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In the year 70 A.D., during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, the Roman Senate, the highest authority in the empire, discussed the name to be given to the supreme deity. The senators were not in agreement. One wanted to call him “God of wealth”, another claimed that he should be called “God of the strong”, a third advocated the name “God of the wise”. Finally a senator rose and said: “If the supreme God is a God of the rich, he cannot be the God of the poor; if he is the God of the strong and powerful, he cannot be the God of the weak; if he is the God of the wise and learned, he cannot be the God of the plebs.” Then he unfolded a large picture of a handsome young man, with gentle and kind features. Beneath the picture read, “I love you, I give myself, I forgive you, for I am the God of charity.” When the senators saw the image and the inscription, they cried out, “Truly, the supreme God must be a God of charity and love.”
St. John says it plainly, “God is Love.” (I John 4:8)
In 1868 a mission was preached in Aix. A missionary told a story that made a great impression on all the listeners. He reported the following fact: “Some years ago a mother was approaching her last hour. Her children surrounded her bed, only one son was missing. He was in prison for a crime, which had contributed to hastening his mother’s death. Yet the dying mother wanted to try one last time to bring her son back to the right path, although all her prayers had been fruitless so far. He was to appear at his mother’s deathbed. The request was presented to the commander of the fortress where he was interned, and he had him brought to his mother under guard. Although she had already lost the ability to speak, she gathered her last strength and looked at him with a look of deep sadness. But this look of a dying mother had worked a miracle. Back in his dungeon, the son threw himself on his knees and began to pray. Shortly afterwards he unburdened himself of the heavy burden of his crimes with a good confession. God’s grace continued to work in him, and after atoning for his crimes he obtained the grace of the priesthood – and that son was me. So courage and confidence, dear Christians! However guilty the sinner may be, God’s goodness and mercy is far greater.” These words moved all present, and, filled with confidence in God’s mercy, they confessed their faults with sincerity and contrition.
There is no fault so great, that God is not willing to forgive it to the contrite sinner. For the worst crime cannot exceed the infinite mercy of God.
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.