have gained over the world, the devil, and your own evil passions. It is necessary to divest yourself of the sinful habits with which your soul is clothed and place them under the feet of Jesus Christ. You must break off branches, that is to say, cut off all that is superfluous in yourself, whether it be in words, habits, nourishment, or amusements, by continual mortifications. You must give alms to the poor and make them your care and treasure. If any one question or praise your works, say: The Lord hath need of them: it is in his name and for him that I labor.

Sing, then, with the multitude: "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" Receive him with joy. Receive him in your inmost soul. Take care that you do not betray him, outrage and crucify him as the Jews did three days after they had received him. Oh, inconstancy of man! Oh, vanity of life! Oh, perfidy of the human heart! How often have you not crucified him after having welcomed and received him in triumph! Humiliate yourself and ask forgiveness of your offended Lord, for having so betrayed his interests, and resolve to be more faithful to him in future.

Resolution: I will not end my daily meditations with the coming of Easter, but continue them every day of my life, that I may learn the will of God and accomplish it in this world so as to live
with God forever in the life to come.

Prayer: O my Jesus, I will not be like the children of Jerusalem who welcomed thee with olive branches and great cheering and then turned on thee and betrayed thee to death upon the cross. This I have done and for this I beg thy forgiveness, who died for love of me. Never again will I turn on thee and betray thee by mortal sin. But I cannot do this without the help of thy grace. Give me, therefore, the grace to desire to pray and the grace to pray each day, that when put to the test I may not fail but triumph over sin with thy help. O Mary, thou who canst obtain all things from thy Son, obtain for me these graces, lest I be lost eternally.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday in Passion Week

The Passion of the Blessed Virgin, Continued.


Jesus was crucified in his body and soul; in his body on the cross and in his soul in the heart of his holy Mother. Mary was crucified spiritually and corporally; spiritually in her soul, corporally in the flesh of her divine Son. Love imprinted on her heart all the wounds that the scourge had inflicted on his body. Those that were not mortal to the Son were so to the Mother. The lance that opened the side of Jesus after he was dead pierced the living heart of Mary. Never has a mother loved or suffered as the Mother of Jesus did.

Oh, daughter of Zion, to whom shall I compare thee? Thy grief is without example. Only the sorrows of thy divine Son are comparable to thine. Only his surpass thine. He is the King of martyrs, thou art the Queen! He is the Man Of Sorrows and thou art the Mother of sorrows!


Christian soul, go with Mary to Calvary. Take part in her affliction. Mingle your tears with hers and consider the excess of her grief. She stood by the cross of Jesus. What strength! What virtue! What constancy! While there pray to be received among the number of her children. Imitate her patience to render yourself worthy of such a mother. To receive this honor you must, like her, stand by the cross. Kneel at the foot of the cross and there wait daily. It is only here that she receives those who are presented to her by her divine Son as the children of her adoption.

Do not renew her sorrows or augment her afflictions. When you sin mortally you crucify her Son anew in your heart. You deprive him of a life more dear to him than the one he lost on the cross. Oh this death is most painful and bitter to him and afflicts the heart of his holy Mother who cannot bear to see the fruits of all he suffered made useless by the guilt of those for whom he suffered. She consented to the corporal death of her Son, but not to his spiritual death in the souls of men. The first gave them life, the second gives them death. She did not complain of the Jews although they were wicked and criminal, but she has reason to complain of Christians who are faithless to Jesus who redeemed them and to her who suffered with him for their salvation.


Suffer, then, with patience and submission like hers, all that may afflict your body or soul. Be constant in tribulation. Continue beside the cross in your desolation. Do not murmur against the order of God's providence however severe it may appear to you, but draw near to Jesus crucified and hear him say from his throne of suffering, "Son, behold thy mother. Mother, behold thy son." Do you not desire to belong to the family of Jesus Christ? Become, then, a child of Mary and you will be a member thereof.

Resolution: In honor of the Virgin’s sorrows I will abstain today from a food I particularly enjoy and give a donation to a local food pantry or I will abstain from some recreational activity or television program and spend the time reading about our Lady’s sorrows.

Prayer: Oh, most holy and afflicted Virgin, oh, Queen of martyrs, oh, Mother of sorrows, impress on my heart the wounds of thy Son! Obtain for me grace to love his cross and courage to take part in his sufferings. Pierce my heart with the sword of grief that pierced thy own. Let me drink of the same bitter chalice that thou didst. Above all, I beg thee to assist at the hour of my death as thou didst at that of thy divine Son. Receive my soul into thy hands and return it to him who gave it.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday in Passion Week

On the Passion of the Blessed Virgin.


God desired that the holy Virgin should be at the foot of the cross, and, by the sacrifice of her only Son, cooperate in our redemption by offering to the Almighty Father that which was most precious and dear to her to repair thereby the fault of Eve who caused our loss; to increase the grief of her Son by her presence; to bear part in his sorrows; to drink of his chalice; to become the Queen of martyrs of whom her Son was the King; to be as he was, crowned with opprobriums and ignominies; to receive all the predestined who were given to her in the person of the beloved disciple and to be declared their mother by these words: "Woman, behold thy son. Son, behold thy mother."


Mary endured all that Jesus suffered. The sword that entered his sacred side pierced her afflicted soul. The wounds that disfigured his flesh filled hers with suffering inconceivable. The stripes that had lacerated him were imprinted in her heart.


The martyrs suffered in their bodies, Mary suffered in her soul. The martyrs suffered in their criminal flesh, Mary suffered in the innocent flesh of her Son. The hearts of the martyrs were filled with joy, and the heart of Mary with desolation. Love diminished the pangs of the martyrs; love increased the pangs of Mary. Can she not truly say: There is no grief comparable to mine?

Resolution: I will console the most Sorrowful Virgin by offering alms in her honor today.

Prayer: Oh sweet and merciful Jesus, couldst thou not have spared thy tender and sorrowful Mother the pain of seeing thee suffer and die? What had she done that she must take part in thy sacrifice, and witness the agony that she could neither relieve nor soothe? No greater pain could have been inflicted on her, than to be obliged to stand by and behold her only Son expiring in such cruel torments. There could have been no greater grief for thee than to die in the presence of thy desolate and afflicted Mother. Grant, my beloved Jesus, that I never again cause thee or thy Mother pain by future sins. Forgive my past sins, for I repent of them that caused so much grief and suffering. And do thou, O my Mother, never turn away from me, for without thee I am lost. But now, I live only for Jesus and Mary.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday in Passion Week

On the Penitence of the Good Thief and the Impenitence of the Bad.


One of the thieves who were crucified with Jesus confessed him, the other renounced him. One adored him, the other blasphemed him. One ascended to heaven from his cross, the other descended into hell from his. One was saved at the side of Jesus, the other was damned at the side of Jesus. He was the Redeemer of both but only one profited by the salvation prepared for them. He offered his life for both and one died in his impenitence and obstinacy.

Oh, judgments of God, how profound! Oh, goodness of God, how infinite and sweet! Oh, justice of God, how terrible! Oh, ways of God, how admirable! Who will not fear eternal loss? Who may not hope for eternal life? One can be lost anywhere, since a criminal damned himself at the side of Jesus who was shedding his blood and dying for him. One may hope at all times, since a malefactor saved himself at the last hour of a wicked and criminal life.


Admire the faith of the good thief, who believed in and confessed Jesus when he was naked on the cross, borne down with a load of suffering, mocked and blasphemed by the doctors and priests of the law, and in a state so little in conformity with the dignity of his divine nature. Admire his hope, which inspired him to ask Jesus to remember him when he entered into his kingdom. Consider his charity towards God, in defending the innocence of Jesus Christ against those who assailed it. Consider also his charity towards his neighbor by correcting the error of his guilty companion and endeavoring to inspire him with sentiments of faith, humility, and piety. In fine, admire his patience, humility, and penitence, and endeavor to imitate the virtues which rendered his contrition so perfect.


Jesus forgot his own cruel sufferings to attend to the prayer of a malefactor. He forgave him all his sins, and with an oath, promised him Paradise. Oh, incomparable Prince who was not jealous of his crown, but willing to divide his empire with a thief. Oh, liberal Master who gives his servants so liberal a recompense.

Resolution: I will not presume on God’s mercy, but rather live my life each day so as to have the reward of the Good Thief. As a sign of this resolution I will do some kindness for someone.

Prayer: O my Jesus, what precious and consoling words are these to the sick and weary soul: "This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise!" Oh Lord, I say to thee, with this great penitent: "Remember me when thou earnest into thy kingdom!" I truly deserve punishment for my sins, but as for thee, what hast thou done to deserve so cruel a death? Let me also be crucified with thee, that I may hear thee say at the moment when my soul is on the eve of departing from my body: "This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise." O Mary, Gate of Heaven, lead me to that place where I may be with Jesus forever.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday in Passion Week

Jesus Prays for His Enemies.


Raised up on the cross, Jesus Christ was exposed to the profane gaze of a blasphemous multitude. No complaint escaped his lips. He uttered not a word until, moved with tender compassion for his enemies he cried out, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." The blood of Abel demanded vengeance; the blood of Jesus pleads only for mercy and grace for those who shed it. When they insulted his mercy he excused their sin, diminished their malice, and assumed the office of advocate for them, notwithstanding that they had accused him falsely, judged him through passion, condemned him through malice, and crucified him between two thieves as the greatest indignity they could offer him. He forgot his own bitter anguish to think of those who persecuted him unto death. Their guilt afflicted him more than all the torments he endured.


Keep silence, Christian soul when on the cross of suffering. Do not complain of your misfortunes. Lose not the fruit of your trials. Pray for your enemies. Forget the injuries they have inflicted on you. Excuse their intention if you cannot excuse their acts. If you refuse them a grace which they do not merit how can you expect to obtain grace from God?


Alas, they know not what they do. They believe that they do me much evil when in fact they procure me much good. When they think they do me good they bring evil on me. By their injuries they provide me with more occasions of merit than I can procure for myself. By their worldly counsels and dangerous flatteries they do me more evil than I would do them or desire for them. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." I sin through malice; they through ignorance. They believe they have good reason to treat me as they do and I entertain too great a desire to be revenged on them. If they had received the numerous graces of which I have been the recipient they would be more faithful servants of God than I am. If I had been tempted as they have I should, perhaps, have lost the grace of God and become more wicked than they.

Resolution: I will forgive all those who have hurt or offended me in any way, no matter how grievously. Realizing that I might not yet be able to forgive them, I will pray daily for the grace to forgive until I am able to do so.

Prayer: Oh, most amiable and compassionate Lord, when will I begin to imitate thy mercy and sweetness? Thy precepts command me, thy love urges me, thy example engages me by a sweet and irresistible power. I pardon all who have offended me. I forgive all who have outraged, persecuted, and crucified me. O Mother of Mercy, help me to forgive my enemies even as thou didst forgive those who crucified thy beloved Son.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.