Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his sacred name.
Come, Christians, follow where the Master trod,
Our King victorious, Christ the Son of God.
Lord Jesus, present among always but especially in the Blessed Sacrament. We praise You because You established the Sacrament of the Eucharist and by Your sacrifice on the cross You brought us salvation. Jesus, we accept Your invitation to be with You. We desire to gaze into Your eyes; we desire to look at Your hands and feet, pierced with nails, and look at Your heart opened by the spear of a soldier. Here, under Your Cross, looking at You in the Blessed Sacrament. With love, we see in You an indescribable beauty and this beauty is called Mercy.
In September, we celebrate “The Exaltation of the Holy Cross”. Therefore, we want to venerate Your Cross… with Your Blessed Mother, who faithfully stood under Your Cross and with our Mother Alphonse Marie, who always meditated on Your Passion. We confess You, “crucified”, because “through You we see our Heavenly Father”, the Love stronger than any evil which fetters man, humanity and the world. We believe in such love because it is MERCIFUL LOVE.
“He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth. Even as many were amazed at him - so marred was his look beyond that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals. There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, One of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem.” (Isaiah 52:14; 53:2-3)
Lord Jesus, looking on You we ask You to penetrate with Your eyes our whole being but, especially, the dark side of our being. We do not want to hide anything before You or even turn away from You. We want to look deeply into Your eyes. Your sight is full of love and mercy. It does not condemn, does not diminish anyone, but receives each person. Your looking at us, from the Cross, elevates those who fall, strengthens those who want to love, and can tear down global indifference.
Mother Alphonse Marie encourages us: “When you become exhausted through fatigue, overcome by abhorrence and repugnance, hasten to the foot of the Cross. Reflect… For whom and why, the Son of God died such a bitter and ignominious death. There, at the sight of our dying Savior, you will learn the infinite value of souls. You will understand how precious, in the sight of God, is even one soul.” (Rekindle the gift of God that is within you, Issue III)
Merciful Jesus, Your mercy, expressed through Your look, is manifested; it maintains what is good, and frees man and the world of all evils. You are indifferent to nothing and to no one. We ask You, to grant us the eyes of mercy not to judge and suspect others, but to see the beauty and the dignity in them. May Your mercy be honored in everything now and forever. Amen.
HYMN: MISERICORDES SICUT PATER
1. Give thanks to the Father, for He is good, in eaternum misericordia eius
He created the world with wisdom, in eaternum misericordia eius
He leads His people throughout history, in eaternum misericordia eius
He pardons and welcomes His children, in eaternum misericordia eius
2. Give thanks to the Son, Light of the Nations, in eaternum misericordia eius
He loved us with a heart of flesh, in eaternum misericordia eius
As we receive from Him, let us also give to Him, in eaternum misericordia eius
Hearts open to those who hunger and thirst, in eaternum misericordia eius
MERCIFUL HANDS AND FEET
“Yet, it was our infirmities that he bore, our suffering that he endured. While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins. Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole; by his stripes we were healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)
Lord Jesus, inhumanly tortured, limply hanging on nails, we stand, under Your Cross, and want to hug Your wounded body. With devotion and love we kiss Your pierced hands and feet, which were never used for violence. Thank You for showing us that righteousness is not enough. Indeed, a man needs more strength, and that strength is called LOVE.
Mother Alphonse Marie teaches us: "My children, meditate on the suffering of our Divine Redeemer. One person stood in front of the cross and began to meditate upon Jesus’ right hand saying: How much pain He had to feel in the moment when the tormenters hammered a rough nail through His hand in order to fix it on the cross! Then she looked at His other hand, saying: How much pain would I feel if my hand were nailed as was the hand of My Divine Redeemer? Could I stand it? Would I not die right away? Then she exhorts us: How could one hesitate to embrace the Cross and to nail oneself completely to it, when the reward will be eternal?" (Rekindle the gift of God that is within you, Issue III)
Merciful Jesus, by Your pierced hands, You touch the most painful wounds of human existence: indifference, loneliness and hatred. You, by Your pierced feet, exceed the standard of fairness, when You enter, with Your grace, into our pain and sin – then the love becomes mercy. We ask You, to grant us merciful hands and feet ready to get over wrongs, poverty and spiritual or moral weaknesses. May Your mercy be honored in everything now and forever. Amen.
HYMN: MISERICORDES SICUT PATER
3. Let us ask the Spirit for the seven holy gifts, in eaternum misericordia eius
Fount of all goodness and the sweetest relief, in eaternum misericordia eius
Comforted by Him, let us offer comfort, in eaternum misericordia eius
Love hopes and bears all things, in eaternum misericordia eius
4. Let us ask for peace from the God of all peace, in eaternum misericordia eius
The earth waits for the Good News of the Kingdom, in eaternum misericordia eius
Joy and pardon in the hearts of the little ones, in eaternum misericordia eius
The heavens and the earth will be renewed, in eaternum misericordia eius.
“But the Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity... If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him. Because of his affliction, he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear. He shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses.” (Isaiah (53:10-12)
Lord Jesus, Your heart was pierced by a lance. We desire to open our hearts before You to heal them. We want the hurting humanity to adhere to Your Merciful Heart. Your compassionate Heart, always sympathized with the suffering, grieving and sinful. It really shows the Father, the God "rich in mercy". Your Heart, full of love and mercy, is the opposite of evil, which tempts and afflicts people, penetrates their souls, and even "brings them to hell".
Mother Alphonse Marie teaches us: "With regard to the conversion of sinners, the only object of your desires should be the triumph of the Divine Mercy over the obdurate heart of the sinner, and the glory resulting from this." (Thoughts of Mother Alphonse Marie)
When she became Superior, she enclosed each Sister in her heart and prayed to Jesus: “O Jesus, my Divine Bridegroom, receive these children, take possession of their hearts and enkindle in them the fire of Your love. Receive them all into Your Divine Heart.”
(Perin, Sister Joseph-Marie: The Life of Mother Alphonse Marie, page 57)
Merciful Jesus, Your Heart is wounded by our sins. Everyone in the world turns their eyes to You asking for mercy, which is most needed. Grant us a heart that is merciful, strong and steadfast. Open our hearts to You and close them to the evil. May our hearts be penetrated by Your Spirit so that we may be led, by the way of love, to our brothers and sisters. May Your mercy be honored in everything now and forever. Amen.
HYMN: Bless the Lord, my soul, and bless God’s holy name. Bless the Lord, my soul, who leads me into life. (www.taize.fr)
Jesus, we believe that the source of Mercy was opened wide on the cross by a spear to all souls - You did not exclude anyone. Therefore, full of faith and hope, we gather at Your Cross and immerse ourselves into Your mercy. We recommend to You:
• Our Holy Church, our Holy Father Francis, Clergy and Religious
• Those persecuted for faith in You and the suffering members of the Church
• Our country and all the nations of the world, especially those lacking peace, and where innocent people die, and human dignity is trampled
• The sick, the suffering, the needy and the unemployed
• Sinners, people with addictions, doubtful and desperate, and those who seek the meaning of life
• Families, particularly those that survive crisis; unborn children, and elders
• Apostles of Divine Mercy
• The dying and the poor souls in purgatory.
Merciful Jesus, Your Passion, Death and Resurrection lead us into communion with You and with others. When You sent down the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, in the Upper Room, You opened the gates of the Church, which follows the path of mercy. We thank You for the work of Redemption, for Your glorious Resurrection that triumphs over the hardness of our hearts and makes the Church an island of mercy in a sea of indifference. Thank You, Merciful Lord, now and forever. Amen.
HYMN: CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS
Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon his throne;
Hark! How the heav’nly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of him who set us free,
and hail him as your heav’nly King through all eternity.
Crown him the Lord of life, ho triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing, Who died and rose on high,
Who died, eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.
Crown him the Lord of love, behold his hands and side,
Rich wounds yet visible above in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.
Crown him the Lord of peace, Whose pow’r a scepter sways
from pole to pole, that wars may cease, absorbed in prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end, and ‘round his pierced feet
Fair flow’rs of paradise extend their fragrance ever sweet.
(Celebrating the Eucharist, 2016, page 370)