The Hours of the Passion – Third Hour and the Rounds of The Soul in the Divine Will – Nineteenth Hour
Value and Effects of these Hours of the Passion
from a Letter of Luisa to Saint Annibale Maria di Francia
Saint Annibale: “I begin by reporting here a letter which the Author sent me…”
Most Reverend Father,
I am finally sending you the Hours of the Passion, now written, and all for the glory of Our Lord. I also include another sheet which contains the effects, and the beautiful promises which Jesus makes to anyone who does these Hours of the Passion. I believe that if one who meditates them is a sinner, he will convert; if he is imperfect, he will become perfect; if he is holy, he will become more holy; if he is tempted, he will find victory; if he is suffering, in these Hours he will find the strength, the medicine, the comfort. And if his soul is weak and poor, he will find spiritual food and the mirror in which he will reflect himself continuously to be embellished and to become similar to Jesus, our model. The satisfaction that blessed Jesus receives from the meditation of these Hours is so great, that He would want at least one copy of these meditations to be present and practiced in each city or town. In fact, it would happen, then, as if Jesus heard His own voice and His prayers being reproduced in those reparations, just as the ones He raised to His Father during the 24 hours of His sorrowful Passion. And if this were done in each town or city at least, by as many souls, Jesus seems to make me understand that Divine Justice would be placated in part, and in these sad times of torments and bloodshed, Its scourges would be stopped, in part, and as though dampened. I let you, reverend Father, make appeal to all; may you complete, in this way, the little work that my lovable Jesus had me do.
I also tell you that the purpose of these Hours of the Passion is not so much that of narrating the story of the Passion, because there are many books that treat this pious topic, and it would not be necessary to make another one. But rather, the purpose is the reparation, uniting the different points of the Passion of Our Lord with the diversity of the many offenses, and making worthy reparation for them together with Jesus, almost making up for all that the other creatures owe Him. From this, the different ways of reparation present in these Hours: in some sections one blesses, in others one compassionates, in others one praises, in others one comforts suffering Jesus, in others one compensates, in others one supplicates, prays and asks.
Therefore, I leave it to you, Reverend Father, to make known the purpose of these writings with a preface.
THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE PASSION
Luisa Piccarreta “The Little Daughter of the Divine Will”
Preparation to each hour
O my Lord Jesus Christ, prostrate in your divine presence, I implore your most loving Heart to admit me to the sorrowful meditation of the 24 hours in which for love of us You wanted to suffer so much, in your adorable body and in your most holy soul, unto death on the Cross. O please, give me help, grace, love, deep compassion and understanding of your sufferings, as I now meditate the Third hour.
And for those which I cannot meditate, I offer You my will to meditate them, and I willingly intend to meditate them in all the hours in which I have to apply myself to my duties, or sleep.
Accept, O merciful Lord, my loving intention, and let it be beneficial for me and for all, as if I effectively and in a saintly way accomplished what I wish to practice.
Meanwhile, I give You thanks, O my Jesus, for calling me to union with You by means of prayer. And to please You more, I take your thoughts, your tongue, your Heart, and with this I intend to pray, fusing all of myself in your Will and in your love; and stretching out my arms to hug You, I place my head on your Heart, and I begin.
From 7 to 8 PM
The Legal Supper
O Jesus, You now arrive at the cenacle together with your beloved disciples and You begin your supper with them. How much sweetness, how much affability You show through all your person, as You lower Yourself to taking material food for the last time! Everything is love in You; also in this, You not only repair for the sins of gluttony, but You impetrate the sanctification of food.
Jesus, my life, your sweet and penetrating gaze seems to search all of the apostles; and also in this act of taking food your Heart remains pierced in seeing your dear apostles still weak and listless, especially the perfidious Judas, who has already put a foot in hell. And You, from the bottom of your Heart, say bitterly: “What is the utility of my blood? Here is a soul so favored by Me – yet, he is lost!”
And You look at him with your eyes refulgent with light and love, as though wanting to make him understand the great evil he is about to commit. But your supreme charity makes You bear this sorrow and You do not make it manifest even to your beloved disciples.
And while You grieve for Judas, your Heart is filled with joy in seeing, on your left, your beloved disciple John; so much so, that unable to contain your love any longer, drawing him sweetly to Yourself, You let him place his head upon your Heart, letting him experience paradise in advance.
It is in this solemn hour that the two peoples, the reprobate and the elect, are portrayed by the two disciples: the reprobate in Judas, who already feels hell in his heart; the elect in John, who rests and delights in You.
O my sweet Good, I too place myself near You, and together with your beloved disciple I want to place my weary head upon your adorable Heart, praying You to let me experience the delights of Heaven, also on this earth; so that, enraptured by the sweet harmonies of your Heart, the earth may no longer be earth for me, but Heaven.
But in the midst of those most sweet and divine harmonies, I hear sorrowful heartbeats escaping You: these are for lost souls! O Jesus, o please, do not allow any more souls to be lost. Let your heartbeat, flowing through them, make them feel the heartbeats of the life of Heaven, just as your beloved disciple John felt them; so that, attracted by the gentleness and sweetness of your love, they may all surrender to You.
O Jesus, as I remain upon your Heart, give food also to me, as You gave it to the apostles: the food of love, the food of the divine word, the food of your Divine Will. O my Jesus, do not deny me this food, which You so much desire to give me so that your very Life may be formed in me.
My sweet Good, while I remain close to You, I see that the food You are taking together with your dear disciples is nothing but a lamb. This is a figurative lamb: just as this lamb has no vital humor left by force of fire, so You, mystical Lamb, having to consume Yourself completely for creatures by force of love, will keep not even a drop of blood for Yourself, but will pour it all out for love of us.
O Jesus, there is nothing You do which does not portray vividly your most sorrowful passion, which You keep always present in your mind, in your heart – in everything.
And this teaches me that if I too had the thought of your passion before my mind and in my heart, You would never deny me the food of your love. How much I thank You!
O my Jesus, not one act escapes You which does not keep me present and which does not intend to do me a special good. So I pray You that your passion be always in my mind, in my heart, in my gazes, in my steps and in my pains, so that, wherever I turn, inside and outside of myself, I may always find You present in me. And You, give me the grace never to forget what You have borne and suffered for me. May this be the magnet which, drawing my whole being into You, will never again allow me to go far away from You.
Reflections and Practices
Before taking food, let us unite our intentions to those of our lovable and good Jesus, imagining having the mouth of Jesus in our mouth, and moving our tongue and cheeks together with His. By doing this, we will not only draw the life of Jesus Christ into ourselves, but we will unite to Him in order to give to the Father complete glory, praise, love, thanksgiving and reparation owed by creatures, which Jesus Himself offered in the act of taking food. Let us also imagine being at the table near Jesus Christ, now looking at Him, now praying Him to share a bite with us, now kissing the hem of His mantle, now contemplating the movements of His lips and of His celestial eyes, now noticing the sudden clouding of His most lovable Face in foreseeing so much human ingratitude!
Just as loving Jesus spoke about His Passion during supper, as we take our food, we will make some reflections on how we meditated the Hours of the Passion. The Angels hang on our words, to gather our prayers, our reparations, and take them before the Father in order to somehow mitigate the just indignation for the so many offenses received from creatures – just as they carried them when Jesus was on earth. And when we pray, can we say that the Angels were pleased; that we have been recollected and reverent, in such a way that they were able to joyously carry our prayers to Heaven, just as they carried those of our Jesus? Or did they rather remain saddened?
While afflicted Jesus was taking food, He remained transfixed at the sight of the loss of Judas; and in Judas He saw all the souls who were going to be lost. Since the loss of souls is the greatest of His pains, unable to contain it, He drew John to Himself in order to find relief. In the same way, we will remain always close to Him like John, compassionating Him in His pains, relieving Him, and giving Him rest in our heart. We will make His pain our own, we will identify ourselves with Him, to feel the heartbeats of that Divine Heart, pierced by the loss of souls. We will give Him our own heartbeats in order to remove those wounds; and in the place of those wounds we will put the souls who want to be lost, so that they may convert and be saved.
Every beat of the Heart of Jesus is one ‘I love you’ which resounds in all the heartbeats of creatures, wanting to enclose all of them in His Heart in order to receive their heartbeats in return. But loving Jesus does not receive it from many, and therefore His heartbeat remains as though suffocated and embittered. Let us pray Jesus to seal our heartbeat with His ‘I love you’, so that our hearts too may live the life of His Heart and, resounding in the heartbeats of creatures, may force them to say, ‘I love You, Jesus!’ Even more, we will fuse ourselves in Him, and loving Jesus will let us hear His ‘I love you’ which fills Heaven and earth, circulates through the Saints, and descends into Purgatory. All the hearts of creatures are touched by this ‘I love you’; even the elements feel new life, and all feel its effects. In His breathing too, Jesus feels as though suffocating for the loss of souls. And we will give Him our breath of love for His relief; and, taking His breath, we will touch the souls who detach themselves from His arms in order to give them the life of the divine breath, so that, instead of running away, they may return to Him, and cling more tightly to Him.
When we are in pain and almost feel that our breath cannot come out freely, let us think of Jesus, Who contains the breath of the creatures in His own breath. He too, as souls become lost, feels His breath being taken away. So, let us place our sorrowful and labored breath in the breath of Jesus in order to relieve Him; and let us run after the sinner with our pain, so as to force him to enclose himself in the Heart of Jesus.
My beloved Good, may my breath be a continuous cry at every creature’s breath, forcing her to enclose herself in your breath.
The first word which loving Jesus pronounced on the Cross was a word of forgiveness, to justify all souls before the Father, and turn justice into mercy. We will give Him our acts to excuse the sinner, so that, moved by our apologies, He may not allow any soul to go to hell. We will unite with Him as sentries of the hearts of creatures, so that nobody may offend Him. We will let Him pour out His love, willingly accepting all that He may dispose for us – coldness, hardness, darkness, oppressions, temptations, distractions, slanders, illnesses and other things, so as to relieve Him from all that He receives from creatures. It is not by love alone that Jesus pours Himself out to souls. Many times, when He feels the coldness of other creatures, He goes to the soul and makes her feel His cold, to release Himself through her. If the soul accepts it, He will feel relieved from all the coldness of creatures, and this cold will be the sentry to someone else’s heart, to make loving Jesus loved.
Other times, Jesus feels the hardness of hearts in His own, and unable to contain it, He wants to pour Himself out, and comes to us. He touches our heart with His Heart, making us share in His pain. Making His pain our own, we will place it around the heart of the sinner in order to melt his hardness, and take him back to Him.
My beloved Good, You suffer greatly for the loss of souls, and for compassion, I place my being at your disposal. I will take your pains and the pains of the sinners upon myself, leaving You relieved, and the sinner clinging to You.
O my Jesus, please, let my whole being be melted in love, so that I may be a continuous relief and soothe all your bitternesses
Thanksgiving after each hour
My lovable Jesus, You have called me in this hour of your Passion to keep You company, and I have come. I seemed to hear You praying, repairing and suffering, in anguish and sorrow, pleading for the salvation of souls in the most touching and eloquent voices.
I tried to follow You in everything; and now, having to leave You for my usual occupations, I feel the duty to say to You, ‘Thank You’ and ‘I bless You.’
Yes, O Jesus, I repeat to You ‘Thank You’ thousands and thousands of times, and ‘I bless You’ for all that You have done and suffered for me and for all. I thank You and I bless You for every drop of Blood You shed, for every breath, for every heartbeat, for every step, word, glance, bitterness and offense which You endured. In everything, O my Jesus, I intend to seal You with a ‘Thank You’ and an ‘I bless You.’
Please, O Jesus, let my whole being send You a continuous flow of thanks and blessings, so as to draw upon me and upon everyone the flow of your blessings and thanks. Please, O Jesus, press me to your Heart, and with your most holy hands seal every particle of my being with your ‘I bless you’, so that nothing other than a continuous hymn to You may come from me.
THE ROUNDS OF THE SOUL IN THE DIVINE WILL
Round of the Soul, one with Luisa, in the Divine Will To Obtain the Coming of the Kingdom of God on Earth as in Heaven.
Our Lady the Queen of Heaven and earth with all maternal love offers you Her prayers by which you, one with Luisa, will be able to win over God. Pray one with Our Lady, and you will have Her power to take in your grasp as it were the works of Creation and Redemption to be one with you as you link yourself with Luisa. Your prayer will be as a mighty army to surround the throne of God, in order that the Divine Will may become known and Its Kingdom may come upon the earth. You will have in your power the heavens, the sun, all creation, the life, sufferings and tears of Jesus, the sorrows, the love, the virtues and the entire life of your Heavenly Mother. Imploring with you, they will take by storm, the Supreme Being as Our Lady did. These prayers are “The Round of the Soul in the Divine Will.”
The Soul, one with Luisa, Follows Jesus as He Enters Jerusalem and Asks Him for the Victory of the Divine Will over the human will, then Follows Him in the Institution of the Sacraments.
Heavenly Lover, my “I love You” follows You in the triumphant entry You made into Jerusalem. I impress it everywhere: on the palm branches, on the cloaks thrown at Your feet, on the jubilant cries of “Blessed is He who comes as King” from the crowds that received You.
My Divine King, Your aspect of victorious conqueror seems to want to bring me the happy news that the Kingdom of Your Divine Fiat will arrive soon upon the earth. With this in mind, I will not leave You. I will not get tired following You with my “I love You’s” until You promise me that It will make a happy arrival.
But I already seem to hear You whispering into my ear: “O soul, follow Me. My Love feels the need of Your company. My enemies, envious of the jubilant cries of ‘Blessed is He who comes as King’ from the crowd, are trying to take My life. So, before I die, I want to institute the Sacrament of the Eucharist, to leave a final remembrance of the intense love I have for My children and to live perennial life among them. Take advantage of this gift of Mine to ask Me ceaselessly for My Divine Fiat!”
My Love, I bind myself to You so I can place my “I love You” in each of the Sacraments You institute. I join it to each Baptism administered, to ask You, by virtue of it, to grant the Divine Fiat to each baptized person. I repeat it to You in the Sacrament of Confirmation, to invoke the victory of Your Divine Will in each person being confirmed. I seal this “I love You” of mine also in the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, so every dying person may complete the final moment of His life in Your Divine Will. I impress it in the Sacrament of Holy Orders, to ask You for Priests who conform to Your Will: May they possess and spread Your Holy Kingdom. My “I love You” is impressed in the Sacrament of Matrimony, to ask You for families formed in the school of Your Divine Fiat. I introduce my “I love You” into the Sacrament of Penance to ask You to give, in each Confession of the Faithful, death to sin and life to Your Divine Will.
My Savior Jesus, I desire that my “I love You” never abandon You and may be eternal with You. Therefore, I leave it with my “I adore You, I praise You, I thank You” in every Sacramental Host, in every hidden tear You shed through each consecrated particle, in every offense You receive and in every act of reparation You accomplish, to ask with You that the Kingdom of Your Divine Will may rule on earth as It does in Heaven. My Heavenly Archer, from every tabernacle wound the human wills and wrap Your chains of Love around them. Use every heavenly tactic You have to overcome them. Then give us in exchange Your Will, so that It may be one with our own, on earth as It is in Heaven.
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