The Lord loads us and sets us free from our load, for when he bestows a cross on one of his chosen ones, he strengths that soul to such an extent that by bearing the weight of his cross he is relieved of it.
– St. Pio of Pietrelcina
No one would complain about his cross or about the troubles that may happen to him if he could come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men.
-St. Rose of Lima
Prayer for the Church in Need
God of power and of mercy, you gave courage to the martyrs who died for their faith. In many places in the world, our brothers and sisters in Christ continue to suffer for their belief in you and in your Son. Strengthen all those who suffer religious persecution. May we work for the day when all your children may worship you in freedom and in joy.
“Having passed the second step, the soul reaches out to the third—that is—to the Mouth, where she finds peace from the terrible war she has been waging with her sin. On the first step, then, lifting her feet from the affections of the earth, the soul strips herself of vice; on the second she fills herself with love and virtue; and on the third she tastes peace. So the Bridge has three steps, in order that, climbing past the first and the second, you may reach the last, which is lifted on high, so that the water, running beneath, may not touch it…”
-St. Catherine of Siena
Psalm 102:5-8, 10, 13
Withered and dried up like grass is my heart;
I forget to eat my bread.
Because of my insistent sighing
I am reduced to skin and bone.
I am like a desert owl;
I have become like an owl among the ruins.
I am sleepless, and I moan;
I am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.
For I eat ashes like bread
and mingle my drink with tears.
But you, O Lord, abide forever,
and your name through all generations.
“Now learn that this Bridge, My Only-begotten Son, has three steps, of which two were made with the wood of the most Holy Cross, and the third still retains the great bitterness He tasted, when He was given gall and vinegar to drink. In these three steps you will recognize three states of the soul…. The feet of the soul, signifying her affection, are the first step, for the feet carry the body as the affection carries the soul. Wherefore these pierced Feet are steps by which you can arrive at His Side, which manifests to you the secret of His Heart, because the soul, rising on the steps of her affection, commences to tastes the love of His Heart, gazing into that open Heart of My Son…and finds It consumed with ineffable love.”
-St. Catherine of Siena
Prayer to Imitate the Suffering Christ
O Jesus, You have called me to suffer because You on Your part suffered for me, leaving me an example that I might follow. When You were insulted, You did not return the insult. When You were mistreated, You did not counter with threats but entrusted Yourself to the One Who judges justly. By Your wounds we are healed. Help me to imitate You in suffering. Let me break with sin by means of my sufferings, so that I may no longer live according to the lusts of sinners but according to the Will of the Father.
Since You Yourself have suffered and been tempted I know that You are able to bring aid to all who suffer and are tempted. I entrust myself to You and to the Father, my Creator, knowing that You will never fail me.
As I continued Vespers, meditating on the mixture of suffering and grace, I heard the voice of Our Lady: Know My daughter, that although I was raised to the dignity of Mother of God, seven swords of pain pierced My heart. Don’t do anything to defend yourself; bear everything with humility; God Himself will defend you.
-St Faustina Kowalska
Prayer of Confidence in the Immaculate Heart
Mary Immaculate, our Mother and Consolation, with confidence I take refuge in your most loving heart. You shall be the dearest object of my love and veneration. I shall always have recourse to you who are the dispenser of the treasure of heaven, that I may have peace in my sorrows, light in my doubts, protection in dangers, and help in all my needs.
Be therefore my refuge, strength, and consolation, O Mary the Consoler. At the hour of my death, graciously received the last sighs of my heart and obtain for me a place in your heavenly home, where all hearts will praise with one accord the adorable Heart of Jesus as well as your most lovable heart forever. Our tender Mother, Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us who have recourse to you.
O dignity, O holiness, O admirable excellence of suffering used for the perfection and consummation of a God, for the perfection of Jesus, God and Man, for the consummation of Him Who is the consummation and perfection of all things! Great humiliation of Jesus, Who humbled Himself to a state in which He was capable of being perfected and consummated! And the immense dignity of suffering chosen and used by Him and His eternal Father to achieve this perfection and consummation!
-St. Jean Eudes
Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, filled with infinite love, accept the consecration that I make to You of all that I am and all that I have. Take my body, my mind, my heart, and my soul. Draw me, day by day, ever nearer to Your Sacred Heart.
Turn your eyes incessantly to the Blessed Virgin; she, who is the Mother of Sorrows and also the Mother of Consolation, can understand you completely and help you. Looking to her, praying to her, you will obtain that your tedium will become serenity, your anguish changed into hope, and your grief into love. I accompany you with my blessing, which I willingly extend to all those who assist you.
-St. John Paul II
Prayer to Grow in Grace through Sorrows
Most holy Virgin and Mother, your soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of your Divine Son, and in His glorious Resurrection you are filled with never-ending joy at His triumph. Obtain for us who call upon you the grace to partake in the trials of the Church and the sorrows of the Pope so that we may be found worthy to grow in grace and rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the love and peace of the same Christ our Lord.
How precious the gift of the cross, how splendid to contemplate! In the cross there is no mingling of good and evil, as in the tree of paradise: it is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of paradise, but opens the way for our return.
– St. Theodore the Studite
Prayer before a Crucifix
Look down on me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Your face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul I pray and beseech You to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Your five wounds, pondering over them with me, calling to mind the words that David, Your prophet, said of You, my good Jesus: “They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones.”
Say Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be for the Catholic Church and the intentions of the Holy Father.
I want to be scourged and crucified like You, my Spouse; flayed alive like St. Bartholomew; thrown into boiling oil like St. John; and ground by the teeth of wild beasts like St. Ignatius of Antioch, so that I might become bread worthy of God.
Like St. Agnes and St. Cecilia, I want to offer my neck to the executioner’s sword, and like Joan of Arch, murmur the name of Jesus at the burning stake.
-St. Therese of Lisieux
Prayer to St. Therese
O little St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own—speak a word for me to our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven “who smiled on you at the dawn of life.” Beg her as the Queen of the heart of Jesus to obtain for me by her powerful intercession, the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment, and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life. Defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity.
How poor she was on Bethlehem night and how poor on Calvary! How obedient she was at the moment of the Annunciation, and then—at the foot of the cross—obedient even to the point of assenting to the death of her Son, who became obedient “unto death”! How dedicated she was in all her earthly life to the cause of the kingdom of heaven through most chaste love.
-St. John Paul II
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke your most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, let your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Whenever I call on you by name or even think of you, what consolation and confidence, what sweetness and emotion fill my soul!
I thank God for having given you so sweet, powerful, and lovely a name for my good. Let my love for you prompt me ever to greet you as Mother of Perpetual Help.
But, after all, we must bear crosses in one way or another for as long as we live.
-St. Teresa of Avila
Therefore, let God be thanked for treating you as a soul chosen to follow Jesus closely up the hill of Calvary….It is not abandonment but love that the most sweet Savior is showing you. It is not true at all that you offend God in that state.
– St. Pio of Pietrelcina
The Divine Praises
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.