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FRIDAY EVENING.

HAIL, sweet Jesus! Praise, and honour, and glory, be to Thee, O Christ, who didst hang suspended for three hours upon the shameful cross with Thy feet and hands pierced through: and with a great loss of Thy precious blood, didst, of Thine own free will, undergo an unspeakable agony in all Thy sacred limbs. Lift up, I beseech Thee, and fasten to the wood of Thy cross my poor soul now lying in the dust; cleanse it from the dregs of vicious affections, and inflame it with earnest longings after Thee, and with the love of its heavenly country. O saving blood! O life-giving blood! O mayest Thou, O my Lord, mayest Thou thoroughly wash, and cleanse, and heal me, by this Thy precious blood. Mayest Thou offer it to Thy Father as a full satisfaction for all my sins! Grant that my inward soul may receive and lick up the life-giving 55drops of this same blessed blood, and may truly taste how sweet is Thy Spirit.

Hail, sweet Jesus! Praise, and honour, and glory be to Thee, O Christ, who wert hung upon the cross between two wicked robbers and wert numbered with the transgressors, that by thine unspeakable humility and patience Thou mightest correct our impatient pride, and at the same time expiate it. Raise up, I beseech Thee, my soul to heaven, that looking down from thence on all transitory things, I may admire nothing save Thee, my God, who wert crucified for me, may love Thee alone, may pant after Thee, think of Thee, speak of Thee, dream of Thee, relish nought but Thee, rejoice in nought save Thee, that thus I may be unable to find any consolation save in Thee alone.

Hail, sweet Jesus! Praise, and honour, and glory be to Thee, O Christ, who wert so good even to the worst of men, that Thou didst beseech Thy Father even for those who were crucifying Thee, and didst say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Give me, I beseech, the grace of true gentleness and forbearance, so that according both to Thy command 56and example I may love my enemies, do good to those that hate me, and may pour forth before Thee humble prayers for those that hurt and persecute me, and May have compassion on them and heartily pardon them.

Hail, sweet Jesus! Praise, and honour, and glory be to Thee, O Christ, who didst will that a title written in a threefold tongue should be fastened to Thy cross, a trophy as it were of victory, so that we, when we look up to it, might vigorously war against our invisible enemies. Shield me by the protection of this title from all the snares and deceits of the devil. Teach me by this title to overcome all temptations, to subdue all vices, that having mastered them by the help of Thy grace, I may be free to praise and glorify Thee for ever and ever.

Hail, sweet Jesus! Praise, and honour, and glory be to Thee, O Christ, for whose garments the soldiers did cast lots, but did not by Thine appointment, rend Thy coat which was without seam, and a type of the unity of the Catholic Church. May the Spirit of peace, I beseech Thee, descend into my heart, and so dwell within it and take 57possession of it, that I may never be the cause of the disturbing or severing of brotherly love, but may always strive to heal divisions, and to promote peace amongst those that are at variance.

Hail, sweet Jesus! Praise, and honour, and glory be to Thee, O Christ, whom the Jews did wantonly insult, pouring forth from their impious mouths divers blasphemies, even at the very moment whilst Thou wert enduring unspeakable torments, and an indescribable anguish upon the Altar of the Cross. Grant, O Lord, that mindful of Thy humility, patience, and gentleness, I may patiently endure pain, reproach, persecution, infamy, and scorn, and may continue with Thee upon the cross even unto the end. May no assaults of temptation, no blasts of adversity, nor gathering of contempt, shake me from my holy purpose: may neither death nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, nor any other creature separate me from the love of Thee.

Hail, sweet Jesus! Praise, and honour, and glory be to Thee, O Christ, who didst bear with one thief uttering reproaches against Thee, but didst most graciously promise the glory of Paradise to the other 58when he humbly acknowledged his wickedness and confessed with pious faith that Thou wert God and King. Look upon me, I beseech Thee, with those eyes of mercy which Thou didst turn upon the thief repenting for his sins. O may I, by the help of Thy grace, lead such an innocent life, and so faithfully serve, and purely love Thee, that at the close of my life, I may be found meet to hear from Thee, my most holy King, that longed-for voice, “To-day shalt Thou be with me in Paradise.” Amen.

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