O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us: and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray; may, by thy mighty aid, be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
A reading from Thomas Ken, Practice of Divine Love
For whom, O Unutterable Goodness, didst thou suffer the extreme bitterness of sorrow, but for the vilest of all thy creatures, sinful man, and for me one of the worst of sinners? and therefore I praise and love thee.
For what end didst thou suffer, O Most Ardent Charity, but to save sinners from all things that were destructive, the curse of the law, the terrors of death, the tyranny of sin, the power of darkness, and torments eternal, to purchase for us all things conducible to our happiness, pardon and grace, consolation and acceptance, and the everlasting joys and glories of the Kingdom of Heaven? and therefore I praise and love thee.
Out of what motive didst thou suffer, O Boundless Benignity, but out of thy own preventing Love, free Mercy, and pure Compassion? and therefore I praise and love thee.
When no other sacrifice could atone thy Father’s anger, O thou the Beloved Son of God, and reconcile divine justice and mercy together, but the Sacrifice of God Incarnate, who as Man was to die, and to suffer in our stead, as God was to merit and make satisfaction for our sins; ‘twas then that thou, O Son of God, didst become Man, the very meanest of men, didst ‘take upon thee the form of a servant’ (Phil 2: 7), and didst on the Cross show us the mystery and the miracle of love, God crucified for sinners, and sinners redeemed by the Blood of God.
O thou propitious Wonder, God Incarnate on the Cross, by what names shall I adore thee? All are too short, too scanty to express thee; Love only, nothing but Love will reach thee, thou art Love, O Jesus, thou art all Love, O Tenderest, O Sweetest, O Purest, O Dearest Love, soften, sweeten, refine, love me into all Love like thee!
By the love of thy Cross, O Jesu, I live, and that I will only glory, that above all things will I study, that before all things will I value; by the love of thy Cross I will take up my cross, daily and follow thee, I will persecute and torment and crucify my sinful affections and lusts, which persecuted, tormented and crucified thee; and if thy Love calls me to it, I will suffer on the Cross for thee, as thou hast done for me.
How illustrious and amiable were thy Graces amidst all thy sufferings O thou afflicted Jesu; I admire, and I love thy profound Humility, unwearied Patience, Lamb-like Meekness, immaculate Innocence, invincible Courage, absolute Resignation, compassionate Love of souls, and perfect Charity to thy enemies. O my Love, I cannot Love thee but I must desire above all things to be like my Beloved; O give me grace to tread in thy steps, and conform me to thy Divine Image, that the more I grow like thee, the more I may love thee, and the more I may be loved by thee.