Massacre of the Innocents

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A Hellish Crime

The massacre of innocent children and of others ten days before Christmas, in my own home state of Connecticut, is evidence enough of the implacable hatred of the Evil One, the incorporeal Herod, who everywhere seeks and finds breaches in the souls of men, in families, and in society, into which he sends his infernal troops, full of contempt for human life, to plunder, ravage, and destroy. The devil, mocking the liturgical calendar of the Church, follows his own calendar of feasts of death and seasons of destruction.

With the Mother of Sorrows

And so do we find ourselves, in these last days of Advent, faced with the most bitter irony of praying the Stabat Mater Dolorosa. The Mother of God, and hundreds of thousands of mothers with her, never leave their station at the Cross, where the blood of an incalculable number of lambs is mingled with the tears of their hearts and with the Blood of the One Lamb that, alone, can wrest the world from the powers of darkness.

Plunged in grief the mother stood,
Weeping where the crimsoned wood
Held on high her dying son.

Through her soul, whose mourning low,
Told how grievous was her woe,
Sorrow like a sword had gone.

Oh! how sad, how sorrow laden,
Stood the meek and blessed maiden,
God's true mother undefiled.

Trembling, weeping, whelmed in woes,
Witnessing the dying throes
Of her own immortal child.

Who is he who would not weep,
Could he know what anguish deep,
Pierced the mother of the Lord?

Who from sorrow could refrain,
Gazing on that mother's pain,
Weeping with her son adored?

She beheld the torments sore,
He for his own people bore,
Bowed beneath that scourging dread.

She beheld her only-born,
Death struck, utterly forlorn,
When his parting spirit fled.

Come, O mother, love's sweet spring,
Let me share thy sorrowing,
Let my tears unite with thine.

Let my heart be all on fire,
Still to seek with fond desire
Christ, my God, my love divine.

Holy mother, this impart,
Deeply print upon my heart,
All the wounds my saviour bore.

Let me share his pains with thee,
Who so tenderly for me
Deigned his sacred blood to pour.

Let our tears in mingling tide
Flow for Jesus crucified,
Till life cease within my breast.

By the cross to take my station,
Sharing thy sweet lamentation,
This is my most fond request.

Holiest of the virgin train,
Do not thou my prayer disdain;
Come and share thy griefs with me.

Let me trace his sufferings o'er;
Bear the very death he bore,
When they nailed him to the tree:

Tell his wounds within my heart,
In his chalice take my part,
All for love of thy dear Son.

Wrapt in flames of love divine,
Keep me still, O mother mine,
When the judgement day draws on.

Lord, when these my days are done,
Let thy mother lead me on
To the palm of victory.

When this mortal body dies,
May my soul to heaven uprise,
Glorified and blest for thee. Amen.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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