Today begins the Sacred Triduum, the holiest time of the year. In these moments, sometimes I feel so deeply my human weakness and inadequacy and I say like Romans 8: “I do not know how to pray as I ought.” Come Holy Spirit, aid me in my weakness.
As I’ve prayed this Holy Week, I have been assisted in my weakness by poetry depicting Christ’s Sacred Heart and his love for us amidst suffering. If your heart needs assistance in these days, here is the poetry I’ve been praying with.
Rock of Ages
There is an everlasting home
Where contrite souls may hide,
Where death and danger dare not come–
The Savior’s side.
It was a cleft of matchless love
Opened when He had died;
When mercy hailed in world’s above,
That wounded side.
Hail, Rock of Ages, pierced for me,
The grave of all my pride;
Hope, peace and heaven are all in Thee,
Thy sheltering side.
There issued forth a double flood,
The sin-atoning tide,
In streams of water and of blood
From that dear side.
There is only fount of bliss,
In joy and sorrow tried;
No refuge for the heart like this–
A Saviour’s side.
Thither the Church, through all her days
Points as a faithful guide;
And celebrates with ceaseless praise
That spear-pierced side.
There is the golden gate of heaven,
An entrance for the Bride,
Where the sweet crown of life is given
Through Jesus’ side.
– M. Bridges
O Soul of Jesus
O Soul of Jesus, sick to death!
Thy blood and prayer together plead;
My sins have bowed Thee to the ground,
As the storm bows the feeble reed.
Deep waters have come in , O Lord!
All darkly on Thy human soul;
And clouds of supernatural gloom
Around Thee are allowed to roll.
My God! My God! and can it be
That I should sin so lightly now,
And think no more of evil thoughts
Than of the wind that waves the bough?
Shall it be always thus, O Lord?
Wilt Thou not work this hour in me
The grace of Thy passion merited,
Hatred of self and love of Thee?
Oh, by the pains of Thy pure love
Grant me the gift of holy fear;
And give me of Thy bloody sweat
To wash my guilty conscience clear?
Ever, when tempted, make me see,
Beneath the olive’s moon-pierced shade,
My God, alone, outstretched, and bruised,
And bleeding, on the earth He made.
– Fr. Faber
St. Francis Xavier’s Hymn of Love
O God, I love Thee for Thyself
And not that I may heaven gain,
Nor because those who love Thee not,
Must suffer hell’s eternal pain.
Thou, O my Jesus! Thou didst me
Upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails and spear
And manifold disgrace;
And griefs and torments numberless,
And sweat and agony;
E’en death itself–and all for one
Who was Thine enemy.
Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the sake of winning heaven,
Or escaping hell;
Not with the hope of gaining aught, not seeking a reward;
But, as Thyself hast loved me, O ever-loving Lord?
E’en so I love Thee, and will love, and in Thy praise will sing;
Solely because Thou art my God
And my eternal King.
What was in the mind of Jesus, when He walked around Israel in our human flesh?
He was God before He came.
He is God after He ascends.
But what about when He came and walked around on earth?
Did He know everything that was going to happen for Him? Did He know that He was going to suffer and die and rise on the 3rd day?
This huge question has been asked for centuries, since Jesus is a divine Person, with a divine nature and a human nature: Did Jesus possess divine knowledge, since He took on everything it means to be man, except sin. “Therefore, he had to become like his brothers in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people” Hebrews 2:17. So, did He not know the things that God knows?
Did Jesus know what God knows, or only what man can know?
In the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2, Peter gets up and speaks. He quotes from Psalm 16 and talks about David. This is a very profound, and very simple, place to dig up a lot of awesomeness.
Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2: A breathed upon text, inspired by the Holy Spirit, who with the Son and the Father is God.
Psalm 16, verses 8-11: A breathed upon text, inspired by the Holy Spirit, who with the Son and the Father is God.
Jesus: The 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity. Before taking on Flesh and the name Jesus, He existed forever with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and who, after dying and rising, took this Flesh with Him back to the right of the Father, to exist with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever.
OK, let’s break this down more. When using the name Jesus, which He received in time, I am referring to the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity, even though He didn’t have the name Jesus before he took on Flesh. He has always been and will always be the eternal Son of the Father, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
That means that Jesus was with the Father and the Holy Spirit before He took on flesh. That means that Jesus is with the Father and the Holy Spirit while He is in the flesh. That means that Jesus will always be with the Father and the Holy Spirit after ascending to Heaven. That means that there is no time when Jesus is apart from the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Let’s break this down another way, using these Scriptures as an example.
Before Jesus took on Flesh, He breathed with the Father the Holy Spirit upon David, who wrote Psalm 16, verses 8-11. So, Jesus knew this passage as He inspired David to write it. “I keep the LORD always before me; with the LORD at my right, I shall never be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure, for you will not abandon me to Sheol, nor let your faithful servant see the pit. You will show me the path of life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever” Psalm 16: 8-11.
After Jesus ascended to the Father, taking His seat at the right of the Father, He breathed with the Father the Holy Spirit upon Peter, who took again these same words from Psalm 16, and applied them explicitly to the resurrection of Jesus. cf. Acts 2:25-36.
Jesus knew what Psalm 16 was going to be about
when He breathed it through David.
Jesus knew what Psalm 16 was going to be applied to
when He breathed it through Peter.
Jesus has never not been united to
the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus read the Psalms when He was in the Flesh. Jesus read Psalm 16 when He was in the Flesh. Is there any difficulty in thinking that since He had always known what that passage would mean from all eternity and that He would again in Acts refer to what that passage meant for all eternity, that Jesus knew what this passage meant when He read it in the Flesh?
Maybe this is a no-brainer for you. But, for many who have reflected on what it means that Jesus became like His brothers in all things, they have been trying to figure out what Jesus knew in the Flesh. Did He have Divine knowledge or only Human knowledge.
Jesus knew what Psalm 16 was going to mean from all eternity, all the way back, prior to creation.
Jesus knows what Psalm 16 means in reference to His resurrection, after He ascended to the Father, forward for all eternity.
Jesus knew, when He was in the Flesh, what Psalm 16 meant in reference to Him. He inspired David and was going to inspire Peter. He Himself is Inspired.
One passage: Psalm 16: 8-11. A whole lot of realities. Before, during, and after. So much to absorb for us. Thus it is with God and His Word!
“Who is and who was and who is to come” Revelation 1:4.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” Hebrews 13:8.