BY REV. F. P. O’SHEA, C.SS.R
SECOND MEDITATION. THE VISITATION
“And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the Infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. And she cried out with a loud voice and said: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed because the things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.”
“And Mary said: “My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of His handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is His Name.”
Fruitful Reflections: Humility, Charity, Devotion to Mary.
THIRD MEDITATION. THE NATIVITY
“It came to pass that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. And all went to be enrolled, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child, And it came to pass that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.
“And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night -watches over their flock. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone around about them: and they feared with great fear.
“And the angel said to them: “Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people: For this day is born to you a Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David, And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.”
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of goodwill.””
“And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one to another: “Let us go over to Bethlehem and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed to us.” And they came with haste: and they found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant lying in the manger.””
Fruitful Reflections: Faith, Love of God, Obedience, Horror of sin.
FOURTH MEDITATION. THE PRESENTATION
“After the days of the Purification, according to the law of Moses were accomplished they carried Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord. And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him. And he received an answer from the holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he also took Him into His arms end blessed God and said: “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace: Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: a light to the revelation of the gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.” And His father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning Him.”
Fruitful Reflections: Obedience to authority, The Will of God, Happiness in suffering.
FIFTH MEDITATION. THE FINDING OF THE CHILD JESUS IN THE TEMPLE
“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 He was in the company they came a day’s journey and sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances. And not finding Him they returned to Jerusalem seeking Him.
“And it came to pass that after three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of 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 man.”
Fruitful Reflections. Obedience to parents and those in authority, Zeal for the salvation of souls, Following one’s vocation, Love of parents, Love of one’s children,
THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
FIRST MEDITATION. THE AGONY OF OUR LORD IN THE GARDEN
“It was night. Then Jesus came with them into a country -place which is called Gethsemani. And He said to His disciples: “Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray.” And He taketh Peter and James and John with Him; and He began to fear and to be heavy. Then He said to them: “My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch with Me.” And going a little further, He fell upon His face saying: “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt.” And He cometh to His disciples and findeth them asleep. And He said to Peter: “What? Could you not watch one hour with Me? Watch ye: and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh weak.”
“Again He went and prayed saying: “My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done.” And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”
Fruitful Reflection. Necessity of prayer in temptation. The malice of sin. Doing the will of God.
SECOND MEDITATION. THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR
“And Pilate calling together the chief priests, and the magistrates and the people, said to them: “You have presented unto me this Man, as one that perverteth the people, and behold I having examined Him before you find no cause in this Man in those things wherein you accuse Him. No, neither Herod. For I sent you to him, and behold nothing worthy of death has been done by Him. I will chastise Him therefore and release Him.”
“The Holy Shroud of Turin shows that the whole Body of Our Divine Saviour, front and back, was scourged with a whip made of flexible thongs to which were attached metal balls. The Face, Hands and Feet were the only parts spared.
“We read that strong men sometimes died under a Roman scourging and we can easily understand why Pilate should have hoped to move the rabble to pity when he led Christ out on to the balcony after the scourging and cried out, “Behold the Man!” “
Fruitful Reflections-. Love of the Suffering Christ, Hatred for sin, Reparation for sin, Penance.
THIRD MEDITATION. THE CROWNING WITH THORNS
“And the soldiers of the governor taking Jesus, led Him away into the court of the palace and they call together unto Him the whole band. And stripping Him, they put a scarlet cloak about Him. And plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it upon His Head, and a reed in His right hand. And they came to Him, and bowing the knee before Him, they mocked Him. And they began to salute Him saying: “Hail, King of the Jews.” And they struck Him with their hands. And, spitting upon Him, they took the reed, and they smote Him with the reed on the Head.”
Fruitful Reflections: Avoid evil desires, Think kindly of others, Hatred of vanity.
FOURTH MEDITATION. JESUS CARRIES HIS CROSS
“And after they had mocked Him, they took off the cloak from Him and put on Him His own garments, and led Him away to crucify Him. And bearing His own cross He went forth to that place which is called Calvary. And going out they found a man of Cyrene named Simon. Him they forced to take up His cross. And they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus.
“And there followed Him a great multitude of people and of women who bewailed and lamented Him, But Jesus turning to them said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over Me but weep for yourselves, and for your children. . . . for if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?”
Fruitful Reflections: Compassion for Our Divine Saviour, Penance, Bearing our own trials patiently, Helping others, The punishment for sin.
FIFTH MEDITATION. THE CRUCIFIXION
“And they bring Him to the place Golgotha. There they crucified Him, And with Him they crucified two thieves, the one on His right hand and the other on His left. and Jesus in the midst. And the Scripture was fulfilled which said: “And with the wicked He was reputed,”
“And Jesus said: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
“Now they stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother. When Jesus therefore had seen His Mother and the disciple standing, whom He loved, He said to His Mother: “Woman, behold thy son.” After that He said to the disciple: “Behold thy Mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own.
“And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
“Afterwards Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst.”
“Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And immediately one of them running, took a sponge and filled it with vinegar and put it on a reed and gave Him to drink. Jesus therefore, when He had taken the vinegar, said, “It is consummated.” And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit.” And bowing His Head, He gave up the Ghost.
“And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked; and the rocks were rent.”
Fruitful Reflections: Love of God, Love of Mary, Love of neighbour, Forgiving our enemies, Thinking of death:
THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES
FIRST MEDITATION. THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD
“But He rising early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalen. But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. And she saw two angels in white, sitting one at the head and one at the feet, where the Body of Jesus had been laid. They say to her, “Woman, why weepest thou?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him,” When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing and she knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” She, thinking that it was the gardener said to Him, “Sir, if thou hast taken Him hence, tell me where thou has laid Him., and I will take Him away.” Jesus saith to her, “Mary.” She turning saith to Him, “Rabboni” ( Master) . Jesus saith to her: “Do not touch Me, for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren and say to them: “I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and your God.”
Fruitful Reflections: Personal love for Jesus, Never lose Jesus by sin, The thought of our resurrection, Faith, Devotion to our guardian angel.
SECOND MEDITATION. THE ASCENSION
“He led them out as far as Bethania, and lifting up His hands He blessed them. And it came to pass, whilst He blessed them and while they looked on, He departed from them, and He was raised up, and was carried up to heaven. And a cloud received Him out of their sight. And the Lord Jesus was taken up to heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God.
“And while they were beholding Him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments, who also said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus Who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen Him going into heaven.”“
Fruitful Reflections: Prayer, Work and pray, Zeal for the salvation of souls, Hope.
THIRD MEDITATION. THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY GHOST
“And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished they were all together in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind coming; and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues, as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.
“And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke to them. They themselves that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls,”
Fruitful Reflections: Faith, Love of the Church, Obedience to the Holy Father, Propagation of the Faith.
FOURTH MEDITATION. THE ASSUMPTION OF OUR LADY INTO HEAVEN
“The prophet Elias was carried to heaven in a fiery chariot, which according to interpreters was no other than a group of angels who bore him off from the earth. “But to conduct thee to Heaven, O Mother of God,” says the Abbot Rupert, “a fiery chariot was not enough; the whole court of Heaven headed by its King, thy Son, went forth to meet thee.” “On first meeting her, Jesus said, “Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come, for winter is now past,”
“Behold Mary already enters that blessed country. But on her entrance the citizens of Heaven, seeing her so beautiful and glorious ask the angels without the gates, as Origen supposes it, with united voices of exultation: “Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her Beloved?”
“Then all the angels and saints begin to bless and praise her; singing with far more reason than the Hebrews did to Judith: “Thou art the glory of Jerusalem; thou art the joy of Israel; thou art the honour of our people.”“ (St. Alphonsus Liguori.)
Fruitful Reflections: The grace of a happy death and a glorious resurrection, Honouring Our Lady, The joys of heaven.
FIFTH MEDITATION. THE CROWNING OF OUR LADY QUEEN OF HEAVEN
“All the saints then in Paradise welcomed Holy Mary on her entrance into heaven and saluted her as their Queen. All the holy Virgins, all the holy Confessors, the Martyrs, the Apostles and Prophets, the holy Patriarchs, and Adam and Eve. Who can ever form an idea of the affection with which her dear spouse St. Joseph came to salute her? All the angels then came to salute her; and she, the great Queen, thanked all for the assistance they had given her on earth, and more especially she thanked the Archangel Gabriel, who was the happy ambassador, the bearer of all her glories, when he came to announce to her that she was the chosen Mother of God.
The humble and holy Virgin then kneeling adored the Divine Majesty, and all absorbed in the consciousness of her own nothingness, thanked God for all the graces bestowed upon her by His pure Goodness, and especially for having made her the Mother of the Eternal Word. And then let him who can, imagine with what love the Most Holy Trinity blessed her! Let him imagine the welcome given to His Daughter by the Eternal Father; to His Mother by the Son; to His Spouse by the Holy Ghost. The Father crowned her by imparting His power to her; the Son His Wisdom; the Holy Ghost, His love. And the three Divine Persons, placing her throne at the right of that of Jesus, declared her Sovereign of Heaven and earth; and commanded the angels and all creatures to acknowledge her as their Queen, and as such to serve and obey her.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori.)
Fruitful Reflections: Love of Our Blessed Mother, Imitation of her virtues, Devotion to her, The joys of heaven, Confidence in the power and mercy of Mary.
Remember to do all with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
R. O”CONNELL, C.SS.R., Prov. Superior.
W. M. COLLINS, Diocesan Censor.
4th July, 1955