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 _FIRST_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 5 to 6 PM
Jesus takes leave of His Most Holy Mother
O Celestial Mama, the hour of the separation is approaching, and I come to You. O Mother, give me your love and your reparations; give me your sorrow, because together with You I want to follow, step by step, adored Jesus.
And now Jesus comes to You, and You, with heart overflowing with love, run toward Him and in seeing Him so pale and sad, your Heart aches with pain, your strengths leave You and You are about to fall at His feet.
O my sweet Mama, do You know why adorable Jesus has come to You? Ah, He has come to say the last good-bye, to tell You the last word, to receive the last embrace!
O Mother, I cling to You with all the tenderness of which my poor heart is capable, so that clinging and bound to You, I too may receive the embraces of adored Jesus. Will You perhaps disdain me? Isn’t it rather a comfort for your Heart to have a soul near You, who would share its pains, affections and reparations?
O Jesus, in such a harrowing hour for your most tender Heart, what a lesson of filial and loving obedience to your Mama You give us! What a sweet harmony passes between You and Mary! What a sweet enchantment of love rises up to the throne of the Eternal One and extends for the salvation of all creatures of the earth!
O my Celestial Mama, do You know what adored Jesus wants from You? Nothing but your last blessing. It is true that from every particle of your being nothing but blessings and praises come out for your Creator; but Jesus, in taking leave of You, wants to hear the sweet word: “I bless You, O Son”. And that “I bless You” removes all the blasphemies from His hearing, and descends, sweet and gentle, into His Heart. Jesus wants your “I bless You”, almost to place it as a shelter from all the offenses of the creatures.
I too unite myself to You, O sweet Mama. Upon the wings of the winds I want to go around the heavens to ask the Father, the Holy Spirit and all the Angels, for an “I bless You” for Jesus, so that, as I go to Him, I may bring Him their blessings. And here on earth, I want to go to all creatures and ask, from every lip, from every heartbeat, from every step, from every breath, from every gaze, from every thought – blessings and praises for Jesus. And if no one wants to give them to me, I intend to give them for them.
O sweet Mama, after going round and round, to ask the Sacrosanct Trinity, the Angels, all the creatures, the light of the sun, the fragrance of the flowers, the waves of the sea, every breath of wind, every spark of fire, every moving leaf, the twinkling of the stars, every movement of nature, for an “I bless You”, I come to You and I place all my blessings together with yours.
My sweet Mama, I see that You receive comfort and relief, and that You offer Jesus all my blessings in reparation for the blasphemies and the maledictions which He receives from creatures. But as I offer You everything, I hear your trembling voice saying: “Son, bless me too!”
O my sweet Love, Jesus, bless also me, together with your Mama; bless my thoughts, my heart, my hands, my works, my steps, and with your Mother, all creatures.
O my Mother, in looking at the face of sorrowful Jesus, pale, sad, harrowing, the memory of the pains which He is about to suffer awakens in You. You foresee His face covered with spit and You bless it, His head pierced by the thorns, His eyes blinded, His body tortured by the scourges, His hands and feet pierced by the nails; and wherever He is about to go, You follow Him with your blessings. And I too will follow Him together with You. When Jesus is struck by the scourges, crowned with thorns, slapped, pierced by the nails, everywhere He will find my “I bless You” together with yours.
O Jesus, O Mother, I compassionate You. Immense is your pain in these last moments. The Heart of one seems to tear the Heart of the other.
O Mother, snatch my heart from the earth and bind it tightly to Jesus, so that, clinging to Him, I may share in His pains, and as You cling to each other, as You embrace, as You exchange the last glances, the last kisses, being in between your two Hearts, may I receive your last kisses, your last embraces. Don’t You see that I cannot be without You, in spite of my misery and my coldness?
Jesus, Mama, keep me close to You; give me your love, your Will. Dart through my poor heart, hold me tightly in your arms; and together with You, O sweet Mother, I want to follow, step by step, adored Jesus, with the intention of giving Him comfort, relief, love and reparation for all.
O Jesus, together with your Mama, I kiss your left foot, asking You to forgive me and all creatures, for all the times we have not walked toward God.
I kiss your right foot: forgive me and all, for all the times we have not followed the perfection You wanted from us.
I kiss your left hand: communicate to us your purity.
I kiss your right hand: bless all of my heartbeats, thoughts, affections, so that, given value by your blessing, they all may be sanctified. And with me, bless all creatures, and seal the salvation of their souls with your blessing.
O Jesus, I embrace You together with your Mama, and kissing your Heart, I beg You to place my heart between your two Hearts, that it may be nourished continuously by your love, by your sorrows, by your very affections and desires, and by your own Life. Amen.
Reflections and Practices
Before giving start to His Passion, Jesus goes to His Mother to ask for Her blessing. In this act Jesus teaches us obedience, not only external but also interior, which we must have in order to reciprocate the inspirations of grace. Sometimes we are not ready to put into practice a good inspiration, either because we are held back by love of self united to temptation, or because of human respect, or in order not to use holy violence on ourselves.
But rejecting the good inspiration of exercising a virtue, of accomplishing a virtuous act, of doing a good work, or of practicing a devotion, makes the Lord withdraw, depriving us of new inspirations.
On the other hand, the prompt correspondence, pious and prudent, to holy inspirations attracts more lights and graces upon us.
In the cases of doubt, one should turn promptly and with righteous intention to the great means of prayer and to upright and experienced advice. In this way, the good God will enlighten the soul to execute the healthy inspiration, increasing it for her greater benefit.
We must do our actions, our acts, our prayers, the Hours of the Passion, with the same intentions of Jesus, in His Will, sacrificing ourselves as He did, for the glory of the Father and for the good of souls.
We must place ourselves in the disposition of sacrificing ourselves in everything for love of our lovable Jesus, conforming to His spirit, operating with His own sentiments, and abandoning ourselves in Him, not only in all the external sufferings and adversities, but much more in all that He will dispose in our interior. In this way, at any time, we will find ourselves ready to accept any suffering. By doing this, we will give sweet sips to our Jesus. Then, if we do all this in the Will of God which contains all sweetnesses and all contentments in immense proportion, we will give to Jesus large sweet sips, so as to mitigate the poisoning which other creatures cause Him, and to console His Divine Heart.
Before starting any action, let us always invoke the blessing of God, so that our actions may have the touch of the Divinity, and may attract His blessings not only on us, but upon all creatures.
My Jesus, may your blessing precede me, accompany me and follow me, so that everything I do may carry the seal of your ‘I bless you.’
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 withLuisa, in the Divine Will To Obtain the Coming ofthe 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 into the Desert. Stopping by the Jordan, It Asks Him for the Life-giving Baptism of His Divine Will, so All May Receive His Life.
My Heavenly and Greatest Love, I want to follow You everywhere. I now see that You are about to go into the desert and take leave of Your Mother. You say to Her: “Goodbye, Mother, I’ll be gone for awhile. But I leave You My Divine Fiat for help, for comfort, for life. It will be a means of communication between You and Me. Because of My Will, You’ll share in My every act. In this way, even though we are far apart, we’ll remain so united as to feel like one single person.”
Jesus, my Life, take me by the hand and bring me with You. Let me not lose track of whatever You do, for I want to seal everything with the imprint of my love.
To ask You for the Kingdom of Your Divine Will on earth, I follow You step by step as You walk alone with my “I love You, I adore You, I praise You, I thank You.” With every breath You take, I want You to inhale my “I love You.” I want to enclose in it Your every word, and I want to offer it with Your every glance. As You reach the Jordan, I saturate that water with my “I love You.” In this way, as soon as John the Baptist pours water on Your Head to baptize You, You will feel the fullness of my love mingled in it, a love that invokes for all creatures the baptismal water of Your Divine Will and the arrival of Its Kingdom. Beloved, in this solemn act of Your baptism, I ask You for a grace You certainly won’t deny me: I ask You to purify with Your holy hands my little soul through the life-giving and creative water of Your Divine Will, so I may hear nothing, see nothing and know nothing outside of the life of Your Fiat. O, yes, I ask You: Let my existence be nothing other than an uninterrupted act of Your Will!
My Jesus, sweet Love, allow me to follow You into the desert. There, my “I love You” will never leave You alone. I will stay near You night and day. And when You are troubled, in pain and yearning for love, praying and weeping because of the isolation Your Divine Will experiences, I will console You with the cry of my “I love You.”
You feel deep pain, not only because Your Divine Will does not reign among creatures but because It was put by them, as it were, into exile. Your Most Holy Humanity mourns, therefore, and implores on behalf of the entire human family that the Divine and the human wills may reconcile and fuse together. O Jesus, I make Your tears and Your prayers my own. I take possession of the agony of Your burning Heart. Interlacing it with my “I love You,” I form sweet chains of love to force You to grant me the Kingdom of Your Divine Will on earth! Listen to them, my Life: They are Your very heartbeats, Your sighs; they are Your tears, Your prayers and Your sufferings, which desire and invoke the Kingdom of Your Fiat. If You won’t listen to me, then listen at least to Yourself; and coming out of the desert, assure me there will soon come upon earth the Kingdom of Your Will.
My Jesus, Heart of my heart, here You are now going out of the desert. With haste, You arrive at Your house in Nazareth, where the love of Your Heavenly Mother incessantly calls and waits for You. What a touching sight this is! Mother and Son, driven by a mutual and compelling need to meet again, throw themselves into each other’s arms. O Jesus, I too want to share with the little flame of my “I love You” in Your chaste embraces, Your enthusiasm, the fire of Your Love, to ask You for the Kingdom of the Supreme Will! You also, Holy Mother, ask for me this tremendous grace and pray that the Divine Will may become known and reign on earth as It is in Heaven.