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Reflections on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ Part 6

by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Eleventh Reflection

“At about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: ‘Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’” (Matthew 27:46)

 

Our Lord shouted from the height of the Cross. That heart-wrenching cry was due to the extreme sense of abandonment in which, seemingly, God had left the Word Incarnate. The soul of the Redeemer suffered a spiritual agony caused by the lack of divine comfort.

 

However, the most excruciating pain was caused by the consideration of the sins He had before Him. He not only saw the sins of the people around Him and those of all who had abandoned Him, but also the offenses against God that would be committed in the future.

 

Because the Incarnate Word could see everything, this foresight also made Him suffer in His Via Dolorosa, His Sorrowful Road. The whole of history passed before His exhausted gaze clouded with blood, in a body where life was ebbing away. Certainly the Divine Savior was overwhelmed by the vision of the immense and universal disorder of our days, and this led Him to that anguished cry: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

 

Divine Providence has ordained that we witness today’s tragic scene. In doing so, the Redeemer of human kind invites us to open our eyes and examine this situation head on just as He, in the Garden of Gethsemane, measured all the horrors of His Passion.

 

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Twelfth Reflection

“One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side: and immediately there came out blood and water.” (John 19:34)

 

Our Lord had already died when the soldier, known as Longinus, pierced His side. In this way, Our Lord’s Sacred Heart shed the last drop of blood, the last drop of water, for our salvation. What extreme mercy! What extreme goodness! What extreme compassion!

 

All the blood in the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ was shed, to show that He gave us everything. He did this without holding back a single drop, because of His immense desire to save us. One drop of His blood would have sufficed to save the world, yet He shed all His blood to the point that the last drops were mixed with water. He wanted to hold back nothing in order to redeem us.

 

My God, how many times have I pierced the Heart of Jesus like the lance of Longinus? It could have been through grave sin; but certainly through my chronic habit of indifference, which is the reason I do not change, I do not progress nor do I want to progress. I see others progressing, but I can’t be bothered.

 

According to tradition, Longinus was blind in one eye. A bit of the water gushing from Our Lord’s side fell on his blind eye, which was healed, and he later became a saint. Who knows, maybe I will also receive this grace of becoming a saint. Oh Lord, at the moment of Your death, I beseech You to grant me this grace.

 


 

Go to:  Part VII

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 8, 2020

Every virtue in your soul is a precious ornament which makes...

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April 8

Every virtue in your soul
is a precious ornament
which makes you dear to God and to man.
But holy purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue,
is a jewel so precious
that those who possess it become like the angels of God in Heaven,
even though clothed in mortal flesh.

St. John Bosco

 
My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

 

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Julie Billiart

She was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on...

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St. Julie Billiart

Born on July 12, 1751 in Cuvilly, France, Marie Rose Julie Billiard was the daughter of fairly well-to-do peasant farmers who also owned a small shop. From early childhood Julie had a keen interest in spiritual things and by seven years of age she had memorized the catechism and attained an understanding of it beyond her years.

During her youth, her father’s shop was robbed and her father attacked. This so traumatized his daughter that she became ill and gradually a physical paralysis took hold of her. Deprived of the use of her legs, she eventually had great difficulty in even speaking. Julie's paralysis lasted for twenty-two years, and throughout this whole trial she continued to teach her beloved catechism to children and to trust unwaveringly in the everlasting goodness of “le bon Dieu”. Her infirmities drove her to an even deeper life of prayer and union with God.

During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution when the pastor of Cuvilly was superseded by a constitutional priest sworn to the new atheistic government, Julie influenced her friends and neighbors to boycott the intruder. Though an invalid herself, she worked to hide and assist fugitive priests who remained loyal to the Catholic Church, and for this charitable work she was herself persecuted and obliged to escape from place to place – on one occasion, hiding all night under a haystack.

While taking refuge with the aristocratic family of Gézaincourt, Julie met Françoise Blin de Bourdon, a noblewoman who had barely escaped the guillotine by the fall of Robespierre before her execution. The two became close friends and collaborators.

After the Terror, they both dedicated themselves to the spiritual care of poor children, and the Christian education of girls in a generation sorely neglected by the ravages of the Revolution.

In 1804, after a novena to Him, Julie Billiart was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on the feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus. Now physically free to pursue a full range of activity, her educational work increased rapidly.

At odds with the bishop of Amiens through the meddling influence of a misguided young priest, Julie and Françoise were obliged to move to Namur, in present-day Belgium, where with the full support of the local bishop, they proceeded with their work, eventually founding the Institute of Notre Dame de Namur, today in sixteen countries around the world.

Julie Billiart died on April 8, 1816 while praying the Magnificat. She was canonized in 1969.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort...

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And He Stole Heaven

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.
 
On his left hung another man, covered in the matted blood of his wounds. Yet, with the exception of a few intermittent words, there was no sound from him.

As time passed, the thief became more and more engrossed in the silent crucified beside him, and less and less in his own plight.St Dismas Picture

Indeed life is ironic, mused Dismas, this man who had lived in the open, and was acclaimed as a healer and even as a king, now hung beside him who had spent his life lurking and hiding.

And now they were lifted up, both on a high parallel. He could see the roof tops of the city, he could see the highways he had stalked, and he could see the way they had walked. Now he looked down on those gathered around this place of execution, the Roman soldiers, the Pharisees, the curious, the friends of the man beside him…and a young man supporting a lady directly beneath them...

And then he knew her; that upturned face, that maidenly majesty now wracked by sorrow, her tear-filled eyes fastened on the man on his left–Yes, he knew that face.

As the wheels of time rolled back in his mind,  his heart gave a jolt as he remembered that blessed day in the desert, decades ago, when a young family making its way to Egypt, sought refuge for the night in his family’s hovel. The man was strong and kind, the woman was the fairest his child’s eyes had seen, and she carried a golden haired babe, as if nothing in the universe was more precious.

He remembered the lady’s gaze on him, her beautiful eyes full of concern for the leprous sores on his young body. Then she and his mother talked. And next, he was being bathed in the same water the lady had just washed her infant son.

And then the sores were gone.  His mother wept for joy, and kissed the lady’s hands, and the baby’s feet. And even his robber-father was moved, and offered the strong man and his family the best in the house.

Now, in one revealing flash, he knew the identity of the wounded man on his left.  He looked again at the lady, and her eyes, those same sweet eyes of old, were on him once more.  
He felt his heart quiver, as the power of gratitude filled his being and softened his criminal soul.  And then came tears, rivers of tears.  When he could speak, he turned to the left,

“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And the Lord turned his face to him, His divine eyes on him, and he heard the most beautiful voice he had ever heard, a voice at once full of pain and full of strength, full of sweetness and full of majesty, a judge’s voice, and a father’s voice,

“Amen, amen I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise.”

 

By Andrea F. Phillips
Based on: A Legend of St. Dismas and Other Poems,
Copyright by P. J. Kenedy and Sons. 1927, p. 18.

 

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He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.

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