Advent Meditations

in Opus Sanctorum Angelorum

Holy, holy, holy ....

All: Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Your love alone can save the world,
Your love alone can overcome all things!
Let us, therefore, be bearers of Your love!
We want to adore and love You with all
the strength of our heart.

Let us together with You and Mary, with all the angels and saints form a radiant ring of salvation around the world and the Church, especially around the Holy Father, our bishops and priests, and around all those whom we wish to place in Your Heart,
O Holy, Mighty and Immortal God!
© 2009 Order of the Holy Cross. All rights reserved

Beginning of the prayers of the Rosary: Creed, Our Father, three Hail Mary's ...

1. The Love that the Son of God has shown us in the Redemption.
The eternal Word is that God who is so infinitely happy in Himself that his happiness cannot be greater than it is, nor could the salvation of all mankind have added anything to it or have diminished it; and yet He has done and suffered so much to save us miserable worms that if his beatitude (as St. Thomas says) had depended on that of man, He could not have done or suffered more: As if without man He could not be happy; and, indeed, if Jesus Christ could not have been happy without redeeming us, how could He have humbled Himself more than He has done, in taking upon Himself our infirmities, the miseries of infancy, the troubles of human life, and a death on the cross?

None but God was capable of loving us sinful men to such an excess, and who were so unworthy of being loved. A devout author asks: If Jesus Christ had permitted us to ask of Him to give us the greatest proof of his love, who would have ventured to ask of Him that He should become a child like unto us? That He should clothe Himself with all our miseries, and make Himself of all men the poorest, the most despised, cursed and forsaken, even by his own Father, who abandoned his Son that He might not abandon us in our ruin?

But of what we could not even have the boldness to have thought of, the Son of God has thought of and accomplished. Even from His childhood He has sacrificed Himself for us to sufferings ... and to death: He loved us, and delivered Himself for us.

He loved us, and out of love gave us Himself, in order that we, by offering Him as a victim to the Father, in satisfaction for our debts, might through his merits obtain salvation; a victim dearer to the Father than if we had offered Him the lives of all men and of all the angels. Let us therefore continually offer to God the merits of Jesus Christ, and through them let us seek and hope for every good.

My beloved Redeemer, I am a poor sinner; but You said that You came to seek sinners: I did not come to call the just, but sinners. Those who are whole need not the physician, but those who are sick. I was lost through my sins; but You came to save the lost. I implore this favor of You, 0 my Jesus, give me confidence in Your merits, and grant that I may always recommend myself to God through Your merits. Eternal Father, save me and all men from hell and sin for the love of Jesus Christ. For the merits of this Your Son enlighten our minds to obey Your will. Most holy Mary, obtain for us the great gift of prayer, and that we may persevere in recommending ourselves constantly to God, and also to you, who do obtain from God whatever you will.
Decade of the Rosary

2. Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, from the Womb of His Mother.
A man of sorrows, acquainted with infirmity (Is. 53:3) the prophet Isaiah designates our Lord Jesus Christ. This Man was created on purpose to suffer, and from his infancy He began to endure the greatest sorrows that any man ever suffered. The first man, Adam, enjoyed for some time upon this earth the delights of the earthly paradise, but the second Adam, Jesus Christ, did not pass a moment of his life without sorrows and anguish; for even from His childhood He was afflicted by the foresight of all the sufferings and ignominy that He would have to endure during his life, and especially at his death.

Even from the womb of Mary, Jesus Christ accepted obediently the sacrifice which his Father had desired Him to make, even his Passion and death: Becoming obedient unto death? So that even from the womb of Mary He foresaw the scourges and presented to them his flesh; He foresaw the thorns, and presented to them his head; He foresaw the blows, and presented to them his cheeks; He foresaw the nails, and presented to them his hands and his feet; He foresaw the cross, and offered his life. Hence it is true that even from his earliest infancy our blessed Redeemer every moment of his life suffered a continual martyrdom; and He offered it every moment for us to his eternal Father.

But what afflicted Him most was the sight of the sins which men would commit even after this painful redemption. By his divine light He well knew the malice of every sin, and therefore did He come into the world to do away with all sins; but when He saw the immense number which would be committed, the sorrow that the Heart of Jesus felt was greater than all the sorrows that all men ever suffered or ever will suffer upon earth.

All: My sweetest Redeemer, when will I begin to be grateful to Your infinite goodness? When will I begin to acknowledge the love that You have borne for me, and the sorrows You have endured for me? Instead of love and gratitude, I have returned You offences and contempt. I repent with my whole soul of having despised You. Fulfill, therefore, Your promise, my Beloved, and forgive me. 0 dearest Infant, I behold You in the manger already nailed to Your cross, which is constantly present to You, and which You did already accept for me. 0 my crucified Infant! I thank You for it, and I love You.

Mary, my Mother, help me and all men. Let it be your glory to see your Son loved by all men, who have so greatly offended Him.
Decade of the Rosary

3. Jesus Charged with the Sins of the Whole World.
He bore their iniquities (Is 53:3). The divine Word, in becoming man, chose not only to take the form of a sinner, but also to bear all the sins of men, and to satisfy for them as if they were his own: He bore their iniquities as if He had committed them Himself. Let us here reflect what an oppression and anguish the heart of the Infant Jesus must have felt, who had already charged Himself with the sins of the whole world, in finding that the divine justice insisted on his making a full satisfaction for them.

Well did our Lord know the malice of every sin. Through the divine light which accompanied Him, He knew immeasurably more than all men and angels the infinite goodness of his Father, and how infinitely deserving He is of being revered and loved. And then He saw drawn up in array before Him an innumerable number of transgressions which were to be committed by men and for which He was to suffer and die. Our Lord once showed to St. Catharine of Siena the hideousness of one single venial sin; and such was the dread and sorrow of the saint that she fell senseless to the ground. What, then, must have been the sufferings of the Infant Jesus when, on his entrance into the world, He saw before Him the immense array of all the crimes of men for which He was to make satisfaction! And then He knew in particular every sin of each one of us. Each one of our sins afflicted the soul of Jesus Christ more than crucifixion and death afflicted his body.

All: My Beloved Jesus, I, who have offended You, am not worthy of Your favors, but through the merit of that pain which You suffered, and offered up to God at the sight of my sins, and to satisfy divine justice for them, give me a share in that light by which You saw their malice. My amiable Savior, ever since You were an infant, and in every moment of Your life, I have been a murderer of Your Sacred Heart. I have renewed and increased this suffering every time I have repeated my offences against You? 0 Lord! You died to save me; but Your death will not save me, if I do not on my part to detest every evil, and have true sorrow for the sins I have committed against You. Help me, 0 Lord to make a perfect act of contrition which I now intend to do. I want to say with all my heart: My Lord, no more sins, no more sins! My mother Mary, assist me and all men to obtain that we may love God during the time that is left us in this life.
Decade of the Rosary

4. The Greatest Sorrow of Jesus.
While He was in His Mother's womb, that which afflicted Him more than any other sorrow was the hardness of the hearts of men, who should, after His Redemption, despise the graces which He came into the world to diffuse: What profit is there in my blood, whilst I go down to corruption? Ps 29:10. This sorrow was the bitter chalice which Jesus begged the Eternal Father to remove from Him, saying: Let this chalice pass from Me. And this same sorrow tormented the Infant Jesus in the womb of Mary, the foresight of so many sorrows, ignominy, blood-shedding, and so cruel and ignominious a death, and all to so little purpose. The holy Child saw that many, indeed the greater number, would trample under foot His blood, and despise His grace, which this Blood would obtain for them. But if we have been of the number of these ungrateful men, let us not despair; Jesus, at His birth, came to offer peace to men of good-will, as He made the angels sing: And on earth peace to men of good-will! Let us, then, change our will, repent of our sins, and resolve to love this good God, and we shall find peace, that is, the divine friendship.

All: My most amiable Jesus, how much have I too caused You to suffer during Your lifetime! You have shed Your Blood for me with so much sorrow and love, and what fruit have You hitherto drawn from me but contempt, offences, and insults? But, my Redeemer, I will no longer afflict You; I hope that in future Your Passion will produce fruit in me by Your grace, which I feel is already assisting me. I ask of You, above all, the gift of Your holy love, that it may make me always live according to Your divine will. As to my own will, I am resolved to choose a thousand deaths sooner than offend You, and to love You with my whole heart, and to do everything that I possibly can to please You. My Mother Mary, pray for me and all sinners. Amen.
Decade of the Rosary

5. The Poverty of the Infant Jesus
You shall find the infant laid in a manger. St. Luke, 2:16. "O great mystery! 0 wonderful sacrament! For animals to behold the Lord lying in a manger." In order to contemplate with tenderness and love the birth of Jesus, we must pray the Lord to give us a lively faith. Being born in the depth of winter, He is laid in a manger of beasts, without fire, and in the midst of a cold cavern. With faith, consider what an excess of bounty and love it was in God to humble Himself to appear like a little child, wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed on straw, crying and shivering with cold, unable to move, depending for subsistence on His mother's milk. The shepherds, after having visited Jesus in the manger, returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen. And yet what had they seen? Nothing more than a poor child trembling with cold on a little straw. But, being enlightened by faith, they recognized in this child the excess of divine love; and inflamed by this love they went on their way glorifying God, that they had the happiness to behold a God who had emptied Himself and annihilated Himself for the love of men.

All: 0 my amiable and sweet Infant! Although I behold You so poor and lying on straw, yet I confess and adore You as my Lord and Creator. I know what it was that reduced You to so miserable a state: it was the love that You bore me. Oh, my dearest Redeemer, for the sake of the sufferings You have endured and the tears You have shed in the stable of Bethlehem, give me tears, give me a great sorrow, that may make me all my life long lament the displeasure I have caused You. Grant me a love for You, but such a love as may compensate for the offences I have committed against You. I love You, my Infant Savior; I love You, my Infant God; I love You, my love, my life, my all. I promise You from this day forth to love none but You. Help me by Your grace, without which I can do nothing. Mary, my hope, you obtain whatever you will from your Son, obtain for me His holy love!
Decade of the Rosary

If time permits one or more of the following prayers may be added concluding with the Prayers for the intention of the Holy Father and Holy, holy, holy...

Jesus, I beg You for a drop of Your most Precious Blood in this hour of Your most bitter agony for [insert intention]
-for the Holy Church
-for our Holy Father
-for our bishops
-for the sanctification of priests
-for vocations to the priesthood and religious life
-for the conversion of sinners
-for our country
-for an end of abortion and contraception
-for an end of divorce
-for sanctification of family life
-for all who are dying
-for the Poor Souls in purgatory
( ... for personal intentions)
Prayers for the intention of the Holy Father

Holy, holy, holy ...

Meditations (slightly adapted) taken from
The Passion of Jesus and its Hidden Meaning
by Fr. James Groenings, S.J., Tan Books.