Neither Will I Condemn Thee
Thomas A. Droleskey
And Jesus went unto mount Olivet. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him, and sitting down he taught them. And the scribes and the Pharisees bring unto him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, And said to him: Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou?
And this they said tempting him, that they might accuse him. But Jesus bowing himself down, wrote with his finger on the ground. When therefore they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again stooping down, he wrote on the ground. But they hearing this, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest. And Jesus alone remained, and the woman standing in the midst. Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee?
Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more. (Jn. 8: 1-11)
The story of Saint Mary Magdalene being caught in the sin of adultery has many lessons for us weak vessels of clay. Chief among these lessons is the fact that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is willing to forgive even the most heinous of sins if the sinner is truly repentant and desires to reform his life. This is why we must approach Him with confidence in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance, having asked the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary beforehand to turn our hearts to the font of Divine Mercy that is the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Our Lord preached forgiveness from the pulpit of His Most Holy Cross, where our sins, having transcended time, had place Him with such cruelty and hatred. There is nothing that any of us can suffer (as in absolutely nothing that any of us can suffer) that is the equal of what one of our least venial sins caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death, in which His Most Blessed Mother participated perfectly as our Co-Redmptrix. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary suffered as one as our sins and our indifference and our ingratitude took their horrible toll on them. Heedless of this toll, however, Our Lord, holding us close to the Most Sacred Heart that was to be pierced with a lance by Saint Longinus after He had breathed His last, spoke these words to His executioners, which included each one of us:
And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Lk. 23: 24)
Fallen human nature is such, however, that we can forget to apply this fundamental lesson of forgiveness to those who hurt us, nursing grudges and "stewing in our juices," so to speak, for years on end. While it may not be possible in this passing, mortal vale of tears for friendships to be restored after some painful incident, we must, however, will the good of all others, the ultimate expression of which is the salvation of their immortal souls. We must forgive from the heart and we must forget the offenses others have committed against us. We must pray and look forward to a happy reunion in eternity with all of those from whom regrettable events have estranged us over the years.
Our Lord taught us that we must forgive others frequently and without counting the cost. He also taught us that our own sins will not be forgiven unless we forgive each other from our hearts without any reservation whatsoever:
Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt. But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest. And his fellow servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.
Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him; and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee? And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.(Mt. 18: 21-35)
We cannot expect to be forgiven by Our Lord at the lips and the hands of an alter Christus, acting in persona Christi, in the Sacrament of Penance, if we do not forgive others. What is the use of praying the Pater Noster if we harbor grudges and wish harm to those who have offended us in some way personally or who are the agents of the promotion of evil in the midst of the counterfeit church of conciliarism and in the world-at-large?
Et dimmite nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimmitimus debitoribus nostris.(And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.)
Indeed, Our Lord taught us in the Sermon on the Mount that we must love our enemies, meaning that we must will their good, something the worldly man, whether he be a Catholic or a non-Catholic or an adherent of the false religions of the Talmud or the Koran, finds to be utter madness. It is far easier to hold onto grudges and to hate others than to offer forgiveness and to will their good by taking seriously these words of the Divine Redeemer Himself:
And whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two, Give to him that asketh of thee and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away. You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.
For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt. 5: 41-48)
Offering forgiveness to one does not mean that the demands of temporal justice must not be pursued in certain cases. One must pursue temporal justice, however, without malice, seeking only that which is in strict accord with the circumstances of a given act and that is founded in a prayer for the conversion of the one who has broken God's laws grievously. Saint Maria Goretti forgave her murderer before she died. The man, Alessandro Serenelli, nevertheless, had to spend time in prison for his crime. He was present at the canonization by Pope Pius XII of his murder victim on June 24, 1950. Serenelli was reconciled to Saint Maria Goretti's mother, receiving Holy Communion with her shortly after being released from prison.
Such forgiveness is, of course, utter madness to the world at large. However, it is one of the principal things that is supposed to separate a Catholic from unbelievers. Saint Stephen demonstrated this as he lay dying when he had been stoned for proclaiming the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the "Council of Freedman," offering forgiveness to his killers, which included Saul of Tarsus, who presided over the stoning:
And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him. And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking, and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death. (Acts 7: 56-59)
Forgiving others, especially those who have hurt us grievously, runs against the grain of the Capital Sin of Pride. Fallen creatures, who are nothing other than contingent beings whose bodies are destined one day for the corruption of the grave prior to the General Resurrection of the Living and the Dead, have the tendency to believe themselves to be the centers of the universe. No one else's pain and suffering is quite like theirs, they imagine. No one else has been hurt the way that they have been hurt. Those who hurt them are not entitled to forgiveness, the reason, as their suffering is so unique and so unforgivable.
This is at the heart, you see, of so many problems in the lives of individuals and of nations. A soul that is captive to the devil by means of Original Sin is prone to hatred and anger, not an authentic love that wills the salvation of those who hurt him, not prone to offer forgiveness to those against whom he harbors some grudge. This is one of the reasons that there will never be any kind of "brokered peace" in the Middle East. Most, although certainly not all, of the combatants in the region where Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was made Incarnate in the Virginal and Immaculate Womb of Our Lady by the power of the Holy Ghost are steeped in the ravages of Original Sin. It is very much of their nature to hate and kill perceived enemies rather than to love with the spirit of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and to forgive as a soul is forgiven in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance after having been regenerated first in the very inner life of the Most Blessed Trinity in the Baptismal font.
The same is true also of those souls who are steeped in unrepentant Mortal Sins. Consider this brief but sobering account of Mortal Sin in the Catechism of Saint Pius X:
8 Q: Why is it called mortal?
A: It is called mortal because it brings death on the soul by making it lose sanctifying grace which is the life of the soul, just as the soul itself is the life of the body.
9 Q: What injury does mortal sin do the soul?
A: (1) Mortal sin deprives the soul of grace and of the friendship of God; (2) It makes it lose Heaven; (3) It deprives it of merits already acquired, and renders it incapable of acquiring new merits; (4) It makes it the slave of the devil; (5) It makes it deserve hell as well as the chastisements of this life.
We should not kid ourselves, however, if the graces won for us by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer and that flow into our hearts and souls by the working of the Holy Ghost through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, have kept us from the commission of Mortal Sins over any length of time (or throughout a lifetime). Our Venial Sins incline us the more to commit sins and lessen Charity in our souls, making us prone to be as unforgiving and hate-filled as those steeped in the ravages of Original Sin or unrepentant Mortal Sin. Each of us, therefore, must pray daily to remember that we are sinners who have been forgiven much in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance and that we offer that forgiveness to others as part of our "supernature," if you will.
There was an occasion recently, and I will not identify when or where, that a gentleman expressed to me his great anger at an individual who had caused him tremendous suffering. The suffering the man is still experiencing cannot be minimized. The person who did him the injury, however, has repented and paid many debts as a result of his misdeeds. The man suffering the loss cannot bring himself to forgive the man who caused him such pain. This is, sadly, not uncommon in our world, even among Catholics, which the injured man in question here is not. Indeed, the tendency of even traditionally-minded Catholics to engage in bitter ad hominem attacks against each other rather than to focus on issues without judging what is called the "internal forum" of others makes it highly difficult for those outside of the Faith to see anything attractive in what we know to be true.
This is what I explained to the man who has no knowledge of forgiveness and who refuses to accept the fact that man who injured him is doing penance for his sins on a daily basis:
God is merciful to repentant sinners, not vengeful, as the Book of Ezekiel recounts:
As I live, saith the Lord God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way, and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways: and why will you die, O house of Israel? Thou therefore, O son of man, say to the children of thy people: The justice of the just shall not deliver him, in what day soever he shall sin: and the wickedness of the wicked shall not hurt him, in what day soever he shall turn from his wickedness: and the just shall not be able to live in his justice, in what day soever he shall sin. Yea, if I shall say to the just that he shall surely live, and he, trusting in his justice, commit iniquity: all his justices shall be forgotten, and in his iniquity, which he hath committed, in the same shall he die. And if I shall say to the wicked: Thou shalt surely die: and he do penance for his sin, and do judgment and justice, And if that wicked man restore the pledge, and render what he had robbed, and walk in the commandments of life, and do no unjust thing: he shall surely live, and shall not die. None of his sins, which he hath committed, shall be imputed to him: he hath done judgment and justice, he shall surely live. (Ezechiel 33: 11-15)
God uses sinners to help other sinners. He permits us to sin so that we may be merciful to our fellow sinners. As one who is a sinner and has done things of which I am very ashamed, all I can say is that I am grateful for the opportunity God gives me each day to live more penitentially and to make reparation for my own sins as the devoted client of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. The Catholic Church's sanctoral calendar is full of examples of men and women who did very sinful things but yet rose to the heights of sanctity after receiving Absolution for their sins in the Sacrament of Penance. Saints Mary Magdalene, Augustine and Camillus de Lillus are just a few who come to mind in this regard. I have no hope for the salvation of my own soul, sinner that I am, unless I try by God's graces to rise above my sins and to do penance for them as I try each day as a husband and a father to live more fully in accord with what I know to be true as a Catholic.
The past cannot be undone. We can, however, chart a new course for the future by rising from our sins and seeking to do true penance for them by serving the spiritual and temporal needs of others as best we can. Perhaps the story of Alphonse Ratisbonne can help you to understand that one steeped in hate can reform his life.
Alphonse Ratisbonne was a young Jewish man in Europe who hated the Catholic Church and mocked it, especially so after his brother Theodore converted to the Catholic Faith. He was in San Andrea della Fratte Church in Rome on January 20, 1842, when Our Lady appeared to him as she appears on the Miraculous Medal that had been struck following her apparition to Saint Catherine Laboure in Paris, France, on November 27, 1830. This is what Ratisbonne, a committed Catholic-hater, wrote at the time"
"I had come out of a dark pit, out of a tomb...and I was alive, completely alive. I thought of my brother Theodore with inexpressible joy. But how I wept as I thought of my family, of my fiancee, of my poor sisters. I wept indeed, as I thought of them whom I so loved and for whom I said the first of my prayers. Will you not raise your eyes to the Savior whose blood blots out original sin? Oh! How hideous is the mark of this taint, and how does it alter beyond recognition the creature made in God's own likeness!"
When priests wanted to delay his Baptism for a time, Alphonse Ratisbonne said:
"The Jews who heard the preaching of the Apostles were baptized immediately, and you want to put me off, after I have 'heard' the preaching of the Queen of the Apostles?"
As is recounted in Mary's Miraculous Medal:
News of this miraculous event spread quickly all over Europe, especially in diplomatic and financial circles, when Ratisbonne, de Bassierers and de La Ferronays were widely known. The city of Rome itself was in a stir and a special Church commission was established to study the astonishing conversion. Faced with the overpowering evidence, the court fully recognized the signal miracle wrought by God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the spontaneous conversion of Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne from Judaism to Catholicism. It was a major triumph of the Miraculous Medal.
Alphonse Ratisbonne became a Catholic priest, serving in the Holy Land. "So great was the love he had for his people, that he dedicated the remainder of his life, as did his brother, Father Theodore, to work for the conversion of their immortal souls. Among the converts of these two priest brothers were a total of twenty-eight members of their own family."
My prayer for you is that Our Lady, who is our Mother of Mercy, will help you to convert to the Catholic Faith as Alphonse Ratisbonne was converted, reconciling you to the individual against whom you harbor such ill-feeling and perhaps even receiving Communion with him as Alessandro Serenelli did with the mother of Saint Maria Goretti.
Most of us cause pain at some point or another in the lives of others. I shudder to think at how my own words and actions and decisions have done this. Apart from seeking out Absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and offering our acts of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, we must rise up from past falls and simply trust, without ever presuming, God's ineffable Mercy, supplicating His Most Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be ever more desirous of praying for more suffering here in this mortal vale of tears so as to help pay back more fully the debt we owe for our sins. No, as I mentioned to man to whom I wrote in the not-too-distant past, we cannot undo the past. We can, however, chart a new course for the future by relying upon the graces won for us on Calvary by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour and by relying upon the help of Our Lady, especially through her Most Holy Rosary.
Father Edward Leen commented on this subject in his In the Likeness of Christ:
Under the reign of Satan men were hard and unfeeling, without pity or tenderness. The one thing they looked up to was the physical power to dominate, and the one thing they feared was the helplessness of poverty. Their life was divided between pleasure and cruelty.... Conversion of heart was for them extremely difficult. What God required on the part of man as a necessary condition of their friendship with Him was to them abhorrent, for the practice of the Christian virtues of submission, humility, and patience would be regarded by them as degrading . . . .
In other words, it is the law of things as they actually are that we must continually suffer from others; it is the condition of our being that we shall be the victims of others' abuse of their free wills; it belongs to our position that our desires and inclinations should be continually thwarted and that we should be at the mercy of circumstances. And it is our duty to bear that without resentment and without rebellion. To rebel is to assert practically that such things are not our due, that they do not belong to our position. It is to refuse to recognize that we are fallen members of a fallen race. The moment we feel resentment at anything painful that happens to us through the activity of men or things, at that moment we are resentful against God's Providence.
We are in this really protesting against His eternal determination to create free beings; for these sufferings which we endure are a consequence of the carrying into effect of that free determination. If we expect or look for a mode of existence in which we shall not endure harshness, unkindness, misunderstanding, and injustice, we are actually rebelling against God's Providence, we are claiming a position that does not belong to us as creatures. This is to sin against humility. It is pride. . . .
It is true that He cannot but look with hatred on sin, and that He cannot love us insofar as we are sinners. But He can, and does, love us for any little good that remains in us, and above all He loves us for what we can possibly become if we respond to the pressing appeals of His grace. He does not love sin, but He does love those who are sinners, and He never shrinks from contact with us, or from our contact with Him, as long as there remains the possibility of our rejecting that which is displeasing in His sight. It is to wrong Him to think otherwise; and the Devil never has got a fully decisive victory over a soul until he has robbed it of full confidence in the inexhaustible goodness of the Heart of Jesus to the wayward, the faithless, and the sinful. And not the very gravest of our infidelities inflict so cruel a wound on that Heart, as is that wound that is inflicted on it when we doubt of its tenderness and mercy.
Those who came into contact with Him whilst He lived on earth never had this attitude of fear toward Him, even when they recognized His awe-inspiring holiness. In spite of the consciousness of grave sin that many who approached Him must have had, we see no trace in their dealings with Him of their having a tendency to shrink from His presence or to dread His approach. . . . It is evident that not only did the Savior show a habitual readiness to forgive sin, but He must have exhibited such graciousness, tenderness, sympathy, and kindness toward sinners that it caused comments and criticism amongst the rigidly righteous [the Pharisees]. . . .
But when it is a question of the soul and the soul's life-of its nearness to or remoteness from God, there are no limits to be placed to the extent of His anxious tenderness. Hence, His almost extravagant joy when the sinful or the lukewarm, surrendering to the assaults of His grace, turn to Him appealingly and cast themselves at His feet with a sincere confession of their helplessness and a humble appeal for help. The acknowledgment of our powerlessness leaves Him, as it were, powerless to resist our entreaties.
How can we treat others in any other way than that by which Our Lord treats us, that is, with an "habitual readiness to forgive sin," exhibiting "such graciousness, tenderness, sympathy, and kindness toward sinners" as will inspire others to do the same? It matters not what anyone says about us, thinks about us or does to us in this life. The intentions of all hearts and the exact circumstances, seen in light of the Justice and Mercy of God, will be made manifest on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead. Even if others cannot or will not forgive us for our own transgressions against them, we can continue to pray for them and to hope that each of us will be reunited in an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise in the Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Mother Mary Potter, writing in The Path of Mary, published in 1878, explained that it is indeed the path of Mary that will help us to be ready for the moment of death as we endure the Passion and Death of her Divine Son in His Mystical Body, the Church Militant on Earth:
Those who have learnt to suffer well have learnt a great lesson; and it is Mary's own who attain this most quickly. to copy from the French book already so often mentioned: "The servants of Mary carry these crosses with more facility, more merit, and more glory. That which would stay the progress of another a thousand times over, or perhaps would make him fall, does not once arrest their steps, but rather enables them to advance; because that good Mother, all full of the graces and unction of the Holy Ghost, preservers all the crosses which she cuts for them in the sugar of her maternal sweetness, so that they swallow them gaily, like preserved fruits, however bitter they may be in themselves; and I believe that person who wishes to be devout, and to live piously in Jesus Christ, and consequently to suffer persecutions and carry his cross daily, will never cary great crosses, or carry them joyously or perseveringly, without a tender devotion to our Lady, which is the sweetmeat and confection of crosses; just as a person would not be able to eat unripe fruits without a great effort, which he could hardly keep up unless they had been preserved in sugar." In these trying days of the Church--when as has been said before, unusual temptations abound, and trials of all kinds are assailing God's people,--in these sad times, when we seem some whom we have respected and loved succumbing under those temptations and trials, and falling away from the Church, well may we fear for ourselves, well may we tremble when we see the great and the good giving way; and wise shall we be if we seek that assistance that may hinder us falling and giving way likewise. It is Mary who will assist us in the hour of need. A saint compares her to a firm anchor, which holds fast, and hinders our shipwreck in the agitated sea of this world, where many persons perish simply through not being fastened to that anchor. "We fasten our minds," says he, "to thy hope as to an abiding anchor." Happy, then, a thousand times happy, are the Christians who are now fastened faithfully and entirely to her, as to a firm anchor. The violence of the storms of this world will not make them founder, nor sink their heavenly treasures. Happy those who enter into Mary as into the ark of Noe. The waters of the deluge of sin, which drown so great a portion of the world, shall do no harm to them. "this good Mother out of pure charity always receives whatever we deposit with her, and what she has once received in her office of depositary she is obliged by justice, in virtue of the contract of trusteeship, to keep safely for us." the word anchor is one indeed we may well apply to the Mother of Holy Hope. We use an anchor as an emblem of hope, and when was there ever such hope as that possessed by the Heart of Mary, even on Calvary, where it was s bright as it had been at the (to human eyes) most glorious times in our Lord's life.
Now it should ever be remembered that hope is one of the theological virtues, and must be cultivated as carefully as faith and love. God loves us to hope in Him. "He will have mercy on us, according to our trust in Him"; and I would have you recollect that, though the essence of this devotion is that we give our service to God because it is honest and just to do so, whether we are promised reward or not, because by right He deserves it from us, and because by offering our service by Mary makes it more pleasing to Him; still Mary's Own look forward to a reward; they look and long for their home in heaven, but with the truthfulness engendered by this devotion they look forward to it and long for it as a pure mercy of God, which no service of theirs could have deserved or earned. Mary's Own walk more confidently, more hopefully, from this very knowledge, and their humble hope is well pleasing to God, and according to their hope it will be done in them. Ah, then come, hasten to Mary, and drink of her mil, be filled with her spirit, renew upon this earth her virtues, supply for your own weak hope, faith and love, by her ardent hope, her firm faith, her burning love. Ask Mary to give you her heart, her Immaculate Virgin Mother heart, that it may supply for your own sinful heart. Love that heart, consecrate yourself to it, make your home in it, and make it your constant endeavour to be actuated by all the holy desires, wishes, and prayers that emanated from it.
Let your sufferings, your actions, your words, your whole being, renew again on this earth the life of Mary. To do this you must study Mary. To study Mary you must enter her heart and observe its workings. In union, then, with Jesus love the heart of Mary, and that sweet Mother Heart will show you some of the love it has for you, and your own heart will overflow with joy, as you remember the dear Mother you have in heaven, loving you with the real human heart that on earth suffered so much for you. The Queen of Angels is your own Mother Mary. No one need fear or be dazzled at her glory, for pointing to the heart pierced for us with the sword of sorrow, she speaks to us saying: "Come all to me, I am your Mother." Will you refuse her invitation? Will you refuse to give yourself to her who, unworthy though you are, desires so to possess you for her own? Oh! no! already you must have resolved that, if there is anything you can do for Mary, you, by the grace of God, will do it. It will cost you a little trouble, perhaps little effort, but you will not mind that to please your heavenly Mother; you will gladly exercise a little extra self-restraint for the love of Jesus, who desires you should thus honour His Mother; you will not think it much to seek more earnestly to destroy you self-love, when by doing so you give glory to the ever-adorable and resplendent Trinity. Then enter this "Path to Mary," and walk faithfully therein. If you acquire the habit (which may be a little trouble at first) of constantly renouncing your self-love, your self-will, and living by the will of Mary, all you do will be inexpressibly dear to the Most High God. By being offered by the hands of Mary your prayers and sacrifices cannot be refused; otherwise God might see your own will in them, and reject them, as He rejected the prayers of His people ages gone by, because He found their own will in them.
When you have an offering to make to God, says St. Bernard, be sure to offer it by the hands of Mary, if you would not have it rejected; and, again, by being offered by Mary, your actions acquire a merit they would never have of themselves. Constantly, then, renew your offering to Mary, by an act of your will by a word or a look to Mary. Constantly remind yourself that you live to do what she wishes you to do in her place. Be earnest in acquiring the priceless treasures of God's grace by all the means you can, because by doing so you add to the store you have deposited in the hands of Mary; and remember, above all, there is one thing you can do now that Mary cannot--that is, suffer. Oh, then, suffer in her place if you would be one of he favourites in heaven, if you would be one of those upon whom the loving eyes of Jesus rested in His death agony, if you would be one of those who gave comfort to that sadly grieved Heart agonizing on the cross. If you would be loved with a special love by our dear Lord, imitate the patient, gentle Mother, who stood with breaking heart at the foot of the cross, joining her tears with the blood that was there shed with such ardent love that souls might be saved; imitate that sweet Mother, who in the midst of suffering such as no other purely human heart has ever known, thought not of her own grief but as a means of invoking what Jesus drew upon this world, the mercy of God, that beautiful attribute of God, which, adorable as are all the divine attributes, we inhabitants of a fallen world must ever love with a peculiar love, and which it is the office of our own Mother Mary (the Mother of Mercy) to reflect. Let us, then, in time of suffering be unselfish, and knowing that it is the time when we can pray most efficaciously--for the prayer of a suffering heart has wondrous power with God--let us, united to the compassionate Maternal Heart of Mary, join in offering the Precious Blood, the outpoured Life of Jesus, and beg the mercy of God, and that His Holy Spirit may descend upon the Church, the Spouse of Christ, now persecuted as was her Lord.
Although a forthcoming article (still in the process of being vetted) will deal with the mystical Passion and Death of Our Lord taking place now in the Church Militant on earth, a theme of Mother Mary Potter's book, suffice it to say for our purposes that we can help to plant the seeds for the Resurrection of the Church, if you will, by the way in which we forgive others as we have been forgiven by means of the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Each time we pray the Ave Maria we are acknowledging our dependence the fact that we are sinners.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. May we pray for ourselves and for our fellow sinners, hoping that Our Lady will look kindly with her eyes of mercy upon us when we breathe our last, having shown to the mercy given to us by her Divine Son on the wood of the Holy Cross and extended to us so frequently in the Confessional.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Irenaeus, for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Philip Neri, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saints Monica, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us.
Saint Antony of the Desert, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
Saint Peter Damian, pray for us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
Saint Basil the Great, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Saint Genevieve, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Rita of Cascia, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
Juan Diego, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.