Twentieth Hour: From 12 to 1 PM
First Hour of Agony on the Cross. The First Word of Jesus.
Preparation before each hour
O my Lord Jesus Christ, prostrate in Your Divine Presence, I implore Your Most Loving Heart to admit me to the sorrowful meditation of the 24 hours in which for Love of us You wanted to suffer so much, in Your Adorable Body and in Your Most Holy Soul, unto death on the Cross. O please, give me help, grace, love, deep compassion and understanding of Your sufferings, as I now meditate the ____Hour.
And for those which I cannot meditate, I offer You my will to meditate on them, and I willingly intend to meditate on them in all the hours in which I have to apply myself to my duties, or to sleep.
Accept, O Merciful Lord, my loving intention, and let it be beneficial for me and for all, as if I effectively and in a saintly way accomplished what I wish to practice.
Meanwhile, I give You thanks, O my Jesus, for calling me to union with You by means of prayer. And to please You more, I take Your Thoughts, Your Tongue, Your Heart, and with this I intend to pray, fusing all of myself in Your Will and in Your Love; and stretching out my arms to hug You, I place my head on Your Heart, and I begin.
Twentieth Hour: From 12 to 1 PM
First Hour of Agony on the Cross. The First Word of Jesus.
My Crucified Good, I see You on the Cross, as on the Throne of Your Triumph, in the act of conquering everything and all hearts, and of drawing them so closely to You, that all may feel Your Superhuman Power. Horrified at such a great crime, nature prostrates itself before You, and waits in silence for a Word from You, to pay You honor and let Your Dominion be recognized. The sun, crying, withdraws its light, unable to sustain Your sight, too sorrowful. Hell is terrified and waits in silence. Everything is silence. Your Pierced Mama, Your faithful ones, are all mute; and petrified at the sight of Your torn and dislocated Humanity—alas, too painful, they are silently waiting for a Word from You. Your very Humanity is silent, lying in a sea of pains, among the harrowing spasms of agony; so much so that they fear You are going to die at each breath!
What more? Even the perfidious Jews and the ruthless executioners who, up to a little while ago, were offending You, mocking You, calling You impostor, criminal; even the thieves who were cursing You—everyone is silent, mute. Remorse invades them, and if they try to launch an insult against You, it dies on their lips.
But as I penetrate into Your Interior, I see that Love overflows; it suffocates You and You cannot contain it. And forced by Your Love that torments You more than the pains themselves, with strong and moving voice, You speak as the God You are; You raise Your dying eyes to Heaven, and exclaim, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing!” And, again, You close Yourself in silence, immersed in unheard-of pains.
Crucified Jesus, how can so much Love be possible? Ah, after so many pains and insults, Your first Word is of Forgiveness; and You excuse us before the Father for so many sins! Ah, You make this Word descend into each heart after sin, and You are the first to offer Forgiveness. But how many reject it and do not accept it; Your Love is then taken by follies, because You anxiously desire to give Your Forgiveness and the Kiss of Peace to all!
At this Word, hell trembles and recognizes You as God; nature and everyone remain astonished; they recognize Your Divinity, Your Inextinguishable Love, and silently wait to see where it reaches. And not only Your Voice, but also Your Blood and Your Wounds, cry out to every heart after sin, “Come into My arms, for I Forgive you, and the seal of Forgiveness is the price of My Blood.” O my Lovable Jesus, repeat this Word again to all the sinners that are in the world. Beseech Mercy for all; apply the Infinite Merits of Your Most Precious Blood for all. O Good Jesus, continue to placate Divine Justice for all, and concede Your Grace to those who, finding themselves in the act of having to forgive, do not feel the strength to do it.
My Jesus, Adored Crucified, in these three hours of most bitter agony, You want to give Fulfillment to everything; and while, silent, You remain on this Cross, I see that in Your Interior You want to satisfy the Father in everything. You Thank Him for all, You satisfy Him for all, You beseech Forgiveness for all, and for all You impetrate the Grace that they may never again offend You. In order to impetrate this from the Father You go through all of Your Life, from the first instant of Your Conception, up to Your last Breath. My Jesus, Endless Love, let me go through all Your Life together with You, with the Inconsolable Mama, with Saint John, and with the pious women.
Let us go through the Life and the pains of Jesus
My Sweet Jesus, I thank You for the many thorns that pierced Your Adorable head, for the drops of Blood shed by It, for the blows You received on It, and for the hair they tore from You. I thank You for all the Good You have done and impetrated for all, for the enlightenments and the good inspirations You have given us, and for all the times You have Forgiven all of our sins of thought, of pride, of conceit and of self-esteem.
I ask Your Forgiveness in the name of all, O my Jesus, for all the times we have crowned You with thorns; for all the drops of Blood we made You shed from Your Most Sacred Head; for all the times we have not corresponded to Your Inspirations. For the sake of all these pains suffered by You, I pray You, O Jesus, to impetrate for us the Grace to never again commit sins of thought. I also intend to offer You everything You suffered in Your Most Holy Head, in order to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You, if they had they made good use of their intelligence.
O my Jesus, I adore Your Most Holy Eyes, and I thank You for all the Tears and the Blood they have shed, for the cruel pricks of the thorns, for the insults, the derisions and the contempts You bore during all of Your Passion. I ask Your Forgiveness for all those who use their sight to offend You and insult You, praying You, for the sake of the pains suffered in Your most sacred eyes, to give us the Grace that no one may ever again offend You with evil gazes. I also intend to offer You all that You Yourself suffered in Your most holy eyes, to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You if their gazes were fixed only on Heaven, on the Divinity and on You, O my Jesus.
I adore Your most holy ears; I thank You for all that You suffered while those wicked people on Calvary deafened them with shouts and mockeries. I ask Your Forgiveness in the name of all for all the evil discourses which are listened to, and I pray that the ears of all men may be opened to the Eternal Truths, to the Voices of Grace, and that no one may offend You, ever again, with the sense of hearing. I also intend to offer You all that You suffered in Your most holy hearing, to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You, had they made holy use of this organ.
O my Jesus, I adore and I kiss Your Most Holy Face, and I thank You for all that You suffered from the spit, the slaps and the mockeries received, and for all the times You allowed Yourself to be trampled by Your enemies. I ask Your Forgiveness in the name of all, for all the times we have dared to offend You, praying You, for the sake of these slaps and of this spit, to let Your Divinity be recognized, praised and glorified by all. Even more, O my Jesus, I myself intend to go throughout the whole world, from the east to the west, from the south to the north, to unite all the voices of the creatures and change them into as many acts of praise, of love and of adoration. Also, O my Jesus, I intend to bring You all the hearts of the creatures, so that You may cast Light, Truth, Love and Compassion for Your Divine Person into all. And as You Forgive all, I pray You not to allow anyone to offend You, ever again; and if possible, even at the cost of my blood. Finally, I intend to offer You everything You suffered in Your Most Holy Face, to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You, if no one had dared to offend You.
I adore Your Most Holy Mouth, and I thank You for Your first wails, for the milk You suckled, for all the Words You said, for the ardent kisses You gave to Your Most Holy Mother, for the food You took, for the bitterness of the gall and of the ardent thirst You suffered on the Cross, for the Prayers You raised to the Father, and I ask Your Forgiveness for all the gossip and the evil and mundane discourses made by the creatures, and for all the blasphemies they utter. I intend to offer Your Holy Discourses in reparation for their evil discourses; the mortification of Your taste to repair for their gluttonies, and for all the offenses they have given You with an evil use of their tongue. I intend to offer You everything You suffered in Your most holy mouth, to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You, if none of them had dared to offend You with the sense of taste and with the abuse of their tongue.
O Jesus, I thank You for everything, and in the name of all, I raise to You a hymn of eternal and infinite thanksgiving. O my Jesus, I intend to offer You everything You have suffered in Your Most Holy Person, to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You, had they conformed their lives to Yours.
I thank You, O Jesus, for everything You have suffered in Your most holy shoulders, for all the blows You have received, for all the Wounds You have allowed them to open on Your Most Sacred Body, and for all the drops of Blood You have shed. I ask Your Forgiveness in the name of all, for all the times that, for love of comforts, they have offended You with illicit and evil pleasures. I offer You Your painful scourging to repair for all the sins committed with all the senses, for love for one’s own tastes, for sensible pleasures, for one’s own self, for all natural satisfactions, and I also intend to offer You all that You have suffered in Your shoulders, to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You, if they had tried to please You alone in everything, and to find shelter under the shadow of Your Divine Protection.
My Jesus, I kiss Your left Foot; I thank You for all the steps You took during Your Mortal Life, and for all the times You tired Your poor limbs, going in search of souls to lead to Your Heart. Therefore, O my Jesus, I offer You all of my actions, steps and movements, with the intention of giving You reparation for everything and for everyone. I ask Your Forgiveness for those who do not operate with righteous intention; I unite my actions to Yours in order to Divinize them, and I offer them united to all the Works You did with Your Most Holy Humanity, to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You, had they operated in a saintly way and with upright purposes.
O my Jesus, I kiss Your right Foot, and I thank You for all You have suffered and do suffer for me, especially in this hour, in which You are hanging on the Cross. I thank You for the excruciating crafting that the nails are making in Your Wounds, which rip open more and more at the weight of Your Most Sacred Body. I ask Your Forgiveness for all the rebellions and disobediences committed by the creatures, offering You the pains of Your Most Holy Feet in reparation for these offenses, to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You, had they been submitted to You in everything.
O my Jesus, I kiss Your Most Holy left Hand; I thank You for all that You have suffered for me, for all the times You have placated the Divine Justice, satisfying for everything! I kiss Your right Hand, and I thank You for all the Good You have done, and You do, for all. In a special way, I thank You for the Works of Creation, of Redemption and of Sanctification. I ask Your Forgiveness in the name of all, for all the times we have been ungrateful for Your Benefits, for our many works done without upright intention. In reparation for all these offenses, I intend to give You all the Perfection and Sanctity of Your Works, to give You all the glory that the creatures would have given You, had they corresponded to all of these benefits.
O my Jesus, I kiss Your Most Sacred Heart, and I thank You for all You have suffered, desired and yearned for, for Love of all and for each one in particular. I ask Your Forgiveness for the many evil desires, and for the affections and tendencies which are not good—Forgiveness, O Jesus, for many who place Your Love after the love of creatures. And to give You all the glory that these have denied You, I offer You everything that Your Most Adorable Heart has done and continues to do.
Thanksgiving after each hour
My Lovable Jesus, You have called me in this hour of Your Passion to keep You company, and I have come. I seemed to hear You Praying, Repairing and suffering, in anguish and sorrow, pleading for the salvation of souls in the most touching and eloquent Voices.
I tried to follow You in everything; and now, having to leave You for my usual occupations, I feel the duty to say to You, “Thank You,” and, “I bless You.”
Yes, O Jesus, I repeat to You, “Thank You,” thousands and thousands of times, and, “I bless You,” for all that You have done and suffered for me and for all. I thank You and I bless You for every drop of Blood You shed, for every Breath, for every Heartbeat, for every Step, Word, Glance, bitterness and offense which You endured. In everything, O my Jesus, I intend to seal You with a “Thank You” and an “I bless You.”
Please, O Jesus, let my whole being send You a continuous flow of thanks and blessings, so as to draw upon me and upon everyone the flow of Your Blessings and Thanks. O please, O Jesus, press me to Your Heart, and with Your Most Holy Hands seal every particle of my being with Your “I Bless you,” so that nothing other than a continuous hymn to You may come from me.
Reflections and Practices
Jesus, raised on the Cross, remains suspended without touching the earth. And we—do we try to live detached from the world, from creatures, and from everything that tastes of earth? Everything must concur to form the cross on which we must lay ourselves, and remain suspended like Jesus, far away from all that is earth, so that creatures may not be attached to us.
Suffering Jesus has no other bed than the Cross, no other relief than Wounds and insults. Does our love for Jesus reach the extent of finding rest in suffering? Let us enclose everything we do—prayers, sufferings and other things—in those Wounds. Let us dip everything in the Blood of Jesus, and we will find comfort nowhere but in His pains. Therefore, the Wounds of Jesus will be ours; His Blood will work continuously in us in order to cleanse us and embellish us; in this way we will draw all graces for ourselves and for the salvation of souls. With the deposit of the Blood of Jesus in our heart, if we commit any error, we will pray Jesus not to keep us dirty in His Presence, but to wash us with His Blood, and keep us always together with Him. If we feel weak, we will pray Jesus to give a sip of His Blood to our soul, so as to give us strength. Sweet Jesus Prays for His executioners; even more, He excuses them. Do we make the Prayer of Jesus our own in order to continuously excuse sinners before the Father, and to plead mercy for them, even for those who may have offended us?
While we pray, work or walk, let us also not forget the poor souls who are about to give their last breath. Let us bring the Prayers and Kisses of Jesus to their aid and comfort, so that His Most Precious Blood may purify them, and let them take flight toward Heaven.
All: My Jesus, from Your Wounds and from Your Blood, I want to draw Strength in order to repeat Your own Life in me. In this way, I will be able to plead for all, the Good that You Yourself did.