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Canon Schmid tells the following anecdote:
A noble lady, who had lost her parents, lived in a sumptuous castle and took pride in her noble origin. Now, one fine day, the daughter of a poor bricklayer hurried to the manor and said to her: «Miss, my father is dying; he asked for you, saying that he had a secret to tell you.» The young chatelaine did not go. «What could that lout possibly tell me?» she thought. But the girl came back a second time and said that her father had once been in charge of sealing off a hiding place where the late chatelaine had deposited considerable treasures in order to keep them from the enemy. He was to indicate the place when the young chatelaine would be 20 years old, but seeing her end approaching, he would like to confide the secret to her before dying. At these words the noble lady went in haste to the mason: but, when she arrived, he had just expired, taking his secret to the grave.
Too many Christians practice the same way of acting towards the good God. They do not care about grace, especially when God uses ordinary means to convert them. For many of them, the time will come when, despite their repentance, they will not be able to return to God.
In a cemetery one read the following inscription: «Here lies Mr. N., dead at the age of 90, after having lived three years.» A traveler, who did not understand the meaning of this singular epitaph, asked the gravedigger, who replied, «This man was a godless man until his eighty-seventh year. He lived the true life, which is the life of grace, only in the last three years. That is why he asked that this epitaph be carved on his tomb.»
Many Christians have the life of the body but no longer possess that of the soul. They lack sanctifying grace, which alone produces and sustains the life of the soul.
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.