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TO THE HOLY ARCHANGEL WHO STRENGTHENED OUR LORD IN HIS AGONY

I salute thee, holy Angel who didst comfort my Jesus in His agony, and with thee I praise the most holy Trinity for having chosen thee from among all the holy Angels to comfort and strengthen Him who is the comfort and strength of all that are in affliction.   By the honoUr thou didst enjoy and by the obedience, humility and love wherewith thou didst assist the sacred Humanity of Jesus, my Saviour, when He was fainting for very sorrow at seeing the sins of the world and especially my sins, I beseech thee to obtain for me perfect sorrow for my sins; deign to strengthen me In the afflictions that now overwhelm me, and in all the other trials, to which I shall be exposed henceforth and, in particular, when I find myself in my final agony. Amen.  
THOUGHTS AND AFFECTIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD   GOOD and merciful Jesus, my blessed Saviour! What a world of anguish pierced Thy Sacred Heart, what a flood of bitterness deluged Thy Soul, what a torrent of humiliation overwhelmed Thee in Thy Passion, from Gethsemane to Calvary!   When I contemplate Thee in Thy bitter Passion, looking at my crucifix, and reflecting on all Thy sufferings of Soul and Body—–on Thy mental anguish and dereliction; on Thy agony in the garden; Thy betrayal by Judas; the rudeness of the soldiers, dragging and striking Thee and spitting in Thy face; Thy contemptuous treatment at the tribunal of the haughty high priests Annas and Caiphas; Thy shameful mockery and humiliation at the court of Herod, where Thou wert treated as a fool; the cruel scourging and crowning with thorns, which made Thee so pitiable in appearance, as to cause even the Roman governor to exclaim, “Ecce: H***!” and the Royal Psalmist to lament in prophetic vision,”I am a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of the people”; the derisive yells and the brutal cry of the frenzied and bloodthirsty rabble, ” Crucify Him!”; the carrying of the heavy Cross in Thy enfeebled condition; the painful meeting with Thy sorrowful Mother, and at length the dreadful crucifixion between two thieves, and the hours of suffering on Calvary, which ended in Thy Death amid the awful gloom and convulsive desolation of nature; —–reflecting upon all these pains and torments, insults and outrages, to which Thou wert subjected in Thy Passion, I bow my head in shame and sorrow on account of my many sins, and deeply regret my self-indulgence and pride, which have led me so often to abuse Thy graces, to forget Thy love, and to wound Thy Sacred Heart.   O King of glory, Jesus, my Saviour! what marvelous virtue Thou dost display in this flood of sorrows, sufferings, and humiliations, which overwhelmed Thy Heart! What meekness, what resignation, what patience, what charity! Thou dost pray for those who outrage Thee. Thou offerest Thy sufferings for those who persecute and afflict Thee.   How unlike I am to Thee, my Divine Model! How great is the change that must be effected in me, if I wish to be Thy true disciple and to bear a resemblance to Thee! In all sincerity, however, I pray: “Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine.” How different a rule of life, how great a reform of conduct is required of me before I shall be able to say with the Apostle: “I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me.” How unwilling I am to bear the slightest pain! How I shrink from the lightest cross! How impatient I am in sufferings, disappointments, and contradictions! And yet the Holy Spirit tells us, “Jesus Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps”; and again, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer.”   How the Apostles, the Martyrs, and all the Saints have suffered! But they entered with firm tread the grotto of the Agony and stood bravely by the Cross. They rejoiced in suffering and persecution, because they became thereby more like to Christ; they bore in mind that great and abundant merit is attached to patient endurance of trials; they remembered that those who suffer with Christ, those who tread courageously the royal road of the Cross to Calvary, shall also ascend with Him to Heaven and reign with Him in immortal glory.   Henceforth I shall look upon pains and sufferings and humiliations as blessings sent me from Heaven as a means to make me become more Christ-like, to atone for my sins, to wean me from the love of self and the gratification of my passions, to teach me the vanities of the world, to lead me to greater perfection—–in a word, to make me a Saint. I will remember my Saviour’s words: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke ix. 23).   I will accept with resignation and bear with patience every cross that comes to me, mindful of the Apostle’s words, “We know that to them that love God all things work together unto good (Rom. viii. 28). Every pain may help us to shorten our Purgatory; every pain, moreover, is a means of merit and reparation when it is met in the spirit of our blessed Saviour, when it is accepted in union with His sufferings and endured for His sake on behalf of Souls for which He died.   O Jesus! I adore Thee carrying with love for us the Cross prepared for Thee by Thy Father, and beg of Thee, through the intercession of Thy holy and sorrowful Mother, patience and resignation in the trials of this life.   Divine Jesus! we adore Thee in the unfathomable debasements of Thy Passion and of Thy, presence on the altar; we adore Thee, O loving King! overwhelmed with insults both in Thy Passion and in the Sacred Host, and we beg of Thee, through the intercession of Thy holy and sorrowful Mother, the penitential spirit, the spirit of humility, obedience, and sacrifice, the grace of mortifying our pride and self-love. Heart of Jesus, wounded by my infidelities, forgive me my sins. I am sorry for having offended Thee, because Thou art infinitely good. Sin displeases Thee; I will not sin again. Heart of Jesus, let me drink of Thy chalice.   Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my love! Thy Kingdom come! Mayest Thou reign in all hearts! Be Thou the sole Master of all that I am and have! May I live henceforth only to love Thee, to follow Thee, to serve Thee!  
“Master, go on, and I will follow Thee, To the last gasp with truth and loyalty.

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Written by Raphael Benedict

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