In the cycle of the liturgical year, the Sacred Triduum stands out in a class all its own: Holy Thursday as a day of unparalleled liturgical catharsis, Good Friday as one in which contrition cannot but pour out as tears; all of which reaches its pinnacle on Easter, the Solemnity of Solemnities. Holy Week catches us up into the drama of our redemption and God’s infinite love for Man—and it is this very theme which is the inescapable motif of the entire affair: love.
Vere, tu es Deus Absconditus
And like the deer for running streams
How my eyes thirst to see You!
At Christmas I beheld You
By angel choirs adored, but now
Their “Glorias” are gone and with them…my Lord?
To the ‘tonus peregrinus’ does my soul sigh, forlorn;
Has the Sanhedrin taken Him?
Where has my Beloved gone?
For even on the Cross, I see Him
Shrouded from my gaze;
His royal purples hide Him
Unto the end of these forty days.
I hunger for You, Adonai,
And will you hide from me?
Come back to me, Beloved,
Whose Face I long to see…
A Marian Sister of Santa Rosa
"The Church draws her life from the Eucharist.
This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith,
but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church.
In a variety of ways She joyfully experiences the constant fulfilment of the promise:
'Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age' (Mt 28:20),
but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine
into the body and blood of the Lord,
she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity."
- Pope St. John Paul II: Ecclesia de Eucharistia
Said Joseph to Mary,
“I dreamed a dream
Of a quaking rock
And a maid’s shrill laugh
At crow of cock.
I saw lost keys
As it were, of a realm,
Then a fisherman’s boat
With an empty helm.”
Said Mary to Joseph,
“I dreamed too.
Thirty coins bled
Like a heart in grief
While a swart thief fled--
In a barren plot
And our little Son crying,
Sister Mary Immaculate (p. 98 Guardian of God’s Lillies)
Fiat! on going with doves
In basket, and God on your arm,
Not dreaming of sword-talk or fall
And rise of the many. Dismiss
Now and forever the hope
Of any salvation unsworded.
Always there’s shadow on sunlight,
Ever surprising’s the sword
Held over happiest hour.
Thus God takes precaution on error
Of heaven confounded with earth.
Poised on each hour’s some sword.
Mother Mary Francis, PCC (The Mysteries of the Rosary, IV.
The Presentation in the Temple, p. 150, “Summon Spirit’s Cry”, Ignatius Press)
Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph,
we love Thee, save souls!
"For every believer, and especially for Christian families, the humble dwelling place in Nazareth is an authentic school of the Gospel. Here we admire, put into practice, the divine plan to make the family an intimate community of life and love; here we learn that every Christian family is called to be a small “domestic church” that must shine with the Gospel virtues. Recollection and prayer, mutual understanding and respect, personal discipline and community asceticism and a spirit of sacrifice, work and solidarity are typical features that make the family of Nazareth a model for every home."
– St. John Paul II, Angelus, December 30, 2001
Litany of the Holy Family
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
O Lord our Lord: how admirable is Thy Name
in the whole earth!
- Psalm 8:2
As the month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus comes to a close, we revisit the Mass of the Holy Name in a spirit of contemplation.
The Introit of the Mass opens with David's cry praise: “O Lord our Lord: how admirable is Thy Name in the whole earth!” Ps. 8.2. The Collect reminds us that David's praise is to become our own as we promise the Holy Name of Jesus our veneration, for He is the Savior of mankind. St. Peter proclaims the healing and saving power of the Name, "for there is no other Name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved." The Gradual and Offertory praise the Holy Name with joy and ask the Heavenly Father to gather all nations together, so that we may with one voice praise His Everlasting Name. Throughout the Holy Mass glory and grandeur resound.
The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor; to Him be glory and empire for ever and ever.
- Introit: Solemnity of Christ the King
"It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of "King," because of the high degree of perfection whereby He excels all creatures. So He is said to reign "in the hearts of men," both by reason of the keenness of His intellect and the extent of His knowledge, and also because He is very truth, and it is from Him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in Him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by His grace and inspiration He so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors."
How radiant is that precious cross
which brought us our salvation.
In the cross we are victorious,
through the cross we shall reign,
by the cross all evil is destroyed.
- Antiphon 3, Lauds: Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
"O Cross, more refulgent than all the stars, honored throughout the world, deeply loved by men, holiest of all things: You alone were worthy to bear the price of world's ransom. O sweet wood, o sweet nails, that held so sweet a burden: save this flock gathered today to sign your praises."
"Thou has redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy blood, out of every tribe and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made us to our God a kingdom.
- Psalm 88:2 | Introit for the Mass of the Precious Blood of Jesus