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Easter Journey with Mary Preparing for the Consecration to Our Lady

April 19–25

All gather around an image of Mary and a candle. Light the candle and make the sign of the cross:

V. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

For those families that will pray together, the opening words are read by the father, the teaching and the intercessions by different children, and the final prayer by the mother.

I. Opening

On the cross, the Lord gave us his Mother and in John, the beloved disciple, we all received her among our dearest things. As a good Mother, she not only distributes God's graces to us but also helps us to understand how Jesus makes our lives great and beautiful. Through Mary, we want to rediscover how Christ risen has touched all the dimensions of our life. We want to prepare ourselves as a family for the consecration of our parish to Her. We ask Mary that she will explain how our sufferings are part of God’s providence and how through them our Lord accompanies us

II. Teaching

Read the reflection by St. John Paul II assigned for the day (below).

III. Intercessions

Say the following intercessions and responses:

V. Mary, you who suffered at the foot of the Cross the passion of your Son, like a sword that pierced your soul, engender Jesus in our suffering so that He may transform it into a path of redemption and fill it with meaning...

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

V. Mary, you who in saying yes to God accepted to suffer for your family, teach us to accept and offer our personal sufferings for the conversion and sanctification of our family so that it may remain faithful to God's plan...

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

V. Mary, at the foot of the cross you accepted John as your son and in him all humanity. Help us to understand that our suffering completes in our body the Redemption of the world worked by Jesus Christ. May it serve for the sanctification of the Church and society...

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

All: Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...

IV. Final Prayer

Together with Mary, Mother of Christ, who stood beneath the Cross, we pause beside all the crosses of contemporary man.

We invoke all the Saints, who down the centuries in a special way shared in the suffering of Christ. We ask them to support us.

We ask all who suffer to support us. We ask especially you who are weak to become a source of strength for the Church and humanity. In the terrible battle between the forces of good and evil, revealed to our eyes by our modern world, may your suffering in union with the Cross of Christ be victorious!

Amen

(Salvifici Doloris, Pope John Paul II, 1984).

Readings from St. John Paul II

From the Encyclical Salvificis Doloris, St. John Paul II

Monday, April 19

At any rate, Christ drew close above all to the world of human suffering through the fact of having taken this suffering upon his very self.” From that moment one, there is not suffering in the world that is not included in Christ’s sufferings. Human suffering has reached its culmination in the Passion of Christ. And at the same time it has entered into a completely new dimension and a new order: it has been linked to love, to that love of which Christ spoke to Nicodemus, to that love which creates good, drawing it out by means of suffering […] The Cross of Christ has become a source from which flow rivers of living water.

Tuesday, April 20

God has confirmed his desire to act especially through suffering, which is man's weakness and emptying of self, and he wishes to make his power known precisely in this weakness and emptying of self. Suffering, in fact, is always a trial—at times a very hard one—to which humanity is subjected. It contains a special call to the virtue which man must exercise on his own part. And this is the virtue of perseverance in bearing whatever disturbs and causes harm. In doing this, the individual unleashes hope, which maintains in him the conviction that suffering will not get the better of him, that it will not deprive him of his dignity as a human being.

Wednesday, April 21

Christ retains in his risen body the marks of the wounds of the Cross in his hands, feet and side. Through the Resurrection, he manifests the victorious power of suffering, and he wishes to imbue with the conviction of this power the hearts of those whom he chose as Apostles and those whom he continually chooses and sends forth.

Thursday, April 22

Down through the centuries and generations it has been seen that in suffering there is concealed a particular power that draws a person interiorly close to Christ, a special grace. result of such a conversion is not only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering but above all that he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as it were, of his entire life and vocation. This discovery is a particular confirmation of the spiritual greatness which in man surpasses the body in a way that is completely beyond compare. When this body is gravely ill, totally incapacitated, and the person is almost incapable of living and acting, all the more do interior maturity and spiritual greatness become evident, constituting a touching lesson to those who are healthy and normal.

Friday, April 23

Suffering is above all a call. It is a vocation. Christ does not explain in the abstract the reasons for suffering, but before all else he says: "Follow me!". Come! Take part through your suffering in this work of saving the world, a salvation achieved through my suffering! Through my Cross. Gradually, as the individual takes up his cross, spiritually uniting himself to the Cross of Christ, the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before him. He does not discover this meaning at his own human level, but at the level of the suffering of Christ. At the same time, however, from this level of Christ the salvific meaning of suffering descends to man's level and becomes, in a sense, the individual's personal response. It is then that man finds in his suffering interior peace and even spiritual joy.

Saturday, April 24

Following the parable of the Gospel, we could say that suffering, which is present under so many different forms in our human world, is also present in order to unleash love in the human person, that unselfish gift of one's "I" on behalf of other people, especially those who suffer. The world of human suffering unceasingly calls for, so to speak, another world: the world of human love; and in a certain sense man owes to suffering that unselfish love which stirs in his heart and actions. The person who is a " neighbour" cannot indifferently pass by the suffering of another: this in the name of fundamental human solidarity, still more in the name of love of neighbour. He must "stop", "sympathize", just like the Samaritan of the Gospel parable. The parable in itself expresses a deeply Christian truth, but one that at the same time is very universally human. It is not without reason that, also in ordinary speech, any activity on behalf of the suffering and needy is called "Good Samaritan" work.

Sunday, April 25

One could certainly extend the list of the forms of suffering that have encountered human sensitivity, compassion and help, or that have failed to do so. The first and second parts of Christ's words about the Final Judgment unambiguously show how essential it is, for the eternal life of every individual, to "stop", as the Good Samaritan did, at the suffering of one's neighbour, to have "compassion" for that suffering, and to give some help. In the messianic programme of Christ, which is at the same time the programme of the Kingdom of God, suffering is present in the world in order to release love, in order to give birth to works of love towards neighbour, in order to transform the whole of human civilization into a "civilization of love". In this love the salvific meaning of suffering is completely accomplished and reaches its definitive dimension. Christ's words about the Final Judgment enable us to understand this in all the simplicity and clarity of the Gospel.