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The Seven Last Words
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For centuries these words have been built into various forms of devotion for the consideration and consolation of the Christian people. English Catholics of the late Middle Ages were especially devoted to this pious exercise and passed it on in latter-day prayer books.
Hear the famous English mystic, Julian of Norwich:
Suddenly it came into my mind that I ought to wish for the second wound, that our Lord, of his gift and of his grace, would fill my body full with recollection and feeling of his blessed Passion, as I had prayed before, for I wished that his pains might be my pains, with compassion which would lead to longing for God. . . . And at this suddenly I saw the red blood trickling down from under the crown, all hot, flowing freely and copiously, a living stream, just as it seemed to me that it was at the time when the crown of thorns was thrust down upon his blessed head. . . . With this sight of his blessed Passion and with his divinity, I saw that this was strength enough for me, yes, and for all living creatures who will be protected from all the devils from hell and from all spiritual enemies.
This devotion may be spread over a week, commemorating one of the seven last words each day, or it may be prayed as a whole devotion in a single day.
The text is from A Catholic Book of Hours and Other Devotions by William G. Storey.