The term litany is derived from the Greek word for prayer, entreaty or supplication. The post-conciliar Church tends to disdain litanies as repetitious but faithful Catholics know them for what they are, sweet words of love exchanged between the Beloved and His own. On Holy Thursday evening during the time He instituted His sacrament of love, Our Lord spoke tenderly, pleading with His loved ones (and by them us!) to understand this new law of love.
John, Ch. 13, v. 1. “…Jesus knowing that His hour was come, that He should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end.”
v. 14-15. “If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also.”
v. 34-35. “A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another.”
John, Ch. 14, v.6. “Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.”
v. 14-15. “If you shall ask Me anything in My name, that I will do. If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
v. 21. “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth Me. And he that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father: and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.”
v. 23-24. “Jesus answered, and said to him: If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not, keepeth not My words. And the word which you have heard, is not Mine; but the Father’s who sent Me.
v. 27. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.”
John, Ch. 15, v. 5. “I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.”
v. 7. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.”
v. 9-10. “As the Father hath loved Me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; as I also have kept My Father’s commandments, and do abide in His love.”
v. 12-14. “This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do the things that I command you.”
v. 16. “You have not chosen Me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.”
v. 17. “These things I command you, that you love one another.”
John, Ch. 16, v. 23-24. “…Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto you have not asked anything in My name. Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full.”
v. 27. “For the Father Himself loveth you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God.”
John, Ch. 17, v. 11. “…Holy Father, keep them in Thy name whom Thou has given Me; that they may be one, as We also are.”
v. 21. “That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.”
These words spoken by Our Lord on the night when He instituted His sacred priesthood and the Holy Eucharist, His sacrament of love, are a most important testament to us. They represent His most emphatic teachings. In studying them prayerfully, some points stand out:
1. Above all else, love is emphasized. And what kind of love? Obedient love, “Keep My commandments.”
2. What commandment, in particular? “That you love one another, as I have loved you.”
3. How does Christ define the love He has for us? “Greater love than this, no man has, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He adds, “You are My friends if you do the things that I command you.”
4. How are we, weak as we are, to do this? Repeatedly, He urges us to “Ask”, that is, pray. Above all, pray with love, love of God overflowing into love of neighbor. Don’t have that love? Then, pray for it! We have Our Saviour’s word that, “If you ask Me anything in My name, that I will do.”.. “Ask and you shall receive that your joy may be made full.”
We live in times of great upheaval, turmoil and despair. As our Blessed Mother predicted to Sister Lucia of Fatima, the one true Church is being torn apart by dissent. Even the dissenters cannot agree among themselves. However, St. Catherine of Siena, in her Dialogues recounts that when she spoke to Our Lord about abuses of the clergy and the Church hierarchy, she was told to love the sinners, do penance and pray for them.
The remedy, then as always, is to offer the small sacrifices of our daily lives in prayerful adoration and reparation. Please consider beginning each day with an act of consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. We will not have peace until the reign of Mary’s Immaculate Heart is established. And this cannot happen until we take it upon ourselves to live His Litany of Love as He intended us to do.
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Pray the Rosary and confound satan.
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Viva Cristo Rey!