St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Mary of Cleophas Speaks: Part 2

The soldiers grabbed Jesus and made Him walk to the area where the condemned men were held. There were two men who would also die that day.  They didn't look like they had been beaten or scourged.  Jesus was thrown in with them. We weren't sure that Jesus could get up.
He'd try to lift Himself off the ground and the Romans would kick or whip Him.  When He fell again, they would laugh.  Mary continued to weep and pray. 

The crowds were gathered on the street.  The other two men were naked.  We turned our heads so that we would not deny them their dignity.  The condemned men carried their crosses.  One was very angry and he swore and cursed the Romans.  He was mocked by the Romans for his nakedness.  Jesus was mocked by the soldiers, but His bloodied garments were on His body.  Jesus was so weak.  He could barely walk.  I heard someone say, in a  mocking tone, that they hoped Jesus didn’t die on the way to His cross.  Then they laughed. 

Mary told John that she wanted to get near Jesus.  John maneuvered them through the crowds to a place where the parade of men who were going to die would pass.  John kept looking at Mary.  He said that Jesus did not look like himself.  Mary’s eyes filled with tears, but she was determined.  John took her to her Son.  He had fallen again and was trying to get up.  The soldier were laughing and drunk.  They saw Mary get near her Son.  One of the soldier waved his whip at her, but that kind soldier who helped me, knocked the other soldier down before that whip could touch Mary or Jesus.  The kind soldier was firm and he sent the drunk away from Jesus.  The soldier stepped into the area and everyone knew that they could not get near Jesus or Mary.  Mary embraced her Son.  That touch seemed to give Jesus new energy.  The kind soldier was moving in the crowd.  He grabbed a man from the crowd.  I think my husband knew this man.  The soldier kindly looked at Mary.  John supported her and moved her away from Jesus.  Jesus smiled at John.  He seemed to whisper a blessing to the soldier, but I don’t know what He said to him.  The other man was being forced to carry the cross of Jesus. 

Jesus was so weak.  It was difficult for Simon to help Jesus.  Jesus lost His footing and fell again.  Simon was yelling at the soldiers to leave Jesus alone.  A woman, whose home was nearby, ran through the crowd towards Jesus.  One of the Roman soldiers tried to stop her, but she, like His Mother was determined to get near Jesus.  Her veil had been pulled off by a soldier  That did not deter Veronica.  She grabbed her veil away from him, and knelt before Jesus.  She gently wiped the blood from His face.  Mary wept at her kindness to her Son.  A soldier tried to grab Veronica and throw her on the ground.  The kind soldier grabbed him with great violence and sent him flying against the wall.  I don’t know if he was alive when things calmed down.  He was just laying on the floor and no one was helping him.

It wasn’t far to the skull.  So much of this time was a blur.  Jesus’ garments were torn off His body, and the bleeding began again.  Jesus’ pain was beyond anything I had ever seen.  Where  were His Apostles?  We watched as Jesus was nailed to the cross.  We watched as His cross was raised up.  We watched incredible suffering.  The High Priest pushed Mary of Mandala down as he paraded himself before the crowd.  He yelled at Jesus as he walked by with great disdain.  Mary wept.

The high priest paraded himself in front of the crowds mocking Jesus.  One of the other crucified men reminded him that Jesus was praying for him and forgiving him.  The high priest cursed that man and left to go back to the temple.  The crowd jeered at Jesus. 

The Romans kept the crowds back.  John asked if we could get near the cross of Jesus.  He
 reminded the soldier that this was His mother.  The soldier hung his head in shame and motioned for us to move closer.  As we drew near His cross, we heard the other man cursing Jesus.  The crucified man on his right replied that they were sentenced as they deserved, but that Jesus had done nothing to deserve this punishment.
Jesus moved His head to look at the man.  The man said, “Remember me when you come into Your kingdom.”  Jesus told him that he would be in paradise with Him today.  The man began to cry, not from pain, but from joy. 

Jesus looked down at His Mother.  She was in great pain.  Their sufferings were the same.  John held her up.  She kissed her Son’s feet.  Mary’s face and clothing were covered with His Precious Blood.  Jesus knew that He had to take care of His mother.  He told Mary, “Behold your son.”  Jesus’ voice was not much more than a whisper.  John looked at Jesus.  “Behold your mother.”  John was charged with taking care of her for the rest of her life, which he did with great joy.  Then Jesus looked at His mother.  She knew. Jesus gave her to the rest of us as our Mother, too.

Time dragged on and the men grew weaker.  It was near the third hour when Jesus, in His great agony, called to His Father wondering why He had been abandoned.  The Romans dipped a sponge on a hyssop branch and offered it to Jesus.  He had also said, “I thirst.”  They raised the sponge to His lips.  Jesus refused the drink. 

The clouds were thick and looked fierce.  The winds were beginning to blow and blow hard.  We clung to John as he clung to his mother to stay upright.  Then we heard Jesus say, “It is finished.”

A moment later, Jesus breathed His last and died.  Mary screamed in pain.  His head hung down.  The Romans were trying to get out of the storm.  The lighting was frightening.  They began to break the legs of the other men.  When they came to Jesus, they could see He was dead, so one of the soldiers, for reasons we never understood except that it was God’s Will, shoved a spear into the side of Jesus.  Blood and water gushed out.  The soldier stood there unable to move or speak.  We were also covered with the blood and water.  The soldier was hit hard by another Roman. He seemed to come out of this state he was in.  He knelt down and exclaimed, “This was the Son of God.”

The storm passed.  A man who had been a secret follower of Jesus came with other men to take the body of Jesus down from the cross.  The rain had washed His body.  Mary held Jesus close to her.  He was cold.  She wept quiet tears.  When the men came to wrap His Body, Mary did not want to let go, but John reminded her that Jesus must be buried before the sunset.  Mary nodded and wept.  We followed at a close distance as the men carried His Precious Body in the shroud to the new tomb.  There was only a limited time, and Jesus’ body had not been covered with Aloes, but He was laid in His tomb before sunset. 

The Romans watched as we lay Him to rest.  They had been instructed to put a huge stone in front of the opening,  They would keep watch to make sure that no one would come and steal His body.  We left.  John supported Mary, and Mary and I supported each other.  We were exhausted and hungry.  We reached the room where His Last Supper had been.  The Apostles were there, hiding.  At first, I felt very angry that they had not been with us and with Him.  My anger left me when I saw Mary, His Mother, my sister-in-law, talking kindly to each of the apostles and hugging them. They were weeping, especially Peter. 

We finally slept.  The Apostles were terrified and would not leave the Upper Room.  We prepared the food that was brought to us.  We spent the Sabbath in prayer. 

The day after the Sabbath had not yet dawned.  Mary of Magdala and I left the upper room.  We found some herbs and aloes to embalm the body of Jesus.  Peter had opposed us leaving the upper room.  Mary, His Mother, embraced us, blessed us, and sent us on our way knowing that we would be safe, in spite of the thieves and the robbers and the soldiers. 

No one stopped us.  The sun was breaking it’s light in the east when we approached the tomb.  The soldiers were gone!  The stone had been moved away.  We dropped our packages and hesitatingly walked into the tomb. 

There was a young man in there, not Jesus!  He asked us why we were looking for the living among the dead.  We could not say anything, but  when we saw the burial clothes on the rock bed where He had lain, we knew.  Jesus had said He would rise, and He did!!!!!  He was alive!!!
Mary wanted to look for Him, but I reminded her that we needed to make the men come here to see for themselves because no one would believe us since we were women.  We ran back to the upper room.  His Mother, Mary, just smiled at our news.  The men did not believe us, except for John.  John convinced Peter that he needed to see.  Jesus had appointed Peter as the new leader.  They ran.  We ran closely behind.

The tomb was still empty!  The men saw the burial clothes and they rejoiced!  They ran back to the upper room shouting for joy!  It wasn’t until we returned that I realized that Mary was not with us.    She came soon shouting that she had seen the Master!  He had told her to tell the Apostles to stay where they were, and He would come to them soon!

We ran like little children to His Mother.  She embraced us and we returned to prayer. 

Yes, yes.  Jesus did appear to us and to many others.  He was so beautiful!  He said that we were blessed to have seen Him and known Him.  We all fell to our knees praising Him and the Father.  Jesus told us that He would send the Holy Spirit soon.  We continued to pray. 
We saw Jesus rise to heaven.  His Mother wept tears of joy.  We continued to pray.

I cannot describe with words, they are not enough, what happened when the Holy Spirit came.  He gave so many gifts to us!  The Apostles left the upper room.  They proclaimed the life and death of Jesus!  The conversions were in the thousands that first day.  My nephew, the Son of Mary, was God!  He had lived, died, and rose from the dead for us.  We were no longer afraid.  His church began to grow. 

Yes, I know I’m old, but what I tell you is true.  Jesus was a man, born of a woman, my sister in law.  She was pure and never sinned.  Jesus was both Man and God.  He grew up in a small village and changed the world.  Actually, when you came to Jesus, you would never be the same.  That was impossible.

Yes, I was at His Crucifixion and death.  I was blessed to be with His Mother and with Him.

No, I didn’t doubt.  I didn’t even think.  Jesus had told us that He would suffer and die and rise from the dead, and He did!  He was the Messiah who had been foretold by the ancients.  He is the Son of God.  He’s alive!  He lives, and soon, I will see Him again. 

He is love.  He is truth.  If you follow Him, and do what He says, you’ll be like the thief who died and went to heaven.  Heaven, yes, that’s our true home.  I’ve lived so long, and I’m tired.  I want to go home.  I want to be with Jesus again.  I want to be with Mary again.  So many people have died for their love of Jesus.  Remember that kind soldier?  He was martyred in Rome.  After his death, he came to me.  Jesus had sent him to remind me that I still had work to do on earth.  He had gone straight to heaven.  He died encouraging others to give their lives joyfully.  He was not silenced until they cut his tongue out of his mouth and sent him to the lions.  Even the lions would not attack him.  He was like the prophet Daniel.  Finally, thinking that the lions were tame, they sent a soldier in to stab him to death, which he did.  The lions attacked the soldier who had killed our friend.  He died within seconds.  The lions gathered the body of our friend, licked it clean, then circled  around his body.  They would not let anyone near him until the body of the evil one had been removed.  Yes, it was a miracle.  God can do anything!  Always remember that!

God can do anything!

I’m tired now.  I must sleep.  I feel my time on earth is still long.  Jesus sent that kind soldier to me after he had died to remind me to be firm.  My time would be short for him, but long for the earth.  Find Peter or one of the Apostles.  They can tell you more.  I must rest now.
I will pray for you. 

Mary of Cleophas fell into a deep sleep from which she never woke. Even though she had been dead for a few minutes, a smile formed on her lips.  She was with her nephew.  She loved Him dearly.  

May the joy of the Risen Lord be with you now and forever.

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