The Love of Jesus in His Passion

previously posted on : march 30, 2020  by : evensong


Today we offer a brief meditation on the generous, sacrificial love of Jesus by St. Francis de Sales for our Lenten reading.

The Eternal Father so loved the world that He gave it His only Son, and the Son so loved the will of His Father, who desired the salvation of human nature, that, without taking into account the meanness or contemptibleness of the thing, He willingly offered a prodigious price for its ransom, namely, His blood, His toils, and His life.

Thus Our Saviour, through love, devoted Himself to the will of His Father and to the redemption of the world. He advanced in every mystery of His Passion, saying: ‘O my Father, this loved human nature would be sufficiently redeemed by one of my tears, but that would not suffice for the reverence which I owe to Thy will and to my love. I wish, besides my agony in the Garden of Olives, to be scourged, to be crowned with thorns, to have my body reduced to ruins, and to become as a leper, without form or beauty.’
Continue reading “The Love of Jesus in His Passion”

The Secret of St. Patrick’s Prayer, 2023

Some thoughts on prayer from Dom Eugene Boylan for today . . .

Jesus knows well our distaste for penance; He understands perfectly our dislike of suffering; nay, more, He sympathizes with us in these difficulties. True, He wishes us to help Him to carry His cross, but He also wishes to help us to do so. So sweet is His aid, so enthralling His companionship, that St. Teresa found that it was only the first of her crosses that was really hard; once she had embraced the nettle of her cross she found herself in close union with Jesus.


There is no joy in this life to equal that of sharing the cross with Jesus. It needs courage, it needs grace, it needs perhaps a special call; but the truth is that this path of suffering and of penance – penance, be it well understood, undertaken or accepted according to God’s will and not our own – is the road of highest joy, and the sure path to the heights of prayer. The importance of mortification is not so much that it hurts us, but that it gives Jesus a new life in us; we only put ourselves to death – that is what “mortification” means – in order to clear the way for Christ. That is at once the motive of mortification and its measure. If it only serves to make us more self–satisfied and proud, then it is no longer mortification of self; it is rather the mortification of Jesus.

The true principle of mortification was laid down by St. John the Baptist when he said: “He must increase, I must decrease.” Perhaps a somewhat far–fetched comparison may help to put this process in its true light. The bread and wine that are changed into the Body and Blood of Our Lord at Mass once graced the earth in a glory of purple and gold; they were cut down, beaten and bruised, ground and pressed out of all recognition. Not until many changes had been made in them could the priest say over them the words that would make them the Flesh and Blood of Christ.

Now, in so far as the Mass is a changing of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus – it is, of course, much more than that; it might be said that Our Lord says Mass with us and our lives as the bread and wine, but it is a Mass in which the grinding of the wheat and the pressing of the grape, the baking of the bread and the maturing of the wine, the offering of the Host and the oblation of the Chalice, the consecration of both and their conversion into the living Body and Blood of Christ, are all going on at the same time.

Every time that we deny ourselves in any way and to that extent offer ourselves to Jesus, He comes and takes possession of us to that same extent, and says: “This is My Body”.  More than that: He takes compassion on our cowardice, and sends us trials and humiliations that grind us and press us and make us into suitable bread and wine to become part of Himself. “My meat”, He said, “is to do the will of Him that sent Me”. So it is that everything done in accordance with the Divine will gives new life to Jesus in our souls, for He feeds on the doing of His Father’s will.

Every action we do, every suffering we undergo, whatever it be, as long as it is according to the will of God, is an act of communion with Jesus, an act that is no mere desire, but a positive advance in our union with Him; it gives Him new matter over which He can pronounce the saving words: “This is My Body.”
Continue reading “The Secret of St. Patrick’s Prayer, 2023”

A Litany for Penitents, 2021

“Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.”

“Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not worthy to be called thy son.” ( Luke 15, 21)

Today we recall the importance of penance and prayer in the message of Our Lady of Fatima. Without sufficient reparation, this chastisement will only worsen until hell reigns on earth. It is too late to stop this chastisement which has been unleashed while our religious and lay leaders were distracting us with the usual secular solutions to the deeply spiritual war that is raging.

The three little shepherds of Fatima represented the three calls to respond to the  message of Our Lady of Fatima, that is, Francisco, the mystic, responded with his vocation to console Our Lord and Our Lady in penance and prayer, Jacinta’s calling was to save souls by her sacrifices, penances and prayers, while Lucia’s vocation was to obedience, chastity and poverty and the constant struggle to spread the truth about the message of Our Lady of the Rosary and devotion to her Immaculate Heart. The scarlet thread that runs throughout these three calls and unites them is  penance and prayer.

We offer here a Litany for Penitents. There are several variations online, but this seems most apt to our needs today. For private use.
Continue reading “A Litany for Penitents, 2021”

The Death of Life

previously posted on : March 22, 2021  by : evensong

Today, we offer a Lenten essay on sin by Venerable Fulton Sheen.

The gravest danger facing modern society, one which has brought the ruin of older civilizations and is destined to effect the collapse of our own unless we prevent it, is the loss of the sense of sin.

Remorse is almost an unknown passion, and penitent shame is but rarely felt. The burden of guilt does not rest on even a criminal’s heart, and even good men look on deeds of infamy and acts of gross injustice and are not shocked. This is not because they are innocent, but because no sense of sin possesses their souls. There is a general denial that anything is wrong or that anything is right, and a general affirmation that what the older theological generation called “sin” is only a psychic evil or a fall in the evolutionary process. Two principles inspire much of the personal and social dealings of many a citizen in our land; namely, “What can I get out of it?” and “Can I get away with it?”

Evil is confused with good, and good is confused with evil. Revolting books against virtue are termed “courageous”; those against morality are advertised as “daring and forward-looking”; and those against God are called “progressive and epoch-making.” It has always been the characteristic of a generation in decay to paint the gates of hell with the gold of paradise. In a word, much of the so-called wisdom of our day is made up of that which once nailed our Blessed Lord to the cross.
Continue reading “The Death of Life”

Dom Scupoli on the Exercise of the Will

previously posted on : March 2, 2021  by : evensong

NOTE: The typo in the second paragraph of the quote from Chapter 10 has been corrected; thank you.

“Abide in My Love”

The following essay is from Dom Lorenzo Scupoli’s “The Spiritual Combat” and is especially pertinent for devoutly inclined souls. The devil tempts us not by way of the obvious worldly pleasures but by the subtle means of loving to serve God “in our own way” and for the pleasure that accomplishing our own goals which we have assumed are God’s own goals, simply because they seem so right to us.

Indeed, Dom Scupoli begins his treatise on the Spiritual Combat by teaching us that we must become thoroughly convinced of our own weakness to the point of total distrust of ourselves coupled with the utmost pure and childlike trust in the wisdom, power and providence of God. Now this distrust of self is something utterly alien to most people today but distrust of self, and trust in God, when fortified by prayer, enable us to accomplish our tasks for the love of God alone, for the sole desire of pleasing Him while assiduously avoiding accomplishing our own will.
Continue reading “Dom Scupoli on the Exercise of the Will”

Lent 2023 – Nisis solum Jesum

previously posted on : february 28, 2021  posted by : evensong
“His face did shine as the sun and His garments became white as snow.”
(Matthew 17, 2)

The Second Sunday in Lent

Lent should be an especially fruitful season for us who are blessed to attend the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in His Mystical Body, the Church. The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent is from St. Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration. In it, Jesus took Peter, James and John up on Mount Tabor and revealed to them the very slightest bit of His infinite glory for a few brief moments in order to confirm their faith; knowing as He did, that the events of His passion were to shake their faith utterly.
Continue reading “Lent 2023 – Nisis solum Jesum”

Saint Joseph and Dismas


Today we have for you a new post about St. Joseph, by Edward Healy Thompson, from his book, “The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph” and in this one, he tells us of the surprising connection between the Holy Family and Dismas.

“SCRIPTURE does not tell us by what road the Holy Family fled into Egypt, but there can be little doubt that it was by the way that goeth down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which, as we read in Acts 8:26, was desert. It was by that road that the minister of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians, was returning to his country when Philip overtook him. But he was a great man, seated at ease in his chariot, where he could beguile the way by reading, and surrounded by his servants, ready to minister to his wants. How different was the case of the Holy Family, alone, without attendance, and with the most scanty provision for their needs! But they had to face a worse desert after leaving Gaza. Passing through the land of the Philistines, they directed their steps, as is commonly believed, to Heliopolis. This was the easiest, shortest, and least perilous road; nevertheless, the holy travellers would have to traverse full seventy leagues, of which about fifty were solitary and desert.”

Continue reading “Saint Joseph and Dismas”

Father Caussade on Bearing Afflictions, 2023

previously posted on February 19, 2021  by  evensong

Today we offer an essay by Père Caussade, “Bearing Up with the Crisis and Chastisement of the Faith.” Although his counsel is for a cloistered nun, you’ll soon see how apt it is for us today as we endure the reign of this unfortunate pope.

The disaster of which you speak is, as you say, a most visible scourge of God; happy will they be who take advantage of it to save their souls. These punishments, borne well, as from the hands of God, are of more value than all worldly prosperity. At the same time they may be made, by a bad use, the occasion to some of eternal reprobation.

This will be, however, entirely by their own fault, and their very great fault, for what could be more reasonable, or easier in a sense than to make, as I said before, a virtue of necessity? Why make a useless and criminal resistance to the chastisements of God, Who is our Father and Who strikes us only to detach us from the miserable pleasures of this world? Could He do us a greater favour than to deliver us from attaching ourselves to that which would cause us to lose eternal happiness and our own souls!

On such occasions it is well to think often and attentively of this passage in the writings of one of the Fathers of the Church. “Such is the goodness of our heavenly Father that even His anger proceeds from His mercy, since He only strikes us to withdraw us from sin, and to save us.” Like a wise surgeon He cuts the mortified flesh away from that which is sound to save the life of the patient, and to prevent the infection from spreading. We should accustom ourselves to see everything in the light of faith; and then no event of this life, nor desires, nor fears will have any effect on us. Those strong hopes that so frequently upset the peace of the soul and the tranquil course of life, even those will make very little impression on us. How blind men are! and how much attached to their own ideas!

Continue reading “Father Caussade on Bearing Afflictions, 2023”

Seven Words to the Cross


Our Lord spoke seven words from the Cross; but there were also seven words spoken to Our Lord on the Cross.


Some never remain near the Cross long enough to absorb the mercy which flows from the Crucified. They are known as the “passers-by.”
The passers-by blasphemed against Him, tossing their heads; Come now, they said,
Thou who wouldst destroy the temple and build it up in three days, rescue Thyself; come down from that cross, If Thou art the Son of God. (Matt. 27:39, 40)

The Lord was no sooner on the Cross than they asked Him to come down. “Come down from the Cross” is the most typical demand of an unregenerate world in the face of self-denial and abnegation: a religion without a Cross.

As He, the Son of God, was praying for the executioners, “Father forgive,” they sneered: “If Thou art the Son of God.” If He had obeyed their taunt “Come down,” in whom would they believe? How could Love be Love if it costs not the Lover?

Continue reading “Seven Words to the Cross”

The Devil in Lent, 2023

And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat. (Genesis 3, 6)

Once, a reader exclaimed, “This Lent,  I feel as if the devil himself is working against me!” To which I replied, “Then you must be on the right track; otherwise, he would not waste his time.”

A helpful ebook in this regard is Solange Hertz’ “Sin Revisited”At the outset, she contrasts the intellectual approach of St. Thomas Aquinas with that of the early Desert Fathers, noting that,

“Sin may be described not as the intellect dissects it but as it happens to an individual. … Long before St. Thomas and the scholastics, the ancient Church Fathers described sin in no other terms than those the Bible uses. This was especially true of those stalwart easterners we call the Desert Fathers, who grappled nakedly with sin in the inexorable solitudes of the Egyptian Thebaid in the third and fourth centuries.

“Their (flight to the desert) was a calculated foray into an arena where deadly combats between good and evil could take place at the most elemental level without mundane distractions. They were following, they tell us, the example of Christ grown to manhood, who was led by the Spirit for forty days into the desert to encounter the Enemy at close quarters.”

Continue reading “The Devil in Lent, 2023”