In Today's Catholic World News Blog


"The Glorious Humiliations" 
(French Holy Card c. 1870)


Translation: “The glorious humiliations. Tie me to you, O Jesus, through a lively and
acting faith, a strong hope, a fervent and unselfish love... so that I shall live only for you.”


 (Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 64-65, 1937 Imp.)


First Friday





One of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and
immediately there came out blood and water. -John xix. 34.


1. The gospel deliberately says opened and not
wounded, because through Our Lord's side there
was opened to us the gate of eternal life. After
these things I looked, and behold a gate was opened in
heaven (Apoc. iv. i). This is the door opened
in the ark, through which enter the animals who
will not perish in the flood.


2. But this door is the cause of our salvation.
Immediately there came forth blood and water, a thing
truly miraculous, that, from a dead body, in which
the blood congeals, blood should come forth.


This was done to show that by the Passion of
Christ we receive a full absolution, an absolution
from every sin and every stain. We receive
this absolution from sin through that blood which
is the price of our redemption. You were not
redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from
your vain conversation with the tradition of your fathers;
but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb
unspotted and undefiled (i Pet. i. 18).


We were absolved from every stain by the water,
which is the laver of our redemption. In the
prophet Ezechiel it is said, I will pour upon you clean
water, and you shall be cleaned from all your filthiness
(Ezech. xxxvi. 28), and in Zacharias, There shall
be a fountain open to the house of David and to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem for the washing of the sinner
and the unclean woman (Zach. xiii. i).

And so these two things may be thought of in
relation to two of the sacraments, the water to
baptism and the blood to the Holy Eucharist.
Or both may be referred to the Holy Eucharist
since, in the Mass, water is mixed with the wine.
Although the water is not of the substance of the

Again, as from the side of Christ asleep in death
on the cross there flowed that blood and water
in which the Church is consecrated, so from the
side of the sleeping Adam was formed the first
woman, who herself foreshadowed the Church.

(In John xix.)



Related Links:

The Seven Sorrows Devotion

Making an Examination of Conscience


Blessed be St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles!


The Papal Restoration Staff


(Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 62-64, 1937 Imp.)


First Thursday



Christ was crucified between the thieves because
such was the will of the Jews, and also because
this was part of God's design. But the reasons
why this was appointed were not the same in
each of these cases.

1. As far as the Jews were concerned Our
Lord was crucified with the thieves on either side
to encourage the suspicion that he too was a
criminal. But it fell out otherwise. The thieves
themselves have left not a trace in the remembrance
of man, while His cross is everywhere held in
honour. Kings laying aside their crowns have
broidered the cross on their royal robes. They have
placed it on their crowns; on their arms. It
has its place on the very altars. Everywhere,
throughout the world, we behold the splendour
of the cross.


In God's plan Christ was crucified with the
thieves in order that, as for our sakes he became
accursed of the cross, so, for our salvation, he is
crucified like an evil thing among evil things.

2. The Pope, St. Leo the Great, says that the
thieves were crucified, one on either side of him,
so that in the very appearance of the scene of his
suffering there might be set forth that distinction
which should be made in the judgment of each
one of us. St. Augustine has the same thought.
"The cross itself," he says," was a tribunal.
In the centre was the judge. To the one side a man
who believed and was set free, to the other side
a scoffer and he was condemned." Already there
was made clear the final fate of the living and the
dead, the one class placed at his right, the other
on his left.

3. According to St. Hilary the two thieves,
placed to right and to left, typify that the whole
of mankind is called to the mystery of Our Lord's
Passion. And since division of things according
to right and left is made with reference to believers
and those who will not believe, one of the two,
placed on the right, is saved by justifying faith.

4. As St. Bede says, the thieves who were
crucified with Our Lord, represent those who for
the faith and to confess Christ undergo the agony
of martyrdom or the severe discipline of a more
perfect life. Those who do this for the sake of
eternal glory are typified by the thief on the right
hand. Those whose motive is the admiration of
whoever beholds them imitate the spirit and the
act of the thief on the left-hand side.

As Christ owed no debt in payment for which
a man must die, but submitted to death of his own
will, in order to overcome death, so also he had
not done anything on account of which he deserved
to be put with the thieves. But of his own will
he chose to be reckoned among the wicked, that
by his power he might destroy wickedness itself.
Which is why St. John Chrysostom says that to
convert the thief on the cross and to turn him to
Paradise was as great a miracle as the earthquake.

(3 46 11.)



Blessed be St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles!


The Papal Restoration Staff


(Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 60-62, 1937 Imp.)


First Wednesday




Attend and see if there be any sorrow like unto my
sorrow. -Lam. i. 12.

Our Lord as He suffered felt really, and in his
senses, that pain which is caused by some harmful
bodily thing. He also felt that interior pain which
is caused by the fear of something harmful and
which we call sadness. In both these respects
the pain suffered by Our Lord was the greatest
pain possible in this present life. There are four
reasons why this was so.

1. The causes of the pain.

The cause of the pain in the senses was the break-

ing up of the body, a pain whose bitterness derived 

partly from the fact that the sufferings attacked every
part of His body, and partly from the fact that of
all species of torture death by crucifixion is un- 
doubtedly the most bitter. The nails are driven
through the most sensitive of all places, the hands
and the feet, the weight of the body itself increases
the pain every moment. Add to this the long
drawn-out agony, for the crucified do not die
immediately as do those who are beheaded.

The cause of the internal pain was:

(i) All the sins of all mankind for which, by
suffering, he was making satisfaction, so that, in a
sense, he took them to him as though they were
his own. The words of my sins, it says in the Psalms
(Ps. xxi. 2).


(ii) The special case of the Jews and the others
who had had a share in the sin of his death, and
especially the case of his disciples for whom his
death had been a thing to be ashamed of.


(iii) The loss of his bodily life, which, by the
nature of things, is something from which human
nature turns away in horror.

2. We may consider the greatness of the pain
according to the capacity, bodily and spiritual, for
suffering of Him who suffered. In his body He
was most admirably formed, for it was formed
by the miraculous operation of the Holy Ghost,
and therefore its sense of touch that sense through
which we experience pain was of the keenest.
His soul likewise, from its interior powers, had a
knowledge as from experience of all the causes of

3. The greatness of Our Lord's suffering can
be considered in regard to this that the pain and
sadness were without any alleviation. For in
the case of no matter what other sufferer the sad- 
ness of mind, and even the bodily pain, is lessened
through a certain kind of reasoning, by means of
which there is brought about a distraction of the
sorrow from the higher powers to the lower.
But when Our Lord suffered this did not happen,
for he allowed each of his powers to act and suffer
to the fullness of its special capacity.

4. We may consider the greatness of the suffer- 
ing of Christ in the Passion in relation to this fact
that the Passion and the pain it brought with it
were deliberately undertaken by Christ with the
object of freeing man from sin. And therefore
he undertook to suffer an amount of pain pro- 
portionately equal to the extent of the fruit that
was to follow from the Passion.


From all these causes, if we consider them
together, it will be evident that the pain suffered
by Christ was the greatest pain ever suffered.


(3 46 6.)



Blessed be St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles!


The Papal Restoration Staff


(Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 57-59, 1937 Imp.)


First Tuesday



"Every kind of suffering." The things men suffer 

may be understood in two ways. By "kind" we may 

mean particular, individual suffering, and in this 

sense there was no reason why Christ should suffer

every kind of suffering, for many kinds of suffering

are contrary the one to the other, as for example, to

be burnt and to be drowned. We are of course

speaking of Our Lord as suffering from causes

outside himself, for to suffer the suffering effected

by internal causes, such as bodily sickness, would

not have become him. But if by "kind" we mean

the class, then Our Lord did suffer by every kind

of suffering, as we can show in three ways:

1. By considering the men through whom he
suffered. For he suffered something at the hands
of Gentiles and of Jews, of men and even of women
as the story of the servant girl who accused
St. Peter goes to show. He suffered, again, at
the hands of rulers, of their ministers, and of the
people, as was prophesied, Why have the Gentiles
raged; and the people devised vain things? The
kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together
against the Lord and against his Christ (Ps. ii. i, 2).

He suffered, too, from his friends, the men
he knew best, for Peter denied him and Judas
betrayed him.

2. If we consider the things through which
suffering is possible. Christ suffered in the friends
who deserted him, and in his good name through
the blasphemies uttered against him. He suffered
in the respect, in the glory, due to him through
the derision and contempt bestowed upon him.

He suffered in things, for he was stripped even of
his clothing; in his soul, through sadness, through
weariness and through fear; in his body through
wounds and the scourging.


3. If we consider what he underwent in his 

various parts. His head suffered through the
crown of piercing thorns, his hands and feet through
the nails driven through them, his face from the
blows and the defiling spittle, and his whole body
through the scourging.












He suffered in every sense of his body. Touch 

was afflicted by the scourging and the nailing,
taste by the vinegar and gall, smell by the stench
of corpses as he hung on the cross in that place of
the dead which is called Calvary. His hearing was
torn with the voices of mockers and blasphemers,
and he saw the tears of his mother and of the
disciple whom he loved. If we only consider the
amount of suffering required, it is true that one
suffering alone, the least indeed of all, would have
sufficed to redeem the human race from all its
sins. But if we look at the fitness of the matter,
it had to be that Christ should suffer in all the
kinds of sufferings.


(3 46 5.)


Blessed be St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles!


The Papal Restoration Staff


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(Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 55-57, 1937 Imp.)


First Monday


He was in the desert forty days and forty nights: and
was tempted by Satan. -Mark i. 13.

1. It was by Christ's own will that he was exposed
to the temptation by the devil, as it was also by his
own will that he was exposed to be slain by the limbs 
of the devil. Had He not so willed, the devil would

never have dared to approach him. 

The devil is always more disposed to attack those 

who are alone, because, as is said in Sacred Scrip-
ture, If a man shall prevail against one, two shall with
stand him easily (Eccles. iv. 12). That is why Christ 
went out into the desert, as one going out to a 
battle-ground, that there he might be tempted by 

the devil. Whereupon St. Ambrose says that Christ 

went into the desert for the express purpose of 

provoking the devil. For unless the devil had fought, 

Christ would never have overcome him for me. 

St. Ambrose gives other reasons too. He says 

that Christ chose the desert as the place to be
tempted for a hidden reason, namely that he might
free from his exile Adam who, from Paradise, was
driven into the desert; and again that he did it
for a reason in which there is no mystery, namely
to show us that the devil envies those who are
tending towards a better life.

2. We say with St. Chrysostom that Christ
exposed himself to the temptation because the
devil most of all tempts those whom he sees alone.
So in the very beginning of things he tempted the
woman, when he found her away from her husband.
It does not however follow from this that a man
ought to throw himself into any occasion of
temptation that presents itself.


Occasions of temptation are of two kinds.
One kind arises from man's own action, when,
for example, man himself goes near to sin, not
avoiding the occasion of sin. That such occasions
are to be avoided we know, and Holy Scripture
reminds us of it. Stay not in any part of the country
round about Sodom (Gen. xix. 17). The second
kind of occasion arises from the devil's constant
envy of those who are tending to better things,
as St. Ambrose says, and this occasion of temptation
is not one we must avoid. So, according to
St. John Chrysostom, not only Christ was led into
the desert by the Holy Ghost, but all the children
of God who possess the Holy Ghost are led in
like manner. For God's children are never content
to sit down with idle hands, but the Holy Ghost
ever urges them to undertake for God some great
work. And this, as far as the devil is concerned,
is to go into the desert, for in the desert there is
none of that wickedness which is the devil's delight.
Every good work is as it were a desert to the eye
of the world and of our flesh, for good works are
contrary to the desire of the world and of our flesh.


To give the devil such an opportunity of tempta-
tion as this is not dangerous, for it is much more
the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, who is the
promoter of every perfect work, that prompts us
than the working of the devil who hates them all.


(3 4i 2.)



Blessed be St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles!


The Papal Restoration Staff


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Latest comments

28.02 | 01:42

"Christ did not save the world by His miracles but by His sufferings." (From a French Catholic Text)

24.02 | 13:24

You can see in many pictures of Pope Siri, a real look of suffering and pain. No one can judge him.

20.02 | 11:51

God bless and protect Pope Gregory XVIII and all true Catholics and may many more people learn about the true Catholic Church.

19.02 | 07:56

I have never seen this scandalous picture of Lefebvre prior to this. What will his happy cheerleaders say about this?