Ask receive, search find

(A). Internet

“What is blindness? How is it healed?” Do you want to know? On your computer or smartphone enter the questions into a search engine and you will receive answers. If some answers are not good enough search other engines, and keep asking till you find all the information you want.

Similarly, if you want to know about other topics, do the same: ask receive, search find.

 

(B). Jesus

In the Bible, Jesus says: “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.” (Lk 11:9-10, NJB)

Here are some examples of those who asked Jesus and received.

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar on the road asked him for mercy – the healing of his blindness. The people scolded him and told him to keep quiet. But he persisted by shouting even louder. Jesus stopped, called him over and, on hearing his request, said to him: “Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.” (Lk 18:42, NJB) At once his sight returned. He followed Jesus, glorifying God. And all the people gave praise to God.

One day Jesus was teaching inside a jam-packed house. Some men brought a paralytic on a stretcher seeking to ask Jesus for a healing and receiving a miracle; but they could not even get close. They persevered by climbing onto the roof, removed some tiles, and lowered the sick man into the room. When Jesus saw their determination and their great faith, he said to the sick man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” And then, to prove to the doubters that he could forgive sins, he added: “I tell you, rise, take your mat and go home.” He got on his feet immediately, picked up the mat on which he had been lying, and went home healed, glorifying God. All the people were amazed; filled with awe, they gave glory to God. (See Lk 5:17–26, NIV)

At Cana in Galilee, a royal official whose son was severely ill in Capernaum heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea. He made the trip to meet Jesus, and humbly asked him to come and heal his son who was near death. Jesus complained, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” Unperturbed, the official continued to beg, “Sir, come down before my son dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said. During the day-long return journey to his house, his servants came to meet him on the way with the exciting news: the son’s fever had subsided, and he had received his health back. Upon enquiring when this took place, the official discovered that it happened at the exact hour when Jesus said: “Your son will live.” He and his entire household came to believe. (See Jn 4:46–53, RSV)

The next example is from Luke’s Gospel. “When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, ‘This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: ‘Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, “Go,” and he goes; and that one, “Come,” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.’ Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.” (Lk 7:1-10, NIV).

Before Jesus died on the cross, a thief who had been crucified next to him, ignoring the impertinent criminal crucified on the other side of Jesus, asked of the Lord, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Right at that minute he received the assurance: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (See Lk 23:42, 43, RSV)

 

What is the difference between (A) and (B)?

The internet answers questions by giving lots of information, independence and self-satisfaction. Jesus answers requests for favours by giving lots of love and mercy, miracles, healing, faith, forgiveness, eternal salvation, life, and joy.

We started out asking: “What is blindness? How is it healed?” Check the internet; but bear in mind that blindness does not refer to the eye only, but to the heart and the soul as well.

In your daily life, examine where you place the balance between (A) and (B). How many hours do you spend on (A)? How many hours do you spend on (B)?

Whatever you need, whomever you ask, give proportionate time to the Lord. Never forget that Jesus alone can make this promise: “In all truth I tell you, anything you ask from the Father he will grant in my name… Ask and you will receive, and so your joy will be complete.” (Jn 16:23, 24, NJB)

 

Acknowledgments

In this work, the initials RSV indicate that the Scripture quotations are from the REVISED STANDARD VERSION BIBLE, Second Catholic Edition, copyright © 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Any passage designated NJB is an excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright © 1998 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. Reprinted by permission.

Texts followed by the letters NIV are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In this work, Scripture texts marked NAB are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Inexhaustible Treasure

(1). Jesus tells his followers: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Mt 6:19–21, NAB)

In the Gospel according to John, we see a boy who put his heart in the right place. He gave to Jesus his treasure of the day – the uneaten lunch that his mom packed for him as he left the house in the morning – and was shown the amazing effect instantly. Imagine the surprise in his wide-opened eyes, and the smile of astonishment across his little face when Jesus multiplied the contents of his lunch-bag big time! How exceedingly delighted he must have been that evening and throughout the rest of his existence on earth and in heaven. How happy he was for being of help to so many who needed his generosity. How joyful he is now as he prays for us to follow his example.

Here is the account. The apostle Andrew informed Jesus: “‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?’ Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.” (Jn 6:9–11, RSV)

In Jesus’ hands, a few fish burgers given to him by a courageous kid could be used to satisfy the hunger of thousands. How many souls will be affected for all eternity if we heroically offer up some of our possessions, talents, energy and time in doing good, and presenting the merits to Jesus for him to multiply and distribute!

 

(2). Jesus stated: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail.” (Lk 12:32–33, NIV)

The above passage contains Jesus’ exhortation and encouragement to generosity and sacrifice, intending to spur us on to works of charity. When we do as he says, we will gain unfailing treasure in heaven.

It goes without saying that in the same action, we also obtain spiritual graces for our families, relatives, friends, and loved ones.

The wonderful passage, incidentally, provides the rationale behind which we appeal to saints for help – saints who may have lived a long, long time ago. By their holy actions, they accumulated stockpiles of treasures in Heaven that “will not wear out” and “will never fail”, and the Lord shares his glory with them by giving from their store of blessed rewards.

 

(3). When we ask Jesus for things, we should keep in mind that his treasures are, likewise, inexhaustible. They can never be depleted. Whatever he gives us now does not diminish the amount of future gifts that he will give to us or to others. We can request a hundred things, and he will still have plenty more to give to us at a later date, and to the rest of the world. Even when he grants our smallest wishes it does not take away the possibility of more important prayers being answered.

Jesus invites us, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (Jn 16:24, RSV) Therefore, let us ask him for every good thing. Ask away, and build up a trustful relationship with the Lord. He is a very magnanimous and loving friend.

He says, “I have loved you just as the Father has loved me.” (Jn 15:9, NJB)

“Your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Lk 12:32, NIV)

 

(4). The Lukan passage in (2) contains the final part of the response which Jesus gave to the rich young man who ran up to him, knelt down, and asked: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10:17, RSV) Remember what happened? Jesus told him: “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mk 10:21, RSV) On hearing this, “his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful.” (Mk 10:22, RSV) Unlike the little boy, he kept his heart clinging tightly to where it used to be.

There are people who wish to follow Jesus perfectly, but their inner desire for acceptance by their peers reveal an inordinate attachment to wealth, affluence, and human approval – not much different from their materialistically-minded buddies.

What sadness this could lead to! Jesus says to his disciples: “I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear.” (Lk 12:22, NAB) These words are meant for the poor in spirit, but they can certainly apply to the rich who worry – if they were to start giving away significant amounts of money and possessions – how they would appear to the world if they suddenly could not afford to live in keeping with their former luxurious lifestyles, or eat at the same trendy restaurants, or wear the latest fashionable clothes.

Jesus says: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. ” (Mt 6:24–25, NIV)

 

Acknowledgments

In this work, the initials RSV indicate that the Scripture quotations are from the REVISED STANDARD VERSION BIBLE, Second Catholic Edition, copyright © 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Any passage designated NJB is an excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright © 1998 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. Reprinted by permission.

Texts followed by the letters NIV are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In this work, Scripture texts marked NAB are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Our Lady’s special messages to Mirjana

Each visionary in Medjugorje is given a specific role by Our Lady. Mirjana’s is focused on unbelievers – those who do not know the love of God. As such, it is the reason why some of the messages given through her on the second of each month since December 2nd, 2004, are different in tone and content from the ones received by Marija for the whole world.

And who are the unbelievers? Atheists? Agnostics? Non-Christians? Those who do not go to church? No! Millions of them know nothing about Medjugorje. They have never heard of Mother Mary’s apparitions. They have no idea she is giving messages. They wouldn’t be on the lookout for what she says because they have no awareness that such records exist, nor would they embark on any search to read her words or listen to them.

Mother Mary cannot be speaking to them. No, not to them, at least not now.

Then who is Our Lady’s audience at present? Who, when in Medjugorje on the second day of the month, wake up early in the morning so as to get to a spot near her apparition site at Cenacolo or the Blue Cross? Who around the world await eagerly the account of her message given through Mirjana over the internet that day? Who read information like the material which is presented here? Who? Who? We, that’s who! We, the ones who are reading this article right now, including, particularly, the one who wrote it! We, the ones who know Medjugorje! We are the ones to whom Our Lady is speaking! We are the ones who must pay attention, and repent, and change!

At the apparitions to Mirjana, Our Lady is often sad and crying. She cries for those of us who continually ignore her warnings, who pay heed only to her words which make us feel happy and above reproach, who hide behind the phrase “accentuate the positive,” who close our hearts to all ‘negative’ exhortations or, worse still, apply them only to others.

Why is Our Lady sad? Is it not because we do not truly love God; is it not because we do not truly love our neighbour?

And is it not because we do not notice our pride, our arrogance, our jealousies, rivalries, hatreds, angers, malice, darkness, wickedness, hot temper, ambition for glory, bullying, deceitful scheming, and delusions about our supposed superiority? Among our holy group are we not the ones who stir up controversies, quarrels, lies, gossips, slanders, suspicions? And set up factions?

[The above words are taken from the following Scriptural passages. Rom 12:3; 16:17. 1 Cor 3:3, 18-20. 2 Cor 12:20. Gal 5:15. Eph 4:14. Col 3:8-9. 1 Tim 6:3-5. Titus 1:16. Jas 1:19-21, 26; 3:14-16. 1 Pet 2:1. 2 Pet 2:1. 1 Jn 2:9, 11.]

 

Here is Mirjana’s report on June 2nd, 2008: “Our Lady said, ‘Dear children, I am with you by the grace of God to make you great, great in faith and love, all of you, you whose heart has been hard as a stone by sin and guilt.’… As Our Lady was saying ‘you whose heart has been hard as a stone by sin and guilt,’ she was looking at those present to whom this refers with a painful expression and tears in her eyes.”

On December 2nd, 2007, Mirjana gave this description: “Our Lady was very sad. Her eyes were filled with tears throughout the whole time. She said, ‘Dear children, today, while I am looking at your hearts, my heart is filled with pain and shudder. My children, stop for a moment and look into your hearts. Is my Son, your God, truly in the first place? Are his commandments truly the measure of your life? I am warning you again.’… I asked Our Lady painfully not to leave us and not to give up on us. Our Lady painfully smiled to my request and left. This time she did not finish her message with the words ‘Thank you.’”

“‘Dear children. In this holy time full of God’s graces and his love which sends me to you, I implore you not to be with a heart of stone.’… Our Lady’s face during the entire time was one of pain and sorrow.” (01/02/2007)

“My children, do not deceive yourselves with false peace and false joy.” (07/02/2006)

“Many think that they have faith in God and that they know his laws. They try to live according to them, but they do not do what is most important: they do not love him.” (10/02/2006)

Jesus said: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.” (Mt 22:37–38, NJB) “If you love me, you will keep my commandments… Whoever holds to my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me… Anyone who loves me will keep my word… Anyone who does not love me does not keep my words. ” (Jn 14:15, 21, 23, 24, NJB)

 

No doubt, someone will brand as ‘negative’ the writer who singled out the above quotations.

Was John also ‘negative’ when he wrote this in his epistle? “Whoever says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person… Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness… They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” (1 Jn 2:4, 9, 11, NIV)

We hope that nobody dares to accuse Jesus as ‘negative’ because of his remarks below.

“How rightly Isaiah prophesied about you hypocrites in the passage of scripture: ‘This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me. Their reverence of me is worthless; the lessons they teach are nothing but human commandments.’” (Mk 7:6–7, NJB)

“You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as upright in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed in human eyes is loathsome in the sight of God.” (Lk 16:15, NJB)

“You brood of vipers, how can your speech be good when you are evil? For words flow out of what fills the heart. Good people draw good things from their store of goodness; bad people draw bad things from their store of badness. So I tell you this, that for every unfounded word people utter they will answer on Judgement Day, since it is by your words you will be justified, and by your words condemned.” (Mt 12:34–37, NJB)

“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,          for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.” (Lk 6:26, NIV)

We hope none would stoop so low as to label St. Paul being negative in his writing of the following.

“Though I command languages both human and angelic – if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains – if I am without love, I am nothing. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned – if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.” (1 Cor 13:1-3, NJB)

“If our gospel seems to be veiled at all, it is so to those who are on the way to destruction, the unbelievers whose minds have been blinded by the god of this world, so that they cannot see shining the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor 4:3-4, NJB)

“Certain persons by swerving from these have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.” (1 Tim 1:6-7, RSV)

“They profess to know God, but they deny him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed.” (Titus 1:16, RSV)

James, “a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”, in his epistle, shows how to judge the religiosity a person. “Remember this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to human anger… Nobody who fails to keep a tight rein on the tongue can claim to be religious; this is mere self-deception; that person’s religion is worthless.” (Jas 1:19, 26, NJB)

“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” (Jas 3:13-15, NAB)

 

Jesus says: “Remain in me, as I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, unless it remains part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a branch – and withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and are burnt.” (Jn 15:4–6, NJB)

“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” (Jn 15:9–10, NAB)

 

Jesus, John, St. Paul, James, and Our Lady, all speak the truth. Let us pay serious heed to them. Let us stop causing Mother Mary more tears of sadness. Let us humble ourselves and admit our arrogance and sins. With faith in our loving Mother’s help and guidance, with our own willingness and cooperation, we can be corrected, and so move quickly forward to becoming holy and fruitful servants of the Lord.

St. Paul tells us: “So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:31, NIV)

“For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.” (2 Cor 2:4, NIV)

Mother Mary says: “God is sending me to warn you and to show you the right way. Do not shut your eyes before the truth, my children. Your time is a short time. Do not permit delusions to begin to rule over you.” (11/02/06)

“Reject your arrogance and kneel down before my Son. Understand, my children, that you have nothing and you can do nothing. The only thing that is yours and what you possess is sin. Be cleansed and accept meekness and humility.” (07/02/2007)

“I will help you to triumph over the errors and temptations with my grace. I will teach you love, love which wipes away all sins and makes you perfect, love which gives you the peace of my Son now and forever.” (03/02/2010)

“Dear children, all that my Son – who is the light of love – has done and does, he has done out of love. Also you, my children, when you live in love and love your neighbours, you are doing the will of my Son. Apostles of my love, make yourselves little; open your pure hearts to my Son so that he can work through you.” (05/02/2018)

Little thoughts along the Way of the Cross

Do not wait until Lent to pray the Way of the Cross. Come close to Jesus more often by spending a few short moments with him every week in a manner like the sample below. Ask him to teach you what to think about him, what to learn from him, how you can be like him, in what way you are already following in his footsteps, how you have used his good example to deal with conflicts in your family, in the workplace, with acquaintances, and with those who treat you as an enemy. Share with him your joys, your sorrows, your concerns of the day. Thank him.

It is true that this Way of the Cross version does not carry with it any official plenary indulgence from the Church. If you want, you can pray a version which is connected to an indulgence. How often you do that each year is for you to count.

Every Catholic church has the fourteen Stations of the Cross displayed prominently on the walls. Why is this?

Here is how to gain a plenary indulgence for making the Stations of the Cross.

To gain a plenary indulgence for making the  Stations, it is necessary to move from one Station to the next, 14 in total, to meditate on the sufferings of Our Lord (no specific prayers are required), and to have the intention of gaining the indulgence. (Indulgences can always be applied to the Souls in Purgatory.)

Moreover, “To acquire a plenary indulgence it is necessary to perform the work to which the indulgence is attached and to fulfill the following three conditions: sacramental confession, eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. It is further required that all attachment to sin, even venial sin, be absent.”

“The condition of praying for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary; nevertheless, each one is free to recite any other prayer according to his piety and devotion.” (The Enchiridion of Indulgences. Norms On Indulgences, #26 and #29)

 

1st Station: Jesus is condemned to death

Jesus, at the time when you were sentenced to die by crucifixion, no Gospel had been compiled and no theological treatises had been written to expound on what you were doing. You faced your sacrifice silently, offering no explanation to anyone. Never once did you seek sympathy. You knew what you had to do, and did it for the eternal benefit of all.

 

2nd Station: Jesus carries his cross

Jesus, you were insulted, beaten, disfigured, and paraded through the streets like a filthy criminal in rags. The spectators regarded you as a disgraced failure. But, no matter what people thought, you persisted on your sacred mission without telling your foes you were doing the greatest good for them. You bore no bitterness; you did not fight back. You remained constantly meek and humble of heart. You cared not for human praise.

 

3rd Station: Jesus falls the first time

Jesus, after an all-night ordeal of brutality and torment, you collapsed. You could have used this fall as an excuse to call off the rest of the humiliating undertaking; but you got up and pressed onward.

 

4th Station: Jesus meets his afflicted mother

Jesus, I can imagine your Mother saying: “Son, you are doing the right thing. No matter what vicious things people say about you, keep up the good work.

“I have asked your Father: ‘Our Son’s Passion is excruciatingly agonizing. Please have mercy on him and reduce the time of his suffering by giving the same suffering to me too.’”

 

5th Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus

Jesus, you accepted assistance from a stranger. Even though he was only forced into giving you a hand, in return you inspired the evangelists to include in the Bible his name and those of his sons and his village. Lord, how much more will you reward me if I do things for you voluntarily!

 

6th Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Going against the current, and without the slightest concern for her own safety and reputation, Veronica braved the wrath of the soldiers and the onlookers by coming to your aid. Jesus, whenever I follow her example of devotedness to you with selfless bravery, I will become more and more your true icon in heart and soul.

 

7th Station: Jesus falls a second time

Jesus, you were whipped and pushed, and fell again. You got back on your feet, not because you were coerced, but because of your immense love for me and your desire to save me.

 

8th Station: Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem

Jesus, you always respected women, never taking advantage of them or preying on their sympathy and emotions. Even in your own hour of need, you made sure to remind them to take care.

In the four gospels, I have seen how kindly you treated mothers, widows, little girls and women of all ages – sinners and the virtuous alike. You were always so thoughtful and considerate towards each one of them. Lord, I want to be like you.

 

9th Station: Jesus falls the third time

Jesus, you summoned up your last ounce of energy to complete your mission for my sake. Thank you.

 

10th Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments

Jesus, you submitted yourself to humiliation on my behalf in advance; that is why, time and time again, even when I could have been put to shame, I wasn’t.

For your love does not apply solely to my life after death. Your love is concerned with every situation in my life now. Jesus, never should I live in darkness, with a shadow hanging over my head; when I surrender each difficulty into your hands, the light of your grace shines on all seemingly unsolvable problems. Thank you, Jesus.

And Lord, help me never to embarrass anyone.

 

11th Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

Jesus, you endured unbearable pains so that I do not have to suffer much. Lord, every time I ask, you deliver me from all tribulations – mental, physical and spiritual. You never fail me to make my life easier.

And Jesus, help me never to harm anybody.

 

12th Station: Jesus dies on the cross

Jesus, you loved me so much that even if I were the only person who needed redemption, you would have suffered for me. “The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20, NIV) Thank you, Lord.

 

13th Station: Jesus is taken down from the cross

Jesus, why did you create me? For Heaven, of course! Nothing less! Without consulting me, you fashioned me; was it for suffering or for disaster? Certainly not! You are God, what you do must be for good. It cannot be otherwise.

Thank you for creating me and redeeming me from my sins, keeping the door open for me to live in eternal happiness. Thank you for directing me back onto the right path every step of the way.

 

14th Station: Jesus is laid in the sepulcher

Jesus, with the help of your grace, I resolve not to sin against you anymore. I resolve to live in simplicity and absolute trust in your unparalleled kindness towards me.

 

Acknowledgments

In this work, the initials RSV indicate that the Scripture quotations are from the REVISED STANDARD VERSION BIBLE, Second Catholic Edition, copyright © 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Any passage designated NJB is an excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright © 1998 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. Reprinted by permission.

Texts followed by the letters NIV are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In this work, Scripture texts marked NAB are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.v

Jesus and private prayer

Yes, it is good to pray with family and friends and parishioners, or in prayer groups, or at charismatic meetings and conferences… It can be very fruitful and exhilarating, especially when accompanied by instrumental music and the raising of hands.

Still, sometimes, do as Jesus did: pray alone in secret!

 

Near the beginning of his ministry in Capernaum, after teaching in a synagogue, Jesus drove out an unclean spirit from a man, and, on the same day cured Simon’s mother-in-law of a severe fever. That evening, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town gathered at the door, and he drove out many demons and healed many who had various diseases. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mk 1:35, NIV)

After healing a leper, Jesus ordered him not to tell anyone. “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Lk 5:15-16, NIV)

 

As soon as Jesus finished feeding the five thousand by multiplying two fish and five loaves, he made his disciples get into the boat, and dismissed the crowds. “After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.” (Mt 14:23, NAB)

 

“In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named apostles…” (Lk 6:12-13, NAB)

 

Jesus teaches: “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Mt 6:5-8, NAB)

 

Acknowledgments

In this work, the initials RSV indicate that the Scripture quotations are from the REVISED STANDARD VERSION BIBLE, Second Catholic Edition, copyright © 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Any passage designated NJB is an excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright © 1998 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. Reprinted by permission.

Texts followed by the letters NIV are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In this work, Scripture texts marked NAB are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.