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A famous novelist, whose libertine pen had scandalized many readers, was visiting a prison and curiously examining its details in order to draw the material for some striking description. He was recognized in a room by two young convicts whom his books had corrupted. When they saw him, they stood up, greeted him and, taking him by the hand, showed him a place in the middle of them.
“Thank you, gentlemen, I have no time to sit down.
– Ah, so you are not coming to stay with us?
– What do you mean?
– Don’t you have to share our shackles?
– No, certainly not; what have I done to deserve to be your companion?
– You deserve it more than we do, for we are here only for having practiced your lessons, and for having made two or three people practice them; but you, have you not corrupted thousands of young people? and does not the contagion that you have spread, make new victims every day?
– I never intended to harm anyone, replied the writer, blushing.
– And yet you have caused more crimes to be committed than can be blamed on all those who are in this prison.
– Honest people do not think like you, young insolents, since they have put shackles on your feet, while they shower me with honors.
– Men are often unjust,” cried one of the unfortunate galley slaves in the highest tone of voice; “but in the court of God you will be treated more rigorously than we are, O illustrious corrupter! Then your torture will begin. We will be there to enjoy it. Goodbye.”
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.