This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday: Suggested Reading for Lent: The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

2/12 This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday: Suggested Reading for Lent: The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

J_Crucifixion scanned from missale 001 - Rev

Presentation

(From The Hours of the Passion.  Click here for book)

This book (The Twenty-Four Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ) is a translation of the Italian book, L’Orologio della Passione di Nostro Signore Gesu Cristo, written by Luisa Piccarreta, “The Little Daughter of the Divine Will,” about the year 1914, in obedience to the ecclesiastical authority at that time, the now Saint Annibale Maria di Francia.  This presentation was taken largely from the preface of the fourth edition, which Saint Annibale Maria di Francia had written for the original Italian.

Luisa was seventeen years old (she relates these facts in the first of thirty-six volumes which she wrote by order of holy obedience).  On the last day of a Christmas Novena which Jesus Himself prompted her to do, He surprised her with an unusually vivid experience of the marvelous Mysteries of His Love.  And He told her He wanted to lavish New and Greater Graces on her, manifesting to her other, even more lofty Excesses of His Immense Love, and inviting her to continue giving Him uninterrupted company during the twenty-four hours of His Sorrowful Passion and death.

Much later, after Luisa had already been Living these Hours of the Passion intensely in her interior for more than thirty years, the now Saint Annibale di Francia, who was the ecclesiastic delegate on matters concerning Luisa’s writings and who had come to know about this practice of hers, gave her the obedience to write these Hours down.  This, then, is how the book, The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ began.

It was then that Saint Annibale di Francia published it for the first time.  To this edition, there followed seven others:  five in Italian and two in German—always with the proper ecclesiastical permissions.  It was recently published in English and Spanish as well.

When Luisa had finished writing the Hours of the Passion, she wrote a letter which she gave to Saint Annibale together with the book, who included it in the book’s preface when he published it.  From this letter, we come to appreciate how pleased Jesus is, and how many benefits are lavished upon the soul, when it practices these Hours on a daily basis, as Bread without which one cannot live.  Here is the letter.

“I am finally sending you this hand-written copy of The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  May it all be for His greater Glory.  I have also enclosed a few sheets on which I have described the Effects and the beautiful Promises which Jesus makes to all those who meditate these Hours of the Passion.

“I believe that if whoever meditates on them is a sinner he will convert; if he is imperfect he will become perfect; if he is holy he will become holier; if he is tempted he will find victory; if suffering he will find strength, medicine and comfort in these Hours; if weak and poor he will find a spiritual food and a mirror in which to look at himself continually, and so become beautiful and similar to Jesus, our Model.

“Jesus’ Joy is so immense when someone meditates on the Hours of the Passion, that He would like to see at least one copy of these meditations being used in every city and town.  Because then it would be as if Jesus were hearing His own Voice and His own Prayers which He raised to His Father during the twenty-four hours of His painful Passion.  And if this is done at least by a few souls in each town and city, He Himself promises that the Divine Justice will be appeased in part, and punishments will be lessened.

“Reverend Father:  You make an appeal to everyone.  Bring this little work to completion, which my Loving Jesus has had me do.

“I would also like to add that the purpose of these Hours of the Passion is not so much that of recounting the story of the Passion, since there already are many books which deal with this pious subject, and it would not be necessary to write another one.  Instead, its purpose is to make reparation:  to unite ourselves to Jesus in each of the different moments of His Passion, and with His own Divine Will, make a worthy reparation for each of the various offenses He receives, and compensate Him for everything that all creatures owe Him.

“From this there derive the different ways of making reparation in these Hours.  In some instances, the soul blesses Him, in others it sympathizes with Him, in others it praises Him, it comforts suffering Jesus, it compensates Him, it begs, prays and asks Him, and so on.

“So, I entrust to you the task of making known the purpose of these Hours to those who will read them.”

Therefore, in every city, town and nation, let us form so many cenacles, in which these twenty-four Hours of the Passion of Our Lord are meditated and lived.  Like so many living clocks, let them faithfully mark the hours of each day, to keep Jesus company with our love, our reparation and our gratitude, for He is not loved as He deserves.  Indeed, His own children offend Him and crucify Him again in their hearts, by closing the doors to Grace, to the Divine Will.

It happened that on one occasion, Saint Annibale di Francia went to Luisa’s house and recounted what had taken place on one of his visits with the Pope (being an intimate friend of Pope Saint Pius X, he was frequently received by him).  While with him, he wanted to introduce him to the book, The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which he had been spreading.  So, St. Annibale read a few pages of it to the Pope, specifically, from the Hour of the Crucifixion.  At a certain point, the Pope interrupted him, saying:

“Father, this book should be read while kneeling:  It is Jesus Christ who is speaking!”

PASSAGES ON THE VALUE AND EFFECTS OF THE HOURS OF THE PASSION FROM THE BOOK OF HEAVEN

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, The Little Daughter of the Divine Will:

VOLUME 11

 April 10, 1913

 Value and effects of the Hours of the Passion. How Jesus wants them to be done. The Love of Jesus is fire which destroys evil and gives life to good.

 This morning my always adorable Jesus came and, hugging me close to His Heart, told me: “My daughter, the soul who always thinks about my Passion forms a spring within her heart, and the more she thinks, the larger this spring becomes. Since the waters which spring are waters common to everyone, this spring of my Passion which is formed in her heart serves to the benefit of the soul, to my glory, and to the benefit of all creatures.” And I: ‘Tell me, my Good, what will You give as a reward to those who will do the Hours of the Passion the way You taught them to me?’

And He: “My daughter, I will not look at these Hours as your things, but as things done by Me. I will give you the same merits, as if I were in the act of suffering my Passion. In this way, I will let you obtain the same effects, according to the dispositions of the souls. This, while on earth – and I could not give you a greater thing from My own. Then, in Heaven, I will place these souls in front of Me, flashing them with lightnings of love and contentment for as many times as they did the Hours of my Passion – while they will flash to Me as well. What a sweet enchantment this will be for all the Blessed!”

Then He added: “My Love is fire, but not like material fire which destroys things and reduces them to ash. My fire vivifies and perfects, while it burns and consumes all that is not holy – desires, affections, thoughts which are not good. This is the virtue of my fire: to burn evil and to give life to good. Therefore, if the soul does not feel any tendency to evil within herself, she can be certain that my fire is in her. But if she feels fire mixed with evil within herself, it is very doubtable whether that be my real fire.”

VOLUME 11

October 1914

Value and effects of the Hour of the Passion.

I was writing the Hours of the Passion and I thought to myself: ‘How many sacrifices in order to write these blessed Hours of the Passion, especially to put on paper certain interior acts which had passed only between me and Jesus! What reward will He give to me?’ Letting me hear His tender and sweet voice, Jesus told me: “My daughter, as a reward for having written the Hours of my Passion, for each word you have written, I will give you a kiss – a soul.” And I: ‘My love, this is for me; and what will you give to those who will do them?’ And Jesus: “If they do them together with Me and with my own Will, I will give them a soul for each word they will recite, because the greater or lesser effectiveness of these Hour of my Passion is in the greater or lesser union that they have with Me. In doing them with my Will, the creature hides inside my Volition; and since it is my Volition that is acting, I can produce all the goods I want, even through one single word. This, for each time you will do them.”

Another time I was lamenting with Jesus because, after so many sacrifices to write these Hours of the Passion, very few were the souls who were doing them. And He: “My daughter, do not lament. Even if there was only one, you should be happy. Wouldn’t I have suffered all my Passion even to save only one soul? The same for you. One should never omit good only because few benefit from it; all the harm is for those who do not take advantage of it. Just as my Passion made my Humanity acquire the merit as if all were being saved, although not all are saved (since my Will was to save everyone, and I received merit according to what I wanted, not according to the profit which creatures would have drawn), the same is for you: you will be rewarded depending on whether your will identified itself with Mine, wanting to benefit all. All the evil remains to those who, although being able to, do not do it.

These Hours are the most precious of all, because they are nothing other than the repetition of what I did in the course of my mortal Life, and what I continue to do in the Most Blessed Sacrament. When I hear these Hours of my Passion, I hear my own voice, my own prayers. In that soul I see my Will – that is, wanting good for everyone and wanting to repair for all – and I feel moved to dwell in her, in order to do whatever she does within her. Oh, how I would love that even one single soul for each town did these Hours of my Passion! I would hear Myself in every town, and my Justice, greatly indignant during these times, would remain partly appeased.”

I add that one day I was doing the Hour in which the celestial Mama gave burial to Jesus, and I followed her closely to keep her company in her bitter desolation in order to offer her my compassion. I didn’t usually do this Hour – only sometimes; so I was debating on whether I had to do it or not. Blessed Jesus, all love, and as if He was begging me, told me: “My daughter, I don’t want you to neglect it. You will do it for love of Me, and in honor of my Mama. Know that each time you do it, my Mama feels as if she were personally repeating her life upon earth, and therefore repeating that glory and love which she gave Me on earth. I too feel as if my Mama were on earth again – her Maternal tenderness, her Love and all the glory that she gave Me. So, I will consider you as a Mother.”

Then, He hugged me and I heard Him saying to me, very quietly: “My Mama, Mama”; and He whispered to me all that sweet Mama did and suffered in this Hour; and I followed her. Since then, I never skipped it again, helped by His Grace.

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