Sympathy in Mourning

OLC Adoration of the HeartsDuring the month of November, as we reflect on the lives of those who have gone before us – and often, that means revisiting our grief over their loss – we will present excerpts from the letters of John Eudes as he counseled and consoled those who faced these (and other) difficulties.

“I want to weep with Jesus, that I may honor his tears.”

Madame de Budos, John Eudes’ benefactor during the pestilence in Caen, also received spiritual direction from him for many years. In 1629, her dear brother Antoine-Hercule, was killed at war.

Father Eudes writes a long letter to her to help her at this time of trial. It is the oldest of the letters that have come down to us.

Only a few passages are given here. John Eudes drew it up with great care, even did a bit of
research for it, “in anticipation”, he writes in conclusion, “of speaking personally to you as soon as your time is less taken up with the many visits of condolence that you will receive”.

Much younger than she who is then forty-three years old, he does not hesitate to speak to her authoritatively. He urges her to see the hand of God in the painful event that has taken place. He shares her sorrow and invites her to live the moment in close union with Jesus.


May the grace, peace and consolation of Our Lord Jesus Christ and his most holy Mother be with you forever.

I must and wish to adore with you the most holy and lovable will of God in the affliction it has pleased him to send you. I must and wish to cherish and love his most just and lovable hand which has dealt your soul such a harsh blow and pierced your heart with so bloody a wound, since that Divine Hand does nothing save through love of Self and Its creatures that it seems to love even as Itself.

Nevertheless, I must confess that my soul is filled with sadness and my heart with anguish at the thought of your agony. I cannot think of you and the pitiful state in which I see you, without pain and tears and that, I believe, I am allowed.

I see Jesus, the joy of heaven and earth, giving way to profound grief and sighs at the sight of the tears of Martha and Magdalen bemoaning the death of their brother. Why, then, may I not be allowed to weep on a similar occasion? I want to weep with Jesus, that I may honor His tears. I want to “weep with those who weep,” in the words of St. Paul. (Romans 12:15) I wish to weep with the same emotions and sentiments as Jesus wept. I wish to offer Him a sacrifice of tears in homage to His divine and adorable tears.

Let us, Madam, offer Him our tears in honor of His. Let us implore Him to sanctify and bless them through his. Let us beseech him to unite them to His…

Madam, behold Jesus within your heart. He is there wishing to bear with you the harshness of your trial. But He neither can nor does he wish to bear it without you. Unite yourself, therefore, with Him that you may bear your sorrow with Him. Unite your spirit to His Spirit, your heart to His Heart and your will to His. Bear it in holy fashion as He bore it holily and divinely. Bear it as he did strongly and courageously…

So often you have protested to Him that you want only to love and honor Him. You will never be able to love Him more perfectly and honor Him in more holy fashion than at this moment. In this hour of affliction, you can offer Him more glory and love in a single moment than in several days during a time of consolation.

Do not deprive Him, then, of something so tremendous which you can and ought to give Him easily by submitting your will to His. It is true that this is not easy for human nature; but it
becomes easy with the help of the grace which is offered you…

I am writing you these words in anticipation of speaking personally to you as soon as your time is less taken up with the many visits of condolence that you will receive.

Farewell, Mother Antonia

Fr. John Howard’s homily at Mother Antonia’s memorial Mass

You can listen to the recording of Father’s homily and Sister Viola’s description of the last days of Mother’s life.

Further down the page, you can download a transcript of the homily.

May she rest in peace, cradled in the arms of Jesus, whom she loved beyond all measure.

Mother Antonia's Cross

Mother Antonia’s Cross

Small of stature, with blue eyes peeking out from under her traditional black–and-white habit, Brenner cut a strikingly serene presence in the overcrowded prison of 8,000. She lived as any other inmate, sleeping in a 10-by-10-foot cell, eating the same food and lining up for morning roll call.

She would walk freely among thieves and drug traffickers and murderers, smiling, touching cheeks and offering prayers. Many were violent men with desperate needs. She kept extra toilet paper in her cell, arranged for medical treatment, attended funerals.

Prayer Upon Waking

It is a matter of great importance, to a Christian, to begin each day in a holy way, by giving God our first thoughts, words and actions, and by consecrating to Him the first use of our eyes, of our heart, of our tongue, and our hands.

To this effect, as soon as one wakes up in the morning, the first thought and the first concern that we must have is to lift our eyes to the heavens, and our heart to God. God is present in everything. He has watched over us as we slept, and His heart and His eyes are always fixed upon us.

The first word that we should pronounce is the holy name of Jesus, and then of Mary:

Eudist seal

Heart of Jesus and Mary


Then we can continue:

“Oh Good Jesus, I give You my heart for eternity.
Oh Mary, Mother of Jesus, I give you my heart and I beseech you, please give it to your Son.”

Download this recording of the above prayer to  your I-pad or phone to be used as a morning alarm.

The first action which should be made is the Sign of the Cross, saying the words out loud, with the intention of giving one’s heart to the three persons of the Trinity, so that They may possess us entirely. As we rise from our bed, we can say:”I will arise and seek him whom my soul loves.” (Cant 3:2)

This prayer is taken from St. John EudesThe Life and the Kingdom of Jesus in Christian Souls
Purchase on Amazon. Watch for the book soon on Kindle.

Our First Lectio Divina Video

As we try to build our online Eudist community, we hope to conduct shared Lectio Divina prayer times, through the use of Google Hangouts.

The boys and I tried out the system, a few weeks ago. We hope to learn more about how to best work with Hangouts to facilitate a pleasant group experience. Any suggestions you may have are welcome. Message us, or put them in the comments below.

Here is our resulting session: