V: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. (Genuflect)
R: Because, by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (Rise)
V: Consider how, after Our Lord had died, He was taken down from the cross by two of His disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, and placed in the arms of His afflicted Mother. She received Him with unutterable tenderness and pressed Him close to her bosom. (Kneel)
R: O Mother of Sorrows, / for the love of Your Son, / accept me as Your servant and pray to Him for me, / And You, my Redeemer, since you have died for me, / allow me to love You, / for I desire only You and nothing more. / I love You, Jesus my Love, / and I am sorry that I have offended You. / Never let me offend You again. / Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.)By the cross with you to stay
There with you to weep and pray
Is all I ask of you to give.
My grief was intense, and I was afraid. The sky was black and the horror stricken body of my Lord hung on the cross, the life having passed from it.
I was standing before the alter where Abraham had intended to sacrifice Isaac... and I see the angel stop the fall of the knife. God did not ask Abraham to follow through with this sacrifice, Jesus did not ask Isaac to die as an oblation in God's honor. And yet, God Himself made this sacrifice, and Jesus Himself became the holocaust. So compassionate are the eyes of my Savior! Even in the deepest miseries of sin He takes the burden upon Himself instead of allowing it to rest upon the shoulders of His children, who have brought destruction upon themselves. None stopped the hammer that nailed the hands and feet, nor the whip that scourged Him, nor the crowd that condemned Him... no, He has really died, and the breath has really passed from Him.
I looked up, and there was a star... and around the star was a ring of light. It was a perfect ring, and the light was perfect gold, and I saw in this ring the words of the New Covenant which God has made with His people. "This is my Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased..." Jesus was sacrificed so that we might have life, God's Son came to earth that the new covenant might be fulfilled. With the seal of Christ's death the Lord has been espoused to His Church. To His people He has given Himself as a bridegroom gives himself to his bride... and His gift of death is an entire self-gift of love which He offers to this bride which is so precious to Him.
Within the star are all the peoples of the world coming together in three sections... the first are the people of the present, and each bears a mark on his head making him an heir to an eternal foundation, and each of their paths is set before them in accordance with this mark. The second are people who have been set apart according to this mark, but have not come into possession of their heavenly estates; they appear as wayward children who are chastised. The third and most beautiful are those who have come into possession of their heirdom, and who live in it in harmony with the music of God's love.
But I am standing in the shadow of the cross... where God's Son gave up His life in forsaken pain. The words He spoke echo in my mind, as if the words of a nightmare: "Abba, Abba, why have you forsaken me?" My heart breaks as I think of the Son so overcome with our guilt even at the moment of death, and the first heavenly tear falls onto my face from above. The earth rumbles and I hear the screaming of a thousand devils in torment. The ground opens and from the darkened clouds fall black birds with clipped wings into the earth, where they are eaten with worms in the depths.
The storm passes, and my Jesus is taken down from the Cross. I cry to see Him this way, and I cannot be consoled. For He who is my life, my light, my truth to lie lifeless is to cause my heart to lie there with Him, unable to rise.