Adoring the Holy Face of Jesus

Today is the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus.  It always falls on Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras.)  I can’t help thinking that this Feast of reparation falls on this day at least partly because of all the sins committed during the Mardi Gras celebrations.  (I grew up in New Orleans, so I know….)

I hope you will visit this link to my post featuring the history of this feast, as well as the Golden Arrow Prayer which Jesus Himself dictated to a Carmelite nun….a prayer to bring delight to His Heart.

But I also wanted to celebrate the Beauty of the Face of Jesus today.  I substituted at Adoration yesterday, and found myself meditating much on His Sacred Humanity, and how irresistible the Face of Jesus must be.

I cannot imagine such love and compassion, such kindness, tenderness, majesty and power, such goodness and glory all shining forth in one Sacred Countenance.  Truly, one could not see Him as He is and live!

I remember the words of St. Faustina:  Jesus, who will paint You as beautiful as You are?

faceofchrist

O Most Beautiful Face
Of my Savior,
I adore Your Divine Beauty,
Hidden from me now,
Yet known somehow
In the depths of my soul.
I sit before You,
Beneath Your Loving Gaze.
I gaze back,
Seeing
Only the Sacred Host,
Yet knowing
That it is into the
Eyes of my Beloved Savior that
I see,
Endlessly.

For an outstanding article on the Holy Face, visit: http://vultus.stblogs.org/index.php/2014/03/look-to-him-and-be-radiant/

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Be with Me…….

 THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN  (Exodus 20:7)

agony

In a way, Lent began for me a day early….on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the Tuesday on which Mardi Gras always falls, but which is also the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus.

And I wrote a post about this Feast, which although dedicated to the Holy Face of Our Lord, is more focused on making reparation for the blasphemies committed against the ineffable Name of God.

And sadly, there are so many.  It occurred to me that reverence for His Name is so important to God that He used the second commandment to forbid any profanation of this Holy Name.  The only prohibition placed before this one was the forbidding of the worship of false gods.

This awareness has remained with me in a deep way since that Tuesday before the start of Lent.  How often do we hear God’s Name used in exclamation….and now famously as an abbreviation in text messages, Facebook and e-mails?  Yet, that is only the beginning, for there are so many who deliberately utter the Holy Name of God and the Precious Name of Jesus in blasphemous ways.

How this must pain the Heart of God, Who loves us so much.  So, in a tiny effort to make reparation, I have tried to say often the Name of God and of Jesus, with tenderness and utmost reverence. And when I do, I like to imagine that it is like a little kiss that I place on the cheek of my Father in Heaven.

As always, I wanted this Lent to be perfect.  And as usual, it has been far from that!  I am on my third round of medication for a virus I cannot shake, and the constantly changing weather has set my head to pounding with severe migraines.

So all those extra holy hours I was planning, together with daily Mass and extended prayer time have not yet come to fruition.

But, I have heard a little voice in my heart, and that little voice says:  Be with Me.

I have heard those words before, many times through the years.  Be with Me.  I even have them written across the top of a page in my bible.

This morning, I read the following from the Hymn at Morning Prayer:

Maker of all things, all Thy creatures praise Thee;
Lo, all things serve Thee through Thy whole creation:
Hear us, Almighty, hear us as we raise Thee
Heart’s adoration.

I read them and tears came to my eyes…because they are not true.  We are not all praising God.  In fact, I cannot remember a time in my life when God has been so little praised and so very much mocked and blasphemed.

If you have not heard about the most recent Saturday Night Live skit, you may want to Google it.  Suffice it to say that they made a mockery out of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Son of God.  I caught snippets of it on a news show, and most heart breaking of all was the laughter of the audience which could be clearly heard.

Be with Me.

Has Our Lord ever been lonelier?  Is this not the Agony all over again?

I find myself wondering how much longer God will put up with us.  Are we not crucifying Him again?

And so…I cannot keep many promises this Lent.  But I will try to keep these two:  to recall often His Most Holy and Blessed Name with all the praise I can stir in my heart.

And, to not leave Him alone….the One Who pleads:  Be with Me.

Yes, my Jesus, I will be with You.  Call to me, for I am weak and I will forget.  Remind me that nothing I have to do is more important than taking a few moments to comfort You.  Let me spend my Lent….and my life, just being with You in the silence of my poor heart.

(To register a protest against the Saturday Night Live “skit” you can contact them at this address:  For SNL, contact Jennifer Salke: jennifer.salke@nbcuni.com  — contact info provided by The Catholic League)

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Jesus entrusted to Sister Mary of St. Peter an act of praise and reparation which He called The Golden Arrow, saying that those who would recite this prayer would pierce His Heart delightfully, and heal those other wounds inflicted on Him by the malice of sinners. It is recommended to be prayed on the 33 beads of the Holy Face Chaplet (or rosary beads may be used.)

MAY THE MOST HOLY, MOST SACRED, MOST ADORABLE, MOST INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND UNUTTERABLE NAME OF GOD BE ALWAYS PRAISED, BLESSED, LOVED, ADORED AND GLORIFIED, IN HEAVEN, ON EARTH, AND UNDER THE EARTH, BY ALL THE CREATURES OF GOD, AND BY THE SACRED HEART OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR. AMEN.

May I behold Your Glorious Face in Heaven……

Tuesday is the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus.  It always falls on Shrove Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  (Appropriate, considering the grevious sins committed during Mardi Gras.)

Jesus appeared to a Carmelite nun, Sister Mary of St. Peter, in Tours, France during the 1840’s, and requested devotion to His Holy Face in order to make reparation for the blasphemies and outrages committed by unbelievers, and for the profanation of Sundays by Christians.

“Oh, you who are My friends, and My faithful children, look and see if there be any sorrow like mine. Everywhere My enemies despise and insult both my Eternal Father and My Church, the cherished Spouse of My Heart. Will no one rise up to console Me by defending the glory of My Father, and the honor of My Spouse, which has been so cruelly attacked? I can no longer remain in the midst of a people that will continue to be so heedless and so ungrateful. Look at the torrents of tears that stream from My eyes! Can I find no one to wipe away these tears by making reparation to My Father, and imploring forgiveness for the guilty?”

Jesus entrusted to Sister Mary of St. Peter an act of praise and reparation which He called The Golden Arrow, saying that those who would recite this prayer would pierce His Heart delightfully, and heal those other wounds inflicted on Him by the malice of sinners. It is recommended to be prayed on the 33 beads of the Holy Face Chaplet (or rosary beads may be used.)

MAY THE MOST HOLY, MOST SACRED, MOST ADORABLE, MOST INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND UNUTTERABLE NAME OF GOD BE ALWAYS PRAISED, BLESSED, LOVED, ADORED AND GLORIFIED, IN HEAVEN, ON EARTH, AND UNDER THE EARTH, BY ALL THE CREATURES OF GOD, AND BY THE SACRED HEART OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR. AMEN.

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Perhaps today, as we prepare for the beginning of Lent, we can console the Heart of Jesus by meditating on His Holy Face, and the sufferings endured by that Divine Countenance….the blows, the spittle, the piercing of thorns, and even the plucking of His beard from His cheeks…as the Scripture tells us.

Oh what cruelties were endured by our Gentle Jesus, who could have annihilated His torturers in an instant, but instead submitted with perfect humility and obedience for love of you….and me.

Let us remember His falls beneath the heavy Cross, which caused His Holy Face to be pressed into dirt and rocks, no doubt causing the agony of additional cuts and bruises.

If we contemplate His Suffering Face, His Wounded and Bleeding Face, His Beaten and Tortured Face here in our exile, surely the day will come when He will reveal to us that Most Beautiful and Glorious Face which will be our Beatitude for all eternity.

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O Jesus, Whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy Divine Image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to behold Thy Glorious Face in Heaven.  (St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face)