St Clare of Assisi

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Feast of Christ the King


Christ should reign first and foremost in our soul. But how would we reply if he asked us: “How do you go about letting me reign in you?” I would reply that I need lots of his grace. Only that way can my every heartbeat and breath, my least intense look, my most ordinary word, my most basic feeling be transformed into a hosanna to Christ my king.
Jose Maria Escriva' - Christ is Passing By, 181 


Liturgical Readings

Ezekiel 34, 11-12. 15-17; Psalm 23; 1 Corinthians 15, 20-26. 28; Matthew 25, 31-46

 
Act of Consecration of the Human Race

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with You, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Your most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known You; many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Be King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry, and refuse not to to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Your eyes of mercy towards all your children; may Your blood now descend upon them, a laver of redemption and of life. Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: "Praise be to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honor for ever." Amen.




The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord,
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

01st November - All Saints Day


All Saints Day is a celebration of the communion of saints in heaven and on earth. It is a feast against solitude and isolation which hurt the human heart so much: if we did not believe in the "communion of saints", as we declare each time we profess our faith by reciting the creed, we would be closed in a desperate solitude. On this day we renew our Paschal chant since whilst at Easter we contemplate the risen Christ who is forever at the right hand of the Father, today thanks of the energy of resurrection, we contemplate all those who are forever living with Christ at the right hand of the Father: the saints. Today we contemplate those who have died for Christ, with Christ and in Christ and are now forever living with Him, and since we are all members of the same body of Christ and they are glorious members of the glorious body of Christ, we are in communion together, pilgrim church with heavenly church, forming one unique body of God.

In Christ, there is  a certain intimacy between us and the saints, which supercedes all our other relationships here on earth: they pray for us, intercede for us, they are close to us like friends who never disappoint us. And their closeness is able to produce wonders since their will is now the same as God's will made manifest in Christ: it is no longer they who live but Christ in them, since they have reached the goal of each Christian vocation, that of assuming Christ's will: "Not my will but yours be done Father" (Lk 22, 42). Sustained by those who have walked this pilgrimage before us, we discover saints who still operate on earth since the seed of the saints is not close to extinction: having fallen to the ground it is producing fruit up until today. "Look, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" Is 43, 19

Unfortunately, today this memory of saints is being made seem empty by the celebration of Halloween: which is another sign of how are society is slipping insensibly from what is real into what is virtual. From an invisible world, which is however authentic and real, the world of the communion of saints is being substituted by a world which is invisible but imaginary, a fiction made up by us humans for our consolation. No, the communion of saints can be experimented, lived: we are not alone here on earth because in the resurrected Christ we are "communicantes in unum"!   
(thoughts taken from: Dare senso al tempo by Enzo Bianchi) 


BIBLICAL READINGS
Rev 7, 2-4. 9-14;  1 John 3, 1-3;    Mt 5, 1-12


Prayer
Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God,
today we rejoice in the holy men and women
of every time and place.
May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Liturgy of the Hours

Thursday, October 27, 2011

About the Rosary ......

..... from Rosarium Virginis Maria


The “Our Father”
32. After listening to the word and focusing on the mystery, it is natural for the mind to be lifted up towards the Father. In each of his mysteries, Jesus always leads us to the Father, for as he rests in the Father's bosom (cf. Jn 1:18) he is continually turned towards him. He wants us to share in his intimacy with the Father, so that we can say with him: “Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). By virtue of his relationship to the Father he makes us brothers and sisters of himself and of one another, communicating to us the Spirit which is both his and the Father's. Acting as a kind of foundation for the Christological and Marian meditation which unfolds in the repetition of the Hail Mary, the Our Father makes meditation upon the mystery, even when carried out in solitude, an ecclesial experience.

The ten “Hail Marys
33. This is the most substantial element in the Rosary and also the one which makes it a Marian prayer par excellence. Yet when the Hail Mary is properly understood, we come to see clearly that its Marian character is not opposed to its Christological character, but that it actually emphasizes and increases it. The first part of the Hail Mary, drawn from the words spoken to Mary by the Angel Gabriel and by Saint Elizabeth, is a contemplation in adoration of the mystery accomplished in the Virgin of Nazareth. These words express, so to speak, the wonder of heaven and earth; they could be said to give us a glimpse of God's own wonderment as he contemplates his “masterpiece” – the Incarnation of the Son in the womb of the Virgin Mary. If we recall how, in the Book of Genesis, God “saw all that he had made” (Gen 1:31), we can find here an echo of that “pathos with which God, at the dawn of creation, looked upon the work of his hands”.( The repetition of the Hail Mary in the Rosary gives us a share in God's own wonder and pleasure: in jubilant amazement we acknowledge the greatest miracle of history. Mary's prophecy here finds its fulfilment: “Henceforth all generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1:48). 36)
The centre of gravity in the Hail Mary, the hinge as it were which joins its two parts, is the name of Jesus. Sometimes, in hurried recitation, this centre of gravity can be overlooked, and with it the connection to the mystery of Christ being contemplated. Yet it is precisely the emphasis given to the name of Jesus and to his mystery that is the sign of a meaningful and fruitful recitation of the Rosary. Pope Paul VI drew attention, in his Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, to the custom in certain regions of highlighting the name of Christ by the addition of a clause referring to the mystery being contemplated.( This is a praiseworthy custom, especially during public recitation. It gives forceful expression to our faith in Christ, directed to the different moments of the Redeemer's life. It is at once a profession of faith and an aid in concentrating our meditation, since it facilitates the process of assimilation to the mystery of Christ inherent in the repetition of the Hail Mary. When we repeat the name of Jesus – the only name given to us by which we may hope for salvation (cf. Acts 4:12) – in close association with the name of his Blessed Mother, almost as if it were done at her suggestion, we set out on a path of assimilation meant to help us enter more deeply into the life of Christ. 37)
From Mary's uniquely privileged relationship with Christ, which makes her the Mother of God, Theotókos, derives the forcefulness of the appeal we make to her in the second half of the prayer, as we entrust to her maternal intercession our lives and the hour of our death.

The “Gloria”
34. Trinitarian doxology is the goal of all Christian contemplation. For Christ is the way that leads us to the Father in the Spirit. If we travel this way to the end, we repeatedly encounter the mystery of the three divine Persons, to whom all praise, worship and thanksgiving are due. It is important that the Gloria, the high-point of contemplation, be given due prominence in the Rosary. In public recitation it could be sung, as a way of giving proper emphasis to the essentially Trinitarian structure of all Christian prayer.
To the extent that meditation on the mystery is attentive and profound, and to the extent that it is enlivened – from one Hail Mary to another – by love for Christ and for Mary, the glorification of the Trinity at the end of each decade, far from being a perfunctory conclusion, takes on its proper contemplative tone, raising the mind as it were to the heights of heaven and enabling us in some way to relive the experience of Tabor, a foretaste of the contemplation yet to come: “It is good for us to be here!” (Lk 9:33).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pope Benedict at the Eucharistic Congress in Ancona

The human being is incapable of giving life to himself, he understands himself only by starting from God: it is the relationship with him that gives our humanity consistence and makes our life good and just. In the “Our Father” we ask that his name be hallowed, that his kingdom come, that his will be done. It is first and foremost God’s primacy that we must recover in our world and in our life, because it is this primacy that enables us to discover the truth of what we are, and it is in knowing and following God’s will that we find our own good; giving time and space to God, so that he may be the vital centre of our existence. 

Yet what does starting from the Eucharist in order to reaffirm God’s primacy entail for our daily life? Eucharistic communion, dear friends, wrenches us from our individualism, communicates to us the spirit of Christ dead and risen, and conforms us to him. It closely unites us with our brethren in that mystery of communion, which is the Church, where the one Bread makes many one body (1 Cor 10:17), fulfilling the prayer of the Christian community recorded in the Book of the Didaché: “As this broken bread was once scattered on the mountains and after it had been brought together became one, so may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth unto your kingdom” (ix, 4).

The Eucharist sustains and transforms the whole of daily life. As I recalled in my first Encyclical: “Eucharistic communion includes the reality both of being loved and of loving others in turn”, therefore, “A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented” (Deus Caritas Est, n. 14).

Extract from Pope Benedict XVI's homily on 11th September 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Feast of our father - St. Francis of Assisi 04th October

Francis and Clare not only became brother and sister to every human being but to all animate and inanimate creatures.  In contemplating nature, when Francis discovers that everything speaks to him of God, his eyes are filled with joy and he exclaims in the Canticle of Brother Sun:  everything "... from you Most High, bears significance" (FF 263).

Dear young people, may you too learn to look at your neighbor and at creation with God´s eyes.  Mainly respect its summit, which is the human person.  At the school of such excellent teachers, learn the careful and attentive use of goods.  Do your utmost to see that they are better distributed and shared, with full respect for the rights of every person.  In reading the great book of creation, may your spirit open to grateful praise to the Creator."

from Blessed Pope John Paul II's address to "Young People to Assisi," August 26, 2001.

 
Canticle of Creatures
 
Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.

Mass and Adoration - October 2011



"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them"  Matthew 18:20
Mass and Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament on

Wednesday 12th October 2011 at 19:00 hrs


at St Clare's Monastery, St Julians

Friday, September 16, 2011

17th September - Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis


Stigmatization of St. Francis - Giotto di Bondone





In the year 1224, two years before his death, whilst St. Francis was spending his customary 40-day retreat on Mount La Verna, prior to the feast of St. Michael Archangel, our Lord granted him the gift that he had so much longed for by imprinting His five wounds upon the saint's body. Pope Benedict XI gave the Franciscan Order permission to publicise this event and to remember it every year by liturgical celebration. St. Francis had imitated our Lord so perfectly that God chose to manifest him to the whole world as an example for all. Thus, the feast of the stigmata commemorates something which goes beyond the life of any single man. It signifies that Christ made man lives on in His Church, as He reproduces His mysteries on His Spouse which Christ wants to be similar to Himself. 

Since his conversion St. Francis had a devotion for Jesus Crucified, a devotion which he sought to spread by his words but mostly by his life. The saint imitated Jesus in his passion and crucifixion by accepting his daily trials and difficulties with love for Christ and thus he made himself similar to Christ. Commemorating this event we are invited to imitate St. Francis by joining our everyday difficulties, sorrows and suffering to those of Jesus. We will be thus become living witnesses of Christ allowing Him to live through us. Participating in this manner in His Passion we will also participate in His resurrection, a joy which will experience from this world. Whilst thanking God for providing us with saintly guides to encourage us and teach us the way to Him, may we today and every day open our hearts to receive the grace to live through Him, with Him and in Him.

BIBLICAL READINGS
Gal 6,14-18;  Gal 2,16-20;  Fil 1,20-22;  Lk 9,23-26



From the Legenda Minor of St. Bonaventure
(de Stigmatibus sacris, 1-4; ed. Quaracchi, 1941; pgg. 202-204)

Two years before Francis, the faithful servant of Christ, gave his soul back to God, he was alone on the top of Mt. Alverna. There he had begun a fast of forty days in honor of the archangel Michael and was immersed more deeply than usual in the delights of heavenly contemplation. His soul became aglow with the ardor of fervent longing for heaven as he experienced within himself the operations of grace.

As he was drawn aloft through ardent longing for God one morning near the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and was praying on the mountainside, he saw what appeared as a seraph with six bright wings gleaming like a fire descending from the heights of heaven. As this figure approached in swift flight and came near the man of God it appeared not only winged but also crucified. The sight of it amazed Francis and his soul experienced joy mingled with pain. He was delighted with the sight of Christ appearing to him so graciously and intimately and yet the awe-inspiring vision of Christ nailed to the cross aroused in his soul a joy of compassionate love.

When the vision vanished after a mysterious and intimate conversation it left Francis aglow with seraphic love in his soul. Externally, however, it left marks on his body like those of the Crucified as if the impression of a seal had been left on heated wag. The figures of the nails appeared immediately on his hands and feet. The heads of the nails were inside his hands but on top of his feet with their points extending through to the opposite side. His right side too showed a blood-red wound as if it had been pierced by a lance, and blood flowed frequently from it.

Because of this new and astounding miracle unheard of in times past, Francis came down from the mountain a new man adorned with the sacred stigmata, bearing in his body the image of the Crucified not made by a craftsman in wood or stone , but fashioned in his members by the hand of the living God.


Defying nature, he lived on with his side opened; blood flowed from it; a memorial of the blood of the living God, shed for us. Breathtaking are these signs; they call for maximum veneration of the Saint and love of the exceedingly good Jesus. They make for an unshakable confidence in those contemplating the following of Jesus. 
They are reminders of God;
they are evidence of the sanctity of the man;
they are indications of what we are to be.
For by this sublime imprinting,
Jesus in his exceeding goodness, demonstrated:
His benevolent approval of Francis,
His divine providence in sustaining him,
His justice in upholding him,
His power by imprinting upon him what was beyond the limits of nature. 
(taken from The Tree of the Crucified Life of Jesus excerpts by Ubertino Da Casale 1305)


 
The Praises of God - St. Francis of Assisi 
 You are holy Lord God Who does wonderful things.
You are strong. You are great. You are the most high.
You are the almighty king. You holy Father,
King of heaven and earth.
You are three and one, the Lord God of gods;
You are the good, all good, the highest good,
Lord God living and true.
You are love, charity; You are wisdom, You are humility,
You are patience, You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are security, You are rest,
You are gladness and joy, You are our hope, You are justice,
You are moderation, You are all our riches to sufficiency.
You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are the protector, You are our custodian and defender,
You are strength, You are refreshment. You are our hope,
You are our faith, You are our charity,
You are all our sweetness, You are our eternal life:
Great and wonderful Lord, Almighty God, Merciful Savior.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 14 - Exaltation of the Glorious Cross




September 14th, brings us to one of the twelve great feasts in the yearly Church cycle - the feast of the Exaltation of the Glorious Cross (Triumph of the Cross). On this day we commemorate the miraculous finding of the cross by St. Helen (mother of Constantine) in the year 326, after it had disappeared during the first centuries of persecutions of Christianity when pagans tried to destroy all evidence relating to the life of Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, we celebrate the full significance of the victory of the Cross of Christ as instrument of salvation. By His obedience unto death, Jesus Christ accomplished universal redemption. Through Christ we are thus able to look at the entire universe through the light of the Cross the new Tree of Life which provides nourishment for those who have been redeemed in Christ.

Adoration of the Cross is adoration of Jesus Christ, God made man, who suffered and died for our redemption from sin and death. Contemplating the Cross, we contemplate the true image of God as He bends down to embrace all humans in their suffering. As we celebrate this feast, we as Christians are invited to remember the true beatitude that as disciples we are called to live, namely  the fullness of life through the participation in the Son of God's paschal journey.  Dear Brothers and Sisters, we are invited to look upon the Cross. It is the “privileged place” where the love of God is revealed and shown to us.… On the Cross human misery and divine mercy meet. The adoration of this unlimited mercy is for man the only way to open himself to the mystery which the Cross reveals.  (Pope John Paul II in his homily on 14th September 2003)

Representing the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Cross is the most potent and universal sign of Christian faith. By wearing a Crucifix (the cross with an image of Christ’s body upon it) or by placing it in our environments we are a constant reminder and witness of Christ's ultimate triumph over sin and death. Meditating the mysteries of Christ together with the Virgin Mary by praying the Holy Rosary underneath the Crucifix we open our hearts to experience the abundance of graces and life-giving mercy and forgiveness pouring out from the Crucified One's pierced side.

BIBLICAL READINGS
1 Cor 1:18-25 (vigil); Num 21:4-9; Phil 2:6-I1; Jn 3:13-17 (or Jn 19:25-27)


Cross, light of Christians

O Holy Cross, ineffable love of God and glory of heaven! O Holy Cross eternal salvation support of the just, light of Christians, God has made Himself man and slave for you; in God through you man has been made king; true light has emerged from you and night has been won. You are the soul of peace which unites men in Christ the mediator. You are the ladder by which man rises to heaven. Remain always for us, your faithful, a column and anchor; sustain our residences and our environments. May our faith remain strong in the cross and may our crown be prepared in it.


Prayer in front of the Cross

Lord Jesus, your Cross has been planted on this earth. Refused by the crowds, abandoned by your friends, confused with criminals, stripped from your dignity, tortured in body and soul, you have descended unto the very abyss of suffering where it seems that even God is far away. And yet your arms, nailed to the cross, remain open to embrace everyone. And yet your mouth speaks only words of pardon and promises of happiness. Lord Jesus, your story is continued in the everyday life where betrayals, infidelities, refusals, and revenges are present. At times, there seems to be no end to destruction, daily crimes and suffering imposed on those who are weak and in need help. We pray to you for all men especially those who use the power of arms to offend, humiliate and to impose their power. May they open their eyes to realise the pain that they are causing and the devastating consequences of war and the desperation of many people. Through the intercession of our Mother Mary ever Virgin we ask you to please open their hearts that they may recognise the semblances of your Christ in the disfigured faces of the oppressed, the blood of your Christ falling from His cross in the blood of victims and may they recognise a brother in every suffering man. Amen.

Adoramus te, christe, et benedicimus tibi,
quia per crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
for by your cross you have redeemed the world.

St. Francis' Prayer Before the Crucifix

Most High
glorious God,
enlighten the darkness
of my heart.
Give me
right faith,
sure hope
and perfect charity.
Fill me with understanding
and knowledge
that I may fulfill
your command.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Solemn Profession - Sr. Claire Helene


Sr. Claire Hélène in our internal chapel
One of our sisters, sr. Claire Hélène, took her final vows on 05th August 2011. Solemn mass was celebrated in our chapel in St. Julians followed by a small reception for family members and friends in our garden. We thank all who were present for the celebration most especially His Grace Archbishop Paul Cremona OP who led mass. We thought of sharing the Archbishop's homily on the occasion as we feel that it would benefit all who wish to grow in their relationship with the Lord.

Archbishop Paul Cremona spoke about how God created us in His image and His wish is that His image in us reaches perfection. There are two things we can do in order for this to happen. The first is to create space within us as God can only fill an empty space. He gave the example, that if we allow 5 mins of prayer in our life, God will be able to fill that space but if our lives are full of other things and we leave no space for God than God cannot fill us as we allow Him no option. The other thing we should do is to accept the gift of God's love. There is no other way we can become His image unless we allow Him to fill us with His love.

Solemn profession in religious life is the greatest radicality in the Church as a way to put the above into action. It is the greatest space imaginable that a person can offer to God. Archbishop Cremona made reference to the reading of the day  “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Anchor a door of hope......" taken from the second chapter Hosea and explained how solemn profession means that if a person is offering an open space in all her life, then that person will be totally His (of God).

Archbishop Cremona then moved on to explain the three evangelical votes which sr. Claire Hélène was taking namely Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Jesus came to earth in a specific way:  celibate, poor and obedient to the Father. Each of these three votes creates a space which God will fill as follows:  the space created by chastity will be filled with God's love, the space created by poverty will be filled with spiritual richness and that of obedience will be filled with God's will, being that which God wishes sr. Claire Hélène to accomplish.

Another vote specific for contemplative life is that of living in cloister. The cloister offers the opportunity to the person taking the vote, to be free and empty from all the alienations of the world so that attention can be focused all on God. Making reference to the Gospel according to John chapter 17, Archbishop Cremona explained how Jesus said that the empty space inside us is to be filled with God's Word. Thus the first mystery that a consecrated person is to be filled with is that of the Incarnation of Jesus. He further explained how Jesus invites us to be one like the mystery of the Holy Trinity which is 'communion'. Thus a consecrated person is to live this in the community so that the world believes that as Jesus said "... you have sent me". "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me...." Jn 17:20-23

The consecrated person is also to be filled with a love and thirst for souls, just like Jesus was, and believe that a person who is given the gift of prayer, is gifted with a value which will give fulfillment and all the spirit necessary to be there. Hence the importance of the quality of prayer, so that those who come in contact with the person can see it. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." Jn 17:24 The Archbishop explained that, this is the escatological dimension which means that here (this world) is only the passage. Its true glory, which at the time being we are foretasting, is what we will enjoy in God the Father in the future when we become all in all.

Referring to the Gospel (vs 17), Archbishop Cremona concluded his thoughts as follows: "I pray for those who hear your Word and follow it".

BIBLICAL READINGS
Hos 2:16,21-22;    Salm 33;    Fil.2:1-11;    John 17:20-26

To the Archbishop's thoughts we wish to add a little prayer by St. Nicholas of Flüe: My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you. My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you. My Lord and My God, detach me from myself and give my all to you.


Sr. Claire Hélène now forms part of our community at 'Nazaret', Triq Santa Dminka, Rabat in Gozo. For those of you who would be interested to join our sisters for prayers you are welcome to do so at the following times:

Lauds / Morning Prayers:          7:00am
Mass                                          7:30am

Vespers / Evening Prayers:        5:00pm
Silent Adoration                          5:30pm - 6:30pm

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mass and Adoration - September 2011


"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them"  Matthew 18:20
Mass and Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament on

Wednesday 14th September 2011 at 19:00 hrs

at St Clare's Monastery, St Julians

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Recitation of the 4 Rosaries every Tuesday - September



Join us every Tuesday for the recitation of the 
Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful 
and Glorious Mysteries 
in the presence of the Blessed Eucharist

Tuesday 06th September 2011

Tuesday 13th September 2011

Tuesday 20th September 2011

Tuesday 27th September 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pope Benedict about prayer .....

In his second catecheses Pope Benedict continues his reflection on how prayer and the sense of religion have always been part of man throughout history. Although due to secularism, God seems to have disappeared from the lives of some and materialism seems to be taking over, at the same time we see a resdiscovery of the need for God and the need for spirituality in the life of human beings. Man in himself is religious and Pope Benedict points to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states that “In the act of creation, God calls every being from nothingness into existence.... Even after losing through his sin his likeness to God, man remains an image of his Creator, and retains the desire for the one who calls him into existence. All religions bear witness to man’s essential search for God” (n. 2566). and further “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God” (n. 27).

Man bears within himself the attraction for God, since God himself placed this attraction in man. This attraction is the soul of prayer and in fact prayer is found present in different forms in all religions and cultures.
In prayer, in every period of history, man considers himself and his situation before God, from God and in relation to God, and experiences being a creature in need of help, incapable of obtaining on his own the fulfilment of his life and his hope. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein mentioned that “prayer means feeling that the world’s meaning is outside the world”.

Only in God who reveals himself does man’s seeking find complete fulfilment. The prayer that is openness and elevation of the heart to God, thus becomes a personal relationship with him. And even if man forgets his Creator, the living, true God does not cease to call man first to the mysterious encounter of prayer.

".... You will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, if you believe.” (Mt 21:22) With full faith in Jesus' words, let us accept our limitations and our need for God and in all humility kneel before our living God and ask for the gift of prayer, that we may open our hearts to the dialogue that God is trying to open with each and every one of us and thus experience his infinite love and mercy and allow Him to quench our thirst for life. Let us with St. Augustine say: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." 


Holy Father's Prayer intentions for August 2011

General Intention: World Youth Day.
That World Youth Day in Madrid may encourage young people throughout the world to have their lives rooted and built up in Christ.

Missionary Intention:Western Christians.
That Western Christians may be open to the action of the Holy Spirit and rediscover the freshness and enthusiasm of their faith.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pope Benedict about prayer .....


Prayer is something very personal, very intimate sometimes difficult to express but yet can also be very simple when expressed in the form of a little child expressing its feelings to its father.

On 04th May 2011, Pope Benedict XVI commenced a series of new Catecheses about prayer, especially Christian prayer that is, which Jesus taught and which the Church continues to teach us. It is in fact in Jesus that man becomes able to approach God in the depth and intimacy of the relationship of fatherhood and sonship. Together with the first disciples, let us now turn with humble trust to the Teacher and ask him: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1).

We know well, in fact, that prayer should not be taken for granted. It is necessary to learn how to pray, as it were acquiring this art ever anew; even those who are very advanced in spiritual life always feel the need to learn from Jesus, to learn how to pray authentically. We receive the first lesson from the Lord by his example. The Gospels describe Jesus to us in intimate and constant conversation with the Father: it is a profound communion of the One who came into the world not to do his will but that of the Father who sent him for the salvation of man.

In his first catecheses Pope Benedict gave a series of examples of prayer from ancient cultures showing however that prayer always addresses us to God as the desire and yearning for God is engraved in our hearts. Human life is a fabric woven of good and of evil, of undeserved suffering and of joy and beauty that spontaneously and irresistibly impel us to ask God for that light and that inner strength which support us on earth and reveal a hope beyond the boundaries of death.

Pope Benedict ended his first catecheses with a prayer for divine light. At the beginning of our journey in the “school of prayer” let us now ask the Lord to illumine our minds and hearts so that the relationship with him in prayer may be ever more intense, affectionate and constant. Once again, let us say to him: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1).

For full text go to:  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20110504_en.html

Holy Father's Prayer intentions for August 2011

General Intention: World Youth Day.
That World Youth Day in Madrid may encourage young people throughout the world to have their lives rooted and built up in Christ.

Missionary Intention:Western Christians.
That Western Christians may be open to the action of the Holy Spirit and rediscover the freshness and enthusiasm of their faith.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

15th August - Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

Icon of the Dormition of The Blessed Virgin Mary

In the midst of the summer holidays, a time of rest for man, the Church celebrates the feast of the Assumption in honour of the Virgin Mary. Since the early centuries, the Church perceived that Mary prefigured both the pilgrimage and the final destination which awaits every human being: the assumption of the whole human being into the divine. The personality of Mary incorporates all the believers because she is the Daughter of Zion, the holy Israel from whom the Savior was born, the Church and the Christian community which generates sons and daughters for God beneath the Cross.

Mary assumpted in God remains infinitely human, Mother forever, turned towards the earth, attentive to all the sufferings of man of all time and in all places, ever present during their, often uncertain, pilgrimage on earth.

For the east as well as for the west, the Dormition - Assumption of Mary is a sign of the 'ultimate realities' which are yet to occur. In her we perceive the glorification which awaits the whole cosmos at the end of time when "God will be all in all" (1 Cor 12,28)

The Assumption of Mary is the anticipation of the paschal feast which awaits every believer. It is the assumption of the redempted creature into God, which is parallel with the first and decisive Assumption of the Son into the glory of the Father. The Icon of the Dormition represents these themes. Whilst Mary is represented on the deathbed surrounded by the Apostles, the Christ appears solemnly at the centre of the picture as He holds a little girl full of light in His hands: this is the soul of the Virgin Mother which He is taking with Him to heaven.

This is the hope for all which the liturgy seeks to sing in this feast. The body of the Blessed Virgin Mary transported towards the Light fount and destination of all light is not the devotion of some faithful, but the ultimate fate of the whole cosmos, created by the Uncreated: it is the same body of the earth which transfigured, becomes eucharist, thanksgiving, one with heaven.  In the memory of Mary assumpted into heaven, Christians, are invited to transform their holidays into thanksgiving to the Creator and Saviour whilst they contemplate creation.

As we contemplate in faith the final glory to which we are all called, let us remain united with our Blessed Mother in the prayer of the rosary making a special intention for all our suffering brothers and sisters who are feeling weak. Let us help them with prayer. May this feast bring new hope in their hearts and new light in their lives. May they feel the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary right beside them and may her presence keep their faith alive that they may never give up but keep the hope of the coming glory burning in their heart.

Peace!

Reference has been made to the book "Dare Senso Ai Tempi" by Enzo Bianchi founder of Bose Community

Friday, August 12, 2011

Feast of St. Clare - 11th August 2011

Photo taken during the feast on 11th August 2011

Heartfelt thanks to all those who helped in the organisation of the feast and to all who attended and with your presence made it a beautiful celebration to our Lord. Above all, let us thank our Heavenly Father, author of all goodness for His love and peace and for His eternal presence amongst us. Let us remain united in prayer through the Eucharist and the rosary. Following the example of our Blessed Mother Mary ever Virgin let us always create space within our hearts and thus make ourselves dwellings for the Holy Spirit.  God bless and keep you all!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Feast of St. Clare - 11th August 2011

Come and join us as we celebrate the  Feast of  St Clare, 

on Thursday 11th August 2011.

Mass will be held at 18:30hrs within the Grounds of our Monastery, followed by a reception.

Everyone is welcome!

St. Clare used to count her prayers using pebbles. One of her favourite prayers was the Our Father whom she referred to as 'the author of all good'. Let us always pray this beautiful prayer to experience the love of the Father in our hearts, in our families and communities and in our every day life.

Paraphrase of the Our Father attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:

Our Father: Most Holy, our Creator and Redeemer, our Savior and our Comforter.
Who art in Heaven: in the angels and the saints. Who gives them light so that they may have knowledge, because Thou, Lord, are Light. Who inflames them so that they may love, because Thou, Lord, are Love. Who lives continually in them and who fills them so that they may be happy, because Thou, Lord, are the Supreme Good, the Eternal Good, and it is from Thee that all good comes, and without Thee there is no good.
Hallowed be Thy Name: May our knowledge of Thee become ever clearer, so that we may realize the extent of Thy benefits, the steadfastness of Thy promises, the sublimity of Thy Majesty and the depth of Thy judgments.
Thy Kingdom come: so that Thou may reign in us by Thy grace and bring us to Thy Kingdom, where we shall see Thee clearly, love Thee perfectly, be blessed in Thy company and enjoy Thee forever.
Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven: so that we may love Thee with our whole heart by always thinking of Thee; with our whole mind by directing our whole intention towards Thee and seeking Thy glory in everything; and with all our strength by spending all our powers and affections of soul and body in the service of Thy Love alone. And may we love our neighbors as ourselves, encouraging them all to love Thee as best we can, rejoicing as the good fortune of others, just as it were our own, and sympathizing with their misfortunes, while giving offense to no one.
Give us this day our daily bread: Thy own beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to remind us of the love He showed for us and to help us understand and appreciate it and everything that he did or said or suffered.
And forgive us our trespasses: in Thy infinite Mercy, and by the power of the Passion of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, together with the merits and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all your saints.
As we forgive those who trespass against us: and if we do not forgive perfectly, Lord, make us forgive perfectly, so that we may indeed love our enemies for love of Thee, and pray fervently to Thee for them, returning no one evil for evil, anxious only to serve everybody in Thee.
And lead us not into temptation: hidden or obvious, sudden or unforeseen.
But deliver us from evil: Present, past, or to come.
Amen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mass and Adoration - August 2011



Wednesday 17th August 2011 at 19:00 hrs

at St Clare's Monastery, St Julians

Mass and Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament on

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

02nd August - Feast of the Porziuncola

The Plenary Indulgence of Assisi

From midnight of the 1st August to midnight of the following day, or with the consent of the Ordinary, on the preceding or the following Sunday, we can gain, once only, the plenary indulgence of Porziuncola or the "Pardon of Assisi".

In order to avail of this great manifestation of God's mercy, we should satisfy the following conditions:
  1. A visit to a parish church or a Franciscan church with the prescribed time where the Our Father and the Creed are to be recited;
  2. The Sacrament of Reconciliation should be received during this time;
  3. One should receive Holy Communion
  4. One should pray for the intetions of our Holy Father the Pope (an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be, or other suitable prayers);
  5. The disposition of one's soul must be such as to exclude every attachment to sin, even venial.
The indulgence may be applied to the souls of the deceased.

How St. Francis obtained the Indulgence

One night, in the year 1216, St. Francis was immersed in prayer and contemplation in the little church of  Porziuncola, Assisi, in central Italy, then suddenly, a dazzling light flooded the church, and Christ appeared above the altar, clothed in light, and beside him, His most holy Mother, surrounded by a multitude of angels. Francis adored the Lord in silence, with his face to the ground!

Our Lord asked him what he desired for the salvation of souls. St. Francis' reply was immediate:  "Most Holy Father, although I am a miserable sinner, I beseech you to grant full and generous forgiveness to all who visit this church, having repented and confessed, with complete remission of all their sins."
"What you ask is great, O Brother Francis," answered the Lord, "but you are worthy of greater things, and greater things you shall have. Therefore I accept your prayer, but on condition that you ask this indulgence on my behalf of my vicar on earth."

Francis went immediately before his Holiness Pope Honorius III, who was staying at nearby Perugia at that time, and described the vision in with his characteristic sincerity and simplicity.

The Pope listened to him attentively and, after some hesitation, gave his approval. "For how many years do you want this indulgence?" Francis immediately replied, "Holy Father, I do not ask for years, but for souls", and happily made his way to the door. The Pontiff called him back, asking, "Why do you require no document?" "Holy Father", Francis answered, "for me your word is sufficient! If this indulgence is of God's making He shall take care of manifesting His work; I have no need of any document, the charter must be the most Holy Virgin Mary, Christ shall be the solicitor and the Angels the witnesses".

Some days later, Francis said to the assembly gathered at Porziuncola, with tears in his eyes, "My brothers, I want to send you all to Paradise!"

Monday, July 4, 2011

Recitation of the 4 Rosaries every Tuesday this August

Join us every Tuesday for the recitation of the 
Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful 
and Glorious Mysteries 
on the following days

Tuesday 09th August 2011

Tuesday 16th August 2011

Tuesday 23rd August 2011

Tuesday 30th August 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June the Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus



Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart
of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
from the book Devotion To The Sacred Heart

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to You, I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honouring and glorifying You. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to You, and to do all for Your love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease You.

I take You, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in You, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Your infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist You. Imprint Your pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget You or be separated from You.

I beseech You, through Your infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Your Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Your devoted servants. Amen.

Mass & Adoration - June 7th, 2011 at 18:30hrs

Monday, May 2, 2011

May - Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary

One of our corridors in our Monastery


The month of May is especially dedicated to Our Lady.  Her wish is that we recite the Holy Rosary.  
Click on our Rosary Page and get inspired and delve into the Mysteries of the Rosary.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

EASTER SUNDAY - Alleluia Christ is Risen


Our Easter Joy
As we hail Christ as our Lord and God we are filled with joy.
In this season of renewal we are like those early Christians who were filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described.

Alleluia!

Alleluia!  Our song of praise 
to the risen Christ 
who is our life 
and whose triumph over death 
we proclaim to all the world.

_________________



Mass Readings of the Day


First Reading:  Acts of the Apostles 10: 34. 37-43


Responsorial Psalm: 117: 1-2. 16-17. 22-23.
R/. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


Second Reading: Letter of St Paul to the Colossians 3: 1-4


Gospel Acclamation: 1 Cor 5: 7-8


GOSPEL:  according to St John 20: 1-9

HOLY SATURDAY - Meditation on the Seven Sorrows of Mary


On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord's tomb, meditating on his suffering and death.  The altar is left bare, and the sacrifice of the mass is not celebrated.  Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.

Thus let us accompany Our Holy Mother Mary in her desolation by meditating not only on the sufferings of her son but also her pierced Immaculate Heart.



THE SEVEN SORROWS OF MARY 

V: O God, come to my assistance; 
R: O Lord, make haste to help me 
V: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. 
R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.



Sorrow 1 - The Prophecy of Simeon
(Luke 2:33-35) 
'The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 
"Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, 
and to be a sign that will be contradicted 
(and you yourself a sword will pierce) 
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
   
Sorrow as sharp as a sword shall pierce Mary's heart because of her Child. Mary is in the Temple, having come with Joseph to present the Child to God. They meet Simeon, the holy man, and Anna, the prophetess. Simeon takes the Baby in his arms, saying he will now die in peace because he has seen Christ, then he foretells the sorrow to come.

I grieve for you, O Mary, most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God.

Recite seven (7) Hail Mary's
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now,
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

O Sorrowful Mother, pierce my heart through, and every wound of Christ renew in my heart.


Sorrow 2 - The Flight into Egypt
(Matthew 3: 13-15)
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son."

Soon the sword of sorrow strikes. Herod the King seeks to kill the Child. Warned in sleep by an angel, Joseph takes Jesus and His Mother Mary, setting out for Egypt, where they lived in obscurity and poverty until it was safe to return to Nazareth. 
 
I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there.  Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety.

Recite seven (7) Hail Mary's

O Sorrowful Mother, pierce my heart through, and every wound of Christ renew in my heart.


Sorrow 3 - Loss of Jesus For Three Days
   
(Luke 2:41-52)
     And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the pasch, and when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him.
     And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. And seeing him, they wondered, And his mother said to him: 
"Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." And he said to them: "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know, that I must be about my father's business? And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.

When Jesus is twelve, He is taken to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. On the return journey Joseph and Mary find at the end of the first day that Jesus is not with them. Racked with anxiety, they search for Him. Nobody in the streets, not even the beggars, can tell them where He is. Not till the third day do they find Him, in the Temple.
I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the lost of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge.

Recite seven (7) Hail Mary's

O Sorrowful Mother, pierce my heart through, and every wound of Christ renew in my heart.

Sorrow 4 - The Way to Calvary 
    
(John 19:17)
And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, in Hebrew Golgotha.

Mary has known fear and sorrow, but none so great as seeing her beloved Son stumbling under the weight of the Cross. She hears the jeering shouts from the crowd and has no power to help Him. Pity and love are in her eyes as she gazes at His blood-stained face. To many around her He is no better than a criminal, and her heart is breaking as she follows Him to Calvary or Golgotha.
I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude.

Recite seven (7) Hail Mary's

O Sorrowful Mother, pierce my heart through, and every wound of Christ renew in my heart.

Sorrow 5 - The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord
   (John 19:25-30)
So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews."
Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that he said, 'I am the King of the Jews.'"
Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be," in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled (that says): "They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots." This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst."
There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

With John, Mary stands at the foot of the Cross. "A sword shall pierce thy soul," Simeon told her. Truly her heart is pierced with sorrow. Her beloved Son is dying and she shares in His suffering. She does not ask God to take away this agony. She is His Mother, so close to Him that His pain is hers, too. And now He speaks from the Cross: "Woman, behold thy son." Jesus give His Mother to John, and to us. For all eternity she is our Mother.
I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.

Recite seven (7) Hail Mary's

O Sorrowful Mother, pierce my heart through, and every wound of Christ renew in my heart.


Sorrow 6 - The Descent from the Cross
(Matthew 27: 57 – 59)
3When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus.  He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over.  Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it (in) clean linen

It is over.  Dark clouds have appeared in the sky and upon the world. Jesus is dead. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take down the Body from the Cross. and Mary receives It in her arms. She is filled with a sadness that no human heart has known. This is her Son. Once she had cradled Him in her arms. listened to His voice, watched Him working at the carpenter's bench. Now He is dead. She does not weep, her grief is too great for tears. 
 
I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of 
understanding.

Recite seven (7) Hail Mary's

O Sorrowful Mother, pierce my heart through, and every wound of Christ renew in my heart.

Sorrow 7 - The Burial of Jesus
   (John 19: 31-40)

Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe.
For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: "Not a bone of it will be broken."
And again another passage says: "They will look upon him whom they have pierced."
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

Hastily the Body is wrapped in a clean linen cloth. Nicodemus has brought myrrh and aloes, and the Body is bound in the Shroud with them. nearby is a new tomb, belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, and there they lay Jesus. Mary and John and the holy women follow them and watch as the great stone to the sepulchre is rolled. it is the end. 
 
I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom.

Recite seven (7) Hail Mary's

O Sorrowful Mother, pierce my heart through, and every wound of Christ renew in my heart.


PRAYER OF ST. BONAVENTURE TO THE MOTHER OF SORROWS
O sorrowful Virgin, unite me at least to the humiliations and wounds of thy Son, so that both He and thee may find comfort in having someone sharing thy sufferings. Oh, how happy I would be if I could do this! For is there perhaps anything greater, sweeter, or more advantageous for a person? Why dost thou not grant me what I ask? If I have offended thee, be just and pierce my heart. If I have been faithful to thee, leave me not without a reward: give me thy sorrows. 
 
PRAYER OF ST. ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI 
 O afflicted Virgin, O soul great in virtues, as in sorrows, both the one and the other spring from that great fire burning in thy heart for God, the only love of thy heart!
Mother, have pity on me, who has not loved God, and who has so greatly offended Him. Thy sorrows, it is true, assure me of pardon, but that is not sufficient. I wish to love God. Who could obtain for me that grace if not thee, who are the Mother of holy love! O Mary, Thou consolest everyone; favour me also, with thy consolations. Amen.