Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy and forgiveness of sins.

<---The Glorified body in the Resurrection

In calling for this Jubilee Year, Pope Francis is encouraging the faithful to know the face of God's mercy — Jesus Christ Incarnate — and to show that face of mercy to the world through our words and actions.
“I am confident that the whole Church, which is in such need of mercy for we are sinners, will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God's mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking forgiveness.”
– Pope Francis


According to the Holy See, the origin of the Christian Jubilee goes back to Old Testament times. The Law of Moses prescribed a special year for the Jewish people (Lev 25:10-14). The trumpet with which this particular year was announced was a goat's horn, called Yobel in Hebrew, and the origin of the word "jubilee."
The celebration of this year also included the restitution of land to the original owners, the remission of debts, the liberation of slaves, and "rest" for the land, which was left fallow. In the New Testament, Jesus presents himself as the One who brings the old Jubilee to completion, because he has come to "preach the year of the Lord's favor" (Lk 4:18-19; see also Is 61:1-2).

The Holy See says that, in the Roman Catholic tradition, a Holy Year or Jubilee is a great religious event, held roughly every 25 years, for the forgiveness of sins and the punishment due to sin. The Christian Jubilee tradition began with Pope Boniface VIII in 1300. Since that time, the Church has celebrated 26 ordinary and three extraordinary Jubilee Years.

A Jubilee is a year of reconciliation between adversaries, conversion, and a time to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Consequently, it is a time of solidarity, hope, justice, and commitment to serve God with joy and in peace with our brothers and sisters. A Jubilee Year is, above all, the year of Christ, who brings life and grace to humanity ("What is a Holy Year?" www.vatican.va).


Since the year 1300 when Pope Boniface VIII declared the first Holy Year, the Catholic Church has regularly celebrated “Holy Years,” usually every twenty-five years (at least since 1470), except for special circumstances, like in 1983 when a Holy Year was declared to mark the 1950th anniversary of the death and resurrection of our Lord. A major aspect of the Holy Year has been that of pilgrimage to Rome to make reparation for sin and to renew the conversion of one’s life.

A very important symbolic act performed by each pilgrim has been to pass through the Holy Door. Christ identified Himself as “the door.” In his bull Incarnationis Mysterium proclaiming this Holy Year, Pope John Paul II stated that the Holy Door “…evokes the passage from sin to grace which every Christian is called to accomplish. Jesus said, ‘I am the door’ (John 10:7) in order to make it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Him. This designation which Jesus applies to Himself testifies to the fact that He alone is the Savior sent by the Father.
There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into this life of communion with God: This is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To Him alone can the words of the psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Psalm 118:20).”

Therefore to pass through the door from the outside of St. Peter’s into the basilica is to pass from this world into the presence of God, just as in the old Temple of Jerusalem, the High Priest on the Feast of Yom Kippur passed through the veil covering the doorway of the Holy of Holies to enter into the presence of God to offer the sacrifice of atonement.
Moreover, to pass through the door is to confess with firm conviction that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Lord, and the Savior who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation. With great courage, a person freely decides to cross the threshold leaving behind the kingdom of this world so as to enter the new life of grace of the Kingdom of God.

In opening the door, the Holy Father has traditionally struck the door three times with a silver hammer (although this year Pope John Paul II pushed three times on the door). The striking of the door also has symbolic meaning: Moses struck the rock so that water would pour out miraculously to quench the thirst of the people (Numbers 20:6ff);
the Holy Year is a time when God pours forth abundant graces to quench the thirst of our souls. God struck the earth to free St. Paul and Silas from prison, which resulted in the jailer and his family asking for baptism (Acts 16:25ff); God has struck our hearts opening them to His graces, beginning with the saving grace of Baptism. As our Lord hung upon the cross, the soldier struck His most Sacred Heart, and out flowed blood and water, symbols of the Holy Eucharist and Baptism (John 19:31 f) which nourish each of our souls. In all, the striking of the door symbolizes the release of graces, flowing abundantly to the faithful.

Moreover, when the door opens, the obstacles of passage to our Lord are removed. During the Holy Year, we hope and pray that the obstacles of personal weakness, temptation, and sin will be removed so that we will have a holy union with our Lord.

The construction of the door itself reminds us of the history of salvation. The door consists of sixteen panels, four panels grouped into four rows; the “door” itself is divided into two with two columns of panels for each door. The very top row has two panels showing the exile of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden after the Fall with the sword wielding angel guarding the entrance with the fiery sword. The opposite two panels depict the Annunciation with the Archangel Gabriel asking Mary to be the Mother of Jesus. The inscription covering both panels reads, “What sad Eve took away [paradise], you [Mary] give back with life-giving child” (“Quod Heva tristis abstulit, Tu reddis almo germine”).

The next row of four panels highlight gospel stories of the mercy and forgiveness of God: First, the baptism of our Lord by St. John at the Jordan with the inscription, “You come to me?” (“Tu venis ad me?”). The second, the good shepherd finding of the lost sheep: “To save what had been lost” (“Salvare quod perierat”). Third, the prodigal son asking forgiveness from his father: “Father I have sinned against Heaven and also you” (“Pater, peccavi in coelum et coram te”). Fourth, Jesus curing the paralytic, but first saying, “Your sins are forgiven”: “Take your mat and walk” (“Tolle grabatum tuum et ambula”).

The third row continues the same theme: First, the penitent woman washing the feet of Jesus in the home of Simon the Pharisee: “Her many sins are forgiven her” (“Remittuntur ei peccata multa”). Second, St. Peter asking our Lord how many times must a person forgive and our Lord replying, “Seventy times seven” (“Septuagies septies”). Third, Peter weeping after he had just denied our Lord three times outside the home of Caiphas the High Priest on Holy Thursday evening: “The Lord turned and looked at Peter” (“Conversus Dominus respexit Petram”). Fourth, the crucifixion, with our Lord between the two thieves, and saying to the “good thief,” “Today you will be with me in paradise” (“Hodie mecum eris in paradiso”).

The final row proclaims the Easter mystery and the birth of the Church: First, St. Thomas inspecting the wound marks of Jesus: “Happy are those who have believed” (“Beati qui crediderunt.”). Second, Jesus appearing to the apostles on Holy Thursday night, saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (“Accipite Spirituum Sanctum”). Third, Jesus appearing to Saul (St. Paul) on the road to Damascus: “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (“Sum Jesus quem tu persequeris”).
Finally, a picture of the Holy Father striking the Holy Door, “I stand at the door and knock” (“Sto ad ostium et pulso”). In all, these scenes remind us of our call as pilgrims to enter the mystery of salvation and to pass from sin to grace, from separation to union with God, and from death to eternal life.

As we consider the holy door and particularly the recent Holy Year, our Lord stands at the door of our hearts knocking. We must open our hearts to Him and cross the threshold of hope, striving for holiness.

Source; Catholic Straight Answers.


Like all previous Jubilees, the Jubilee Year of Mercy features a very special plenary indulgence (the complete remission of all sins, temporal punishment due to sin).

I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God's mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed.
– Pope Francis, Letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Sept. 1, 2015.

There have been many Jubilee Years – 26 ordinary Jubilees and three extraordinary – and each has featured a special plenary indulgence.

This time around, Pope Francis is seeking to make the indulgence as widely available as possible. In the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, a Holy Door is to be opened in every cathedral around the world, as well as in particular shrines, where large numbers of pilgrims come to honor the mercy of God.

Even though we can only obtain one plenary indulgence a day, if you perform the required actions for other plenary indulgences on the same day, you can still obtain multiple partial indulgences.

To receive the Jubilee Year indulgence, you must fulfill the usual conditions, (specified below) and perform the indulgenced act: passing through a designated Holy Door during the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (between Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King) or performing one of the corporal or spiritual works of mercy.

As for the sick and the elderly, the Holy Father says, "For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence."

For the imprisoned, the Holy Father says, "They may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom."
You may receive the plenary indulgence yourself, or offer it for a person in purgatory.


To refresh everyone's memories, here are the normal conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence: It is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.
A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
have sacramentally confessed their sins;
receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required); and pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act.

Prayer for the Pope's intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an Our Father and a Hail Mary are suggested.
One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father's intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.

For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).
Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

– Adapted from the decree on the plenary indulgence for the 2000 Jubilee Year.


In calling for the Jubilee Year, Pope Francis is encouraging the faithful to know the face of God's mercy — Jesus Christ Incarnate — and to show that face of mercy to our friends and neighbors (as well as our enemies!).

To that end, we have prepared for you a to-do list for the upcoming Jubilee:

Forgive those who have hurt you or have done you wrong. If possible, consider forgiving debts owed you and/or returning collateral. Go to Confession regularly — monthly or even weekly.

Read and meditate on the Sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospel of Luke.
Perform one or more works of mercy every day (corporal and spiritual works of mercy)

Go on a pilgrimage, visit several churches and pray the prayer of mercy
Share the Good News of God's mercy through your words and good deeds.

Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday in your parish, receiving Communion in the state of grace in order to receive the "clean slate grace." Place the Divine Mercy Image in a prominent place in your home and venerate it daily.

Offer a novena of chaplets for the intentions Jesus gave St. Faustina in the nine days preceding Divine Mercy Sunday.
Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily, imploring mercy "on us, and on the whole world."

Make the Stations of the Cross regularly, especially at 3 p.m., the Hour of Great Mercy.
Read Divine Mercy in My Soul — Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.

Fulfill the conditions for plenary indulgences and offer those indulgences for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Resolve to learn more about some saints who are outstanding for receiving mercy or showing God's mercy to those around them.


The Corporal Works of Mercy

Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick
Visit the imprisoned
Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

Admonish the sinner
Instruct the ignorant (This and the next work are extremely pertinent categories today, when so many people are confused by what the Church teaches on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, etc.)
Counsel the doubtful
Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently for love of God
Forgive all injuries
Pray for the living and the dead

The Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy
illustrate the ways
to show charity toward others


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Glorified Body in the Resurrection.

<---The Soul. What is the Soul?

We the catholics, must always find time to renew us, always seek a new beginning, we are reminded of our need to fill our hearts with the Lord’s life within us. We who believe have been ransomed by the Lord, St. John writes, “And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.”

The promise has been made, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” Corinthians 15:55

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…” This is the basis and foundation of our Catholic Faith, this is the hope of all the world. At the end of this age, Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

St. Paul writes, “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14


A human being is a composite of spirit (soul) and matter (body). This is a bedrock principle of the Christian faith. Christians are neither spiritualists nor materialists. Materialists emphasize the reality of matter (body) and minimize, even deny, the reality of spirit (soul). Spiritualists emphasize the reality of spirit (soul) and minimize, even deny, the reality of matter (body).
Christians hold to the reality and the goodness of both spirit and matter.

There was (is) a heresy called “angelism,” which the Church condemned centuries ago. Angelism, like Spiritualism, tends to erase the difference between angels and human beings, at the expense of human beings! We should know with utter clarity that no angel ever was or will be a human being, and no human being ever was or will be an angel. Angels and humans are two entirely distinct entities in God’s creation.

By nature, angels are far superior to human beings. Nevertheless, there is at least one way in which human beings have it over angels. God never became an angel, but He did become a human!
Jesus is fully God and fully man. He is the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity with human soul and human flesh. He has always been God the Son and, about 2,000 years ago, He became man.
From that point on and for all eternity, He is and shall ever be both divine and human. Jesus is in Heaven now, His Divine Personhood and Divine Nature permanently joined to His human nature. His human nature is His human body and human soul.

This should tell us something about the dignity of our own bodies. Our bodies are not something to be “shucked off” like a husk from an ear of corn. Even if disfigured by age or illness, or limited by disability, our bodies, as well as our souls are always good and important. They must be treated with the highest respect from the very first moment of conception until natural death….and even beyond death, unto the grave.

Death was not intended by God for any human being. It is not natural. It came about, not through God’s choosing, but through man’s. It is a consequence of the great chasm between God and man caused by the sin of Adam, the Original Sin. But death does not have the final word. The Word has the final word. The Word is Jesus and the Word has destroyed death by His resurrection.

The properties of Christ’s risen and glorified body are previews of the risen bodies of all those human beings who will be numbered among the Just. Every human being, whether numbered among the Just or the Unjust, will experience the resurrection of his or her body when Christ returns at the end of time.
The condition of the resurrected bodies of the Just will correspond precisely with the state of their souls. For those who have died in God’s grace and friendship, their eternal glory will be manifested even in their bodies and they will possess magnificent properties.


1 - Identity:

The glorified body will possess its original identity in that it will be united to your soul. Your body will really be your body, but that does not mean it will look the same as it did during your life on this earth. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His Resurrection, He often had to make Himself known in some way, even to those who were His closest disciples.
We see this in various post-Resurrection accounts in the Gospels, such as when He had to call Mary Magdalene by name before she could recognize Him at the tomb.

A question often asked is this: Will we be able to recognize our family members and friends in their glorified bodies?

The answer is: Yes, God will see to that. We will see others and they will see us as we and they really are. Our bodies as they are in their present state do not adequately convey to others what and how we really are. In fact, we shall not, in the fullest sense, really know others or be known by them until we are all in our resurrected bodies.

2 - Integrity:

The glorified body will be integral (complete), regardless of how it was during its earthly life, or at the moment of its death, or after it has decomposed in the grave. Everyone in Heaven, regardless of the condition of his body while on earth, will have all his body parts. All will have perfect vision, hearing, mobility, etc.
People die under all sorts of different circumstances. Many die of natural causes, but there are also those who die in ways that cause complete destruction of the body. This will be irrelevant at the time of the great resurrection.
All glorified bodies will be entirely integral.

3 - Quality:

This is the property of the glorified body by which everyone in his glorified body will be as if in the prime of life. Although “marrying and giving in marriage” will not be part of our post-resurrection life, nevertheless we shall all be either male or female — the same gender God conferred on us at the moment of conception. Only in the post-resurrection life shall we adequately understand what it is to be masculine and feminine.

One of the great misunderstandings about gender derives from taking out of context something that St. Paul wrote.
He wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3,28).
Some think that Paul is telling us that gender is ultimately irrelevant. The context indicates otherwise. If you read the verse in context, Paul is talking about Baptism, the rite by which both males and females enter into Christ. What Paul is saying is that all human beings — regardless of ethnicity, social standing or gender — enter into Christ Jesus in the same way and under the same terms.
One of the persistent myths that have haunted human imagination is the myth of “the fountain of youth.” This will cease to be myth in the resurrected life. It shall be reality. We shall be forever young. Our glorified bodies will never age, nor wrinkle, nor break down, and they will never die!.

All human beings are created equal in terms of their fundamental human dignity. Equality in dignity does not mean “sameness” in all other ways. Individuals are, obviously, diverse in many ways, including talents, abilities, physical properties, etc.
If a parent, one need only look at one’s own children to see that. In Heaven, there shall be no inequality among human persons based on race, nationality or other merely human constructs.

But will there be distinctions of any sort? Yes, there will be distinctions, but these will be based on degrees of holiness. Holiness is not a human construct. It is a gift of grace. For example, of all God’s creatures, including the angels, Mary is first in the order of grace. Everybody in Heaven will be completely happy forever and as satisfied as he or she can possibly be.
That said, even among those in Heaven there will still be varying degrees of glory according to the degree of merit which one has merited through his or her cooperation with God’s gifts of grace while on earth, cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 2010, 2025.

4 - Agility:

This is the property by which our glorified bodies, acting completely under the dominion of our souls, will have the ability to go effortlessly wherever we desire them to go — at the speed of thought.
Jesus manifests this property at Emmaus, cf. Luke 24:30-36, and St. Paul teaches us about it (as well as about other properties of the glorified body) in his First Letter to the Corinthians Chapter 15.
So, at the end of time, when God has transformed the created world, if you, in your glorified body, want to be on a beach, with the warm waves lapping up on your toes, at the moment you desire it, you would be there instantaneously. Or, if you want to see a particular family member, you would be able to be with that person face to face immediately.
That, in a nutshell, is what is meant by Agility.

5 - Subtlety:

On Easter Sunday night, Jesus appeared to His Apostles, who were hiding out in the upper room in Jerusalem.
In Chapter 20 of his Gospel, St. John notes that the door behind which the Apostles were hiding was locked. Then Jesus appears before them in His glorified body. He is not a ghost! Because of the property known as subtlety, Jesus was able to pass through the door of the upper room. Earlier that same day, He had passed through the sealed tomb in His risen, glorified body.
Our glorified bodies, while physical and tangible, will be completely under the direction of our souls, free from restraint or impediment. This is Subtlety indeed!

6 - Impassibility:

Impassibility: Chapter 21, verse four of the Book of Revelation says that in Heaven, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” In our glorified bodies, there will never be pain, sickness, suffering, or death. There will be no natural or supernatural disasters.
No cancer, heart disease, diabetes, violence, accidents — not even a stubbed toe! What there will be is unending joy — spiritual but also physical and emotional. We must not over-spiritualize. Remember the principle that human beings are a body-soul unity.

Both body and soul are good and important. The reality in heaven is never-ending, uninterrupted happiness. There shall never be boredom in Heaven. We will go “from glory to glory” for eternity! “The one who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ Then he said, ‘Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.’ – Revelation 21:5.

7 - Clarity (sometimes referred to as Brilliance):

In Chapter twelve, verse three, of the Book of Daniel, the prophet writes, “And those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.” Indeed they shall shine, both spiritually and physically. The body, in its final state, shall correspond completely to the state of the soul. Jesus gave the Apostles Peter, James, and John a foretaste of this property even before His Resurrection, when, on Mount Tabor, he appeared with Moses and Elijah, and was transfigured in their sight.

He does this to give them a hint not only of what He will be like after His Resurrection, but what they will be like after theirs! About this event, St. Matthew writes, “And He was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light” – Matthew 17:2.

We see this quality stunningly and powerfully explained in Chapters one and four of the Book of Revelation, both to describe Jesus and to describe the saints in glory. Regardless of how one’s physical appearance was or is on earth, the glorified bodies of everyone who arrive in Heaven will be magnificently beautiful beyond imagining, far surpassing in beauty and magnificence even the most beautiful people we have ever seen or known while they lived in this world.

For at that time, “God will be all in all.” As Saint Paul says, “Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, nor has the heart of man conceived the good things that God has in store for those who love Him!” Holiness will be seen as beauty because, when all is said and done, true and lasting beauty is identical with holiness!


Based on the above teaching of St. Paul, theologians distinguish four characteristics or qualities of the bodies of the just after they have been raised from the dead. They identify with the words C.A.S.I; Clarity. Impassibility. Subtlety. Agility.

1 - Clarity:

This quality refers to the fact that the glorified body will have a beauty, a glory, a splendor according to the extent of the growth of grace at the end of the present life. This is because the growth of grace is the measure that the Blessed will share in the divine life and glory of Christ.
St. Paul speaks of this: "The sun has a splendor of its own, so has the moon; and the stars theirs. Even among the stars one differs from another in brightness. So it is with the resurrection of the dead." (1 Cor. 15:41)

Our Lord was speaking of this quality of the risen body when he said: "Then the just will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father." (Mt. 13:43)

St. Thomas Aquinas points out that ""this clarity will result from the overflow of the soul’s glory into the body... The greater the clarity of the soul by reason of merit, so too will the body differ in clarity."
He points out that as the color of an object is seen through the crystal container in which it is placed, so the glory of the soul will shine through the body. (Supp. 85,1)

2- Impassibility:

By reason of this quality or endowment the glorified body will not be subject to suffering of any kind. No pain, no discomfort, no illness, no harm will come to it in any way. It will no longer be subject to death and corruption, nor to change. In the present life our bodies experience fatigue after much labor or activity.
The risen body will experience no fatigue, nor will it need rest regardless of activity.

3 - Subtlety:

St. Paul refers to this quality of the risen body when he says: "What is sown is a natural body, but what is raised is a spiritual body." (ibid. 44) Our body in this life is called "natural" because it is subject to the natural conditions of all animal life, such as generation, growth, nutrition, etc.; but after the resurrection on the last day it will no longer need these biological functions that serve a present and temporary purpose.

The risen body will be "spiritual," that is, entirely subject to the needs and wishes of the glorified soul. This does not mean that the body ceases to be material, but that it is freed from those conditions and functions that serve only a temporary end, and which make it an imperfect instrument of the glorified spirit.

To prove that His risen body was material, Our Lord said to His apostles: "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see me to have." (Lk. 24:39)

Speaking of the conflict between body and soul in the present life, St. Paul says:

"I see another law in my members waring against the law of my mind, making me a prisoner to the law of sin that is in my members... so that the good I want to do, I do not; and the evil I do not want to do, that I do." (Rom. 7:23)

In contrast with this, the risen body will no longer be a hindrance to the soul, but rather its perfect instrument. It will no longer be a source of temptation; the concupiscence of its members and the passions that war against the spirit will no longer exist. Consequently there will be no more straying thoughts or cravings for forbidden pleasures; no more wanderings of the mind away from the presence of God; no more danger of offending Him.

In this life the body often gets its way against the dictates and wishes of the spirit. The glorified body will be completely submissive to the soul, just as the soul will be completely submissive to God.
The order lost by the sin of Adam will have been restored.
"Matter will be once more the extension of spirit, not its limit; the instrument of spirit, not the enemy."

4 - Agility:

That quality by which the body "will be freed from the heaviness that now presses it down, and will take on a capability of moving with the utmost ease and swiftness, wherever the soul pleases." (Cat. Coun. of Trent, p. 129)

Not only is the body of the Blessed freed of anything that would offer resistance to the soul, but, as St. Thomas Aquinas states, "the power of the glorified soul surpasses immeasurably the power of the non-glorified soul" (Supp. 84,3 ad 3) . . . so that "whatever instant the will shall choose, at that same instant the body will be in whatever place the will shall determine." (ibid, ad 1)
Consequently, when the Blessed move from place to place, regardless of distance, "the time for the whole movement will be imperceptible." (ibid. ad 4)

St. Thomas explains the reason of this quality of agility in the risen body as follows:

"The soul which will enjoy the divine vision, united to its ultimate end, will in all matters experience the fulfillment of desire. And since it is out of the soul’s desire that the body be moved, the consequence will be the body’s utter obedience to the soul’s slightest wish. Hence the bodies of the Blessed when they rise are going to have agility...
Weakness is what we experience in a body found wanting in the strength to satisfy the desire of the soul in the movements and actions which the soul commands; and this weakness will be entirely taken away, when power is overflowing into the body from a soul united to God." (Con. Gentiles 4,86)

In the present life, as we are well aware, this body of ours is limited in its capacity to move from place to place. Even the astronauts are limited in the speed they can travel, swift as it is. Yet, the glorified body will be able to reach the most distant spot with the swiftness of thought.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Soul. What is the Soul?

The Glorified Body in the Resurrection--->
<---The Stations of the Cross

The person who plays a pivotal role in the family is often called 'Soul of the family'. Nothing can happen without the permission of the 'head of the family'. So is the case with the soul in our body.
When the 'head' of the family departs the family mourns and feels the extreme vacuum. Similarly, when the soul leaves the body, it cannot think, speak, see, move, eat, digest, grow.... or live.

The soul governs and directs our being. The concept of soul can be easily understood with a simple definition. In a room there is a fan, an electric heater, a refrigerator and a bulb, all fitted and connected to the switchboard.
However, without electricity these gadgets cannot work Similarly, without the soul, the body is a corpse. Moreover, the electricity cannot be seen except through the lit bulbs or through moving fans etc.

The difference between the animate and inanimate is the consciousness.
The five sense organs are the soul's agents or windows to obtain knowledge and to gauge the subtle aspect of any given thing.
For example, to see, we have eyes but who sees is the soul. For hearing, we have ears but it is the soul that hears.

This journey from gross to subtle with consciousness is the play of the soul. If this consciousness departs from the body it becomes a corpse. This is the relation between the soul and the body. The soul is the pivotal hinge whereupon the body functions with consciousness.

The man who does not care about the existence of God, or the spiritual life perhaps is not interested in doing the following question “What is the soul?”.
But how can those live to the see the abundant testimony to God in his creation and not care about the answer to a question that touches the most elemental aspect of their lives?. What is the soul? Has the human being a soul?.

Nearly everyone acknowledges that death is a reality, and that the physical body which carries us through this life also perishes. But the Scriptures speak of souls; and man has taught that the soul is something which lives on forever —indestructible— God who cannot destroy that which he has created.


Men have struggled over this question for centuries because they have tried to prove, using the Scriptures, an biblical idea.
As a result their definitions of what the “soul” is have been undefined, vague, and elusive.
It has been taught that the soul is “something” in us, but no one seems able to explain either where or what it is.

a theologian described the soul: “It is without interior or exterior without body, shape or parts, and you could put a million of souls into a nutshell.” This well meant attempt to describe the soul seems to us rather a good definition of nothing! But our question remains unanswered. Merely scoffing at false answers is no help because there remain aspects of humanity which do defy description.

The body is not the soul, as some affirm. This is proven by our Lord's statement that “God is able to destroy both soul and body throwing them into hell.”
And now, in view of the foregoing, if our minds are freed from prejudice, we ought to be able to learn more about this subject by turning to the inspired record of man's creation.
We read from Genesis: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed [Hebrew: “blew”] into his nostrils the breath [Hebrew: “wind”] of life [Hebrew: “lives”—plural, that is such as was common to all living animals]; and man became a living soul [a sentient being]” (Genesis 2:7).

We see why it is that the Scriptures speak of “souls” in connection with the animal creation. They, as well as man, are sentient beings or creatures of intelligence, only of a lower order. They can see, hear, feel, taste, and smell just as does man—up to the standard of his own organism. This difference is not because man has a different kind of life from that of the lower animals; all have similar vital forces flowing from the same fountain or source, the same Creator.

All creatures sustain life by the same process of consumption, digestion, elimination. They all produce blood, tissue, bones, and muscle, according to their own nature. All propagate themselves similarly, bestowing the life which originated with God upon the next generation. As species they differ in shape and mental capacity, but they are all alive.

The soul, in many religious, philosophical and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal and, in many conceptions, immortal essence of a living thing. According to most of the Abrahamic religions, immortal souls belong only to human beings.
For example, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas attributed "soul" (anima in latin) to all organisms but argued that only human souls are immortal.

Other religions (most notably Jainism and Hinduism) teach that all biological organisms have souls, and others teach that even non-biological entities (such as rivers and mountains) possess souls. This latter belief is called animism.

Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle understood the psyche (ψυχή) to be crowned with the logical faculty, the exercise of which was the most divine of human actions. At his defense trial, Socrates even summarized his teachings as nothing other than an exhortation for his fellow Athenians to excel in matters of the psyche since all bodily goods are dependent on such excellence (The Apology 30a–b).

Anima mundi is the concept of a "world soul" connecting all living organisms on the planet.

The Ancient Greeks used the word for "alive" to also apply to the concept of being "ensouled", indicating that the earliest surviving western philosophical view believed that the soul was that which gave the body life. The soul was considered the incorporeal or spiritual "breath" that animates (from the Latin, anima, cf. "animal") the living organism.

Francis M. Cornford quotes Pindar by saying that the soul sleeps while the limbs are active, but when one is sleeping, the soul is active and reveals "an award of joy or sorrow drawing near"in dreams.

Erwin Rohde writes that an early pre-Pythagorean belief presented the soul as lifeless when it departed the body, and that it retired into Hades with no hope of returning to a body.


The Modern English word "soul", derived from Old English sáwol, sáwel, was first attested to in the 8th-century poem Beowulf v. 2820 and in the Vespasian Psalter 77.50—it is cognate with other Germanic and Baltic terms for the same idea.

Further etymology of the Germanic word is uncertain. A more recent suggestion connects the word with a root for "binding", Germanic sailian (OE sēlian, OHG seilen), related to the notion of being "bound" in death, and the practice of ritually binding or restraining the corpse of the deceased in the grave to prevent their return as a ghost.


Although the terms "soul" and "spirit" are sometimes used interchangeably, "soul" can denote a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person.According to James Hillman, a psychologist, the soul displays an affinity for negative thoughts and images, whereas the spirit seeks to rise above the entanglements of life and death.

The words "soul" and "psyche" can also be used in a synonymous manner; although, "psyche" has more psychological connotations, whereas "soul" is more closely connected to spirituality and religion.


Following Aristotle and Avicenna, Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225–74) understood the soul to be the first actuality of the living body. Consequent to this, he distinguished three orders of life: plants, which feed and grow; animals, which add sensation to the operations of plants; and humans, which add intellect to the operations of animals.

Concerning the human soul, his epistemological theory required that, since the knower becomes what he knows, the soul is definitely not corporeal—if it is corporeal when it knows what some corporeal thing is, that thing would come to be within it. Therefore, the soul has an operation which does not rely on a bodily organ, and therefore the soul could subsist without a body.

Furthermore, since the rational soul of human beings is a subsistence form and not something made of matter and form, it cannot be destroyed in any natural process. The full argument for the immortality of the soul and Aquinas' elaboration of Aristotelian theory is found in Question 75 of the Summa Theologica.


Most Christians understand the soul as an ontological reality distinct from, yet integrally connected with, the body. Its characteristics are described in moral, spiritual, and philosophical terms. Richard Swinburne, a Christian philosopher of religion at Oxford University, wrote that "it is a frequent criticism of substance dualism that dualism cannot say what souls are...
Souls are immaterial subjects of mental properties.

They have sensations and thoughts, desires and beliefs, and perform intentional actions. Souls are essential parts of human beings". According to a common Christian eschatology, when people die, their souls will be judged by God and determined to go to Heaven or to Hell.

Though all branches of Christianity – Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Evangelical and mainline Protestants – teach that Jesus Christ plays a decisive role in the Christian salvation process, the specifics of that role and the part played by individual persons or ecclesiastical rituals and relationships, is a matter of wide diversity in official church teaching, theological speculation and popular practice.

Some Christians believe that if one has not repented of one's sins and trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, one will go to Hell and suffer eternal damnation or eternal separation from God.
Some hold a belief that babies (including the unborn) and those with cognitive or mental impairments who have died will be received into Heaven on the basis of God's grace through the sacrifice of Jesus.

Other Christians as the protestants understand the soul as the life and believe that the dead sleep (Christian conditionalism). This belief is traditionally accompanied by the belief that the unrighteous soul will cease to exist instead of suffering eternally (annihilationism).
Believers will inherit eternal life either in Heaven, or in a Kingdom of God on earth, and enjoy eternal fellowship with God.


Saint Augustine, one of western Christianity's most influential early Christian thinkers, described the soul as "a special substance, endowed with reason, adapted to rule the body".
Some Christians espouse a trichotomic view of humans, which characterizes humans as consisting of a body (soma), soul (psyche), and spirit (pneuma).

However, the majority of modern Bible scholars point out how spirit and soul are used interchangeably in many biblical passages, and so hold to dichotomy: the view that each of us is body and soul.
Saint Paul said that the "body wars against" the soul, and that "I buffet my body", to keep it under control. Trichotomy was changed to dichotomy as tenet of Christian faith at the 8th Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in year 869.


The present Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the soul as "the innermost aspect of humans, that which is of greatest value in them, that by which they are most especially in God's image: 'soul' signifies the spiritual principle in man".

All souls living and dead will be judged by Jesus Christ when he comes back to earth. The Catholic Church teaches that the existence of each individual soul is dependent wholly upon God: "The doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is created immediately by God."

Protestants generally believe in the soul's existence, but fall into two major camps about what this means in terms of an afterlife. Some, following Calvin, believe in the immortality of the soul and conscious existence after death, while others, following Luther, believe in the mortality of the soul and unconscious "sleep" until the resurrection of the dead.

Seventh-day Adventists believe that the main definition of the term "Soul" is a combination of spirit (breath of life) and body, disagreeing with the view that the soul has a consciousness or sentient existence of its own.
They affirm this through Genesis 2:7 "And (God) breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
When God united His breath, or spirit, with man, man became a living soul.

A living soul is composed of body and spirit. Adventists believe at death the body returns to dust and life returns to the God who bestowed it. This belief is expressed in the following quotation from their fundamental beliefs, "The wages of sin is death.

But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people..." (Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 11:11–14; Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:51–54; 1 Thess. 4:13–17; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:1–10).

Jehovah's Witnesses take the Hebrew word nephesh, which is commonly translated as "soul", to be a person, an animal, or the life that a person or an animal enjoys.
They believe that the Hebrew word ruach (Greek pneuma), which is commonly translated as "spirit" but literally means "wind", refers to the life force or the power that animates living things. A person is a breathing creature, a body animated by the "spirit of God", not an invisible being contained in a body and able to survive apart from that body after death.

Jesus spoke of himself, having life, as having a soul. When he surrendered his life, he surrendered his soul. John 10:15 reads "just as the Father knows me and I know the father, and I surrender my soul in behalf of the sheep".

This belief that man is a soul, rather than having a soul, is also in line with the knowledge that Hell (Sheol in Hebrew and Hades in Greek) represents the common grave with the hope of resurrection rather than eternal torment in hellfire.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the spirit and body together constitute the Soul of Man (Mankind). "The spirit and the body are the soul of man." Latter-Day Saints believe that the soul is the union of a pre-existing, God-made spirit and a temporal body, which is formed by physical conception on earth.

After death, the spirit continues to live and progress in the Spirit world until the resurrection, when it is reunited with the body that once housed it. This reuniting of body and spirit results in a perfect soul that is immortal and eternally young and healthy and capable of receiving a fullness of joy.


The origin of the soul has provided a vexing question in Christianity; the major theories put forward include soul creationism, traducianism and pre-existence. According to creationism, each individual soul is created directly by God, either at the moment of conception or some later time.

According to traducianism, the soul comes from the parents by natural generation. According to the preexistence theory, the soul exists before the moment of conception.
There have been differing thoughts regarding whether human embryos have souls from conception, or there is a point between conception and birth where the fetus acquires a soul, consciousness, and/or personhood.

Stances in this question might more or less influence judgements on the immorality of abortion, the christians know that abortion is a murder, a dreadful sin, is to kill a helpless being that has a soul created by God, although some says all the contrary.


The traditional concept of an immaterial and immortal soul distinct from the body was not found in Judaism before the Babylonian Exile, but developed as a result of interaction with Persian and Hellenistic philosophies.

Accordingly, the Hebrew word nephesh, although translated as "soul" in some older English Bibles, actually has a meaning closer to "living being". Nephesh was rendered in the Septuagint as ψυχή (psūchê), the Greek word for soul.
The New Testament also uses the word ψυχή, but with the Hebrew meaning and not the Greek.

In Patristic thought, towards the end of the 2nd century, Psūchê had begun to be understood in a more Greek than a Hebrew way, contrasted with the body. By the 3rd century, with the influence of Origen, there was the establishing of the Roman Catholic tradition of the inherent immortality of the soul and its divine nature.

Inherent immortality of the soul was accepted among western and eastern theologians throughout the middle ages, and after the Reformation, as evidenced by the Westminster Confession.

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 10:28

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Matthew 22:37

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:26

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. Revelation 6:9


Aristotle uses his familiar matter/form distinction to answer the question “What is soul?” At the beginning of De Anima II.1, he says that there are three sorts of substance:

Matter (potentiality)
Form (actuality)
The compound of matter and form

Aristotle is interested in compounds that are alive. These - plants and animals - are the things that have souls. Their souls are what make them living things.

Since form is what makes matter a “this,” the soul is the form of a living thing. (Not its shape, but its actuality, that in virtue of which it is the kind of living thing that it is.)

The soul is the first actuality of a natural body that is potentially alive.

Remember that first actuality is a kind of potentiality -a capacity to engage in the activity which is the corresponding second actuality.
So soul is a capacity - but a capacity to do what?

A living thing’s soul is its capacity to engage in the activities that are characteristic of living things of its natural kind. What are those activities? Some are listed below,

Movement and rest (in respect of place)

So anything that nourishes itself, that grows, decays, moves about (on its own, not just when moved by something else), perceives, or thinks is alive. And the capacities of a thing in virtue of which it does these things constitute its soul. The soul is what is causally responsible for the animate behavior (the life activities) of a living thing.


There is a nested hierarchy of soul functions or activities.
Growth, nutrition, (reproduction)
Locomotion, perception
Intellect (= thought)

This gives us three corresponding degrees of soul:

Nutritive soul (plants)
Sensitive soul (all animals)
Rational soul (human beings)

These are sorted in the sense that anything that has a higher degree of soul also has all of the lower degrees.
All living things grow, nourish themselves, and reproduce. Animals not only do that, but move and perceive.
Humans do all of the above and reason, as well. (There are further subdivisions within the various levels, which we will ignore.)


A key question for the ancient Greeks (as it still is for many people today) is whether the soul can exist independently of the body. (Anyone who believes in personal immortality is committed to the independent existence of the soul.) Plato (as we know from the Phaedo) certainly thought that the soul could exist separately. Here is what Aristotle has to say on this topic:

. . . the soul does not exist without a body and yet is not itself a kind of body. For it is not a body, but something which belongs to a body, and for this reason exists in a body, and in a body of such-and-such a kind.

So on Aristotle’s account, although the soul is not a material object, it is not separable from the body. (When it comes to the intellect, however, Aristotle waffles.

The soul is not an independently existing substance. It is linked to the body more directly: it is the form of the body, not a separate substance inside another substance (a body) of a different kind. It is a capacity, not the thing that has the capacity.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


The Soul. What is the Soul?--->
<---The Glories of Heaven.

The Via Crucis, is one of the more expressive forms, more solid and established devotions of Christianity on the Passion of Christ.
Stations of the Cross or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis; also called the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, Path to the Cross, or simply The Way, refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
The Stations of the Cross originated in pilgrimages to Jerusalem. But the desire to reproduce the holy place by where the Lord took up his cross, in other lands seems to have known manifest all the pain that Jesus suffered.

Since the first centuries the pilgrims from Jerusalem venerated the holy places, especially the Gólgota and the Tomb. According to the revelations from God to Saint Brígida, after the death of Christ, the great consolation of his Mother was to travel the path of the cross sprinkled with the blood of her Son.

The inability to go to Jerusalem or the desire to frequently recollect at the same place the moments of the Passion, compelled Christianity to represent, in diverse forms, the most salient places, to be traveled in a spiritual pilgrimage.
At the monastery of Santo Stefano at Bologna a group of connected chapels was constructed as early as the 5th century, by St. Petronius, Bishop of Bologna, which was intended to represent the more important shrines of Jerusalem, and in consequence, this monastery became familiarly known as "Hierusalem.”

These may perhaps be regarded as the germ from which the Stations afterwards developed, though it is tolerably certain that nothing that we have before about the 15th century can strictly be called a Way of the Cross in the modern sense.

The devotion of the Via Dolorosa, for which there have been a number of variant routes in Jerusalem, was probably developed by the Franciscans after they were granted administration of the Christian holy places in Jerusalem in 1342.

The tradition as chapel devotion began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period.
During the 15th and 16th centuries the Franciscans began to build a series of outdoor shrines in Europe to duplicate their counterparts in the Holy Land.
It is less often observed in the Anglican and Lutheran churches. It may be done at any time, but is most commonly done during the Season of Lent, especially on Good Friday and on Friday evenings during Lent.
The number of stations varied between eleven and thirty. At the same time the number was fixed at fourteen stations.

In 1731, Pope Clement XII extended to all churches the right to have the stations, provided that a Franciscan father erected them, with the consent of the local bishop.
In 1857, the bishops of England were allowed to erect the stations by themselves, without the intervention of a Franciscan priest, and in 1862 this right was extended to bishops throughout the church.

The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death. It has become one of the most popular devotions for Roman Catholics, as well as featuring other Christian artifacts of the local area.

The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death. It has become one of the most popular devotions for Roman Catholics, as well as is observed by others christian religions.
In the Roman Catholic tradition, the meditation is often performed in a spirit of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during His Passion.

When the Via Crucis is done before legitimately erected stations, it carries a plenary indulgence. While customarily it is done by reading a text and saying certain prayers, it can be made meditating mentally what each station proposes.

St. Bernard says: "There is no more effective way to cure the sores of our conscience and to cleanse and perfect our soul as the frequent and continuous meditation of the holy sores of Christ and His Passion and Death".

Merciful Jesus said to him to Saint Faustina Kowalska: "Few souls contemplate My Passion with true feeling; to the souls that meditate My Passion very devotedly, I grant them greater number of graces"


To go over physically or mentally on the Stations of the Cross, meditating a little while in each one of them. If we wish, while we meditate at each station, we can say some prayer, for example an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory.

Via Crucis or The Stations of the Cross

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24).

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from thee.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of death, call me.
And bid me come unto Thee,
That with Thy Saints and Angels I may praise Thee,
Forever and ever.



Jesus is condemned to death

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“Are you the King of the Jews?” (Jn 18:33).
“My Kingdom is not of this world; if my Kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my Kingdom is not from the world” (Jn 18:36).

Pilate is a good example of man living in sin. For him the most important thing is the emperor of Rome. Not care about anything the suffering of Jesus.
The cruel punishment of scourging inflicted upon the Accused is not enough. When the Procurator brings Jesus, scourged and crowned with thorns, before the crowd, that wanted the death of Jesus.
Thus was Jesus, the Son of the living God, the Redeemer of the world, condemned to death by crucifixion.
Over the centuries the denial of truth has spawned suffering and death.
This is why Christ prayed so fervently for his disciples in every age:
Father, “sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (Jn 17:17).

Stabat Mater:
At the Cross her station keeping stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus takes up his Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

The cross. The instrument of a shameful death.
It was not lawful to condemn a Roman citizen to death by crucifixion: it was too humiliating. The moment that Jesus of Nazareth took up the Cross in order to carry it to Calvary marked a turning-point in the history of the cross.
The symbol of a shameful death, reserved for the lowest classes, the cross becomes a key. From now on, with the help of this key, man will open the door of the deepest mystery of God.

Through Christ’s acceptance of the Cross, the instrument of his own self-emptying, men will come to know that God is love.
Jesus chose the Cross as instrument of salvation.
The Father chose the Cross for his Son, and his Son shouldered it, carried it to Mount Calvary and on it offered his life.
“In the Cross there is suffering,
in the Cross there is salvation,
in the Cross there is a lesson of love.
The Cross is the sign of a love without limits!
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

Stabat Mater:
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing, all his bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword had passed.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus falls the first time

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“God laid on him the sins of us all” (cf. Is 53:6).
“All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all” (Is 53:6).

Jesus falls under the Cross. This will happen three times along the comparatively short stretch of the “via dolorosa”.
Exhaustion makes him fall. His body is stained with blood from the scourging, his head is crowned with thorns. All this causes his strength to fail.
So he falls, and the weight of the Cross crushes him to the ground.
We must go back to the words of the Prophet, who foresaw this fall centuries earlier. It is as though he were contemplating it with his own eyes: seeing the Servant of the Lord, on the ground under the weight of the Cross, he tells us the real cause of his fall. It is this:
“God laid on him the sins of us all”.

It was our sins that crushed the divine Condemned One to the ground.
It was our sins that determined the weight of the Cross that he carries on his shoulders.
It was our sins that made him fall.
With difficulty Christ gets up again to continue his journey.
The soldiers escorting him urge him on with shouts and blows.
After a moment the procession sets out again.
Jesus falls and gets up again.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the wood of the cross, that we might no longer live for sin but for righteousness – by his wounds we have been healed” (cf. 1 Pt 2:24).

Stabat Mater:
Oh, how sad and sore distressed was that Mother highly blessed
of the sole begotten One!

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus meets his Mother

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and his kingdom will have no end” (Lk 1:30-33).

Mary remembered these words. She often returned to them in the secret of her heart.
When she met her Son on the way of the Cross, perhaps these very words came to her mind. With particular force.
“He will reign... His kingdom will have no end”, the heavenly messenger had said.

Now, as she watches her Son, condemned to death, carrying the Cross on which he must die, she might ask herself, all too humanly:
So how can these words be fulfilled? In what way will he reign over the House of David? And how can it be that his kingdom will have no end?
Humanly speaking, these are reasonable questions.
But Mary remembered that, when she first heard the Angel’s message, she had replied:
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
Now she sees that her word is being fulfilled as the word of the Cross. Because she is a mother, Mary suffers deeply. But she answers now as she had answered then, at the Annunciation: “May it be done to me according to your word”.
In this way, as a mother would, she embraces the cross together with the divine Condemned One.
On the way of the Cross Mary shows herself to be the Mother of the Redeemer of the world.
“All you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering, which has been dealt me” (Lam 1:12).
It is the Sorrowful Mother who speaks,
the Handmaid who is obedient to God,
the Mother of the Redeemer of the world.

Stabat Mater:
Christ above in torment hangs, she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying, glorious Son.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

They compelled Simon (cf. Mk 15:21).
The Roman soldiers did this because they feared that in his exhaustion the Condemned Man would not be able to carry the Cross as far as Golgotha. Then they would not be able to carry out the sentence of crucifixion.
They were looking for someone to help carry the Cross.
Their eyes fell on Simon. They compelled him to take the weight upon his shoulders. We can imagine that Simon did not want to do this and objected. Carrying the cross together with a convict could be considered an act offensive to the dignity of a free man.
Although unwilling, Simon took up the Cross to help Jesus.

In a Lenten hymn we hear the words: “Under the weight of the Cross Jesus welcomes the Cyrenean”. These words allow us to discern a total change of perspective: the divine Condemned One is someone who, in a certain sense, “makes a gift” of his Cross.
Was it not he who said: “He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:38)?
Simon receives a gift.
He has become “worthy” of it.
What the crowd might see as an offence to his dignity has, from the perspective of redemption, given him a new dignity.
In a unique way, the Son of God has made him a sharer in his work of salvation.
Is Simon aware of this?
The evangelist Mark identifies Simon of Cyrene as the “father of Alexander and Rufus” (15:21).

If the sons of Simon of Cyrene were known to the first Christian community, it can be presumed that Simon too, while carrying the Cross, came to believe in Christ. From being forced, he freely accepted, as though deeply touched by the words: “Whoever does not carry his cross with me is not worthy of me.”
By his carrying of the Cross, Simon was brought to the knowledge of the gospel of the Cross.
Since then, this gospel has spoken to many, countless Cyreneans, called in the course of history to carry the cross with Jesus.

Stabat Mater:
Is there one who would not weep, whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Veronica does not appear in the Gospels. Her name is not mentioned, even though the names of other women who accompanied Jesus do appear.
It is possible, therefore, that the name refers more to what the woman did. In fact, according to tradition, on the road to Calvary a woman pushed her way through the soldiers escorting Jesus and with a veil wiped the sweat and blood from the Lord’s face. That face remained imprinted on the veil, a faithful reflection, a “true icon”. This would be the reason for the name Veronica.
If this is so, the name which evokes the memory of what this woman did carries with it the deepest truth about her.

One day, Jesus drew the criticism of onlookers when he defended a sinful woman who had poured perfumed oil on his feet and dried them with her hair. To those who objected, he replied: “Why do you trouble this woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me . . . In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial” (Mt 26:10, 12). These words could likewise be applied to Veronica.

Acts of love do not pass away. Every act of goodness, of understanding, of service leaves on people’s hearts an indelible imprint and makes us ever more like the One who “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Phil 2:7).
This is what shapes our identity and gives us our true name.

Stabat Mater:
Can the human heart refrain from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s untold pain?

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus falls the second time

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people” (Ps 22:6). These words of the Psalm come to mind as we see Jesus fall to the ground a second time under the Cross.
Here in the dust of the earth lies the Condemned One. Crushed by the weight of his Cross. His strength drains away from him more and more. But with great effort he gets up again to continue his march.
To us sinners, what does this second fall say? More than the first one, it seems to urge us to get up, to get up again on our way of the cross.

It tells us that every person here below meets Christ who carries the Cross and falls under its weight.
In his turn, Christ, on the way to Calvary, meets every man and woman and, falling under the weight of the Cross, does not cease to proclaim the good news.
For two thousand years the gospel of the Cross has spoken to man.
For twenty centuries Christ, getting up again from his fall, meets those who fall.
Throughout these two millennia many people have learned that falling does not mean the end of the road.

In meeting the Saviour they have heard his reassuring words:
“My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).
Comforted, they have gotten up again and brought to the world the word of hope which comes from the Cross.
Today, having crossed the threshold of the new millennium, we are called to penetrate more deeply the meaning of this encounter.
Our generation must pass on to future centuries the good news that we are lifted up again in Christ.

Stabat Mater:
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, she beheld her tender Child,
all with bloody scourges rent.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me,
but weep for yourselves and for your children.
For behold, the days are coming when they will say,
'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore,
and the breasts that never gave suck!'
Then they will begin to say to the mountains,
'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us.'
For if they do this when the wood is green,
what will happen when it is dry?” (Lk 23:28-31).

These are the words of Jesus to the women of Jerusalem who were weeping with compassion for the Condemned One.
“Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” At the time it was certainly difficult to understand the meaning of these words. They contained a prophecy that would soon come to pass.
Shortly before, Jesus had wept over Jerusalem, foretelling the terrible fate that awaited the city.
Now he seems to be referring again to that fate: “Weep for your children . . .”
Weep, because these, your very children, will be witnesses and will share in the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem which “did not know the time of her visitation” (cf. Lk 19:44).
If, as we follow Christ on the way of the Cross, our hearts are moved with pity for his suffering, we cannot forget that admonition.

For our generation, which has just left a millennium behind, rather than weep for Christ crucified, it is now the time for us to recognize “the time of our visitation”. Already the dawn of the resurrection is shining forth.
“Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2).
To each of us Christ addresses these words of the book of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” (3:20- 21).

Stabat Mater:
Let me share with you his pain, who for all my sin was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus falls the third time

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Once more Christ has fallen to the ground under the weight of the Cross. The crowd watches, wondering whether he will have the strength to rise again.

Saint Paul writes: “Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross” (Phil 2:6-8).

The third fall seems to express just this:
the self-emptying, the kenosis of the Son of God,
his humiliation beneath the Cross.
Jesus had said to the disciples that he had come not to be served but to serve (cf. Mt 20:28).
In the Upper Room, bending low to the ground and washing their feet, he sought, as it were, to prepare them for this humiliation of his.
Falling to the ground for the third time on the way of the Cross, he cries out loudly to us once more the mystery of himself.

Let us listen to his voice!
This Condemned Man, crushed to the ground beneath the weight of the Cross, now very near the place of punishment, tells us:
“I am the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).
“He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12).
Let us not be dismayed by the sight of a condemned man, who falls to the ground exhausted under the cross.
Within this outward sign of the death which is approaching the light of life lies hidden.

Stabat Mater:
O you Mother, fount of love! Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with yours accord.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus is stripped of his clothes and offered gall and vinegar to drink

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“When he tasted it, he would not drink it” (Mt 27:34).
He did not want a sedative, which would have dulled his consciousness during the agony.
He wanted to be fully aware as he suffered on the Cross, accomplishing the mission he had received from the Father.
That was not what the soldiers in charge of the execution were used to. Since they had to nail the condemned man to the Cross, they tried to dull his senses and his consciousness.
But with Christ this could not be. Jesus knows that his death on the Cross must be a sacrifice of expiation.

This is why he wants to remain alert to the very end.
Without consciousness, he could not, in complete freedom, accept the full measure of suffering.
Behold, he must mount the Cross, in order to offer the sacrifice of the New Covenant.
He is the Priest. By means of his own blood, he must enter the eternal dwelling-places, having accomplished the world’s redemption (cf. Heb 9:12).

Conscience and freedom: these are the essential elements of fully human action.
The world has so many ways of weakening the will and of darkening conscience.
They must be carefully defended from all violence.
Even the legitimate attempt to control pain must always be done with respect for human dignity.
If life and death are to retain their true value, the depths of Christ’s sacrifice must be understood, and we must unite ourselves to that sacrifice if we are to hold firm.

Stabat Mater:
Make me feel as you have felt; make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ our Lord.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus is nailed to the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“They tear holes in my hands and my feet; I can count every one of my bones” (Ps 21:17- 18).
The words of the Prophet are fulfilled.
The execution begins.
The torturers’ blows crush the hands and feet of the Condemned One against the wood of the Cross.

The nails are driven violently into his wrists. Those nails will hold the condemned man as he hangs in the midst of the inexpressible torments of his agony.
In his body and his supremely sensitive spirit, Christ suffers in a way beyond words.
With him there are crucified two real criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. The prophecy is fulfilled: “He was numbered among the transgressors” (Is 53:12).
Once the torturers raise the Cross, there will begin an agony that will last three hours. This word too must be fulfilled: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself” (Jn 12:32).

What is it that “draws” us to the Condemned One in agony on the Cross?
Certainly the sight of such intense suffering stirs compassion. But compassion is not enough to lead us to bind our very life to the One who hangs on the Cross.
How is it that, generation after generation, this appalling sight has drawn countless hosts of people who have made the Cross the hallmark of their faith?

Hosts of men and women who for centuries have lived and given their lives looking to this sign?
From the Cross, Christ draws us by the power of love,
divine Love, which did not recoil from the total gift of self;
infinite Love, which on the tree of the Cross raised up from the earth the weight of Christ’s body, to counterbalance the weight of the first sin.

Boundless Love, which has utterly filled every absence of love and allowed humanity to find refuge once more in the arms of the merciful Father.
May Christ lifted high on the Cross draw us too, the men and women of the new millennium!
In the shadow of the Cross, let us “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph 5:2).

Stabat Mater:
Holy Mother, pierce me through; in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus dies on the Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).
At the height of his Passion, Christ does not forget man, especially those who are directly responsible for his suffering. Jesus knows that more than anything else man needs love; he needs the mercy which at this moment is being poured out on the world.
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43).
This is how Jesus replies to the plea of the criminal hanging on his right: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42).

The promise of a new life. This is the first fruit of the Passion and imminent Death of Christ. A word of hope to man.
At the foot of the Cross stood Mary, and beside her the disciple, John the Evangelist. Jesus says: “Woman, behold your son!” and to the disciple: “Behold your mother!” (Jn 19:26-27).
“And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home” (Jn 19:27).
This is his bequest to those dearest to his heart.

His legacy to the Church.
The desire of Jesus as he dies is that the maternal love of Mary should embrace all those for whom he is giving his life, the whole of humanity.
Immediately after, Jesus cries out: “I am thirsty” (Jn 19:28). A word which describes the dreadful burning which consumes his whole body.
It is the one word which refers directly to his physical suffering.

Then Jesus adds: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mt 27:46; cf. Ps 22:2). These words of the Psalm are his prayer. Despite their tone, these words reveal the depths of his union with the Father.

In the last moments of his life on earth, Jesus thinks of the Father. From this moment on, the dialogue will only be between the dying Son and the Father who accepts his sacrifice of love.
When the ninth hour comes, Jesus cries out: “It is accomplished!” (Jn 19:30).
Now the work of the redemption is complete.
The mission, for which he came on earth, has reached its goal.
The rest belongs to the Father:

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Lk 23:46).
And having said this, he breathed his last.
“The curtain of the temple was torn in two...” (Mt 27:51).
The “Holy of Holies” of the Jerusalem Temple is opened at the moment when it is entered by the Priest of the New and Eternal Covenant.

Stabat Mater:
She looked upon her sweet Son, saw him hang in desolation,
till his spirit forth he sent.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to his Mother

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

In the arms of his Mother they have placed the lifeless body of the Son. The Gospels say nothing of what she felt at that moment.
It is as though by their silence the Evangelists wished to respect her sorrow, her feelings and her memories. Or that they simply felt incapable of expressing them.

It is only the devotion of the centuries that has preserved the figure of the “Pietà”, providing Christian memory with the most sorrowful image of the ineffable bond of love which blossomed in the Mother’s heart on the day of the Annunciation and ripened as she waited for the birth of her divine Son.

That love was revealed in the cave at Bethlehem
and was tested already during the Presentation in the Temple.
It grew deeper as Mary stored and pondered in her heart all that was happening (cf. Lk 2:51).
Now this intimate bond of love must be transformed into a union which transcends the boundary between life and death.

And thus it will be across the span of the centuries:
people pause at Michelangelo’s statue of the Pietà, they kneel before the image of the loving and sorrowful Mother (Smetna Dobrodziejka) in the Church of the Franciscans in Kraków,
before the Mother of the Seven Sorrows, Patroness of Slovakia,
they venerate Our Lady of Sorrows in countless shrines in every part of the world.
And so they learn the difficult love which does not flee from suffering, but surrenders trustingly to the tenderness of God, for whom nothing is impossible (cf. Lk 1:37).

Stabat Mater:
Let me mingle tears with you, mourning him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


Jesus is laid in the tomb

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

“He was crucified, died and was buried...”
The lifeless body of Christ has been laid in the tomb. But the stone of the tomb is not the final seal on his work.
The last word belongs not to falsehood, hatred and violence.
The last word will be spoken by Love, which is stronger than death.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24).

The tomb is the last stage of Christ’s dying through the whole course of his earthly life; it is the sign of his supreme sacrifice for us and for our salvation.
Very soon this tomb will become the first proclamation of praise and exaltation of the Son of God in the glory of the Father.
“He was crucified, died and was buried,. . . on the third day he rose from the dead”.
Once the lifeless body of Jesus is laid in the tomb, at the foot of Golgotha, the Church begins the vigil of Holy Saturday.

In the depths of her heart, Mary stores and ponders the Passion of her Son;
the women agree to meet on the morning of the day after the Sabbath, in order to anoint Christ’s body with aromatic ointments;
the disciples gather in the seclusion of the Upper Room, waiting for the Sabbath to pass.
This vigil will end with the meeting at the tomb, the empty tomb of the Saviour.
Then the tomb, the silent witness of the Resurrection, will speak.
The stone rolled back, the inner chamber empty, the cloths on the ground,
this will be what John sees when he comes to the tomb with Peter:

“He saw and he believed” (Jn 20:8).
And with him the Church believed,
and from that moment she never grows weary of communicating to the world this fundamental truth of her faith:
“Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20).
The empty tomb is the sign of the definitive victory
of truth over falsehood,
of good over evil,
of mercy over sin,
of life over death.
The empty tomb is the sign of the hope which “does not deceive” (Rom 5:5).
“[Our] hope is full of immortality” (cf. Wis 3:4).

Stabat Mater:
While my body here decays, may my soul your goodness praise, safe in paradise with you. Amen.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"



At the age of 18 years, a young Spanish entered as a novice, "THE SCHOOL OF CHRISTIAN BROTHERS", in Bugedo.
In the religious life, this young man took the religious votes in fulfillment of the regulations; to advance in the Christian perfection; and to reach pure love.
In October 1926, this brother offered himself to Jesus through Most Holy Mary. Shortly after this heroic offering, the young monk became ill and was forced to rest. He died in sanctity in March, 1927.
According to the Master of novices, this religious was a chosen soul of God; who received messages from Heaven.

The confessors of this young man, as well as the theologians, recognized these supernatural facts like meaningful acts.
The young man was called Brother Estanislao. The spiritual director of Brother Estanislao had instructed him to write all the promises transmitted by OUR LORD. This would be for the spiritual benefits of those devoted to the VIA CRUSIS OR THE PATH OF THE CROSS.

The promises are the following ones:

1. I will grant all that is requested from Me with faith, during the Via Crusis or The Path to the Cross.

2. I promise eternal life to those that once in a while, recite the Via Crusis or The Path to the Cross.

3. All through their lives, I will accompany them everywhere, and will have My special assistance at the hour of death.

4. Even if they had more sins than the blades of grass that grow in the fields, and more than grains of sand in the ocean, all will be erased through this devotion to the Via Crusis or The Path of the Cross. (Note: This devotion does not eliminate the obligation to confess mortal sins. One is due to confess before receiving Holy Communion.)

5. Those that recite the Path of the Cross frequently, will enjoy an extraordinary glory in Heaven.

6. After death, if these devotees arrived at Purgatory, I will liberate them from that place of atonement, the first Tuesday or Friday after dying.

7. I will bless these souls whenever they recite the Path of the Cross; and my blessing will accompany them everywhere on Earth. After death, they will enjoy this blessing in Heaven, for all eternity.

8. At the time of death, I will not allow that they are subject to the temptation of the demon. To the malignant spirit I will strip to him of all power on these souls. Thus they will be able to rest peacefully in My Arms.

9. If they recite it with true love, it will be highly rewarded. That is to say, I will turn each one of these souls in a living Vessel, where I will be pleased to spill My Grace.

10. I will fix the glance of My Eyes on those souls that recite the Path of the Cross frequently and My Hands will be always open to protect them.

11. Just as I was nailed in the Cross, I will always be very united to those that honor Me, with the frequent recitation of the Path of the Cross.

12. The devotee of the Path of the Cross will never separate from Me because I will give them the grace of never incurring in mortal sin.

13. At the hour of death, I will console them with My presence, and we will go together to Heaven. Death will be sweet for all those that have honored Me during life with the recitation of the Path to the Cross.

14. For these devotees of the Path of the Cross, My Soul will be a protecting shield that always will render assistance to them when they resort to Me.

We conclude that it is very beneficial for us and our brothers, to recite the Path to the Cross not only during Easter but at any times.
This devotion can be offered: by sick, by priests, by Pope, by Holy Church, by our enemies, by souls in purgatory, by conversion of the whole world.


On any Friday during Lent a plenary indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who, after Communion, devoutly recite the above prayer before an image of Jesus Christ crucified. On other days of the year the indulgence is a partial one.
Handbook of Indulgences.

One can obtain a plenary indulgences for himself. However, we can offer that plenary indulgence for a soul in purgatory.
This is an act of charity and spiritual tithing to do during Lent.

A plenary indulgence is gained every Friday in Lent by saying the following prayer before a Crucifix after receiving Holy Communion.
The usual requirements for a plenary indulgence also apply.

“Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus,
I cast myself upon my knees in Your sight,
and with the most fervent desire of my soul,
I pray and beseech You that You would impress upon my heart lively sentiments of Faith, Hope, and Charity,
with true repentance for my sins,
and a firm purpose of amendment,
while with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself
and mentally contemplate Your five most precious Wounds;
having before my eyes the words which David in prophecy spoke concerning Yourself,
O good Jesus:
They have pierced my hands and feet; they have numbered all my bones.”

(S. Paen. App. Feb. 2, 1934).

The requirements for gaining a Plenary Indulgence are the performance of the indulgenced work and fulfillment of three conditions: Sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and the prayers for the Pope.