.. Friday series, Vol 1, Issue 1 .. from my substack Water to Wine

God, my Father, I offer all my desires, intentions and prayers in union with the desires and prayers of Jesus for this little work. Amen.

+JMJ+

.. dearest, God bless you, it’s Friday!

Liturgy

What I especially love about Fridays is that they are traditionally dedicated to the Passion of Christ and His Sacred Heart. It’s strange, how happy I am, given I am to be reminded of the Great Sorrow and Holy Work of our Lord. This day, it’s time for me to reflect on all that He has given me, you, the Church, and the world.. but most specifically, how He has saved me and delivered me from myself.  May He be gloried forever..

Fish eaters has a great page on the devotional rhythms of the day, week, and month – a great trove)

Traditionally, Psalm 50, one of the Penitential Psalms, is recited on Fridays in the Divine Office. Even my revised Liturgy of the Hours from the 70s, with its meh-Grail translation of the Psalms from the 60s keeps this tradition, thankfully.

Psalm 50 is the same Psalm St. Teresa de Jesus recited on she died, and it goes like this:

Ant. With a perfect spirit strengthen my heart, O God.
Psalm 50 
50:3 Have mercy on me, O God, * according to thy great mercy.
50:3 And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies * blot out my iniquity.
50:4 Wash me yet more from my iniquity, * and cleanse me from my sin.
50:5 For I know my iniquity, * and my sin is always before me.
50:6 To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee: * that thou mayst be justified in thy words, and mayst overcome when thou art judged.
50:7 For behold I was conceived in iniquities; * and in sins did my mother conceive me.
50:8 For behold thou hast loved truth: * the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.
50:9 Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: * thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.
50:10 To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness: * and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice.
50:11 Turn away thy face from my sins, * and blot out all my iniquities.
50:12 Create a clean heart in me, O God: * and renew a right spirit within my bowels.
50:13 Cast me not away from thy face; * and take not thy holy spirit from me.
50:14 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, * and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.
50:15 I will teach the unjust thy ways: * and the wicked shall be converted to thee.
50:16 Deliver me from blood, O God, thou God of my salvation: * and my tongue shall extol thy justice.
50:17 O Lord, thou wilt open my lips: * and my mouth shall declare thy praise.
50:18 For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it: * with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted.
50:19 A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: * a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
50:20 Deal favourably, O Lord, in thy good will with Sion; * that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.
50:21 Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and whole burnt offerings: * then shall they lay calves upon thy altar.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost. 
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Ant. With a perfect spirit strengthen my heart, O God.
– Ad Laudes, Tridentine 1910, Feria VI infra Hebdomadam Sexagesimæ

Psalm 50, 12 is my favorite line right now:  Create a clean heart in me, O God: * and renew a right spirit within my bowels.  As I shed my addiction to social media and place Jesus back in His Kingly throne in my heart, this is just what I need to hear and pray to restore my purity of heart.

Though I am joyful at the moment, it’s not unusual for me to save up all my frustrations from a hectic or listless week and fall at the feet of my Lord and King to relieve myself of my earthly burdens of self. And have a good cry, maybe. Join my sufferings — real and imagined, since I am sometimes so overwhelmed with my own concupiscence, I can’t see straight — to those of Jesus on the Cross.

This is a wonderful practice for Holy Adoration, too. I don’t pretend to be strong and know everything, but allow myself to cry out and weep as I tolerate my own misery, because I adhere to what St. Paul said:

For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful. 

2 Corinthians12, 10

It’s also very St. Theresian. I want to be small and remember I cannot do everything myself — I cannot rely on my own knowledge, my own instincts, even my own judgment completely. I must depend on Christ. Keeping this in mind helps me develop confidence in Him, and ultimately, remember He’s in control with what happens in this chaotic world.

O, that I can always remember! Help me, Lord!

Sacred Reading

What’s really helped me get through these days of abandonment from social media & get my soul right are the writings of the Gospel and the saints, particularly St. Benedicta (Edith Stein), St. Teresa de Jesus, and St. Mechtilde of Magdeburg, a friend of St. Gertrude (whom I especially love).

In my search to be reunited with Jesus, I came across my copy of The Flowing Light of the Godhead in my stacks. It’s a mystical book, one where Jesus intimately speaks to St. Mechtilde and she often responds in the third person as Soul.  Works like this capture my attention immediately, because this little sheep hears the voice of her Dear Shepherd.

St. Mechtilde is closely related to St. Gertrude, who are both holy precursors to the devotion of the Sacred Heart, which is widely attributed to St. Margaret Mary. Through their revelations, we come to know the great, Divine Love Jesus has for men and the holy horde of spiritual wealth accessible to us through His Sacred Heart. 

Here’s what St. Mechtilde has to say about the infinite value of Christ’s Divine Love, signified by His Most Sacred Heart:

The prophet said: ‘You will draw waters of joy from the Saviour’s fountains.’

These holy fountains signify His wounds, and especially that in his Sacred Heart. A Christian must always be striving to approach nearer to this inexhaustible fountain and to draw from it the water which flows unto eternal life. Our Lord says to each one of us: ‘Enter and travel through My divine Heart, see its length and breadth; it’s length is the eternity of My goodness, and its breadth the love and the desire I have always had for thy salvation. Consider this length and breadth — that is, take possession of it, for all the good that thou dost find in My Heart really belongs to thee.’

Therefore the source of life, grace, virtue and holiness is opened, and Jesus says: ‘Why should not a Christian receive what I very willingly offer him?’ ‘I give him readily the treasure of the life I passed here on the earth in innocence and sanctity; let him take it for himself and seek in it a compensation for all his needs.’ 

Mechtilde replied: ‘If thou dost so much desire, my sweetest Jesus, that we should appropriate all that is Thine, tell me, I pray Thee, how it is to be done.’

He replied: ‘Offer to God the Father all thy desires, intentions and prayers in union with My desires and prayers; all will unite and ascend to God, giving Him pleasure, as several perfumes burnt together cause only one column of smoke that rises straight to heaven, could not be so pleasing to God.’

‘In the same way, if thou unites thy labors and all thy works with My labors and My works, all that they dost shall be ennobled; as brass melted with gold is no longer a common metal but is changed into precious gold. If a handful of what is thrown on to a heap of the same, it is immediately identified with it, and so the works of men, in themselves nothing, when joined to My works, are multiplied and changed to their advantage.

‘In the third place, regulate thy whole life — thy movements, strength, senses, thoughts, words, indeed everything according to My way of living, from which will result a new and a higher life. See a beautiful bird which flies from a fetid marsh and poisonous air; it takes a new life in better surroundings. So the earthly man, in the life he has hitherto led, becomes heavenly in the new life he receives, united with Me.’

Therefore, beloved souls, let us receive with great gratitude so great a favor from heaven. Let us take possession of the most holy life of Christ to supply for what is wanting in ours. Let us also study, according to our ability, to comfort ourselves to His virtues; this will be our greatest glory, in our eternal home. What glory could be greater than to approach, in some way, the splendor of the eternal light?

-The means of leading a Christian Life must be sought in the Sacred Heart, The Love of the Sacred Heart, St. Mechtilde. bold is my emphasis.

What’s striking is that after reading St. Mechtilde (and St. Benedicta), I came across St. Teresa, who confirms how Christ’s Divine Love is our for the taking:

Having one day converted with a person who had given up much for God, and calling to mind that I had given up nothing for him, and had never served Him in anything, as I was bound to do, and then considering the many graces He had wrought in my soul, I began to be exceedingly weary; and our Lord said to me: ‘Thou knows of the betrothal between thee and Myself, and therefore all I have is thine; and so I give thee all the labors and sorrows I endured, and thou canst therefore ask My Father as if they were thine.’ Though I have heard that we are partakers therein, now it was in a way so different that it seemed as if I had become possessed of a great principality; for the affection with which He wrought this grace cannot be described. The Father seemed to ratify the gift; and from that time forth I look at our Lord’s Passion in a very differs light, as on something that belongs to me; and that gives me great comfort.

– #9, Relation IX, Of certain spiritual graces she received in Toledo and Avila in the Years 1576 and 1577. bold is my emphasis.

I recall St. Therese saying the same thing — that since she was so small and helpless, our Lord could not help but provide Himself to give back Love to Himself in her stead.. <<I must find this quote.. when I do, I will repost it here.>>

How wonderful it is when Jesus provides the means for us to return to Him when we are lost.. as I have been, my dear friend.

I cannot help but be thankful this Friday, and offer Him a gift of praise this day. In this, I unite my desires, intentions and prayers — and yours — with the desires and prayers of Jesus, that they may be a worthy little sacrifice upon the little altars of our hearts. May He gift us with His Divine Heart. Amen.

Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam, 2.12.2020, Feast of The Seven Holy Servite Founders.

in Love,
your veronica

If this was helpful, please leave a comment, or share this post. If you’d like access to all future posts, be sure to subscribe to my substack Wine to Water to receive free posts like these in your inbox.

AMDG +++

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