A Call To Holiness




"Jesus was led away, and carrying the Cross by Himself, went out to what is called the Place of the Skull. There they crucified Him....Near the Cross of Jesus there stood His Mother....Seeing His Mother there with the disciple whom He loved, Jesus said to His Mother, "Woman, there is your son." In turn, He said to the disciple, "There is your Mother"....(John 19:l7,l8, 25-27)

Wonder of wonders! Jesus, Whose Blood had been poured out to the last drop, for a world that rejected Him and crucified Him, left us one last gift. With a Love that surpasses human understanding, Jesus bequeathed to the world the Treasure of all Treasures - His Mother. From that moment on, we have the right and the privilege of calling Mary, our Mother.

Our Mother now beckons us from the portals of Heaven to join Her as She retraces the journey on that long, dusty road to Calvary. She invites us to experience Her Son's Passion through the Heart of a Mother.

"Children of My Heart, men and women, young and old, Come, gather around your Mother, as we retrace together the steps along the Path of your Salvation. I desire that all My children come to know of the magnitude of His Love. For to know Jesus in His Passion, is to Love Him.

Prayer Response:

Mother, take us by the hand to the Heart of your Son as we walk this journey with you. Be with us as we lay claim to the Mercy of God won for us by the Death of Jesus. As we walk these steps, grant us the grace to ache with you and the grace to embrace Him, like you, with all our hearts. Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, listen as the deafening silence is pierced by the gavel of condemnation as it drops, sentencing Jesus to die the accursed death of a criminal. Hear His accusers shout, "Crucify Him!" Echoing in My Heart, Crucify Him! Crucify Him! The Heart of the Mother who bore Him, who nursed Him. This Heart, too, My children, was sentenced to suffer with Him.

"My Son, My God, You are Pure Love! The world has found condemnation in Perfect Love! My Son, what crime have You committed? ... except to Love beyond human understanding.

Prayer Response:

O, Mary, how little we understand about Love! Give us the grace to see how often we kill the good in other people when we judge. Help us to control our speech for love of Jesus - in reparation for the cruel and unjust sentence passed on Him. Give us light to see the Image of God in all people. My condemned Jesus, forgive me. It was I who deserved the sentence you received. Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

"My children, a Cross was placed upon His weary and bleeding body. Heavily laden by its' weight upon His shoulders, Jesus took the first step of the journey of a million miles. You see, He still carries His cross through each one of you.

At that moment, the oppressive weight of hatred descended upon My Motherly Heart. Weighted down by its' force and broken-hearted, I followed close behind My Son. Together we ascended the Mountain of Redemption heavily laden by the sins of the whole world.

My Son, you have been made to become the accursed so that you could carry the curse of the whole world upon your Sacred shoulders. Be it done, My Accursed Son, according to God's Holy Will."

Prayer Response:

O, Mary, it was my sins that your Son carried upon His shoulders and you carried upon your Heart. I deserve to carry their weight. Yet it was He who bore the cross that I deserve - expecting only that I accept just a sliver of the cross I deserve. Help me to bear the sliver of my cross without complaint - following Him, the Innocent Lamb, who carried the weight of the whole world without a whisper of complaint. Help me, Mother, to relieve the oppressive weight of sin that you carry today within your Immaculate Heart, by My prayers and sacrifices. Forgive Me, Jesus, for the weight of my sins that crushed your blessed shoulders! Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because, by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

"My children, weariness and fatigue overcomes Him. With the weight of His Cross pressing upon Him, He stumbles and falls to the ground. As I stood helplessly by, I recalled the days of His childhood. As Jesus began to take His first steps, I was always close behind, guiding Him, holding Him up lest He loose His balance and begin to fall. Never would I allow My Baby, My Son, My Lord to fall to the ground! With My arms outstretched, I always caught Him in an all-encompassing embrace.

O, how My heart has fallen from the joy of those memories as I now must watch helplessly with agonizing sorrow as He falls to the ground.

My wearied Son, by God's design, I was able to bear you up as you took your first steps. I was granted the sublime privilege of shielding you, for a time, in My protective arms. Now, also by God's design, I must stand helpless as you take your last faltering steps, stumbling to the ground. O My Son, so wearied, I can no longer run to you. I can no longer hold you up. I can no longer wipe your bloody and bruised hands and knees! I must allow you to fall to the ground devoid of earthly consolation. O, My sorrowful Son, arise - the power of My Motherly Love must now bear you up.

Prayer Response:

O, Mary, how hard it is for us when we, too, must stand helplessly by as our children stumble and fall. Give us the grace, O Sorrowful Mother, to bear our children up with our Love during those times when they wander far from us. Give us the grace to sustain one another and lift one another up as we watch so many fall from Grace under the weight of sin. Jesus, forgive us, for we have fallen far from God's grace. May the power of your Love and that of our Mother empower us to begin again. Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

"My children, I am bent in sorrow as I meet My Son, face to face. My Son, the Man of Sorrows! Our sorrowful hearts were plunged in the furnace of Divine Love. A moment of inexplicable sorrow! Our eyes held in a lingering kiss of agony. Though not a word escaped our lips, our agonies merged and we shared an intimate farewell.

My pitiable Son, for a time you were mine! I held you to my breast. I cradled you in My arms. I taught you in the manner of the God of My ancestors. I enfolded My Heart around you. Now I behold you, My Lamb approaching the altar of sacrifice, in unspeakable grief. My heart is as though it had been wrenched from my chest, like the earth loosened from its orbit, lay exposed - the full ferocity of grief laid bare! My Jesus, though you are flesh of my flesh, you are not mine. You are not of this world. I release you to the Father and His work of Redemption. Goodbye, My Son, until we meet in the Kingdom of our Father. With a nod of His Sacred Head and with the piercing love in His eyes, He wrote His final goodbye upon My Heart."

Prayer Response:

O, Mary, how hard it is to say goodbye! Give us the grace to let go of what does not belong to us - as you let Jesus go to do the Fathers' Will. Help us to realize, Dear Mother, the agony of that moment of separation as you said goodbye to Jesus, surrendering Him to an unspeakable death. Forgive us, Jesus, when we fail to let go of earthly attachments to follow in your footsteps. Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because, by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, as My Son's energy wanes, the soldiers fear that they will not be able to bring to completion their brutal designs on Jesus. So that these traitors and destroyers of Love may complete their violent plot against Him, they commission an unwilling Simon to help Jesus carry His Cross. My Motherly Heart cried out in anguish upon the sight of His frail body: Help Him! Oh, God, Help Him! My afflicted Son, how weak I am at the sight of you! How I wish the arms of Simon could be Mine! The consolation I would feel if I could have rushed to your help! But no, My Son, it must be this way. In My Heart, I share your burden. By God's Infinite Wisdom, I, too, must drink of the bitter cup of desolation, as I stand helpless in the face of your oppression. Thank you Simon - for great is the privilege given you!

Prayer Response:

O, Sorrowful Mother, had I been there would I, like you, have wanted to rush to Jesus' aid. Or, would I, like Simon, shrink from such a shameful job? How many times I fail to help lighten anthers' burden! Many times, like Simon, I go unwillingly to aid my brothers and sisters. Mary, give me your heart - a heart that considers helping someone to carry their cross, all gain and consolation. O oppressed Jesus, forgive Me when I run and hide from My responsibility to be My brothers' keeper. Amen.



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, among the crowd, a woman moved by courage and great compassion, forced herself through the crowd. Removing her veil, she mercifully wiped the bloody and sweaty Face of My Son. The compassionate heart of Veronica! How her gesture of mercy moved the Heart of My Son! O, My abandoned Son, how long you must wait for your beloved to approach you in courage and with such love! For those who come to you, your generosity is beyond measure. In gratitude for the comfort of Veronica, you returned her favor with the gift of your Holy Face upon her veil - as if to say, "Imprint this Face upon your heart, MY daughter. This day you have beheld the Image of your Salvation."

Prayer Response:

Sorrowful Mother of the Holy Face, help us to recognize His imprint in the suffering faces of those around us. How often we fail to recognize His Sacred Imprint in the tears we wipe from the faces of our children. We do not recognize His Face in those filled with tensions, hunger and loneliness. Give us the grace, Dear Mother, to open our eyes and see Jesus face all around us. O My Jesus, imprint your Holy Face upon my heart. Forgive me, Lord, for in my blindness, I fail to see your Image everywhere. Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because, by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, what a sight to behold! See Our Jesus with His Head bent low, his knees trembling, his flesh torn anew and His blood dripping unto the ground. He began to waver under the heavy wood upon His shoulders. Instinctively, My arms reach out for Him. Once again, I long to catch Him and gather Him into My Motherly arms. But no, My aching Heart, that day has passed away. Today, He was to bathe in a pool of His Blood as He fell to the ground a second time. My Jesus, My Son - I love you - as you kneel in the pool of your blood flowing anew because of your fall. I, too, am bowed low in sorrow. As you kneel in your Blood, My Son, the blood and tears of a Mothers' broken heart, mingle with your own. My broken Son, may the power of My Love lift you up a second time.

Prayer Response:

Mary, give us the grace to identify with your broken, wearied Son when we fall under the weight of our limitations and burdens. When we are crushed in spirit, may the power of your love lift us up again. Grant us patience in our weakness and give us strength to begin again. Forgive us, Jesus, it was the weight of our sins that forced you to the ground in agony a second time. Amen.



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, how pitiable was the sight of 'Our Man of Sorrows'! The crowd of women following in procession gave way to their pent up emotions as they beheld the distorted Face of the Lamb of God - dripping with tears and blood. Loud moans and cries of horror escaped from the throngs. Upon hearing their distress, in a low voice filled with emotion, Jesus replied: "Weep not for Me, but for yourselves, your children, your children's children... I knew in My heart what He meant. They did not yet understand that the wages for sin is death. My heart wept for those blind children who may never recognize the Lamb of God who bore the weight of their sins - those children who would die a spiritual death at the mercy of Satan's cruel entreaties. My heart wept for those children and It weeps today, My Beloved, for those who have not recognized the day of their visitation, who do not yet recognize the Lamb of God who atoned for their sins! Yes, My tear-stained Son, I weep for those, My children, who are caught in Satan's web of destruction.

Prayer Response:

Mary, grant us the grace to pray and make sacrifice for all those children who are lost in darkness and sin. O Mother, we want to dry your tears of pain with our prayers, our Rosaries. We want to be your beacons who light the way back to your Son, the Lamb of God and the blood-stained path of our Redemption. O Jesus, we weep for our brothers and sisters lost in sin. Entrust to us the seeds with which we may feed your sheep. Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, the full weight of sin now pressing upon His exhausted frame forced His weakened and tormented Body to crumble to the ground. His bruised and Holy Face pressed against the ground, His energy totally spent. O, My Crushed Son, My Heart has been ground like wheat in the mill of Satan's wrath, as I behold you, My Lord and My God, groveling upon the earth - lower than an animal! To what a degrading state have their sins reduced you, My Son.

Prayer Response:

O, Mary, what unbridled pain you felt as you witnessed your precious Son, God's only Son, crushed under the weight of the sins of the whole world. Mother, help us to ease your pain by our prayers as you must witness all that is virtuous and sacred being degraded by sin, reducing our world to its' lowest ebb.

O, My Crushed Jesus, forgive me, for it was the weight of my sins that left you weak and trembling pressing you to the ground in pain. Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My Children, the hill of sacrifice has been mounted, the stage set for the enactment of the cruelest torture known to men. There stood My Son, alone and abandoned, except for the clothes on His back. There He stood as One Solitary Man of Sorrows! Divine Providence could spare Him nothing - not even the clothes on His back! The soldiers, with the hatred of Satan seething within them, ripped His cloak from His skin with renewed vengeance causing new pain and fresh blood to flow in streams. My Abandoned Son, you were stripped of all human dignity to show the world how sin strips the soul of Divine Dignity! My Naked Son, you were stripped of all human dignity so that they might be clothed in God's Grace!

Prayer Response:

Sorrowful Mother, help me to see how sin strips the soul of grace as I meditate on My Naked Jesus. The humiliations that He endured to show us the ugliness of sin! Give me the Grace, O Mary, to avoid all occasions of sin as I weep with you, your Immaculate Heart now stripped of all consolation at the sight of Our God - humiliated and abandoned!

My Jesus, forgive Me, My Lord, for My sins have exposed the horrors of hell! Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, the mount of sorrows has now been conquered. We stand on its' summit. The climax of the greatest love story ever told is about to be enacted by Jesus, God's spotless Lamb. My Son would soon die embued in the pain of the Crucifixion. As the heavy, dull nails pierced His Hands and His feet, an explosion of pain burst in His brain! An agonizing moan escaped His weakened, entirely spent frame of a Body. The sharp, piercing stab of hatred and cruelty pierced My Motherly Heart. A sea of anguish washed over My Soul. Satan has had his moment. He has unmasked his hideous face, before which the world would tremble. Unbridled hatred and Omnipotent Love collided; and Jesus would be lifted high to bear witness to the truth of this contradiction. With every pound of the hammer, My Heart cried out: Jesus! Jesus!

Love has been Crucified!

Prayer Response:

My Mother, your heart was nailed with Jesus to that Cross! It was My sins that nailed your Jesus to that tree and my sins that pierced your heart! My repentant soul cries out to you in the Face of such an atrocity! Forgive us, for we know not what we have done to you. Help us to avoid any semblance of evil that has caused You and Your Son so much pain.

Crucified Jesus, Have Mercy on Me, a Sinner! Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, the pain of death is a cruel one; but for a Mother who looses her child - the cruelest of stings pierce her heart! How can a Mother explain the stab of death as Her child breathes His last - hanging from a Cross, covered with wounds, agonizing and dying of pure, unmitigated pain! My Beloved, His death was like a color I had never seen, a melancholic song I had never heard before and would never hear again. Its' last note struck as His last breath expired. The sword of sorrow was thrust into My Heart as I prayed with Him in silence, His last prayers on earth.

From the Cross, He thirsted for you. He thirsted for the day you would abhor sin to the point of crucifying your flesh for the life of your immortal souls. He thirsted for the day you would love Him completely. From the Cross, He forgave all of your sins. With His final prayers to the Father: "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me", He takes us to the deepest region of the Mystery of suffering. "Father, into thy Hands I commend My Spirit". With this prayer, He showed us that the Way of the Cross yields the richest fruit - union with the Father. My children, He showed us that Love triumphs in the end.

My crucified Son, With a sword in My Heart, I unite with you. As you give over your Spirit to the Father, I give over My life, My broken Heart, My continued YES to His Holy Will. For you, It is Finished. For Me, Just begun - as I Mother your church on earth in its' infancy.

Prayer Response:

Mother of Crucified Love, give us the grace to comprehend, even in our limited understanding, the Mystery of Our Redemption, The Magnitude of His Love. Our Creator, immolated and offered as a holocaust for His creatures! Give us the grace, dear Mother, to commit our lives into the Fathers Hands. Help us to say, with you and Jesus, Yes to the Fathers Will. Jesus crowned His life with His Holy Death. Help us to offer, upon our death, the crown of our lives, as we strive to live them as Jesus taught us.

My Crucified Savior, Forgive us for we know not what we do! Amen



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, the story of your Passover from slavery to freedom is complete. The final chapter closes as the last drops of blood and water trickle from the pierced side of Jesus. Through a pool of tears, I watch as two of His disciples take Him down from the Cross. As they place Him in My arms, I gave in to the force of grief that has overcome My soul. Through sobs and copious tears, I cry: My Son! My Crucified Son, O Spotless One. They did not recognize you! They did not love you, as did I! My God, what their disobedience has caused you! What have they done to their God!

My tears washed His bloody wounds as I cradled His lifeless Body against My breast. I hold in My arms the Tabernacle that housed the Living God - now cold and empty.

My Son, you emptied yourself so that they could be filled!

Prayer Response:

Anguished Mother, how your Heart must have bled as you held your Lifeless Son in your arms for the last time. Most mothers could not have withstood the agony of helplessly standing by as their child was tortured to death. But you stood close by His side to the end, even then, embracing the Fathers' Holy Will. Give me the grace, O Sorrowful Mother, to accept the partings I must face. Help me to bow to God's Will, offering my grief as the price of souls, as you have taught us from the foot of the Cross.

My Crucified Savior, Remember Me as you reign in your Fathers' Kingdom. Amen.



We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

My children, Jesus, the Suffering, Humble Servant of God, left this world in the poverty that met Him in Bethlehem. The 'Tabernacle' from Heaven was taken to a borrowed grave. His Body was wrapped in linen and laid in the tomb. With one last glance at the beaten and pierced Body of the Lamb of God, My Son, I left Him to begin My new Maternity.

My Son, My heart is entombed in a shroud of grief! I love you. I miss you. Yet, I must go on - for you - for My children that you entrusted to Me from your Cross. But, Lord, can I bear to watch my other children suffer and die? Give Me strength, My God, to stand at the foot of their crosses until the work of salvation is truly complete. My Lord, I cannot bear to loose even one!

Prayer Response:

Mother of all Christians, we come to you with gratitude and love, for your willingness to stand beside us to the end of our lives. We beg you to walk with us on the journey to our Calvary. As we breathe our last, be there to usher us into our permanent home, the Heavenly Paradise being prepared for all who say yes to the Fathers' Will. Put your Hand in ours as we continue our journey through this vale of tears.

Jesus, thank you for having loosened the bonds of death for us. Imitating You, O My God, death will have no hold on us. Amen.



"....How narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road and how few there are who find it!" Matt.7:l4

My children, we have trodden the rough and narrow road of Redemption with Jesus. In humiliation and sorrow we have climbed the arduous steps to the Cross. At the foot of the Cross, we beheld the blood and water streaming from the Heart of Jesus - the Bath in which you all have been immersed.

As we traveled the timeless Way of the Cross, you beheld the abyss of His suffering through the pierced Heart of your Mother. On Calvary, the work of Redemption was finished - for Jesus. For you, My Beloved sons and daughters, just begun.

In accordance with Jesus' last will and testament, I am your Mother, the Mediatrix of Grace. I illuminate the narrow gate and accompany each of you on the rough road to the Cross. I stand at the foot of every cross. I share your anguish. I still shed many tears of agony as I hold in My arms the lifeless corpses of my children who still have not recognized their Savior. I will remain with all of my children until the work of Salvation is truly finished!"

"If a man wishes to come after Me, he must deny his very self, take up His Cross and follow in My steps. Whoever would preserve his life will loose it but whoever looses his life for My sake and the gospel's will preserve it. "Mark 8:34-35

Lena Shipley

Feb. 21, 1993