Sunday, March 12, 2006

Second Sunday of Lent

"The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great c.1256-1302, Virgin and Abbess of the Order of St. Benedict" by St. Gertrude and a religious of her Monastery. TAN Books, 2002

Chapter 16. For the Second Sunday of Lent. Of the oblation of the merits of Jesus Christ for the sins of the Church.

On the Sunday Reminiscere ("Remember, O Lord, Thy compassions and Thy mercies," - Introit, Second Sunday of lent), St.Gertrude, being favoured with singular marks of the love and tenderness of her Spouse, such as no human being could describe, besought Our Lord to indicate some practice which might be profitable during this week. Our Lord replied: "Bring me two good kids - "Duos haedos optimos". - I mean the souls and the bodies of all mankind."
The Saint understood from this that she was required to make satisfaction for all mankind; and then, impelled by the Holy Ghost, she said the Pater noster five times, in honour of the Five Wounds of Our Lord, in satisfaction for all the sins which men had committed by the five senses; and three times for the sins committed by the three powers of the soul - namely, by reason, temper, and concupiscence ("Rationali, irrascibili, et concupiscibili."), and for all omissions or commissions: offering this prayer with the same intention, and for the same end, as Our Lord had formed it in His sweetest Heart; that is to say, in satisfaction for all the sins of frailty, ignorance, or malice which man had oppossed to His omnipotent power, His inscrutable wisdom and His overflowing and gratuitous goodness.
When Gertrude offered this prayer, Our Lord appeared to take an incredible pleasure therein, and made the Sign of the Cross from her head to her feet; blessing her, and then embracing her, He led her to His Father to receive His benediction also. God the Father also received her with great condescension and magnificence, and blessed her in so ineffable a manner, that He gave her as many benedictions as He would have given to the whole world if it had been prepared to receive this favour and grace.
This prayer may be offered to God during this week to obtain pardon of our sins and omissions, and in satisfaction for the sins of the Church, that we may obtain the effect of so salutary a benediction through the merits of Jesus Christ, Who with such condescension and goodness has deigned to be the Spouse and Head of His Church.