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The liner Hortensia was (1833) in the port of Hamburg ready to sail for America. As there was still some delay until the departure, one of the emigrants took a walk in the park, where a flower struck him which pleased him very much. He climbed onto the lawn and picked it, but a guard saw him and took him to the police station. In spite of his pleas and offers to pay the fine, he was kept, and yet the Hydrangea set sail. After a few days, it was learned that she had been shipwrecked, and the emigrant thanked God for the setback that had prevented him from leaving.
The world attributes these events to chance; the Christian sees in them the intervention of Providence. God often sends us minor misfortunes to spare us greater ones. Let us think about this in our misfortune.
The towers of the Dome of Cologne were near completion, and some curious people obtained permission to climb the scaffolding to see the state of the work. They expressed their astonishment at the finish of the figures and ornaments. “Why,” said one of them, “spend so much effort and art on this ornamentation? Let it be put down, so be it, because it is seen and admired, while here no one notices it.” A sculptor, who had been working on the steeple for twenty-five years, heard him and replied, “Pardon me, sir; if men do not see it, God sees it from heaven.”
So it is with many of our acts of virtue, such as prayer, fasting, almsgiving. Men do not see them or esteem them, but there is someone who sees them and will reward them: it is the Heavenly Father. The remembrance of God’s omniscience is therefore an energetic stimulus for the performance of good works.
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.
My Jesus, forgiveness and mercy!
By the merits of Thy holy Wounds and the sorrows of Thy Mother.